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Catastrophe in Tampa

September 1, 2012 - Harry Eagar
If the Republican Party was interested in making inroads with reality-based voters at its convention, then it was a disaster.

First, Ann Romney came forward to describe her husband and herself as regular folks. Just like you and me, they struggled to get through college, working minimum wage jobs . . . oh, wait, rewind . . . because Mitt had been given only a rather small fortune and had to sell off his stocks frugally to pay expenses.

Then Paul Ryan quit running imaginary marathons long enough to tell us about the sad events when Barack Obama closed down a GM plant in Janesville, which is in Ryan's district . . . oh, wait, rewind . . . the plant was already closed by the time Obama came in. Plea to Karl Rove: Can you ask Sherman Adelson to look under the cushions on his sofa and see if there's enough there to buy Paul Ryan a watch and a calendar?

Many leftwingers said Ryan's speech was the most dishonest in the history of political conventions, but that's just typical leftwing exaggeration. It wasn't as dishonest as Nixon's "secret-plan-to-end-the-war" speech at Miami in '72.

But it was probably the second-most dishonest convention speech ever.

By the time Romney himself spoke, his campaign had put out a statement that it wasn't interested in facts, so, on the whole, the fact-free nature of his speech was anticlimactic.

But there was some excitement in anticipation of a surprise speaker. I was certainly surprised when that turned out to be a senile hoofer (if you've forgotten the hoofing, rent "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers") who hasn't read a newspaper since the 21st century began and who is a cultural icon who stands for disregarding due process of law, letting police stomp on civil rights and insane gun nuttery.

Black and Latino voters may have a different view of Dirty Harry than white Kluxers do, and it is hard to figure out why convention organizers who went to the trouble of putting several brown speakers on the podium thought that Clint Eastwood would not cancel out that effort.

But then, the premise of this post is that the Tampa convention was meant to reach out to the reality-based voters, and that is almost certainly a mistaken idea.


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