LiveBlog Wrap: Optimistic Nostalgia

Romney gives speech with few details, goes full neo-con on foreign policy

Mitt Romney gives his nomination speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida on August 30, 2012. Courtesy:

On a night when Romney had to appear human and the Republican party appear inclusive, it sort of happened. The line-up of Romney warm-up speakers strained to present a party that was inclusive of women and minorities. Several speakers rolled out sentences and whole paragraphs of Spanish to prove they like people that are not white. Then they were put back in their cages. 

In between that, they brought out people from Mitt’s personal life for a “This is Your Life” in absentia since Mitt was not on stage to guess and emote when they walked out after telling their heart-warming stories.

Toward the end they filled the stage with olympians using American symbolism in a pathetic nostalgic pander. Not once did any of the speakers really offer a convincing tie between Romney saving the Olympics and qualification for running a country. Certainly the  repeated ties to 9/11 and Romney was embarrassing.

However the end of the speech, when Romney steered into foreign policy, he acted like a wild-eyed heroin addict, jonesing on fantasies of the past like the Cold War, war adventurism in the Middle east, and the ridiculous canard about “apologizing” all over the place.

We should be concerned after fighting two wars, the country clearly exhausted by perpetual conflict, that a presidential nominee would talk of “less flexibility and more backbone”. It is very frightening that the country might elect a president that has no qualms about starting another war in the name of dubious neo-con interventionism.

It all points to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have not been swayed by the arduous economic and emotional path the country has been down in the last decade. Somehow they feel that more of the same will get different results.

It will be the same results for Romney and Ryan’s well-connected and moneyed friends, which suits them just fine. It also will be the same results for the Americans that truly need help, except that group will just keep growing.

Chat history is below:


Bringing it full circle

Conservative columnist David Brooks said it best, the speech had plenty of zingers but was very ‘short on policy’, which has always been the case with Romney. Brooks added that in order to get elected you must have a mandate and that means getting specific.

Getting specific could be fatal for Romney because it will expose the many shortcomings in his ideas

Well folks…its on! See you in Charlotte!


Pastels everywhere!

Republicans go with predictable imagery after the speech, a flood of families on stage to show they can breed and look perfect.


Frightening foreign policy ideas

In talking his planned posture with rest of the world and being “less flexible and with more backbone” is returning to the “I’m gonna skull fuck you” foreign policy.


Its getting ugly and predictable

The Romney foreign policy: “Less flexibility and more backbone”. An awful applause line that somehow holds up Bush foreign policy as successful and Obama foreign policy as a failure despite acknowledging that Obama gave the Bin Laden order.

Even though more dictators have fallen under Obama than Bush.

And Romney hits the God refrain, that “our creator” is somehow in the constitution, he actually said “codified”. Very scary stuff here.


The 12 Million job fantasy

Oooo! A 5-step program to prosperity! I didn’t think it was late enough for infomercials! The 12 Million job figure has already been debunked by respected economists as pure fantasy and wholly unattainable. Its like the 9-9-9 Cain economic plan, an easy slogan to put in your pocket and carry it around, but doesn’t fix anything.

So the five steps:

Keep drilling for fossil fuel and pillage the environment even though increased domestic production will not keep prices low since its global demand that sets prices.

Keep taxes low for everyone but not pay for it, except to decimate the poor.

Open up free trade so that corporations can continue to find cheap labor over seas…shall I go on?


My redistribution is better than yours

Romney invokes naked capitalism again in the cloak of free enterprise, and warns of the evils of redistribution. He neglects to mention that the naked capitalism presided over by the Bush presidency helped redistribute all the wealth to the few. Now why is that not bad redistribution?


He said H-E double-toothpicks!

Romney better be careful, he is telling investment-business jokes. This is the territory of the ,000 bet, the Ann has ‘couple of Cadillacs’, and all the horse talk.


Every rose has its thorn

Romney is tearing up now, telling the story about the love their parents had for each other. His dad gave his mom rose every day…must be nice to have the money to afford a rose every day.

He turned on the tears just right and pivoted to name ALL the women in the Republican party…didn’t take long. Of course just like with all the Spanish speaking tonight…it won’t fix the yawning gender and minority gap the Republicans have.


Mitten Freedman Romney

“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I wanted America to succeed.” The entire premise is that the current administration has failed because they didn’t roll over and accept without compromise Republican legislation.

Romney conveniently leaves out that Republicans were not interested in governing, but just opposing everything. They seem to believe that the best way to fix the country is to just just chant USA! USA! long and loud enough and somehow the economy will just fix itself.


Wait for it….

“I accept your nomination for President of the United States.” And with that we are off and running. Lets see how many distortions he can throw out there. How many vague solutions, painted with broad patriotic brushes that cover over those pesky details.


Come on down!

Mitt Romney breaks the fourth wall, walking in from the floor to show he can touch regular people. He still looks a little stiff…he’s only used to looking down from the balcony of his 20-room house.


We are special

“We’re special not because we have more rich people here…” Actually Republicans feel that only rich people are special and are the only ones that deserve special and unlimited tax breaks, special access to the legislative process, and special rules for influencing elections.


School Night

I wish Rubio would hurry up…I have to be at work at 5 a.m.


Here comes God again

Rubio invokes God as an American value, even though it appears nowhere in the constitution.


‘I was an American’

It is interesting that Repubs applaud Rubio for being an American, but doubt the President is an American, even both they both have parents with 1st world roots.


The almost VP

Marco Rubio is introducing Romney now. He immediately invokes Cuba and its apparent that the Republicans are still fighting the the Cold War; however its not sporting to claim victory when the enemy is old and near death.


More lame imagery

The bring out Clint Eastwood who immediately tries to say that there are conservatives in Hollywood, but he only needs one hand to count them.

But of course they have the image of Eastwood from one of his spaghetti westerns super imposed behind them. Of course the “Outlaw Josey Wales”, which was ages ago, feeds into the conservative pathos of machismo and toughness, but its all very hollow when you compare it to all the cowardly legislation.

Clint Eastwood is a waste of resources, because I think he thinks he is at some Hollywood  roast and he is telling a story instead of on live national television. Or is he giving some acting class about how to imagine your stage mate is on stage when he talks to the chair next to him.

The sad part is, this was planned…because normally that chair would not be out on stage, unless Clint is going to sit there and be serenaded by Mitt’s policy proposals.


Aviation Party foul!

Lockheed Constellation has piston engines

Okay! I am crying foul! In telling a story about Mitt arriving at the airport to meet Ann…the video editing idiots used a still of a Lockheed Constellation which is powered by piston engines turing propellers.

However they use an SFX of a jet engine! Its like in the movie “Airplane!” except there the juxtaposition was on purpose for laughs!

Additionally, by the time Mitt and Ann were travelling to meet each other, the Constellation had long been taken out of airline service.


 Romney infomercial is now playing, and they are back to flogging the Salt Lake City Games and how Mitt Saved the world, complete with 9/11 imagery. This time the full emotional impact with a highly-edited video piece…but I though conservatives didn’t like Hollywood. Well  it turns out they love Hollywood since Clint Eastwood still in the que to appear on stage.


Mitt Romney killed Osama Bin Laden after saving the Olympics

Oh great is Mike Eruzione going to say “Do you believe in miracles?” Mike is like Al Bundy, running around saying I played high school football for the last 30 years.

He just found a way to say 1980 Miracle on Ice, Olympic Flame, and Mitt Romney in one paragraph.

And now they have a 2002 athlete tying 9/11 to Mitt Romney, to the Olympics. Its official Mitt Romeny killed Osama Bin Laden!


Just another day at the used car lot

Its like Saturday morning at the car lot. They have rolled out all these Olympians that have competed in the Winter Games, however very few of them competed in Salt Lake. So how does all these medalists being on stage prove Mitt Romney should be president?

It doesn’t…it just give the crowd to make that ridiculous patronizing chant, “USA! USA!” when its used by Republicans.


Tension is building  for the final acts

Its 9:30pm Eastern and supposedly Mittens is addressing the convention around 10 p.m. That means there are only a few speakers left.

Meanwhile when I slipped out to get some Coldstone Creamery goodness, someone switched the TV to PBS. I’ve never seen so many sweater-vested academians all in one place. If PBS is trying to combat their image in the eyes of conservatives, get these guys some Ralph Lauren…STAT!

Funny part is that I can throw a rock from my balcony and hit the PBS building. And I’d never thought I would end a post like this…Taylor Hicks just got done gyrating on stage…thankfully Judy Woodruff talked over him.


Restoring our past

Romney’s Lieutenant Governor during his term finishes her speech with typical themes of “restoring America” and stop “apologizing for America”. Republicans are really the only people that are ashamed, the rest of the country is pretty happy with how it appears to the rest of the world.

It been nice to have a president and a secretary of state that can repair the foreign relations damage that eight years of unilateralism and hubris had caused. I don’t know what we need to restore, other than the moderate wing of the Republican party.


Pay no attention to that former Massachusetts Governor over there

Romney’s former Lieutenant Governor is talking about how great Mitt Romney governed Massachusetts. Its really too bad that Mittens doesn’t want anyone to know that he governed as a moderate.


Revolutionizing corporate day care

The CEO of Staples Tom Stemberg is now speaking. It’s likely they trotted him out to extoll the virtues of the benevolent capitalist Mitt Romeny. This is the only qualified example of “He built it” that Romney can claim.

Its kind of vexing that the campaign has not told the story of Staples more often. Staples is a success story that employed people and made Mitt money all at the same time. Unfortunately this private equity story is one of the only bright spots in Mitt’s personal investment experience. There are much more examples of predatory investment projects that are about breaking up and shutting down companies rather than starting them.

To illustrate his point he brings up a company that has “revolutionized corporate day care”. That phrase alone brings shudders.


God’s Plan is Not America’s Plan

While its great that all the speakers are seeking God’s blessing for Mitt Romney…God’s blessing is not a requirement for assuming the Presidency of the United States of America.


Oh boy…now Jeb Bush is talking about Scott Walker and the glorious things he has gone for education in Wisconsin…I don’t even know where to start about  how Walker’s moves are NOT a national example.

Jeb Bush’s basic thrust is that Romney believes in giving all the educational control to the states; which means vouchers and privatization and no unions. The state’s rights theme has been a constant this week from the RNC.


OMG! When Jeb Bush introduced Sean Duffy as a teacher I thought he was talking about our Lumberjack cum Real World contestant cum Congressman Sean Duffy was going to talk about education.

Phew! it wasn’t Sean of WI…it was Sean of Florida, which interestingly enough is a curious choice to talk about education. Just about every Floridian I talk to uses the Florida schools as a punchline. But here is Jeb Bush, on the national stage, holding up Florida as an example of education that works.

However the weird milk analogy to explain why school choice is better than public education and their unionized labor is pretty lame. Now we are hearing from Miami scholarship recipient who got to “choose” his school, and no doubt he chose a non-union school and he is a much better educated person.


Jeb Bush is now addressing the convention and also says a few words in Spanish. His first words are to mention his family and their role in the public service. He talked of his dad and grandad.

Then Jeb Bush said, “My brother….I love my brother.” He goes onto say that he governed in very tough times and that asked the President to basically “lay off my brother”.


Craig Romney is speaking now. He opened with about 100-200 words in Spanish. The crowd was respectful and applauded. Yet a short speech in Spanish from a Romney family member is not going to atone for decades of Republican disdain for immigrants, especially Latinos.

Romney, as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is saying now, has been quite far right on immigration; basically saying to entire ethnic population, “Go away”.


Still plan to cover tonight’s speeches, taking a moment to watch the final Green Bay Packer pre-season game.


We’ll be blogging tonight as the Republican Party wraps up their convention in Tampa, Florida. The final speech tonight features Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney who has been sought this moment for the last five years.

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