TAMPA -- The battle for supremacy continues as political parties and ideological camps in the media and beyond jockey for the top position. At the Republican National Convention, a bevy of speakers paraded nightly across the podium, pushing their party’s favorite rhetoric to get their man elected.
On Wednesday it was vice presidential pick young Paul Ryan’s turn, and he certainly whipped the conservative crowd into a frenzy. Which kind of reminded me of a former VP pick from Wasilla, Alaska, whose charismatic debut onto the convention stage in 2008 also brought the crowd to a foaming lather. But we know what happened afterward -- for all was definitely not as it seemed.
Now the concerned folks over at moveon.org and Current TV say VP nominee Paul Ryan was not being entirely truthful during his shining début at the RNC. In fact, they are accusing some on the GOP speaking roster of glaring omissions, spewing half-truths, outright lies and sprinkling fairy dust on their eager supporters, while attempting to bamboozle the listening public beyond those convention walls. Read more on the alleged lies here: The Top 5 Ryan Lies from the GOP convention.
With strong words like “he lies without a conscience,” Current TV guests, which included former Presidential nominee and Vice President Al Gore (D), added, “Ryan was strong on rhetoric but short on facts.” Click on the video above to hear host Cenk Uygur, with panelists John Fugelsang, Jennifer Granholm and former disgraced governor of New York Eliot Spitzer dissect Ryan’s RNC speech.
The intellectual leader of the party wasn’t so intellectual Wednesday night but rather more of a brilliant storyteller. He told of balancing the budget in four years; creating 12 million jobs; providing a utopia where his grandma could retire in style and comfort and returning the country to the those who “raped” it in the first place--all that without any data to back up that precipitation of rainbows and rosy glow.
The yarn continued in a spectacular spin as he fudged the facts on the $716 billion he accused President Obama of taking out of Social Security when he knew that wasn’t the case. Moreover he has that exact figure in his budget plan. Ryan even accused the president of closing an auto plant that closed under George W Bush. I told you he was a wizard, of sorts.
One of the most memorable quotes I’ve heard defending young Ryan's “Midsummer’s night Dream” came from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, when he answered a reporter’s query about the lack of facts in the VP nominee’s speech, “Facts aren’t always absolutely accurate.” I couldn’t make this up even if I tried.
Even Fox News' Sally Kohn had this to say about Paul Ryan's RNC Speech: "It was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, it was Ryan who got the gold." Yes, you read right, I said Fox News.
Interestingly, while chanting slogans of “we built this, it or that” and promising milk and honey would flow through the streets of a "Xanadu"America under president Mitt Romney, former president George W. Bush, his VP Dick Cheney and 2008 VP nominee Sarah Palin, are all conspicuously MIA.
Which begs an intriguing question: If the Republicans want us to buy what they’re selling—that the common denominator in all of America’s woes is President Barack Hussein Obama—why are they hiding Georgie and company? If GW has a strong record he can stand on; if he did such a remarkable job; why is he downplayed and treated so disloyally by the GOP? He should be headlining the festivities.
Former Secretary of State during Bush Jr.'s second term, Condi Rice, gave an eloquent rendition of her party’s accomplishments, sans the two wars her “boss” started on credit. To hear her tell it, she served under an luminous administration for eight years. One of their platform themes at the RNC was “we built it,” and at least that is one truth. They did help “built” the deficit to trillions of dollars in too big to fail banks, Wall Street and mortgage giants Fanny and Freddie bailouts before Obama added some more, trying to fix the inherited disaster.
But it didn’t work as most hoped it would, because he didn’t fix the deep-rooted seismic fissure caused by the systemic corruption that is America’s government and the defective ménage a trois between corporations, politicians and lobbyists. Just for the record, Ryan and every one of those Republicans posing now as fiscally responsible signed "yea" for those wars and bailouts and tax breaks for the rich.
The Republican argument that it is time to stop blaming Bush for the abysmal state of the economy might have some merit if they admit he torpedoed it in the first place. If they ‘fess up to being part of the ballooning national debt; if they confess to starting a war based on lies with no exit strategy; if they agree that the stunning wasteful spending in Washington happened under their watch as well; if they share responsibility for contributing heavily to the stagnant, divisive climate on Capitol Hill. Only then can they point an accusing finger in any other direction but back at themselves.
In their obvious omission of Bush, so much so, that it feels like they have pressed a magical delete button on his eight years at the helm—they have agreed with the Democrats that his record is so bad; so terribly embarrassing, that they cannot make him visible at the RNC podium.
On top of that, their God must have a morbid sense of humor, for seeing eerily familiar scenes played out on the split screen as storm Isaac ravishes Louisiana, Mississippi and New Orleans, while the Republican convention marches on—brings back Bush’s mistakes during the late summer of 2005 and thus the party’s lowest moment during the hurricane Katrina debacle.
When cries of “Bush doesn’t like black people” rang out from rapper Kanye West during a telethon for Katrina's victims, it echoed across black communities suffering from the devastation of the storm and broken levees. I'm sure it feels like déjà vu to many now battling Isaac’s fury, while watching helplessly as their homes vanish under floodwaters.
That the RNC has to share the stage with this kind of suffering would seem mystically cosmic, if we all believed in the God of congresswoman/ presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and controversial evangelical Pat Robertson, who both have attributed nature's wrath to God’s judgment.
People suffering, losing their loved ones and homes were seen as a vengeful God punishing us for our sins. Wonder what Bachmann is saying now? Is God displeased with the GOP? If I was a religious zealot and subscribed to that type of inane insanity, I would agree.
Thankfully, religion and I have not seen eye to eye for quite a while. My heart goes out for those currently suffering through the storm. May they get the help they need this time around.
Written by Veronica Roberts 8.31.12
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