Notes on the Republican Confabulation
Should we consider it ominous when the entertainment is the Oak Ridge Boys from The Atomic City, home of the bomb?
John McCain was trotted out to pontificate on foreign policy, and for those of you who have not been following his dotage, McCain’s policy these days is to “Bomb bomb bomb” everybody. He didn’t disappoint here, with his seeming call for open-ended war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria.
Condoleezza Rice followed with her admonishion “we cannot lead from behind.” Somebody ought to tell Paul Ryan about this, seeing that he described his foreign policy credentials as having “voted to send people to war.” If that’s not leading from behind, nothing is.
Rice then surprised me by telling the truth when she said “When I look at your zipcode can I honestly say it doesn’t make a difference in your education?” Any real estate agent can attest to this; that when young families shop for a neighborhood they first shop for good schools. Unfortunately, the Republican platform calls for fixing this problem by defunding public schools with voucher programs, one more example of the Republican ‘ownership society’ -where you’re on your own, and devil take the hindmost.
Many folks say that Paul Ryan is a nice guy, but he’s been annoying me for some time. He got my goat early, saying that “young people should not have to live out their twenties in their childhood bedrooms wondering when they can get going in life.” He said those kids were looking at old Obama posters; well a lot of them could be looking at old yellow ribbons and flag pins from the Bush years, still waiting on the job growth promised from tax cuts and de-regulation. Many more were part of the ‘economic draft’ of young people from depressed rural áreas who were among the million Americans to serve in Bush’s elective war in Iraq.
Ryan spoke of a time when”families weren’t just getting by.” Jeez, Paul, when was that? Middle class household income has been flat for forty years now. Aren’t you like, forty-two years old?
I’m not going to pile on Clint Eastwood. He’s a great actor and director; he’s eighty-two years old. I’m concerned, though, about the company he’s keeping; that would push him out on stage like that without a script. I do expect that Betty White will be funnier than him though.
Well, then there was Romney. Old ‘Windsock Willard’ looked a Little haggard to me, gaunt and stooped. All that pandering must be hard on him. Maybe he’ll do himself a favor and lose his voice like Bubba used to do on the campaign trail. Silence could be golden for a gaffe machine like him. He spoke about paying down the debt and rolling back déficits, though economists say that the Romney and Ryan plans to cut taxes and make unspecified budget cuts presents would actually add debt. He spoke about families being able to “put aside a little money for college.” That made me laugh after he told some college students last summer that if they needed money for school they should borrow some from their parents. Worked for him, I guess.
When Romney talked about when”you lost that $22 an hour job with benefits you took two Jobs at $9 an hour” didn’t he know that some wag would suggest that you lost that $22 job because Bain Capital took over your company?
And he brought up religión, saying that at school, guys “cared more about sports teams than which church you went to.” Sports teams; like NASCAR teams, some of his friends own them.
In the film bio beforehand, and in his address, Romney said that his dad was born in Mexico and left there to escape the revolution. This bit of family history cracked me up because it just served to remind me that Romney’s grandfather escaped to Mexico to escape the prohibition of polygamy in the U.S. The same when he talked about his boys being young and needing “to re-enact a different World War every night." This brings to my mind the fact that niether Romney nor any of his five sons served in the military. This in itself doesn’t bother me until he starts talking about “Obama’s trillion dollar cuts to the military” (which are projected under the Budget deal the GOP extracted in Exchange for raising the debt ceiling after they already messed up the countrys credit rating,) or when he trots out that old line about “preserving a military so strong that no nation would dare to test it.” Or as I would put it; a military so strong that we’re tempted to send it all over the world meddling until it blows back on us. Or maybe a military so expensive that we collapse under the weight of it.
But talk like this, even from a chickenhawk, is like red meat to the GOP crowd. That’s a reason that I usually stand with the other party.