Something has happened. Bloggers (including me) and the Press (mainstream, liberal and evil as many believe it to be) are calling out the Republicans on lies. No longer are false equivalences ruling the day as in, "Republican leader says this, and Democratic leader says that." Maybe it's a move from the whole "Crossfire" mentality of lining up proponents or experts equal on each side to duke it out and not change a single mind. I give some credit to James Fallows at The Atlantic who has been calling out "false equivalencies." So, I will give him a link here. If anyone wants to jump in and explain why the lies we called aren't, feel free. I'm not afraid to make corrections.
Of course, one spokesman for the Romney campaign said that they don't care much about fact checking. I hope they will. And I certainly hope the Dems will pay attention to facts and the truth. If they do (and I'm not entirely hopeful) they could revive the enthusiasm about Obama and help fulfill the hope so many had (and so many Republicans claim they had) that President Obama was going to make things different. We'll see. I'll hold them accountable too.
I won't blog straight through, as I have some other things to do (real life and all). But keep checking back.
Oh, Gingrich is the first one up! I can't miss this. Weird. It's some kind of tribute about Reagan with Newt and Callista robotically reading some script trading off after each other. Booooring. And Newt lies about Obama repudiating the work requirement for welfare.
Alex Castellanos, the conservative commentator on CNN, is trying to explain away the lies about the President destroying the work requirement for welfare. Donna Brazile, the liberal commentator, was arguing with him. Anderson Cooper was flustered. David Gergen, the moderate commentator, authoritatively took on Castellanos. It isn't going to be pretty. Believe what you want - facts may not matter (or maybe they don't even exist?)
I was taking my son to his drum lesson and I heard NPR announce the next convention speaker, "Grant Bennett." I said, "That's a Mormon name." Yep. And we're hearing a kind of testimony meeting with applause. The only weird part is Bro. Bennett referring to his and Mitt's calling as "pastor." That's weird. Why not "bishop?" I know the etymology of the word, so I get it. But this is oddly Mormon and oddly not. Now we have Bro. Oparowski telling about Bishop Romney's service. All this I'm hearing about Gov. Romney's church work all seems familiar, just a little out of context. That's not all bad. Bro. Oparowski just missed his cut-off cue on the teleprompter to turn it over to Sister Oparowski. That's kinda cute. "How many men do you know" who would do this kind of service, she asks? Well, I know a few. Probably Brother Harry Reid does this stuff too.
I was driving around and swear I heard the Staples guy on the radio say that Bain, "Set entrepreneurs free to procreate." Eew. I don't think I'm shopping at Staples again.
OK. Taylor Hicks is probably the most appropriate performer they ever could have found to sing before Gov. Romney comes on. The dancing is Romneyesque to say the least.
Now it's "Mitt the Movie!" He is a pretty nice guy. I does say in the movie that he doesn't know how to explain love. I liked the parts about his dad. I never really thought about it before, but George looked a lot like Stewart Udall. Must have been a Mormon thing. Or just the hair combed back - but then that's like my Grandpa, too.
And now, Clint Eastwood, the big surprise speaker is up. I was hoping for Sarah. Clint is now talking to a chair. I think he's pretending like it's the President. I'm not sure this was such a great idea. Basically, you have a really old guy stumbling over words with bad, off-color jokes, talking to a chair. Yeah. That has got to go down in history as one of the weirdest convention speeches ever.
Marco Rubio with the introduction of Gov. Romney. Rubio's going off on Cuba. American Exceptionalism. He's going a bit negative anti-President instead of building up Romney. Maybe we'll get there. "Almighty God is the source of all we have." That makes us special. And he's (Rubio) giving a big downer on the economy and moving back in with your parents. But Romney "can make life in America better than it has ever been."
[I don't like sports much. Both BYU and Utah are playing their first football games tonight, and I've got kids in both marching bands. I guess this convention blogging gives me an out not to watch either one. Probably not the best of dads. I like the marching bands, they just rarely show them on TV and you have to sit through a lot of football.]
Here comes Mitt! so e x c i t i n g . . . Applause is dead and he's still not all the way in yet. Ya know, this is something I miss from the old days - those big parades and hoopla with each of the candidates. He's still walking in . . .
Now he starts to talk and the applause sign must have come on. And he accepts the nomination.
Great honor and great responsibility. Shout out to Paul Ryan. Paul loves his mom. Great excitement four years ago. We're all children of immigrants. Came to America hoping things would be better. Freedom. The essence of the American experience. Every new wave of immigrants - none doubted they could have a better life. But now, for the first time, a majority of Americans doubt their kids will have it better. We deserved better. [some kerfuffle in the crowd and Security. A code pink lady? a communist? a Ron Paul supporter?] He wishes President Obama had succeeded. He's so sad and disappointed now. But he will do something. We deserve better. We need to know more about him. He's a classic baby boomer - middle of the century, middle of the country. Shout out to Neil Armstrong. God bless him. That American Flag is still there on the moon. And Neil's spirit is still with us. When the world needs us to do the really big stuff, "you need an American."
Story about his dad. Love in families is important. God's love, etc. World would be a better place. His dad bought his mom a rose every day. He's getting teary about his mom and dad. His mom's senate race. Women power. Some of his best friends are women. And he likes cars. [He is doing a pretty good job of speaking and presenting himself.] Fights among the boys. And he gets teary again. I guess he's human. This was tough on Ann with all the boys. He was traveling a lot. He would call but that didn't help much. Her job was a lot more important. Shout out to Ann. Found kinship with friends in his church. Vibrant and diverse congregations. Communities, Faiths, Families - we look to for support. That's the bedrock of what makes America. Too many Americans don't have those good days. Hope and change was powerful four years ago. If you were excited then, shouldn't you be so now? You know there's something wrong when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him. Jobs to him [the Prez] are about government. But Mitt has experiences investing and building companies. Almost didn't get off the ground. Weird joke about not investing his church's pension fund but he was afraid of going to hell. [?] But he made money for the Episcopalians. Built a steel mill. [Apparently the protesters were Code Pink.]
In American we celebrate success, we don't apologize for success. He was not always successful at Bain. The Prez doesn't understand this. It's about dreams. It doesn't work out always like you plan. Free Enterprise shout out and he and the crowd get excited and he says it's not about redistribution. This President cannot tell us we're better off than when he took office. We've been patient and supported this President in good faith [uh, I beg to differ.] We need to restore the promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this. Obama economy has crushed the middle class. His policies have not created jobs, they depress them. He wants to tax small business and destroy jobs. He's attacking energy. Cutting the military and placing us at risk. And Mitt lies about cuts to medicare. Deficits destroy economy.
Romney is running to create a better future. 12 million new jobs is in Romney's plan. 5 steps.
1. 2020 energy independence
2. Give our people skills they need. Parent choice in schools.
3. Make trade work for America with new agreements and consequences on cheaters [i.e., China].
4. Ensure every entrepreneur that their investments will not disappear- we will cut the deficit and put us on track to a balanced budget.
5. Champion business. Cut taxes on small business. Repeal and replace Obamacare. [big cheers]
Women are more likely then men to start a business. We need a president who understands. Unlike President Obama, he will not raise taxes on the middle class. He will respect sanctity of life, marriage, and freedom of religion.
President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet [laughter]. Romney's promise is to help you and your family. [Good line.] Romney will begin with jobs tour not like Obama with an apology tour [another misrepresentation]. [and the crowd chants "USA"] Every American was happy when the President gave the order and we got bin laden. [gracious touch, but crowd doesn't know what to do with it] But we are abandoning Israel, talking to Iran, friendly to Putin. Romney will be tougher. He will return to bi-partisan foreign policy of Truman and Reagan [cold war, I guess. But maybe more neo-con war in the middle east.]
Does the America we want give in to China, bad schools, division, etc. Save the world from unspeakable darkness. He wants a United America to get back to work. Brighter future, strong military. No one will dare to test it. United America will uphold our rights endowed by our Creator and codified in our Constitution. That America is the best within each of us. He will work to restore that America. [Did he just say that future is our "density?" It must be back to the future!]
And we're livin' in America. Not a lot of cheering or balloons. But fireworks on the screens and Ryan comes out. Oh, here come the balloons.
It was a pretty good speech. Not a great barn-burner or crowd-rouser. But OK. He was a little stiff but showed some humanness.
But now he's singing along "America."
Gergen thinks it was a solid speech, a little quiet, a little Norman Rockwell. It had a lot of heart, it needed more soul. That's David Gergen.
There are already tweets coming from "Ivisible Obama" - an empty chair. I think Invisible Obama and that strange, mumbling, elderly man stole the show. I bet the visible one shows up to the debates, though.