RNC Review II: In which the Republicans say many things that I would agree with, if I thought they actually practiced what they preach.

And here we are with Round II of my review of the doings at the Republican National Convention this past week. If you’re just joining us, having been too work-frenzied during the week to catch the convention, I’m catching up this three day weekend, and after-live blogging my reactions. Part I, with my review of the speeches of Ann Romney, Ricky Santorum and Chris Christie, as well as the Bush 41/43 tribute, can be found here.

All caught up now? Good, let’s go!

We’ll start with John McCain. I think the previous nominee’s speech is always interesting, when you can get it. The Democrats actually abandoned their “losers night” in the 90s, when they got serious about winning again, but fortunately last time they let both Al Gore and John Kerry speak. And I dare anyone to try and stop Johnnie:

Ha! “Highway to the Danger Zone” as the intro. Nice touch, RNC. He actually smiled after calling Mitt Romney his friend. A fairly restrained reference to losing the last election, and then straight into Romney having a sacred charge, and world affairs being as important as domestic issues. Oh, and he mentions how we have led the world under “patriots of both parties.” Reminds me of why we who believe in country over party used to admire him so much. And still do in large part, despite his becoming Bush’s lacky and unleashing Palin on a defenseless country. Now a plug for Israel, how we can’t afford to give China and Russia a veto, government leaks about operations. Probably the only person all weekend who will mention Afghanistan. And possibly he wants us to militarily intervene in Syria? That seems to be what he’s saying. I’d feel more compelled by this argument about supporting freedom worldwide if his party actually meant it. In say, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, even when it’s more inconvenient, as much as places where it suits our geopolitical interests. Because I actually believe in what he’s saying about how we must always be on the side of freedom worldwide.

Correction to an error from yesterday’s blog. They did let a Bush speak! And so, accordingly, we shall hear him, former first-brother Jeb Bush:

Hmmm, this is odd. He’s taking the stage with two other people. Are they going to sing? I so hope they sing! A surprisingly mild cheer for the family when he invokes their history of service to the country. Oh they did like the “stop blaming your predecessor” line. You were dealt a tough hand, but your policies didn’t work, and it’s time to accept responsibility for it. Not a bad line of argument. And now talking about education and schools, and preparing our children for the emerging future world. As with Senator McCain, I agree, despite the thick irony of the argument coming from a side that has pushed policies that underfunded education for decades. Oh, and I see now, its teachers he brought on stage with him! And he’s having them speak now. Poor working conditions and little pay. Yes, yes, I agree. I do like his focus, and clear energy around the issue. We all know why he couldn’t run this year, but here’s hoping to see him again in 2016 or 2020. And, frankly, I think there is more than a point around the issue of teachers unions being a block to some needed reforms. How about we stand up to the teachers unions AND the petroleum lobby? Fair trade, I’ll take it. He wants some states rights around educational choice too. Okay, I’ll take that as well, in exchange for state’s rights around setting their own abortion and gay marriage laws, rather than having federal constitutional bans. Done and done!

All right, I’ve been steeling myself for this one. Yes that’s right, VP Nominee Paul Ryan. I have of course read some of the coverage, so I am expecting some, shall we say, freedoms from truth:

Aww, he’s so cute! He really does have that boyish charm thing going for him. Drama- he accepted the nomination! And was immediately on point re: invoking the phrase “jobs crisis” in his acceptance. Mitt Romney as man for the turnaround, good, good. Really funny that he talks about opponents silent about their record as the running mate of El Silencio about the past incarnate. Nice crack about Obama wasting money in advertising, just as he has with the country. Five minutes in, no lies so far. Nice, allowing that Obama came in under challenging conditions. Ah, here we are, 6:44 with the plant closing. Actually not false, but certainly misleading. Solyndra, their favorite single example of waste to characterize the whole. Yes indeed, cronyism, corporate welfare. From the party of corporate welfare! “Borrowed, spent and wasted” is a great line, though. Now on to jobs crisis- which, interestingly, only really took off once the stimulus he just said was “wasted” ended. Federal government in charge of health care BS, which of course the AHCA doesn’t do. But boy does that get the crowd riled! Now on to the “stealing from Medicare” bit, based on a policy he himself supported in his own plan. Almost surreal to see a Republican VP nominee singing the praises of Medicare! Well, whatever works, right? The little “hmm” thing he does after his phrases is weird, a little off-putting, like a condescending semi-laugh. Nice bit, though, about Obama saying his mistake has been not communicating more, spun into a “talk versus action” point. Also doing the same deal as Jeb about shifting blame to the last administration versus accepting responsibility. Added more debt than any other President before him. Huh? Forgotten Bush much? Just a lie, outright, factual mathematical untruth. And Republicans on offering good faith proposals. Well, if you don’t remember the daily news from the last three years, that might play. Very nice on stop spending money we don’t have, and we need to solve the country’s economic problems, and not having much time. He’s delivering a strong message, and firing up the base, just like a good VP should. Not electrifying the hall nearly as much as Sarah Palin did four years ago, but, well, that would be a tall order. I think if this ticket were reversed it would be a far greater threat to Obama than it is under its current order. Also got to hand it to them for boldness- 12 million jobs over the next 4 years. Ha, unemployed college grads living in their parents’ bedrooms staring up at fading Obama posters. Good one! “A country where everything is free but us.” Also very nice rhetoric. There are no “central planners” that he’s speaking of, but still nice. Pivot now to building up Romney as he moves to the close. Very nice line about his iPod versus Romney’s. And great sell of Romney’s record in Massachusetts too, more than Romney himself has actually done. Also identifying the common ground of their faiths. “We have responsibilities, one to another” neat, since that actually is the Democratic credo, the raison d’etre of social welfare programs. You know, that was pretty good. Not as fiery as the coverage I had read would indicate, nor as chock full of lies. To be sure, they were there and some of them were pretty egregious, you can get a good third party evaluation of it here. But, all in all, he made their case pretty solidly.

And so we will end for today. Tomorrow, Mitt and Clint, with a little Rubio thrown in!  

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