Blinded By The White As I Watched The Convention

“I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

—Rick Santorum, January 1, 2012

kay, it took about a twelve pack, but I made it through the night watching the evening speeches at the Republican National Convention.

Hopefully, you all had better things to do than spend an evening gazing at a sea of white conservatives, listening to sometimes angry white speakers tell us that the Scary Negro in the White’s House is robbing all the nice, hard-working whites and giving the booty to other lazy, scary Negroes.

That, my friends, was the one coherent theme of the night, once you cleared away the fog.

I will offer up a few observations on what I saw, after John Boehner declared that President Obama should be tossed out of the White’s House Bar and Grill for, uh, offering health insurance to those who don’t have it, or something like that. It was that kind of night.

Chris Christie‘s delivery of the keynote speech was, I think a fair-minded observer would say, at best angry and at worst pissed off. As was noted by many a commentator, he spoke mostly about himself, which is probably why he was in such a foul mood.

He said, less than lovingly,

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down…

He said that just before he started tearing down Democrats.

Christie also said,

Our seniors are not selfish.

He better hope they are if he wants Republicans to win in November, since his party is selling its Medicare overhaul to them by assuring the geezers they won’t have to suffer its effects but their children and grandchildren will.

Ann Romney, God love her, did her best to tell us why Mittens was fit to be president and why he will work harder than any human being in the history of the planet to ensure that, well, that, uh, uh….I’ll have to go check the transcript on that one. I’m not exactly sure why she thinks Mittens ought to be president.

The various governors who spoke spent most of their time noting their personal economic achievements, which is funny since those achievements came under a president they claim is asphyxiating economic achievement. More tortuous Republican logic I suppose.

Rick Santorum‘s speech was very special. It was special in this sense: If an atheist wanted to advance incontrovertible evidence that there was no God, it might be the fact that Santorum managed to tell that fact-checked lie about Obama gutting welfare reform without being struck by a rather large and deadly bolt of heavenly lightning straight from the hand of the being who reportedly said,

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

But—I am now speculating—that since Santorum was not fried by divine outrage, there must have been some Talmudic technicality employed here, like, say, that Barack Obama, not being born in America, is not really a “neighbor.” God, as we all know, is a stickler for technicalities like that.

In any case, my favorite, and I assert most representative speaker of the night, was someone named Janine Turner, an actress and “talk show host” I confess I had never heard of. Her presentation pretty much set the tone for this night at the convention, and it nicely sums up what most Republicans actually think about government and the president who leads it.

She began my evening of beer-enhanced entertainment with what can only be described as a call to arms, delivered in a very creepy manner. When a Republican begins an address with, “Hello my fellow patriots!” then you know Democrats are about to be assaulted with both barrels.

Ms. Turner commenced her attack on Democrats with a lie, the substance of which was repeated in some form or another by nearly every subsequent speaker and a lie that deserves some space to refute. First the lie:

Our Constitution guarantees us a republican form of government in Article 4, Section 4, but our liberal brethren, they don’t feel constrained by our Constitution—that’s convenient for them—by ignoring constitutional limits they do what ever they like, don’t they? Yes! Like grow the government to unbelievable and unsustainable heights and accumulate historic and catastrophic debt.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how high liberals would like to see government grow. It is entirely conceivable that they would like to see it grow to “unbelievable and unsustainable heights,” although Republicans have set a standard that Democrats will have a hard time surpassing.

But the problem for Ms. Turner’s thesis that liberals have accumulated “historic and catastrophic debt” and that they want a very tall and unsustainable government is that it so happens the very right-wing Washington Times, which I am sure is part of Janine Turner’s bathroom reading regimen, began a story in October of 2008 with this wonderful paragraph:

George W. Bush rode into Washington almost eight years ago astride the horse of smaller government. He will leave it this winter having overseen the biggest federal budget expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt seven decades ago.


The story goes on to note,

Mr. Bush already is the first president in history to implement budgets that crossed the $2 trillion a year and $3 trillion a year marks. His final budget, which comes to an end Sept. 30, conceivably could near $4 trillion, depending on the final tab for the financial rescue.

The Washington Times article also included this:

…federal budget numbers show spending under the Bush administration rose from 18.4 percent of GDP to 22.5 percent – a 4.1-point increase – and could end up even higher.

The only presidents to approach that level of growth were President Carter, who grew spending as a percentage of GDP by 1.5 points, and President Ford, who grew it by 1 point. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan and Clinton all decreased spending relative to the overall economy.

Measured in dollars, “Federal spending has grown twice as fast under President Bush as under President Clinton,” said Mr. Riedl of the Heritage Foundation.

Hmm. But there’s more:

As a result of all this spending, the country has gone from a $128 billion budget surplus when Mr. Bush took office to a deficit of at least $732 billion in fiscal 2009, according to OMB. The final 2009 deficit likely will be even higher.

Of course the deficit was higher—much higher—and it is that trillion-dollar-plus deficit that Mr. Obama inherited and with which we still live today, thanks largely to Republicans, who cut taxes and went on a spending binge.

So, that’s that.

But Ms. Turner’s real point—and the subtextual theme for the night—was yet to come:

Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Yes. But today Obama enabled an entitlement society that says, “Give me liberty and gimme gimme.” Why? Because Democrats depend on dependence. America was not born with a gimme-gimme mentality and American liberty cannot survive with a gimme-gimme mentality. America was built with her hands at work, not with her hands out…

Free enterprise has paved the way for Americans to earn their own success and it has created an America that has yielded an unprecedented level of progress. This progress has lifted up humanity to greater heights of living and a greater level of dignity. Mitt Romney will preserve this exceptional American legacy.

Barack Obama? Barack Obama will destroy it. Obama is stifling the American Dream primarily because it isn’t his dream. His dream is not of an independent people. His dream is of a dependent people based on the failed principles of antiquated government.

You see? Obama, the “food stamp president,” doesn’t dream the same kind of dream those white folks in that Tampa convention center dream. In fact, he not only doesn’t dream their dream—the American Dream—he is actively seeking to “destroy” their dream, to take what they have worked so hard for and give it to those lazy folks with their “gimme, gimme” hands out, their greedy, undeserving—and pigmented—hands.

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  1. King Beauregard

     /  August 29, 2012

    Janine Turner was in a TV show 20 years ago when she was kind of cute, and has since been claiming that she hasn’t found more work because she’s a conservative. I guess Hollywood owes her a job, as if she’s, I don’t know, ENTITLED to one?

    By the way, as to the notion that conservatives are systematically oppressed in Hollywood:


  2. Duane – you are indeed a brother in arms – I did a full five hours. Do they have any idea how transparent a fraud it is when they put every woman and Hispanic they’ve got on stage? Plus a black woman and a black man. Fooled everyone but good I bet!


    • Yeah, five hours we can never get back!

      You know, the fraud is obvious to us junkies, but I’m guessing not to the casual viewer who tuned in to see what the fuss was all about.

      There are, oh, about seven conservative black Republicans in the entire country and every single one of them appeared on the screen at some point.

      As for Anson’s infatuation with Artur Davis below, it is a sad thing to watch that spectacle, a man willing to let Republicans use him in that way, no matter what his politics were, are, or, like his national candidate, what they will be. I wonder how many times he will perform this act for the GOP until he realizes how much, how shamefully much, he is being used for his pigmentation.

      He couldn’t get enough support among black folks to when his primary for governor because apparently he is more of a corporate guy, like Harold Ford, Jr., than a bona fide representative of the interests of African-Americans.

      Sad. No, pathetic.



      • RDG,

        My email app started beeping soon after Ann described the lean years she and Mitt endured as newlyweds. There were no less than six FB threads lampooning her fond reminisces of tuna fish supers atop their ironing board-as-dinner table. It appears young married couples who survived on stock option dividends has a very select appeal. At least she didn’t say Mitt had to fight angry blue jays for bread crumbs or sell blood for gas money.

        We’re supposed to believe that they built their quarter billion dollar fortune from scratch. The “We Built This” canard, based on an easily debunked cynical misrepresentation, is now a cornerstone of the Romney campaign. It makes sense, since Mitt’s entire pitch for president walks the fine line between fraud and deception.

        Chris Christy, who shied away from the VP slot because he thinks Mitt is going to lose, gave a fine opening salvo for his 2016 presidential bid. But if he gets any fatter in the next four years his mode of transportation will resemble those used by Dune’s Spacing Guild navigators. Nothing says “respect over love” better than having six Club for Growth acolytes wheel in the glass-encased Christy, the enclosed chamber keeping him alive with oxidized Pork Milanese.

        I hope that Davis, the guy Anson thinks liberals will “probably” call a “token black”, rakes in as much wingnut welfare cash as he can before running into this RNC attendee’s warm appreciation of racial diversity:


        • You know, that incident at the convention, in which a black female camera operator had nuts thrown at her with the accompanying and hilariously funny line, “This is how we feed the animals,” didn’t get nearly enough attention.

          The truth of the matter, given the Republican attacks on Obama on welfare and similar issues related to black folks in conservative minds, is that the Republican Party is whacking black folks over the head every day with a sock full of food stamps and saying, “No, this is how we feed the animals.”



  3. ansonburlingame

     /  August 29, 2012

    I suppose Duane was well into his 12 pack to have overlooked perhaps the most compelling speech of the evening from former Dem Congressman Davis of Alabama who four short years ago seconded the nomination of Candidate Obama for the Presidential race in 2008.

    A black man, many of you will probably use the term “token Black”, spoke first of regret for his actions and gave VERY specific reasons WHY he held such regret today. Did any of you listen to that man and take into serious consideration HIS views?

    As I listened and watched I recalled how then an unknown Senator for Chiago electrified the nation in 2004 with his speech at the Democratic Convention. Four years later we had our first black candidate from a major party running for and ultimately winning the President.

    I agree with Duane that Christie sounded angry (with good reason in my view) and challenged America to work together, endure the pain needed to set our country on a better track and called for unequivocal support for his Party. What else is a keynote speaker at a convention supposed to do?

    However note the real substance of the Christie speech calling for leadership that is willing to make the HARD choices required in America today. What was it he said? Something about real leaders do not follow polls, they instead CHANGE polls!!!

    Davis however, in my view, went far beyond Christie. Yes he expressed similar anger at the state of America today. But he stood tall and expressed regret and embarassment over the choice that he made four years ago as well. VERY few politicians ever do such a think, admit a mistake.

    Now I await the verdict from the left on Davis’s speech. I wonder if I will hear terms such a “token Black”, Uncle Tom, and other racial slurs leveled at him personally or against the GOP leadership that called upon him to speak on behalf of that Party?

    I will also await the critique for the left when Senator Rubio speaks later in the week on behalf of Hispanics. Of course he won’t count for sure as he is only a Cuban Hispanic, right??

    Oh, did I leave out Juan Williams’ (on Fox News) critique of Ann Romney’s speech as sounding like a “corporate wife”. When Megan Kelly bristled and asked him what he meant by that phrase, Williams responded like Duane writes in saying, “A woman who is taken care of by her husband” leaving the implication that she did little or nothing to contribute to the success of such a husband and thus should be ignored as being “out of touch” with “real American women”.




  4. Anonymous

     /  August 29, 2012

    Ann Romney is out of touch with the average American. That is why she said she has heard, I repeat HEARD, how people are suffering in America. She has not experienced the daily difficulty of the average person, instead the tale has been relayed to her up on high. Says a lot to me.


    • That is an awesome point.


    • Ann Romney: There are only two possibilities here. Either she is lying through her teeth about the whole struggling newlyweds scenario, or her husband was too stupid to ask his millionaire father for a few bucks to furnish their dwelling. So is it the liar or the dumbass? Or did that memory happen on the one day when they were waiting for their new furniture to be delivered?


  5. Bob Samuels

     /  August 29, 2012

    Oh, by the way that was me Randy. Forgot to put in my e mail address. I’m not saying that the Dems convention will be any more honest, but this convention just has such an angry, disingenuous tone to it. I’m about to lose my mind if I listen to any more grandstanding falsehoods. I beg of you politicians, try to stick to some type of narrative grounded in the facts. The two most prominent “you didn’t build that” refuters from the private sector are both MAJOR benefactors of government assistance! The lady who spoke at the convention last night, Sher Valenzuela, received a $2 million SBA loan, and government contracts totalling $15 million. Lets try and honest narrative Republicans, seriously.


    • “Lets try and honest narrative Republicans…”

      And honest narrative would bring an Obama landslide of historic proportions.


  6. Jane Reaction

     /  August 29, 2012

    Jane thanks y’all for enduring that awful spectacle. Did anybody even dress nicely?

    Janine Turner played a mean tease with a chip on her shoulder. She was never warm and her character was unlikeable. Sounds like Northern Exposure was her high point.


  7. Kabe

     /  August 30, 2012

    One small observation. I noticed a lot of teleprompters. What is that all about?


    • Teleprompters? Are you kidding me? At the Republican convention? Oh, my God! What a scandal that is. And I thought Clint Eastwood was winging it!


  8. ansonburlingame

     /  August 30, 2012

    Well, here we go again, and again. You get your chance next week to set the record straight, in your “own” convention, do you not. Think that will be a week with not “lies” or “spin” of pure political crap?

    Typical as well, you all leap on Ann Romney and ignore my comments related to the former black caucus member supporting Romney.

    How about we agree of two simple “facts”. Ann Romney is a “typical corporate wife” and Micheal Obama is a typical “community organizer’s” wife, each reflecting the poltical views of their husbands.

    Then we can all go vote for the husband of our choice, not the wives of such men!!!



  9. Kabe

     /  August 30, 2012

    AB-The choice of which husband to vote for is easy for me. Romney represents a generation that I am supporting to the tune of over $80,000 for social security alone. Now his sidekick wants to welch on his generation picking up my tab. Nothing worse than the guy who disappears when it is his turn to buy a round. If they want to privatize everything, Fine with me, Just give me my money back and I will be on my way.



  10. Sorry, Anson, can’t agree to that at all. Ann Romney is a spoiled rich blonde with two Caddys and a housefull of servants, while Michelle Obama is an intelligent woman with a law degree (and a White House full of servants). And Ryan told more outright lies in one speech than the Democrats will tell during their entire convention. We’ll look at the non-partisan fact-checkers after both conventions are over, and I’ll be happy to pay up (figuratively speaking) if I’m wrong. Understand, we’re talking about actual lies (like the plant closing crap), not just stuff you disagree with philosophically.

    Kabe, if you’re in your fifties, it won’t be Ryan’s generation (he’s a Slacker, right?) picking up your tab, it’ll people in their thirties, since generations are 20 years apart! But I agree with you in principle. As someone who is almost the same age as Romney and collecting S.S., I’ll just say “thanks for the pittance”! It’s not even enough to pay the mortgage. Good thing my wife has a job. But you don’t have to worry, because thanks to this ridiculous performance this week, the new Dem. majority in House will raise the contribution limit and Soc. Sec. will be solvent well beyond the time when we’re both beyond needing it!


    • [thanks to this ridiculous performance this week, the new Dem. majority in House will raise the contribution limit and Soc. Sec. will be solvent well beyond the time when we’re both beyond needing it!
      Brad – tha is our best move and any honest broker knows it. I sure hope it happens.


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