We were all warned, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” So why would we show any surprise at all that both Paul Ryan’s and Mitt Romney’s speeches at the convention are still under fire for “factual inaccuracy.”
We can defend ourselves with “everyone does it” or more pointedly “The Democrats do it” or even “That Obama, he’s the biggest liar of all time!” But we still can’t explain to the first grade teacher in all our consciences why we’re doing it. That’s because it’s not ok. It’s not ok when the other party does it and it’s not ok when we do it.
It gets worse though doesn’t it? You can stretch the truth in politics, but you have to be reasonable. There are rules, like don’t spout facts a third grader can crosscheck. How many businesses declared bankruptcy in 2011? Well it’s about 30 times less than what Mr. Ryan quoted to a college audience last Sunday night. I guess 1.4 million sounds better, but dude, when everyone is on you for making stuff up, it’s time to be cool not double down. I guess being on your way to the black hole of politics, the Vice presidency, does something to your sense of reality.
The reasons for pumping out all this baloney are clear, the party is depending on fear and loathing of the President to get them across the finish line. All these things we’re saying are carefully designed to appeal to the white 92% of the Republican party. That’s a shame. It’s a strategy doomed to failure. As Lindsey Graham pointed out in one of the few really truthful things I heard last week. “We are just not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” Does that statement make anyone else want to throw up? However, for now that’s our party’s proud strategy.
Graham is right though, Republicans are getting killed in demographics. The country’s going rainbow, has been for as long as I can remember, and our candidate is whiter than Wonderbread. He even talks the “big, rich white guy” talk, and he certainly walks the walk. If we want to stick around this party needs to reach out and start making some policy decisions that aren’t based on what “rich white guys want.” Our party is already smaller, remember? Keep driving out the centrists, the minorities and players who will at least compromise once in a while and we’re on the road to where the “green party” lives; The town of “also ran.”
Instead of being more inclusive, we’ve been busy working on voter ID requirements and using other strategies for making it harder for minorities to vote. Great, more doomed strategies. Nobody ever wants to vote as much as when you tell them they might not be able to. People who normally wouldn’t even get off the couch to support a candidate will run 10 miles in the snow to the poling place if you tell them they’re not allowed to.
In reaching out to the rest of America we might even develop a platform that wasn’t old school in the 1950’s. If you’re a voting Republican you should read the new platform. Seriously, it will take about half an hour but this is what you are voting for. I’m willing to bet you will find at least 3, if not 10, show stoppers. This is not a work of deliberation and deep thought. It’s not a measured approach to governing this country. It’s a grab bag give-away to the various fringe elements that have taken over the party. It’s also a sham of jumbled thinking and very old battles that someone obviously wants to re-fight.
If we think about any number of the platform’s principles, individually they seem almost counter-American. The Government deciding who you can marry. The government dictating what a woman does with her own body and when she has to have children. Which will be a lot because the party’s platform will eliminate any discussion of contraception in sex education class. It is also adamanly against repealing Citizens United or passing the DISCLOSE act so we can see who is contributing to what in politics. The list goes on and on. In almost every section they have drawn forth the oldest, dustiest, “tried and failed” policies of an imaginary golden era. This is what we are being asked to vote for. Isn’t that worth 30 minutes of your time?
You can read though the actual plaform here: