After watching the speeches at the first full day of the Rupublican National Convention in Tampa, I must admit to being left more than a bit puzzled by their tone and content.
Among the early non-prime time speakers were House Speaker John Boehner who's remarks were all about all he has ever wanted to do was to "throw the President out of a bar" for his policies.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, the former GOP Congressman, FOX "commentator", and Lehman Brothers executive for seven years until that company went belly up in 2008, used his time on the podium to extoll himself about his stewardship of the state leading to the remarkable recovery in the Ohio economy over the past three years while completely ignoring the fact that it had been fueled almost exclusively by the US government funded loans that rescued the nation's auto industry which was carried out under the Obama administration without the least bit of help or support by the GOP or Gov. Kasich himself. Wow, talk about blind ingratitude.
The remarks of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum -- the last of Mr. Romney's primary opponents to throw in the towel after being savaged by millions of dollars of super PAC negative ads secretly funded by unnamed Romney backers -- which featured a self congratulatory tone better suited to an acceptance speech which he appeared to hope to give for himself in 2016. Curiously, one of the main things he congratulated himself for in his remarks was the home schooling his children.
Pennsylvania residents will remember, however, that one of the reasons that Mr. Santorum was defeated by an overwhelming 16 point margin in his bid for reelection to the Senate in 2006 was that he had illegally used tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer monies from his depressed "home" county in Western Pennsylvania where he did not actually live to fund that home schooling of his children all of whom lived full time with Mr. Santorum and his wife in their million plus Dollar home in Virginia, i.e., he sought and used public funds to which he was not even entitled by residence to benefit himself and his family. When caught, Mr. Santorum eventually had to reimburse the county, but this was yet another example of "do as I say, not as I do" GOP "small government hypocrisy" that Mr. Santorum and so many of his follower seen happy to practice.
Prime time network coverage of the convention began at 10 p.m. EDT with a fairly bizarre speech by Mrs. Ann Romney, much of which was about how closely she claims to relate to and identify with the struggles of "working moms," many of whom have to toil at two or more jobs just to help make ends meet for their families and put food on the table. Mrs. Romney herself, of course, has never had to do that for a single day in her life.
Completely ignored by Mrs. Romney in her curiously eldering and often finger pointing presentation, however, was any reference at all to the plight of the many millions of women who have ever had to seek assistance from government for health care, food, educational opportunity, temporary welfare assistance, child care, or anything else. They presumably are completely on their own in Romneyworld.
Mrs. Romney followed this with a fairly vacuous "just trust me" paean as to how her husband (whom she described as the son of a non college educated immigrant carpenter who had provided his son with no advantages to get him started in life) is what we in America need to prosper because he "loves" America and she "loves" him. Nothing, of course, about how he would do that other than he is a "good man" and we should therefore just "trust him" to do the right thing.
Curiously, the only specific accomplishment of her husband's in government as Governor of Massachusetts that she highlighted was the Abigail Adams Scholarship program which provides aid to needy students -- which is funded completely by taxpayer money -- in order for them to attended publicly funded state schools, i.e., a 100% government funded and operated program on both ends. She did not, of course, mention the single most successful government program enacted during his administration -- "Romenycare" -- on which President Obama's Affordable Care Act was based. Sorry, Mrs. Romney, but I was not even a little bit impressed by either of these arguments as to why your husband deserves my support to be President.
Mrs. Romney was immediately followed on stage by a mean-spirited, unsmiling "stemwinding" keynote speech by NJ Governor Chris Christie, which was 95% about (you guessed it) himself.
Mr. Christie mentioned the 2012 GOP presidential nominee just once about 18,000 words in to his 26,000 word speech which sounded, like Mr. Santorum's as if it had been written as an acceptance speech for himself to be delivered in 2016 to follow a second Obama Administration. The only government program Mr. Christie mentioned in his remarks about the evils of big government was the GI Bill which had permitted his father to be the first one in his family to go to college ... i.e. another 100% government funded program from which he and his family had greatly benefited.
After Tuesday night's presentations I wonder what Mr. Ryan has in store for us tonight. How his desired defunding of Medicare will really save it? I can hardly wait to hear how that would work.