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House built on a sand foundation
Original post made
by Tom Cushing, Danville,
on Aug 31, 2012
Political campaigns are not famous for hewing to any line of ethical rectitude. The First Amendment that honors free expression is never stronger than when the subject is political speech; candidates have always relied on the fact that just about nothing that they say will subject them to government censorship.
Thus it was said of Abraham Lincoln that he was a "filthy story-teller, despot, liar, thief, braggart, buffoon, usurper, monster, ignoramus, old scoundrel, perjurer, robber, swindler, tyrant, field-butcher [and] land-pirate" and that an opponent "has all the characteristics of a dog, except loyalty" (per Sam Houston). The electorate is accustomed to some level of hyperbole in the political rhetoric regularly served-up to it.
That said, we inhabit an internet era of relatively easy fact-checking. While contemporary debates are rather more focused and sometimes less personal, candidates do risk credibility when they lie about the issues in ways that are too-easily detected. There is also the risk of alienating a country saturated with ads underwritten without limit by partisans outside the campaigns. The candidates may be tarred with those zealous SuperPAC brushes.
So it is that the GOP may have made ironically appropriate choices of a beach town for their convention, and "we built it" as their theme. In the words of that old Caribbean spiritual: house built on a sand foundation will not stand (oh no). They have built a series of claims so untethered to any foundation in fact that even reliably right-wing Fox News opined that the major job creation effect of the Party's work would be to create legions of fact-checkers to keep pace with the campaign's whoppers.
The reliably liberal, but picky when it comes to those "facts" things, New York Times (people have been fired for making stuff up -- no word where they found their next work, but I have my suspicions) was similarly incensed; the grey lady pointed to the following untruthienesses in the Ryan speech alone:
Item: Mr. Obama's policies closed an auto plant in Mr. Ryan's hometown. In fact, the plant was closed by GM in 2008; Obama's policies did resurrect the US auto industry.
Item: Mr. Obama ignored the Simpson Bowles deficit reduction committee's recommendations. In fact, Mr. Ryan served on that committee and his own opposition to its findings doomed it in the House.
Item: Mr. Obama funneled $716B out of Medicare. In fact, Mr. Ryan's shadow budget did the same, and his voucher system would clearly foist further out-of-pocket costs onto seniors.
Item: Mr. Obama's policies are to blame for the downgrading of America's credit rating. In fact, it was the House-led GOP of Mr. Ryan that held the debt-ceiling increase "hostage" (their words), which directly led the S&P to lower the US rating on the basis of its demonstrably dysfunctional government.
Item: when he paused to carefully compliment Mr. Romney's tenure as Massachusetts Governor (sidestepping the delicate matter of ObRomneyCare), Ryan claimed it was done without raising taxes. In fact, it was done by closing loopholes, which has the very same revenue impact: collections went up. When folks complain about their taxes going up, it's not the rate, it's the payment.
And while we're on the subject of ObRomneyCare, it is not "government-controlled health care," as Mr. Ryan claimed, but fundamentally a baseline requirement that everyone acquire coverage from private sector insurers. That's something like how the government "controls auto liability insurance" by requiring everyone to have it. (This is controversial?)
Finally, the whole "we built it" theme intended to contrast their Party's direction with that of their socialist, reg-spewing, freedom-killing, pseudo-American opponent doesn't stand up to much scrutiny, either. It was a sentence fragment lifted from a paragraph to the effect that we are all in this together -- that we share resources, like education, the rule of law and infrastructure, to create and sustain conditions that promote each other's success. That point should also be non-controversial, but it's worth the reminder to anyone prone to the GOP's brand of hubris.
In order to win in November, the GOP will have to attract and hold the Great Moderate Middle. This convention's showplace content, however, was directed at the Fearfully Credulous Faithful who are already in the Party's sway. Worse for them, they have founded their campaign on sand that can be readily swept away when the debate is not with an empty chair.
Posted by Real Republican
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm
Oh Tom, how do you and your Repub Dad get along these days? What school did you attend to get so far off track?
First, it's very unfair to lump/judge ALL REPUBs alike, like it would be wrong to assume you could be as bad as extreme leftists. I'm more pro-choice than not. I'm a strong fiscal conservative. I'm for common-sense domestic energy development & North American energy that could make us INDEPENDENT...like Ms Pelosi only 'talked' about, but blocked with every vote.
My mechanical engineer son has been UNemployed by a shuttered company, under Obama. I don't like that my grandkids are discriminated against in school...it seems the duty of this generation to do without, with the mistaken belief that makes all the minority groups better, faster...over EastBay born who aren't given same preferences.
But FIRST and foremost, I am angered that every DEM politican is owned by debt causing PUBLIC unions who are breaking cities, counties, and states throughout America. It is all so deep now, I can't see how to save 'the taxpaying people' from the stranglehold. We are hostage to their demands. Which is why FDR said it would be wrong for American people to ever have PUBLIC employee unions, threatening taxpayers. Sadly, Obama is also owned by unions..
Iso LOVED SoCarolina Repub GOV. Nikki Haley's speech at the R convention. She had to 'fight' the Obama admin for BOEING tobe 'allowed'to build their new plane in So Caroling, a right-to-work state. She won the fight, Boeing built their private, non-union plane!! Home factory in Seattle, didn't lose anything...they ADDED 2,OOO NEW EMPLOYEES...EVERYBODY WON!!! Obama would have driven them OUT of the country, and then complained about companies outsourcing. Her speech (Indian immigrant) is worth seeing, as is the speech of New Mexico Repub GOV Martinez..her immigrant Mexican parents started as Dems, she learned she believed in Repub priNciples, and became GOVENOR! SHE'S A GREAT speaker !
US has the HIGHEST in the WORLD corp tax rate, so overseas companies are sitting on Trillions in our new world that could come back
if Obama would work with them. That would help our economy and JOBS !
Tom, now back to your invalid sterotyping. I never, never listen to Limbaugh. He's a blowhard, and more extreme than I am. I listen to ALL networks,including c-span and pbs regularly, but check in on msnbc least. I must hear and see lips move myself or read author's names on my several publications, before I form my opinions. I don't know if you're married or not, but it's rare to find a thinking person who agrees 100% with another thinking person. Some less thoughtful, just go along.
Lies. First nobody, and I mean nobody, can match the lies from the snide & scowling mouth of Stephanie Cutter. 2nd would be a tie of lies among chairman Debbie W., Rev Sharpton, Axlerod, and Gates.
Re Ryan I know that Obama said with Obama money the plant would be in buisness for 100 years!!
Ryan thought stronger fixes were needed in Simpson & Bowles.
The 'HealthCareACT' is not about 'care', it is about getting 'insurance' for the inner-city uninsured...funded by taking away my SR.Advantage portion of individual medicare, for which I pay EXTRA over and above my individual medicare, plus my personal insurance. The $716 Trillion transfer, also comes from paying doctors less, until nobody wants to BE a doctor. Taxpayers will make up the shortages. Getting insurance is one thing, FINDING a doctor to get medical CARE is quite something else in our tomorrows!
Being a junkie, I saw Obama's 'you didn't build it' slandering small business in one of his 'faction' groups (different words for different factions). I'm a big c-span watcher, so I always get the full lead-in 'context'. He's defends with 'well, everybody gets streets, public services, busride to school, etc.etc. Well, Obama, that is right...but,some people charge ahead, work around the clock and create a sucessful business, and some don't !!..Well, When success happens, THEY built it ! Don't try to diminish success!!!
Now back to watching the Dem convention on c-span. I KNOW WHY I'm a Republican. I want what is best for Americans. Watching this show, of individual 'groups', wanting for themselves, not America.
I believe in individual Americans and America, not groups. Group-think is not good for the whole of America...it by nature, group-think sets up 'sides'...not the good of ALL.
Sad so many will be voting, altho not citizens.