Day one of the Republican National Convention kicked off on day two, due to the intervention of Hurricane Gustav. Irony not withstanding, the GOP marched out their minions with talking points in hand, designed to deceive the American people and distract them from the true issues this crucial election year.
The first major address of the evening was delivered by President Bush, live via satellite from the White House. Bush tried to pretend that he needed to be there to oversee the efforts to assist in the wake of the hurricane. This of course is lie number one. During the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush did not think it was important enough to leave his vacation while American citizens were dying. Now we are to believe that it was vital for him to be in the White House when Gustav is no where near the severity to the Gulf Coast as Katrina. No, the truth is that the GOP didn’t want George Bush anywhere near this convention. His approval ratings continue to live below 30% and the message of McCain being Bush on steroids continues to resonate with the American people. Thus the strategy was clear tonight to resurrect the illusion that McCain is a maverick and you cannot do that and give Bush more than the 8 minutes he received tonight. The bottom line is still that John McCain still voted with President Bush 95% of the time over the past eight years. McCain still intends to continue the Bush foreign policies, economic policies and torture policies. John McCain can try to run away from it all he wants but at the end of the day, he is still Candidate McBush.
The keynote address was delivered by Fred Thompson. An effective public speaker, Thompson threw the red meat to the base as best he could, distorting facts and distracting as only he can. Early on we saw the direction his speech would go when he spoke about how the democrats are viewing America right now:
“Listening to them you’d think that we were in the middle of a great depression; that we are down, disrespected and incapable of prevailing against challenges facing us.”
Well Fred, we are actually down. You would know that if you had to live in main street America. We are in a recession Fred. Jobs are down. Wages are down. Healthcare is ridiculous. Gas prices are insane. We are disrespected across the world Fred. That happens when we approve torture as policy Fred and say that in the 21st century countries do not invade sovereign nations while we have done it twice already this decade. The last piece of this quote is simply a distortion, as no one on the Obama side has suggested that we are incapable of prevailing; they just believe that the cowboy diplomacy of the last eight years has proven itself of being incapable of solving real problems. Thompson was not nearly done though and next tried to dismiss legitimate vetting of the new Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, which was apparently not done by McCain himself:
“Let’s be clear … the selection of Governor Palin has the other side and their friends in the media in a state of panic. She is a courageous, successful, reformer, who is not afraid to take on the establishment.”
Excuse me Fred? No one is in a panic over the obvious pandering selection of Palin. Successful reformer? Sarah Palin was a Mayor of a city of 6,700 people. During her six years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same six years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. She inherited a city with zero debt, but, despite the increase in taxes, left it with debt of over $22 million. What about those pesky little earmarks McCain likes to rail against so much? Well, Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for that small town of 6,700 people. Sarah Palin is also under investigation for ethical violations by the Alaskan legislature. Bang up job on your veep selection there.
Moving on, Thompson paid tribute to McCain’s military service and imprisonment. After that however, there were a few more beauties:
“And the same character that marked John McCain’s military career has also marked his political career.”