INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Republicans and the Democrats finished their conventions and folded their tents so we get a respite for another four years. The political party hucksters have carried out their national television production and directing duties and returned to their smoke-filled rooms.
I get inquiries asking what I thought of the speech by (fill in a name). Actually the speakers did not write their own material, speechwriters did, so the question should more properly be what I thought of the speech delivery by (fill in a name). The speech contents were pretty much dictated by the political party dads so all we were really able to discern is the talent of each speaker for regurgitating a tome composed and written by someone else.
I get a little amused by folks whose blood pressure spikes in denouncing convention speeches as “lies, lies and more lies,” such as Democrat Ed Gurowitz’s evaluation of Paul Ryan’s speech published in an earlier edition of the Bonanza. Why shouldn’t the folks who decide convention speech content and composition get to tell the story the way they see it? Their political parties are paying for the TV time; why not sneak in a little exaggeration to make a point?
Anyone upset with convention speeches containing “lies, lies and more lies” would have to award President Obama’s speechwriter an F-minus for his oratory. The Associated Press fact checkers tore his speech to shreds:
OBAMA: “I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on wars to pay back our debt and put more people to work ...” FACT CHECKER: This phrase is as misleading as it was when he used it in his State of the Union Address. Wars are paid for with increased debt so there are no “savings”; jobs financed with debt just add to the deficit.
OBAMA: “We will reform and strengthen Medicare but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.” FACT CHECKER: The Obama Administration proposals submitted to Congress would increase Medicare co-payments and deductibles; he considered raising the eligibility age to 67 but his fellow Democrats vetoed the idea in an election year.
OBAMA: “We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports and ... create a million new manufacturing jobs ...” FACT CHECKER: Manufacturing jobs have declined by 500,000 during Obama’s presidency according to the Labor Department. Absent some new spending program that decline is expected to continue.
OBAMA: “(Romney) has a new tax proposal — the territorial tax — that experts say will create 800,000 jobs, all of them overseas.” FACT CHECKER: Mitt Romney’s proposal is actually aimed at encouraging investment in the US, not overseas.
Remember folks, these FACT CHECKER analyses are those of the “liberal” Associated Press, not some GOP party hack. So, if Ed Gurowitz claims Ryan deserves the Pinocchio “growing nose” award then surely Obama has earned the coveted “pants on fire” prize.
Skirting the truth by silence can be equally hypocritical. Such stalwart Democratic Party issues as gun control, poverty and the economic stimulus (TARP) were noticeably absent from Democrats’ speeches, with the exception of Bill Clinton’s (he wrote his own stuff). He said Obama’s stimulus “put a floor under the crash.” With that, convention handlers gritted their teeth because the national debt crossed a $16 billion threshold last week.
Voters should be kind and understanding. The politicians paid for their show and they should be able to say whatever they want.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates and has served on the Washoe County and Nevada state GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.