Thursday, September 4, 2008

The national conventions...

I wonder where Mitt Romney has been the past eight years. His Wednesday night speech was a classic recital of liberal stereotypes, but most of it (to anyone who's been paying attention) was wholly insane.

He put fear into the heart of Red America that not electing a Republican would be asking for more spending, bigger government and the welcome of Big Brother.

He neglected to mention that 6 years of a Republican Congress and 7½ years of President Bush (a Republican, remember) ran up massive amounts of debt, engineered the biggest expansion of government in recent memory, and gave the green light to secret warrantless spying programs.

He also forgot that it was this Republican administration that oversaw the continued increase in the gap between the rich and everyone else, encouraged the U.S. to become a country that supports torture (which puts us in the company of such great guys as Saddam Hussein) and orchestrated an expansion of executive power that would make Robert Mugabe proud.

Oh, he also left out the trustworthiness factor.

It's like Romney spent the past eight years bound and gagged in a cellar and was let out only for the convention.

In a related revelation, the only thing I've taken away from the two weeks of political conventions is a conviction that one party has no problem stooping to intensly personal attacks, while one party seems to think its popular policy positions are enough to convince voters.

Take a wild guess at which one is which ...

The GOP, in a parade of well-worded nastiness guided by Gov. Sarah Palin — rife with those "elitist" qualities of condescension, smugness and sarcasm — had no problem going after Sen. Barack Obama on a deeply personal level while being, to be kind, "vague" on the policy positions. (Substitute "completely bereft" for "vague" if you're not feeling so generous.)

Democrats have also attacked Republicans in the past two weeks, but they've largely decided to operate within the bounds of normal human decency — saying Sen. John McCain is a guy worth respecting, but that his positions on policy, or at least his most recent ones, are not in the country's best interest.

(Any shots at Palin's daughter, however, are completely beyond the pale and unacceptable — but at least it's not Obama or Sen. Joe Biden who are making these low blows.)

We'll see which strategy is effective this year — though history points to a Republican victory, followed by four years more years of terrible policy.

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