The Final Day: Romney, Rubio, and the Rambling Man
Mitt Romney’s general agenda has been revealed. In a speech delivered well and composed entirely of fluff and lies, Romney pledged to create 12 million new jobs, though over what time period he didn’t say: four years? eight years? He will do this via: energy independence; education reform; free trade; deficit reduction; tax cuts; and repealing Obamacare. He actually said “repealing and replacing Obamacare”, though again with what I have no idea. He also promised to “preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it”, which doesn’t made a lick of sense given he wishes to reduce the national debt.
If there was one line which sums Romney up, it is this: “As President, I will honor the institution of marriage.” When running for office in Massachusetts in 1994, Romney promised to be better on the issue of gay rights than Ted Kennedy. Now, in 2012, running as the head of a party bigoted on this issue, he is pledging to pass a federal marriage amendment, proscribing the bond as a purely heterosexual institution.
Marco Rubio actually managed to do what Chris Christie failed to do on Tuesday: endorse Mitt Romney while discussing his own story, a lot. Never mind that Romney’s current spokesman once called Rubio a “wheeling and dealing Miami lobbyist and politician, always trying to scam the system for his personal benefit”. Rubio has a very strong religious identity — ergo, parts of his speech were contemptuous and ahistorical. Case in point: “Our national motto is “In God we Trust,” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.” If Rubio wishes to be President one day — and clearly he does — then he needs to stop talking like a theologian.
Clint Eastwood looked and sounded like a shambling old man who the Republicans found on the street eating baked beans from an old shoe and stuffed into a suit for primetime. The guy was talking to an empty chair a lot of the time, and what he said didn’t make any sense, principally because he was either advocating Democratic positions or mumbling about student loans. I don’t think he endorsed Mitt Romney either — in fact, he did everything possible not to do so. It was wonderful.
I was glad that Jeb Bush raised the question of education reform. The American education system has been unsatisfactory for the public at-large for decades, and as Bush said, the failure to give every child in America an equal opportunity is “the great moral and economic issue of our time”. But when Bush proposes “school choice” as one of the solutions, we must be extremely careful. Giving parents a choice, on the right at least, is code for instituting a school voucher programme, handing education over the private sector, resulting in the undermining of state education. The aim should be to improve public schools, not gut them.
Newt and Callista Gingrich gave one of the most boring and downright queer speeches ever addressed to a national convention. Even though for Newt, lying is akin to a past-time, he is normally at least an engaging and free-flowing speaker on the stage, on the stump, and in debates. But for their tribute to President Reagan and Gov. Romney, he and Callista read from a prepared text, alternating paragraphs as if they were, to steal Chris Hayes’ joke, presenting an Oscar for Best Departed President.