Why The Republican Convention Is Nearly A Complete Failure

There are two major goals to a political convention, especially when you’re the party out of power. One, use the “free” primetime coverage to introduce your candidate to America, getting them comfortable enough to vote for him or her in November. Two, break down your opponent, disqualifying them from even cursory consideration by the electorate.

On both of these key metrics, the Republican convention has been a complete failure, and not even the speech of Mitt Romney’s life can change that.

It is sort of an odd development, considering that if you extract all the toxic, divisive politics and policy out of it, the Republicans were usually pretty good at this thing. In 2004, the GOP convention helped to echo the overall message of the right in that election: John Kerry was just not up to the job of protecting America. The hubris of the team on whose watch 9/11 happened and Bin Laden slipped away making this argument is besides the fact. They made this case, in carefully coordinated messages echoed by nearly every convention speaker.

By comparison, the Romney convention has been a muddled mess. It’s a lot like the Democratic Convention in 2004. Look at one of the major convention themes, a rebuttal of a truncated Obama quote. There is no cohesiveness, no single-minded message being pounded away at, no overarching narrative that is being replenished. Instead there is flailing, a Frankenstein-style “maybe this will work!” or “maybe this!” quality to the proceedings.

The writing was on the wall when Gov. Chris Christie delivered a limp noodle of a convention keynote. The Christie brand is attack dog, all the way down. He’s the kind of Republican that’s supposed to lead Democrats like me to stamp our feet and say “ooooooh, I hate that guy!”

Instead, Christie’s speech was a boilerplate, perfunctory defense of traditional Republican politics (with a little union bashing thrown in for good measure). The speech was well delivered, and would have been just right for a state party fundraiser or similar event. But this was the Republican convention. It was the kind of speech that should have taken a rhetorical 2 by 4 to the Obama presidency. It wasn’t.

The other major speeches, with the exception of Paul Ryan’s falsehood-filled acceptance speech, have been as effective as a bowl of mush. Whether it’s Santorum’s “hands”or Huckabee and Pawlenty’s dated Catskills humor, the Republican party and its nominee has been ill-served by his allies.

On the second plank, Romney is faring even worse. First of all, that they even see the need to “humanize” a man who has been running for President for about 5 years straight now is sad. But let’s take that at face value. Despite Ann Romney’s well delivered speech, the occasional assertions from speakers that Romney is just a swell guy don’t have any weight nor do they have a consistent narrative.

Again, other conventions for both parties have done a better job of this.
In 2004 and 2008, the conventions helped to sell the military biographies of John Kerry and John McCain, often through testimony of people who served at their sides. In 2000, while it had liberals like me reaching for the vomit bucket, the Republican convention pushed a consistent message of cuddly George W. Bush the compassionate conservative. After two full days of events and speakers, we hardly have a feel for Mitt Romney the man – other than his wife has a strange idea of what it means to actually struggle for a young couple.

Politics aside, Romney strikes me as a guy who really does care for his wife, children, and grandchildren with honest to goodness affection and love. But his party is doing him a disservice and not communicating that in their one shot to do so in a somewhat unopposed atmosphere.

Major failure.

 

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  • oi ly

    I just read the Canadian finance minister is planning another huge stimulus. They’re kicking butt up there.

  • Plunket

    I don’t have disdain for for what was said about him. I think both Obama and Romney are extraordinary individuals and I’m amazed to find out interesting things about people that reveal totally opposite character traits than the image that’s been painted about them by their detractors.

    I’m curious as to why you hesitate to reveal anything similar about Obama, though.

    It wasn’t a challenge and it wasn’t a dare. You shouldn’t be fearful of it.

  • Plunket

    Gawd. Old, incoherent, and shaking their fist at invisible demons man asks “Can I get some rice pudding to go?”

    Biden to table of Greek men: “I’m Joe Bidenopoulos”

    WTF?

    • Wilbur

      Heh, Bidenopoulos. That’s pretty goofy. Not quite as goofy as Romney’s “who let the dogs out” or his “cheesy grits”, of course, but still worth a chuckle.

    • oi ly

      I just read the Canadian finance minister is planning another huge stimulus. They’re kicking but up there.

  • SaveFarris

    For those wanting to turn Mr. Eastwood into a talking point, it’s probably not the best idea in the world to send Michael Moore out to make your argument.

    • oi ly

      Clint rode into a talking point all by his high lonesome self. I think that’s the point.

    • enlightened liberal

      On the contrary, Clint Eastwood is the perfect standard bearer for your party. Old, incoherent, and shaking their impotent fists at invisible demons.

      • Plunket

        Old, incoherent, and shaking their impotent fists at invisible demons.

        And it doesn’t bother you that our nation has a Vice President with those same attributes?

        • oi ly

          All politics aside, you gotta admit thathe was pathetic. It’s better to burn out, then it is to rust, me thinks. I guess he never heard that song.

      • SaveFarris

        He shot at minorities too. Oh, and he’s a sexist!

  • oi ly

    Seems like the RNC spent alot of time proving that Romney is in fact a human being. It’s like he’s the only person on earth who has helped people in need. Impressive, Mitt. The only prop missing was the Cross.

    • Plunket

      Obama was the community organizer, and it’s funny, but if you take away his business experience, of which Obama has none, his executive experience as governor, of which Obama had none before 2008, his running the Olympics, of which Obama had nothing even remotely like, and just looked at what they did as charity and kindness, Romney is the far more remarkable man. Are there any stories or any anecdotes of Obama’s success or accomplishments or notable acts of kindness as a community organizer or professor similar to Romney’s? Anything close?

      Obama’s got family members living in abject poverty that he won’t do anything for, not a dime in assistance.

      Weird.

      • oi ly

        The good deeds Romney did for those folks is what everybody does everyday, the world over. The fact he needed to brag about it says something about his character. Touching stories, I agree. But human, all too human. Welcome to humanity, Republicans.

        • oi ly

          Compassion and humanism, we built that!

        • Plunket

          That’s not true, Oily, “everybody” doesn’t do those things “everyday”, the world over. Somebody, somewhere perhaps, but not everybody everyday. I suppose Wilbur would call that a numerical agreement error, but even taken it as such, what Romney did was extraordinary.

          Obama wrote two memoirs, could you give some examples of extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion of his, seeing as how everybody does those everyday, or is this guy who wrote two memoirs before he was 40 years old just too humble to let us know about them?

          • oi ly

            Your are correct, human kindness is an extraordinary event and it is common in everyday life. Maybe not in your life, but that’s a matter best not discussed here. Why was he bragging? I just don’t get why he let that happen. Most decent folks don’t brag about that sort of stuff.

            Yes, I do make numerical agreement errors, many of them in facts.

          • Plunket

            Mostly other people talked about them. Came forward, actually. And he doesn’t talk about them despite having a long record of them.

            Again, any such stories about the community organizer? One would think there’d be ten times more. How about his charitable giving before he decided to run for the highest office in the land? Anywhere close to what Romney gave in percentage of gross income terms?

            Seriously, oi ly, it’s one thing to pay little attention to either man’s kindness and charity, but you’re knocking him for it even being mentioned, when most of those things weren’t known, for a guy who decided to run for president 6 years ago and has been running ever since. People come forward now on one of the biggest nights of his life and you’re knocking it like what he did was something everybody does all the time. So tell me about Obama in comparison. Community organizer, professor, 20 year member of Trinity United Church of Christ, two-time best-selling autobiographical author ….there should be a ton of stories and a wealth of resources for you to draw from.

          • oi ly

            “Mostly other people talked about them. Came forward, actually. And he doesn’t talk about them despite having a long record of them.”

            It was a highly orchestrated event and nothing we saw just happened to come forward. That’s bs and you know it, even if you can can find a link that says otherwise.

            Not sure why they gave Clint carte blanche, tho. You just can’t write that idiocy, I guess that’s why.

            I haven’t read the autobiographies, nor have I seen 2016. Did you enjoy the Documentary, btw?

          • oi ly

            “Seriously, oi ly, it’s one thing to pay little attention to either man’s kindness and charity, but you’re knocking him for it even being mentioned, when most of those things weren’t known, for a guy who decided to run for president 6 years ago and has been running ever since.”

            So, it was moral and correct and showed alot of character to not mention his kindness for all those years and then, all of a sudden, it’s okay to brag about them on the most important day of his life? What does this say about his character? I really want to know.

          • Plunket

            Oily, what about Obama in comparison?

            Was that a hard question or something? C’mon, I would argue that few men have had more written about them in our lifetime, surely you can name a few extraordinary things about him that he’s done that are similar to what we heard last night.

          • Plunket

            So, it was moral and correct and showed alot of character to not mention his kindness for all those years and then, all of a sudden, it’s okay to brag about them on the most important day of his life? What does this say about his character? I really want to know.

            Again with the “So” followed by a dishonest supposition. What is it with you guys?

            He didn’t brag, that’s a lie on your part. Other people came forward, people who know he’s done of lot of good things that he never brags about, who felt the story needed to be told, and should be told, who his handlers thought should finally be told. This is a guy who was blamed by Obama’s advisers in an ad blaming him for the death of another woman, and someone who Obama has spent hundreds of millions of dollars painting him as nothing more than a wooden, uncaring vulture capitalist.

            Do you know what politics is, Oily, and how it works? I mean, really, are you that stupid that you need that explained to you?

          • oi ly

            So, he can’t handle his handlers, is that what yer saying? He was willing to go against his beliefs in and principles of modesty just to please his handlers’ agenda to manipulate the viewer on an emotional level.

            That inspires great confidence. That wasn’t a super pac last night, Dennis. It was HIS party and HE is the leader. He made choices there and he must live by them.

            And how nice is it to drag some poor wounded folks, who have suffered immeasurable emotional and existential losses, in front of a nation just to brag about how great Mitt is. The clouds parted, and out walked The Mighty Mitt. A kind and generous vulture capitalist!

            That’s disgusting, and you know it is. You, Dennis, the Moral One knows better.

          • oi ly

            “Politics”, you say. Well at least now yer starting to talk truthfully. Was it politics when the poor, heart broken woman had to sustain those fucking morons cheering and clapping when they thought her daughter had lived and fruitful life, but instead had just died a horrible and untimely death? Politics, indeed.

          • oi ly

            And those poor old folks who had to relive the untimely death of their young son on national tv for the aggrandizement of the Might Mitt and Family.

            Moral turpitude, look it up.

          • Plunket

            So, he can’t handle his handlers, is that what yer saying?

            Good God, what is wrong with you? Without fail, 100% of the time you guys start with “So”, what comes next, especially when followed by “what you’re saying”, will be completely false. What is the defect in the liberal brain that causes this patently obvious character trait, and why can’t you argue honestly?

            That’s disgusting, and you know it is. You, Dennis, the Moral One knows better.

            I’ll hold you to that sentiment next week during the Democratic Convention. We’ll see if President “I won”, Mr. “Gutsy Call”, doesn’t brag at all, and I’ll anxiously await your full-throated, outspoken disdain for it.

          • oi ly

            “We’ll see if President “I won”, Mr. “Gutsy Call”, doesn’t brag at all, and I’ll anxiously await your full-throated, outspoken disdain for it.”

            I’m still waiting for your outspoken disdain for what the RNC just did. What’s the hold up?

          • Plunket

            I don’t have disdain for for what was said about him. I think both Obama and Romney are extraordinary individuals and I’m amazed to find out interesting things about people that reveal totally opposite character traits than the image that’s been painted about them by their detractors.

            I’m curious as to why you hesitate to reveal anything similar about Obama, though.

            It wasn’t a challenge and it wasn’t a dare. You shouldn’t be fearful of it.

          • oi ly

            Is this the bullshit part of your show, Dennis? So soon?

          • Plunket

            Our conversation has devolved, Oily.

            From one of willful ignorance and partial dishonest on your part, to one of total stupidity, outright lying, and complete cowardice to back up your assertions or respond to the simplest of questions.

            It’s a sort of Godwin’s Law with you. Shame on me for engaging.

          • oi ly

            Sorry, never heard of Goodwin, is he a Republican?

          • Plunket

            …to now where you’re channeling your inner Zython.

          • oi ly

            I really don’t know Goodwin. Sorry, I’m not that bright. You must know that by now!

          • Plunket

            Here, Oily, your chance to practice up for next week’s coming Obama brag-fest. Show us how repulsed you are by narcissistic braggadocio.

            “This seat is taken.”

          • oi ly

            What, that’s not Obama’ seat? I believe it is his seat. The think I see a little bronze plaque on the chair that says The President. He’s sitting right were he belongs. How outlandish! Don’t count your chickens … yadda, yadda.

          • oi ly

            To paraphrase the great Freud, I sense a little chair envy.

          • oi ly

            And anyways, I prefer a little bit of swagger over the smell of Mighty Mitt’s mendacity on full display last night. At least, swagger is honest whereas mendacity is, well, mendacious.

  • oi ly

    I’m thinking Karl Rove is pissed off with Clint, again.

  • M2

    Thank you, Clint Eastwood.

    • oi ly

      They tried to get the Reagan hollow man but it was already rented.

  • oi ly

    “Politics aside, Romney strikes me as a guy who really does care for his wife, children, and grandchildren with honest to goodness affection and love. But his party is doing him a disservice and not communicating that in their one shot to do so in a somewhat unopposed atmosphere.

    Major failure.”

    Do you still believe this? I don’t.

  • M2

    And I forgive you, Clint Eastwood. I hope no one tells him the GOP’s gay stance in their platform before he takes the microphone.

    • Wilbur

      Could it be that he’s there for a last-minute switcheroo at the top of the ticket?

      • oi ly

        Interesting, Hannity expressed his true wishes earlier when referring to the GOP ticket as Ryan/Romney. He quickly walked it back, but the point was clearly made.

        • Wilbur

          I meant a Eastwood/Ryan ticket. If it weren’t for the continued presence of Ryan that ticket would almost make me take the Republicans seriously again.

          • oi ly

            That’s certainly not what Hannity meant …

          • Wilbur

            Looks like Obama will just have to give up on the dotty old man vote. At least this time he’s not actually running against one.

          • Plunket

            Well, Obama does have a dotty old man as his right hand man, so he’s got that going for him.

          • Wilbur

            touché

          • Plunket

            One tobacco-impaired heart-beat away from the presidency, Wilbur.

          • M2

            Keep wishing and hoping, Dennis. Maybe send a carton of Reds to the White House.

            Creep.

          • Plunket

            Choom Bus, M2.

            Careful when you open the doors not to let too much smoke out. Serious violation- you’ll lose your turn at the bong if that door is open more than two seconds.

            And are you f’ing nuts or something, why would I hope for Biden to be the next president? About the only thing I agree with Oliver on was when declared him to be an idiot and a racist. Do you seriously think I want someone like that being the leader of the free world? Being VP is bad enough.

          • oi ly

            “One tobacco-impaired heart-beat away from the presidency, Wilbur.”

            You actually said this, Dennis? You want the POTUS to die, while in office, from a tobacco related illness. Know that’s what frothy scum looks like. Keep talking, Dennis. Fool.

          • Plunket

            You actually said this, Dennis? You want the POTUS to die, while in office, from a tobacco related illness. Know that’s what frothy scum looks like. Keep talking, Dennis. Fool.

            I don’t want the president to die at all, I ‘m saying Biden, the idiot and racist that he is, that Oliver says he is, the dotty old man, is just one heart-beat away from the presidency. And that’s a frightening prospect. I want Obama to lose this fall if for no other reason than for that not to happen…ever, with Biden as his back-up.

            Now, as far as tobacco-impaired, that’s another concern. The guy was a serious stoner, and not just a guy looking for an occasional buzz. And a long-time nicotine user. Draw your own conclusions as to what risk his prior drug, marijuana and tobacco use poses to a 50 year old guy under such enormous stress.

          • oi ly

            Walk it back, Dennis. You’re good at it, I’ll give you that.

          • Plunket

            Walk it back, Dennis. You’re good at it, I’ll give you that.

            No walk-back, Oily. Just your mis-interpretation of what I said. Go back and read the sequence. Wilburforce mentions Eastwood, then says Obama will have to give up on the doddering old man vote and that at least this time he’s not running against one (referring to McCain, who libs yakked constantly about possibly dying of old age or cancer two minutes after he was sworn-in if he won the election). I responded that Obama chose a doddering old man for his right hand man, so that cancelled out the effects of Eastwood’s speech to that target audience. Wilburforce says ‘touche’, and then I respond that doddering old man is only one heart-beat away from the presidency. No way was I advocating or hoping for that to happen, and no subsequent walk-back.

          • oi ly

            “No walk-back, Oily. Just your mis-interpretation of what I said.”

            No Dennis, just context. You might want to look that up too while yer looking up moral turpitude.

          • Plunket

            Oily, I think you’re a decent guy, but you’re not very bright and you’re not very honest. And that’s an unfortunate combination.

          • oi ly

            Thankfully I’m not as bright as you are.

        • M2

          Dennis, you can chase after the VP’s every comment and movement all day and night. Your choice for that job was Sarah Palin.

          Nuff said. It’s Like Michael Bay critiquing the work of Scorcese or Nicolas Sparks giving a thumbs down to D. H. Lawrence, or even S.E. Hinton.

          What happen to the Democrats’ most feared opponent anyway?

          • Plunket

            Your choice before that was John Edwards. And then you went nuts about Sarah Palin and pretended as if John Edwards never existed, when for many of the posters here, he was their choice before Oprah Winfrey introduced Obama as “The One” and his sudden rise in the polls. Under most circumstances, that would be Nuff Said. But if Edwards hadn’t had those rumors that turned out to be true, there’s a very good chance Obama would’ve chosen him for his running mate. And now, seriously, we don’t know if the doddering, old, racist, idiot we have now as our Vice President was the lousier choice between the two, because it would be too close to call.

          • M2

            “Your choice before that was John Edwards.”

            Yes it was.

            “And then you went nuts about Sarah Palin and pretended as if John Edwards never existed.”

            Um, no. When did that happen?

            “when for many of the posters here, he was their choice before Oprah Winfrey introduced Obama as “The Onhunkye” and his sudden rise in the polls. the two, because it would be too close to call….. Phlunky

            Is that even English? What are you talking about?

            And really? You think Palin is really VP material? No, I will ask again…

            Is Sarah Palin POTUS material?

            Do you really think Palin should be the VP? Now, knowing all you know?

          • Plunket

            “when for many of the posters here, he was their choice before Oprah Winfrey introduced Obama as [“The One”] and his sudden rise in the polls.

            What are you talking about?

            This, M2. Before Oprah endorsed him, he was way behind HIllary, and way behind with African-Americans. Before people started referring to him as “The One” and a messiah.

            Messianic rhetoric infuses Obama rallies

            Do you really think Palin should be the VP? Now, knowing all you know?

            Over Joe Biden or John Edwards, knowing what I know, yes, most definitely.

          • M2

            Over Joe Biden or John Edwards, knowing what I know, yes, most definitely. – Phlunky

            Yes, world. He is talking about Sarah Palin here.

            Sad, sad Dennis. This is why everyone points and laughs at you.

          • Plunket

            Laugh all you want, M2, Biden and Edwards both are disgraces. No excuse for you guys overlooking what a piece of shit Edwards was, even before you knew the rumors were true. And for the life of me I can’t understand how you guys are perfectly comfortable with Biden being Obama’s Vice President pick when you called him an idiot and a racist before he picked him. Especially now that he’s done nothing but confirm your original suspicions. That makes no sense whatsoever, no matter who you are or what political side you’re on.

          • M2

            “Laugh all you want…”

            I am. No worries.

  • Zython

    tags

  • M2

    I cannot wait to see Mitt’s display of human-like emotions tonight. It’s going to be fun.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWwOJlOI1nU

    • Plunket

      OMG, another M2/Gawker tax-bombshell prediction.

      • M2

        Although I cannot predict Mitt Bot 2012 will out lie Paul Ryan, I bet he is programmed to try.

    • Justanotherrighty

      The most real emotion I have seen come from His Majestyness is when I see him gaze lovingly at a soft Ice-cream cone, up there with his gazillionaire buddies in Cape Cod …

      • M2

        Frank, no one has any doubts you haven’t seen anything “real.” Your posts are almost 100% pure bullshit all the time.

        • Justanotherrighty

          You mean that it was a major failure ? No, I don’t

          BTW, tonight was fantastic! The MSM is going to be up all night trying to criticize it…

        • Justanotherrighty

          What a clever riposte !
          I think your posts are almost 100% pure bullshit all the time. So there !

          BTW, have you guys been assimilated by the Borg or something? You’re always saying “we”, and commenting like you know what everyone else thinks ( “no one has any doubts” ).
          It’s quite surreal.

          • M2

            “What a clever riposte !”

            it’s hard to beat worn Star Trek references but I try.

          • Justanotherrighty

            “it’s hard to beat worn Star Trek references, think independently; Itry I just don’t know how.”

          • M2

            The 1/2 news Hour wouldn’t even think that was a good response.

    • Zython
      • M2

        Now that is patriotism. Not for us, but…

      • enlightened liberal

        Romney for President…of the Cayman Islands!

  • Justanotherrighty

    Allow me to Enlighten you E L , unless you read transcripts and didn’t hear anyone speak, it should be abundantly clear that those speakers meant (in contrast to Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech, which made no reference to “employees or the community”) that entrepreneurs built the businesses, without the help of government, and that in fact, government is more of a hindrance than a help.
    From Gov Susanna Martinez’ speech (you didn’t see it, if you were watching MSNBC):

    If he [Obama] can take credit for government building small businesses, then he can accept responsibility for breaking his promise and adding 5 trillion dollars to the national debt.
    Because he did build that.

    Got it now ?

    • enlightened liberal

      Except he didn’t add 5 trillion to the national debt- liar.

      • SaveFarris

        Debt on January 20, 2009: $10.6 trillion
        Debt on August 30, 2012: $16 trillion (give or take a few Yuan)

        “That’s irresponsible. That’s unpatriotic.”

        • M2

          Notice the GOP caring about the debt magically started in 2009. Hard to believe.

          • SaveFarris

            Lie.

            Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?

            Of course, notice that they’re freaking out about a $400 billion dollar deficit. Given that’s 67% less than Obama’s smallest deficit, seems appropriate to increase the volume in their complaints, no?

            But hey, let’s not miss the original point: EL was wrong, wrong, WRONG!

          • M2

            That’s hilarious, Farris. Nothing says you care about the debt then giving your rich buds a tax cut and not funding a war. Maybe you can google your way back machine and find a tea party reference, too.

            Alice in Wonderland doesn’t count.

            Hilarious.

          • M2

            Look, Farris. Here are pictures of Ronald Reagan outdoors which proves the right cares about the environment.

            Enjoy.

            http://reddogreport.com/2011/02/president-reagans-life-in-photos/

        • enlightened liberal

          So Obama is responsible for ALL spending from the moment he takes office? Be careful what metric you are assigning here. Under Reagan the debt NEARLY TRIPLED! Under Bush 43 the debt NEARLY DOUBLED! After Clinton had ground the debt expansion to a near halt.

          Not to mention that you are admitting that 9/11 was 100% Bush’s fault and killing Osama bin Laden and ending the Iraq War is 100% credited to Obama! So why aren’t you voting for Obama gain? Why do you hate America?

      • M2

        In Republican world. Bush Tax Cuts are Obama’s fault.

    • enlightened liberal

      Not for you Frank, because you’re too dumb to understand it, but for lurkers who might want to know what the President REALLY said.

      “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

      “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

      “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

      “So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the G.I. Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

      • Justanotherrighty

        Except the concept of a Fire Department was initiated by an individual, Fire Departments were volunteer in the beginning, and then paid.

        This is not for you , E L , this is for people who don’t have their head so far up Obama’s ass, they can’t see daylight…

        IF YOU WERE SUCCESSFUL, SOMEBODY ALONG THE LINE GAVE YOU HELP… IF YOU’VE GOT A BUSINESS – YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT. SOMEBODY ELSE MADE THAT HAPPEN.

        • oi ly

          “Except the concept of a Fire Department was initiated by an individual, Fire Departments were volunteer in the beginning, and then paid.”

          Volunteer Fire Departments are the ultimate expression of Obama’s “we”, as is volunteerism in general. Even if it’s true that an individual initiated the concept, it would be nowhere if other volunteers failed to show up at a fire. That is pretty obvious.

          “That’s how we funded the G.I. Bill.”

          He talking to you, Frank, and I know that bugs the shit out of you.

          • Justanotherrighty

            I did not go to school on the GI Bill.
            Next

        • Zython

          YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT. SOMEBODY ELSE MADE THAT HAPPEN.

          That’s certainly the case for one Willard Romney.

        • enlightened liberal

          You are right Frankie, that is why-
          -Stores never build next to public highways, because they don’t need government! Government only gets in their way!
          -Building a railroad station or expressway never leads to economic growth in the surrounding area because government can’t stimulate the private sector!
          -Public schools and universities never increase the quality of life in a community, only business does! Which explains why financial services firms and pharmaceutical firms all are in the Mississippi Delta or rural Texas!
          -Small businesses never take loans from the small business administration, because they didn’t build that!
          -Pharmacies and doctors don’t take medicare because government only gets in the way!

          • Justanotherrighty

            E L , let’s parse the sections you quoted , shall we. For the sake of argument, I’ll pretend you’re intelligent, despite all the evidence you have provided to the contrary.

            Idea number 1: “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own.”
            Granted as obvious

            Then he goes astray (Straw man #1) : “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there.”
            {If you think you’re successful and rich because you’re smart, that’s not why}

            (Straw man #2) : “It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”
            {If you think you’re successful and rich because you’re a hard worker, that’s not why}

            And then , what we could only conclude is the point he cleared away the straw men to make:

            “If you were successful, somebody *** [not you]
            Somebody helped *** [not you]
            Somebody *** [not you]
            and, finally

            If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

            You have simply decided to parrot the liberal line that he didn’t actually mean what he obviously meant. I believe that’s called “spin.”

          • Wilbur

            You have simply decided to parrot the liberal line that he didn’t actually mean what he obviously meant.

            No, Frank, the liberal line is that he meant what he obviously meant throughout the whole passage. If you weren’t blinded by OBS you would understand that

          • Wilbur

            Pardon me, I meant to type ODS.

            Though if there were some advantage you could squeeze out of it I’m sure you’d insist that I meant to type OBS all along.

        • enlightened liberal

          IF YOU ARE A FAILURE, YOU MADE IT HAPPEN. If you ended your military career at the same rank you started, drank yourself almost to death, failed in every career venture and failed at marriage, someone else didn’t build that, you made it happen.

          • Justanotherrighty

            That is a rather lengthy ad hominem attack. Irrelevant, baseless, untrue, and mean-spirited.

            It serves only to prove that your rental time on a cortex has expired, and you’re back on your limbic system.

            I love it when I see I’m getting to guys.

            Priceless

      • M2

        You’d have to be a complete idiot to believe the President said the government is responsible for your business’ creation which explains why the GOP based their convention on it.

        • SaveFarris

          You’d have to be an even bigger hack to think “that” in “You didn’t build that” refers to roads and bridges. In order for “that” to mean that, you’d have to violate about 18 rules of the English Language.

          • M2

            Really? Then maybe you can explain to me why Mitt and the Romney campaign first said that “you didn’t build that” wasn’t taken out of context, then said “you didn’t build that” is actually worse in context.

            Which of your 18 rules clears that up? Talk about glass hack houses.

          • Plunket

            Because in context, it’s just socialist claptrap designed to make people who don’t want to work hard and smart and take risk or initiative think they deserve a bigger cut of someone’s else’s returns.

            It is worse in context. And in context it doesn’t take away from the message of what he meant by “IF YOU’VE GOT A BUSINESS – YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT. SOMEBODY ELSE MADE THAT HAPPEN.”

            Because if we’re all in this together, what you say was his message, the overall context, then why did he say “Somebody else made that happen”? Why not “somebody else helped you make that happen” or “A lot of other people helped you make that happen”?

            He said what he said, M2. Own it and stop whining. Especially since many of you have admitted that you wish Obama was more of a socialist and would redistribute more, and you’ve villified business owners and successful people for being greedy. Your whining doesn’t make sense, because you’re trying to defend from being tagged with a philosophy you wish he’d have the balls to try to put in place.

          • M2

            Wrong. That is the second time you were unable to answer that question. Want to go for a third?

            Explain why Mitt and the Romney campaign first said that “you didn’t build that” wasn’t taken out of context, then said “you didn’t build that” is actually worse in context.

          • Plunket

            I just did.

          • M2

            Yeah, and you failed, which truly does not surprise. If you didn’t take said phrase out context in the first place how could it be worse in context later?

            And your fourth time up to bat produces????

          • M2

            “You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power,” said Romney, who on Friday will attend the Opening Ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics. “For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].”

            What a load of socialist claptrap, huh Dennis?

          • Plunket

            If you didn’t take said phrase out context in the first place how could it be worse in context later?

            Because most of what was said in context didn’t take away from the message of the said phrase, it only exacerbated it, thereby making it worse. In other words, we did you and everyone else a favor by just including the said phrase and not the whole context, because it wasn’t necessary or dishonest to do so. Said phrase exemplified the context well enough.

          • M2

            Sigh. No. First they said it wasn’t taken out of context. Then they said the phrase they didn’t take out of context was worse in context. Really simple.

            Mitt Co. has taken the President out of context and they/you just don’t care. Romney’s camp came out against fact checking yesterday, which explains their total commitment to the absolute bullshit you love and adore so much. It’s okay.

            Ted, just admit it.

          • oi ly

            That’s the most honest Mitt’s been – We did build that!

          • Plunket

            We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].”

            What a load of socialist claptrap, huh Dennis?

            Reach.

            Romney’s not asking Olympians to share their medals with their parents, coaches and communities, he’s simply recognizing other people who helped the athletes along the way. He wasn’t telling them he wants to some day run for president because he wants them to pay any money they might get as a result of being Olympians back to those parents, coaches and communities. He just wanted to recognize their efforts. No, it’s not socialist clap-trap, M2. He didn’t tell them that if they’re successful athletes that they didn’t do that, somebody did that for them, like Obama said about business owners, he said he wanted to recognize other people for helping those athletes along the way. Completely different philosophies.

          • M2

            “Reach.”

            Ha!!!!

            Oh, you sure are. The article I pulled that socialist claptrap from was titled “You Didn’t Win That” and Dennis, you sure didn’t. There’s less horse shit in Raflaca.

            Too funny.

          • Plunket

            Sigh. No. First they said it wasn’t taken out of context. Then they said the phrase they didn’t take out of context was worse in context. Really simple

            Sigh. Not taken out of context doesn’t mean that in context isn’t worse if you wanted to go there.

          • Wilbur

            You’d have to be an even bigger hack to think “that” in “You didn’t build that” refers to roads and bridges. In order for “that” to mean that, you’d have to violate about 18 rules of the English Language.

            Wrong, the only grammatical rule violated here is numerical agreement, which is extremely common even in writing, and even more so in oral discourse. Consider the sentence “I saw him eat twenty pies and cakes; you would never get me to eat that!” Can you really not imagine that someone could say that sentence and mean the ‘that’ to refer to the twenty pies and cakes?

            Against your interpretation, you have
            a) the speaker’s own explanation of what he meant
            b) everything else the speaker has ever said on the subject
            c) what the speaker said on that subject in the very same speech

            If you want to claim that Obama really meant “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that [business]. Somebody else made that [business] happen,” you have to explain why, in the very next paragraph he says “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative.”

            If you can’t explain that, you got nothin.

            The mountain you all are making out of this molehill shows that
            a) you’re dishonest hacks
            b) you don’t have any valid arguments you think will stick against the President.

          • M2

            That doesn’t answer the question either. You sound like a functionally retarded Yoda or Sarah tearing it up on Greta.

            It’s okay, Dennis. Move on. It’s boring now like it was when you couldn’t admit/answer the same question weeks ago.

            It’s okay.

          • Plunket

            Wrong, the only grammatical rule violated here is numerical agreement, which is extremely common even in writing, and even more so in oral discourse.

            “Grammatical error! And everybody does it. Stop quoting Obama. His numerical agreement was off a little. Waahhhh!!!”

            Yeah, go with that, Wilbur.

            You guys are embarrassing yourselves.

          • M2

            Better tell Farris.

          • Wilbur

            I repeat, Dennis, “if you can’t explain that, you got nothing.” Your failure to even attempt to explain it pretty much seals the case: you got nothing, apart from lies and distortions.

          • Wilbur

            I mean, imagine if instead just sniggering about Obama’s “57 states” flub, the 2008 Republican Convention and several expensive campaign ads had been built on the theme “Obama doesn’t know how many states there are!” Pathetic!

          • Plunket

            That’s just not true, despite how much you will it to be so, WIlbur. Because no business owner thinks he got there completely on his own. And no business owner thinks all of his success came because he was just so smart, like Obama said, to rousing applause, for which he smiled and appreciated the applause from that statement.

            “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.”

            No business owner would think he shouldn’t have to pay taxes for the roads and bridges that he or she drives on to get there, or the business’ customers and suppliers drive on. Obama doesn’t need to tell the business owner any of that, he knows it already. If it works, he knows what made it work, what was luck, what was foresight and what was help from other people. Obama’s audience cheered when he said “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.” So when he said the line about not building that, somebody else built that, the odds are a lot greater that he was referring to that put-down of successful people than he was the next line than he was the following line later than if you succeed, you succeed on your own initiative. That one sounds like he caught himself realized he had gone to far, may have said something stupid that he’d regret, something off-script and off-teleprompter that came because he got the applause for the prior put-down, and said something to make up for it.

          • Plunket

            I mean, imagine if instead just sniggering about Obama’s “57 states” flub, the 2008 Republican Convention and several expensive campaign ads had been built on the theme “Obama doesn’t know how many states there are!” Pathetic!

            Sorry, WIlbur, not agreeing with you that it was a flub. If it was a numerical agreement chances are great that he’d have made quite a few other numerical agreement errors. Chances are even greater that if he had, the crack Media Matters Research Fellow staff would have a list of them, say, a “46 Reasons Why Obama Is a Serial Numerical Agreement Offender” list that they could have on their website for easy access for folks like you struggling to defend Obama’s Kinseyan gaffe.

          • Zython

            Because no business owner thinks he got there completely on his own. And no business owner thinks all of his success came because he was just so smart,

            Well, except all those Galtian wannabes at the convention.

            No business owner would think he shouldn’t have to pay taxes for the roads and bridges that he or she drives on to get there, or the business’ customers and suppliers drive on.

            So why do they oppose infrastructure spending?

            Obama shouldn’t need to tell the business owner any of that,

            FTFY

            The only business owners offended by Obama’s remarks were those that were already arrogant enough to believe themselves to be “just that smart”.

          • oi ly

            Looks like the GOP is giving out brand new cherry pickers for the party hacks. Were you the first in line, Dennis?

          • Wilbur

            So when he said the line about not building that, somebody else built that, the odds are a lot greater that he was referring to that put-down of successful people than he was the next line than he was the following line later than if you succeed, you succeed on your own initiative.

            Huh?

            You can write this incoherent garble and then tell me that it’s unthinkable that Obama used ‘that’ to refer to ‘roads and bridges’ in the course of what you agree are unscripted remarks? You’re being loony, Dennis. The best hacks will probably tell you that there’s a point beyond which you should just stop hacking, lest you appear like a loon to everyone.

            That one sounds like he caught himself realized he had gone to far, may have said something stupid that he’d regret

            Well, if you get to read Obama’s mind then so do I, and I say what he was thinking was “Someone invested in roads and bridges. Even if you succeeded in business because of your individual initiative, you didn’t build that infrastructure.”

            Difference is, I don’t actually have to mindread because that is what the speaker claims he meant, and since it is perfectly consistent with what he says elsewhere, there is no evidence or rational reason to doubt him on that score.

            Unless you’re a hacktastic loon who would trumpet any lie or distortion as long as it made Obama look bad.

          • Wilbur

            Because no business owner thinks he got there completely on his own.

            Tell it to this guy and a thousand others like him.

          • enlightened liberal

            Hey farris- the levees which protect your home state from hurricanes? You didn’t build that. Hope your bootstraps aren’t under all the flood waters.

          • Plunket

            Tell it to this guy and a thousand others like him.

            Yeah, guess what, Wilbur. That sign wasn’t there till Obama told him he didn’t build that business.

            I kinda doubt he was one of Obama’s straw men he referenced trying to vilify guys just like him who he claims told him they were successful only because they were so smart.

            Do you have any links to any of those imaginary men Obama supposedly spoke to who told him that, seeing as how there were so many?

          • Zython

            Do you have any links to any of those imaginary men Obama supposedly spoke to who told him that, seeing as how there were so many?

            Here’s one.

          • Wilbur

            so… you’re saying he didn’t think he built his business without any help until Hannity and Limbaugh and a thousand screaming right wing banshees told him Obama didn’t think he built his business without any help?

            Just give it up, Dennis. You’ve already conceded the main argument by posting this. People would think better of you if you just pulled one of your normal disappearing acts.

          • Plunket

            so… you’re saying he didn’t think he built his business without any help until Hannity and Limbaugh and a thousand screaming right wing banshees told him Obama didn’t think he built his business without any help?

            You simply can’t argue without eventually getting to the point where you fall back to the dishonest “so….” tactic, can you Wilbur? It’s engrained, it’s in the liberal DNA, it can’t be avoided.

            Since these guys are so prevalent in Obama’s world, these guys who insist to him that their success came purely on their own intelligence, with no help from some teacher, fireman, or roads and bridges, surely there are transcripts of these conversations posted on the internet that you could link to, right? You gave me one of a guy who put up a sign in response to being vilified by the president after he made the statement. How about a few of guys who told Obama these things that prompted him to include them in his speech?

            I also asked you to back up your ‘numerical agreement error’ claim. You said Obama has made this same speech many times before, did he refer to ‘roads and bridges’ as ‘that’ instead of ‘those’ before? Has he made numerical agreement errors frequently? This is the guy many of you think is one of the smartest politicians, if not men, of our time.

            And I asked you to explain why Obama chose to take a dig at successful people, attacking success to his audience to the point where the audience cheered it. That’s why the context is worse than the actual sentence, because people can watch that speech and know what he meant when he took the dig at success and business owners, and it wasn’t a dog-whistle, it wasn’t code, it was a direct attack. His audience cheered, and he smiled right back. And that’s why your weak ‘oh, it was just a numerical agreement error, cakes and pies, everyone does it’ excuse doesn’t hold water. Watching the whole speech, everyone got the message loud and clear. His implication is that all those successful business owners are too stupid and arrogant to realize that someone else built the roads and bridges in their communities that were there before they started the business, or that there was a teacher that helped them get their education. And you won’t address why he chose to do that when you scream about context.

          • Wilbur

            You simply can’t argue without eventually getting to the point where you fall back to the dishonest “so….” tactic, can you Wilbur?

            Cripes, Dennis, get over your damn self already. If you think what follows the “so…” is a misrepresentation of what you said, you have ample opportunity to correct that misrepresentation. Since you singularly fail to do so in what follows I think it’s safe to conclude that there was no misreprentation.

            Since these guys are so prevalent in Obama’s world, these guys who insist to him that their success came purely on their own intelligence, with no help from some teacher, fireman, or roads and bridges, surely there are transcripts of these conversations posted on the internet that you could link to, right?

            I don’t know whom the president is referring to specifically, but given that there is, for instance, an entire facebook page devoted to the notion that taxation is theft, I don’t think it’s at all farfetched that he might have heard from some people – businessmen or otherwise – who are resentful of contributing their fair share to the common efforts that taxation makes possible. Because, after all, that is who he is talking about in this passage.

            If you want to complain about straw men, Dennis, then you really ought to refrain from straw men of your own. Here is a partial list of yours….

            a) Obama is denigrating and sneering at all businesspoeple? Bull. If he is denigrating anyone he is not denigrating all businesspeople and entrepreneurs, but those businessmen and entrepreneurs who benefit from the public infrastructure yet squeal like stuck pigs at the suggestion that their taxes might be raised slightly from their current position, which is the lowest they have been since WWII.

            b) I also asked you to back up your ‘numerical agreement error’ claim. You said Obama has made this same speech many times before, No, I didn’t. I said this speech was consistent with others Obama had made, which does not mean that it is a carbon copy. For an example of the sort of speech I mean, google SOTU 2010.

            c) This is the guy many of you think is one of the smartest politicians, if not men, of our time. Obama is smart, but nobody has claimed that that makes him immune from flubbing his lines occasionally. Witness the 57-state thing. Furthermore, if you get to ask me where else he has made a particular grammatical flub, I get to ask you where else he ever said anything remotely like “you didn’t build that [business].”

            Keep the fail coming, Dennis, if it makes you happy. It’s really not too much trouble for me to keep batting it away.

  • Justanotherrighty

    Yeah, Oliver would have been greatly improved by the presence of an Artur Davis, or Susanna Martinez, or Condoleezza Rice. Too bad they didn’t get a chance to speak, but those stinkin’ ols wjite guys wouldn’t let ‘em.

    Complete failure
    Errr, your analysis, I mean …

    • Justanotherrighty

      “those stinkin’ ols wjite guys wouldn’t let ‘em”
      should look like
      those stinkin’ ol’ white guys wouldn’t let ‘em.

    • enlightened liberal

      Why do you even bring this up Frank? We are duly impressed that the 3 Republican minorities were allowed to speak but I didn’t see any mention of minorities in Oliver’s post.

      • Justanotherrighty

        Guess why ?
        Because they brought the house – There goes the “Republicans hate minorities” myth.
        Because their speeches were great – informative, engaging and on point. But Oliver had to look for what he perceived to be the cloud above the silver lining.

        Finally , I don’t know who you mean by “we”, but obviously Oliver was not “duly impressed” enough to mention their names. His analysis amounts to, “Except for all the good stuff I choose to ignore, the Convention last night was lousy.

        And also, while I am on the subject, when did Romney’s acceptance speech become the “Most Important Speech Of His Life” ? The Convention is heating up the electorate, he is gaining in all demographics, and you are trying to make it seem like his winning or losing is all tied up in this one speech.
        May I suggest a reason why?
        Because if there is one mistake, one flub, one misspoken word, mainstream media will be all over it like a duck on a june bug, declaring it be the end of his chance to win.
        Did I get it right?

    • Plunket

      “College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.”

      Best line of a very good night filled with brilliant speeches. I imagine that sentence has to hit pretty close to him with a good many posters here.

      • Zython

        Clearly, those elitist college students should’ve just borrowed 20 grand from their parents to start a business. It’s just that easy!

        • Plunket

          I’m gonna guess your parents have shelled out many more times that to keep you in school so they don’t have to see you back in your old bedroom doing nothing but playing World of War on your computer all day and night long.

          So yeah, as one suggestion of many he offered, borrowing from your parents might be a way to go for many young adults. He didn’t say everyone had that option, or that it was ‘just that easy’, just that it might be one to consider. It wasn’t a blueprint.

          • oi ly

            Duh, it’s pretty fucking obvious that if one can borrow from one’s parents, one would do so. Doesn’t take a a Mittens to spell that out. Out of touch or what?

            Btw Dennis, were you at the off shore yacht party?

          • Zython

            Geeze, shrill much? All I did was point out that Mitt the Ripper was completely out of touch with the struggles of today’s young adults (though this is fairly common amongst conservatives in general). In response, you throw baseless accusation about my personal life. I have no idea what sort of failures in your life have made you so angry, but this is definitely not the way to handle it.

            By the way, I’m not sure what this “World of War” you speak of is. I’m not really into FPS’s.

          • Zython

            Btw Dennis, were you at the off shore yacht party?

            Of course he was. He was the cabin boy.

  • Plunket

    2016 Daily Banter blog post:

    Gee, looking back now, that 2012 RNC convention four years ago was actually pretty good compared to this one, wasn’t it?

  • enlightened liberal

    Not sure I agree- not that the convention has been a barn burner but ultimately it will be judged by the results.

    I am a little confused by the “we built this” theme- isn’t that pretty much what Obama said verbatim? That instead of a single-business owner building things from scratch, it takes the owners, the employees, the government infrastructure, and the community? Kind of telling that Republicans have so little message that the Republicans have to steal it from Democrats.