Traverse City Record-Eagle


Comments on the Republican Convention

The convention was shortened due to Hurricane Isaac. That had the advantage of eliminating “The Donald” who was rumored to have had a speaking slot. Sometimes less is more, as when Bush 43 spent close to a third of his presidency on vacation … to the considerable benefit of the country.

Opening night gave us Mrs. Romney, whose mission it was to convince us that hers was not a storybook marriage and that Mitt was a loving, caring, generous, thoughtful man. She mentioned her five children and the rigors of caring for them. She spoke of her bout of breast cancer and her current medical issues with MS, which has been in remission for many years. She was loving and sincere but for many families with those health issues there would have been a great concern about doctor and hospital bills. Mrs. Romney never mentioned having a problem paying medical bills. At the end of Mrs. Romney’s peroration Mitt stepped up on stage and they hugged. Their affection for each other was obvious but Mitt’s plastic smile was as unconvincing as ever and I think the viewers were right back where they started.

Next came Governor Christie: His job was to throw red meat to the audience lest anyone think Mrs. Romney’s talk meant the party was going soft. After some seventeen minutes of self-pumping, of telling the audience what a great job he had done as governor of New Jersey and apparently preparing the audience for his 2016 run for the presidency, the governor mentioned the candidate. I doubt that Governor Christie will be offered a prominent role in any Romney administration.

There were other interesting speakers: Senator Santorum again talked fondly of his immigrant coal miner grandfather’s firm handshake. He did not discuss his grandfather’s politics, perhaps because his grandfather’s politics were far enough to the left to attract very unfavorable attention from Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. That had much to do with why grandfather got out of Italy. Oh well, the man did have a great handshake. Interestingly, Santorum rarely mentions his father. Santorum tells us he was brought up in government housing. His father was a Ph.D. psychologist working for the VA. His position with the VA entitled him to housing so the housing Santorum lived in as a kid was probably not tenement style.

As a sidebar here: The Republican Party Platform has been much more influenced by Ryan’s and by Santorum’s views on abortion than by Romney’s. The party platform will push for a constitutional amendment to ban all abortions. There seem to be no exceptions. Moreover the party apparently believes a fertilized egg is a person even if it lodges in a fallopian tube. Such a “person” cannot survive and if it is not removed will certainly kill the mother. Having a few prominent women speaking at the convention will not bring women into a Republican party with these views. When Reince Prebus was reminded that the platform differed considerably from Romney’s (current) views on abortion, he responded the platform was the party’s position not the candidate’s position. Does this mean that we should not expect candidate Romney to pursue these positions if he is elected president? If that’s what it means then why have a platform?

Dr. Condoleezza Rice had a prominent speaking spot. She would have made a great VP pick, but no; she is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. That killed that! So Romney was left with Ryan who is somewhat challenged in the “truthiness” department. One example was Ryan complaining about Obama not pushing for the passage of Simpson-Bowles when Ryan himself had voted against bringing it to the full house. Ryan claimed the reason was because he had his own bill that he wanted to push. If he hadn’t wanted Simpson-Bowles, for whatever reason, why hammer Obama who apparently agreed with him? He wasn’t at all clear about that.

Indeed, now the Republicans are going after the fact checkers. Their claim is that the fact checkers are biased and they’re wrong into the bargain. I guess if you’re going to lie about things it’s a good idea to start by discrediting the fact checkers. “Those cops who caught me robbing the bank; they’re really the crooks.” Who knows, maybe it’ll work.

Much of the energy that might have gone to Romney’s speech was sucked out of it by Clint Eastwood’s curious performance. Everyone has seen that ten minute delight. Eastwood, with a death grip on the lectern, has a conversation with an imaginary Obama sitting in a chair beside him. At one point Eastwood says, “I can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that to himself.” Nice little off-color bit that surely played well to the Romneys and their grandchildren seated in the audience. Later there was much hue and cry about this unrehearsed unscripted improv. None of Romney’s team wanted responsibility for it. Indeed the whole thing has been edited out of a summary of the convention speeches. There is now some speculation that Eastwood had hit the sauce a bit too heavily before he came on stage. However that may be, we are left with the image of a an old befuddled Republican white man talking down to an invisible black man who just happened to be President of the United States. Now there’s a pig that won’t be helped by any amount of lipstick!

I could go on but I don’t want any readers of this piece to become dangerously apoplectic.

  • Dennis

    What a convoluted analysis! Maybe you should review cartoons, it’s better suited to your intellect!

  • Ed Hahnenberg

    Henry…Relative to your sidebar comment on ectopic pregnancy…the issue can be resolved by removal of all (total) or some portion (partial) of the fallopian tube with the embryo inside it. It is morally acceptable under the
    principle of double effect, which requires the following five components: (1) The
    action, in itself, must be good or at least not morally evil. (2) The good effect cannot
    be obtained in some other way without harm or evil. (3) The good effect must not be
    the result of an evil means, or, to put it another way, the evil act cannot be the means
    for producing the good effect. (4) The evil effect is not willed but merely permitted.
    (5) There is a proportionate reason for performing the action.

    Managing an ectopic pregnancy by means of a total or partial salpingectomy is
    morally acceptable, as shown by applying the principle of double effect. If an embryo
    continues to develop in the fallopian tube, rupture of the tube and possible death of
    the mother and the unborn child may result. When the fallopian tube (or a portion
    of it) is removed, the death of the unborn child is an unintended secondary effect.

    To remain true to Catholic moral teaching, I would note that an embryo cannot be surgically removed, leaving the fallopian tube intact.

    As to the Democratic party, pretty much anything goes morally… I will be interested to see your review of the DNC’s speakers. I have better things to do in the name of science and astrophotography.

  • Bob
  • Troy Keith

    I’m sure you picked up on the distortions and hypocrisy in the DNC as well? The manufactured war on women, the misleading unemployment claims, the blatant attempt to scare the elderly with false attacks. I thought Kennedy’s declaration of her Catholicism followed immediately by her passionate advocacy of abortion on demand was particularly amusing. Bringing Clinton in, the nation’s most popular misogynist, struck me as a slap in the face to those championing the rights of women but I guess it’s easier to make unfounded accusations rather than look to your own house for such matters.
    Not that actual facts and a substantive plan are expected at any convention but all I heard was that Obama is a nice guy with a big heart and that should be enough – at least as far as the “workers of the world” should be concerned. With all the talk about the inherited mess, you’d almost think they’d eventually get around to figuring out what may have really caused the housing crisis that put most of this into action.

  • Bob

    Back to jobs, look at the charts below of manufacturing & farm jobs as a percent of total US employment. Given this info what future do we anticipate for a little boy with a sub 85 IQ that is entering kindergarten this year. He can’t stay down on the farm, and he can’t work in the factory. How do we make a future where this boy grows up live the American dream?


    • Henry

      My comments on the posts relating to the RNC convention have nothing to do with this.
      You raise a great point. There are about 50 million people in ths country with IQs below 85. These folks can handle many jobs but the jobs will inevitably be at about minimum wage. When you get below an IQ of 75 there are about 20 million people. There will be very few jobs for these folks outside of sheltered workshops, As you probably know sheltered workshops are subsidized work places where jobs requiring simple repetitive tasks are available.The current attitude of many people toward setting money aside to help the mentally challenged is not encouraging. Unfortunately some have the attitude that “IQ doesn’t matter” but when one cannot learn to tell time or to follow simple directions a group home with careful supervision is about the only alternative.
      “How do we make a future…?” I wish I knew; I wish I knew where to start.

  • Henry


  • Henry

    I suppose anyone wanting to comment has now done so. Here
    are my responses to each of you.

    My goodness Troy, you say “I’m sure you picked up on the
    distortions and hypocrisy in the DNC as well.” But Troy I never said anything
    about distortions and hypocrisy when I was describing the RNC convention.
    Frankly I’m not really comfortable throwing around the kind of venom you love
    slinging at liberals and particularly at Obama. I tend to see the RNC convention
    as rather badly mismanaged and with more than the usual numbers of half-truths;
    but half-truths are the stock in trade of politicians. Much of it, I thought,
    was kind of funny, other parts were simply pathetic. You, however, don’t seem
    to have much fun with this stuff, with either side really, and that’s a shame.

    I certainly see some screw-ups in the DNC convention: The
    failure to get God in the platform and the failure to get Jerusalem mentioned
    as the capital of Israel were blunders. But these weren’t as bad as poor Villaraigosa
    trying desperately to get a two-thirds vote to add these back in and failing
    miserably until he finally declared victory and moved on. There was also our
    former governor Jennifer Granholm who seemed to be in need of a calmative or
    maybe that was the precursor to a full blown seizure. On balance I thought the
    Dems did a better job and Obama’s subsequent bounce means the public seems to
    agree. True, any bounce may be gone in a week…but then it may not.

    As for Bob’s WSJ piece on unemployment, that came out after
    the DNC convention was over and well after the RNC was over. I don’t see it as
    very relevant to my comments on the RNC convention.

    Ed’s comments on tubal pregnancies are interesting. As I
    understand the Republican platform the party will push for a constitutional
    amendment declaring that a fertilized egg, a zygote, is a person. If this
    passes it means that any contraceptive device that prevents implantation of the
    zygote in the uterus is an instrument of murder and its user guilty of murder.
    This means that some prosecuting officer will need to sort through some rather
    unpleasant material with great care to find a fertilized egg that failed to
    implant perhaps because of an intrauterine device. As I understand it
    prosecutions for murder are rarely successful without a corpse. Perhaps such ridiculous outcomes were why a
    similar law failed to pass in a very red state like Mississippi.

    Regarding your claim that in the Democratic party anything
    goes morally, I find it curious that your righteous right party had, as a
    speaker, Clint Eastwood who has fathered seven children by five different
    women. (He was actually married to a two of the women so I guess that was OK?)
    To top it off Clint is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. I guess your party was
    prepared to ignore all that as long as Clint wasn’t pro-Obama? That’s what you
    call morality?

    Dennis claims mine was a convoluted analysis of the
    convention and that my intellect is better suited to analyzing cartoons. But
    Dennis if you found my comments a “convoluted analysis” how did you manage to
    get through high school algebra? As to my analyzing cartoons, the RNC
    convention was exactly that, a three day cartoon!

    I have now responded to most of you who felt a need to
    comment on my little piece. I’m sure if history is any guide you will now feel
    a need to comment on my comments. Be my guests but do know that Henry has left
    the building!

    • Troy Keith

      Sorry Henry (Elvis), I found some hypocrisy and distortion there – it’s always interesting to see what’s considered ‘funny’ to some yet inflammatory to others although I was pleasantly surprised to see the AP actually checking some facts:

    • Ed Hahnenberg

      Henry…Your view about the use of a contraceptive device as an instrument of murder and the following argument visa-vis Mississippi is off the chart even for a liberal. As to the Republican platform, which you obviously have not read, here is the section that addresses the sanctity of human life.

      “The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.”

      The above must be anathema to those who fought and screamed about the inclusion of “God-given” at the DNC.

  • Bob
  • Bob

    We haven’t had any new election blog post so I will put this
    one here. On the are we better off
    question people need to be asking in the upcoming election along with the Jobs
    numbers people might consider this:

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