The Big Lies in Charlotte and Tampa

  • Share
  • Read Later
Andrew Hinderaker for TIME

Paul Ryan's speech at the RNC in Tampa, FL, on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

Looking back at the conventions, it’s hard to avoid a fairly damning truth: they were dishonest. I’m not talking about those “pants on fire” fact checkers everyone’s arguing about. I’m talking about the grand narratives the conventions presented.

In Tampa, a weeklong celebration of Mitt Romney virtually ignored his four-year tenure as governor of Massachusetts, his only stint in elective office and the launching pad for his presidential campaign. The Republicans also largely ignored the dark side of the Bush years, including the Iraq War, once a defining issue for them, and the 2008 financial collapse. Both were treated like some terrible family tragedy that is never to be spoken of again. George W. Bush didn’t even appear in person.

(PHOTOS: Democratic National Convention 2012)

The Democrats told powerful stories about Obama’s grit and determination, like his calls to rescue Detroit and send Navy SEALs after Osama bin Laden. But those episodes are a tiny fraction of his first-term work. A visitor from Mars could have spend hours in the convention hall and left unaware of Obama’s most consequential achievement, his health care reform law. Ask Michael Grunwald how many times we heard about the stimulus, even though that $800 billion plan averted a global depression and will ripple through the economy for years. And how about that epic drama that consumed the fall of 2009 — the debate over intensifying the war in Afghanistan? It’s like it never happened.

Voters still got a decent sense of the big-picture choice at hand: higher taxes on the wealthy vs. budget cuts. More abortion rights vs. fewer. An individualistic businessman’s philosophy vs. a more collective, forgiving, activist-style worldview. But taken as a whole, the stories they heard about recent American history were selectively told to the point of outright dishonesty.

PHOTOS: Republican National Convention 2012

256 comments
JohnnySparks
JohnnySparks

I Mean Look,,,,War,,,,doesn't that bother you that Human beings are being slaughtered for Oil and world domination,,and Pot smokers go to jail for pot,,while Bradly Manning's of the world Expose Murder and nothing is done but arrest the Angel with a message...i mean,,common,,this is not America,,,i am in the wrong dimension for sure,,,this is insane america,,,totally insane,,and your the criminals for letting our country get like this..Now Get Your Assesss up and Fix this Mess or Go Straight to Hell...

JohnnySparks
JohnnySparks

America would not have drug problems if they just stop making un just laws against americans..Corporate Rulers just want everything,,from the slaves,,our Government is the biggest Drug Dealers in the World..Who are you trying to Kid...These Criminals are our Elected officials....not the common man...if you go look,,our fearless leaders have all the drugs and illegal crap they want...they Drink and Drive,,order War like it is a game.. America,,Don't you think it is time to face some really cold hard Facts,,,Try to Pull your Head out of your arrogant asssses and face reality,,,The Criminals are US..

JohnnySparks
JohnnySparks

Nothing is wrong with Pot,,whats wrong is the criminals making the laws against Pot are the ones Smuggling it in and making the Money..just like all the opium..the CIA and our Leaders run the Drug Market...That's what is Wrong with Pot...or any other Drugs...

Andy Wisniewski
Andy Wisniewski

Try not to telegraph your world view quite so frankly " more abortion rights or fewer" could just as easily read "more rights for the unborn or no rights" where as individualist businessman and collective activist world views both carry strong negative or positive undertones. Words mean things, and adjectives especially are both incredibly powerful and incredibly subjective.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

Only President Obama and the Democrats PROTECT America's MIDDLE CLASS. VOTE the DEMOCRATIC TICKET.

BBnTPA
BBnTPA

Let's not forget that Bill Clinton, who in my opinion did perform well as president, was the one whom pushed for and allowed deregulation of mortgaging banking and allowed FNMA and Freddie Mac as well as investment houses, and main street banks the free reign to go all in on Mortgage backed securities and Credit default swaps. This is what led to the credit and financial collapse. Was it one president's doing? Not likely everyone had a hand in it so it is a shortcut to thinking when one group blames one administration for the financial collapse. Seriously Bush and Clinton as well as every other senator and representative are guilty as charged regardless of party.

Jackie Davis
Jackie Davis

Mr. Crowley, there wasnt anything of any substance in this article.  The title was a bit misleading and left me wanting more.  Maybe you had a deadline to meet or just wanted to get your artice out front??  You provided nothing to help educate the American people....just another talking head.

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

This is an appallingly false equivalence. And it is this very thing that is crippling our nation. Note that Beltway journalists always say "Congress blocked such-and-so." No, REPUBLICANS blocked such-and-so. If our journalists keep disguising the problem, the public will never arrive at the correct solution -- which is to reject GOP intransigence and extremism, instead of accidentally rewarding it. But, no, our modern journalists have to fall back on the "they both do it" paradigm. What craven cowards.

D_Bob
D_Bob

True that. The president had a jobs bill; the Republicans blocked it and are now claiming that he did nothing to create jobs. Romney is against spending to create jobs, except when it is spending in the defense industry, where job creation is the argument for NOT cutting spending.

A very full rebuttal to the Republican line of thinking has been offered by Paul Krugman (once again):http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09...

Mr. Crowley's attempt at false equivalence erases all recognizable meaning from the word 'lie,' and is a piece of attention-grabbing laced with cowardice.

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

Something just doesn't seem right.  Should there be concern for unbiased political reporting when the media is actually owned and controlled by billionaires and staffed by millionaires?  We see complaints reported about an unfair Class Warfare mentality yet Class Neglect and Class Favoritism run rampant and are substantially ignored.  We actually have 1% of the population concerned with feeding their insatiable "more" (never enough) appetite while the 99% are constantly loosing and the Republicans are focused on serving just that 1%, while the Democrats are faulted for being concerned for the 99% ... something is definitely wrong with that.  We know that the 1% is spending mega-millions, literally amounting to billions, to aggressively con the people and deceptively manipulate public opinion but does their influence and power subtly reach all the way to the general media?  It just seems that it wouldn't hurt for the 99% to be more cynical in scrutinizing what is reported and to apply common sense judgement before accepting what is offered.  It likely would really serve people well to just recognize the biases and motivations before believing the words.  There aren't any saints out there.

rockaboutmusic
rockaboutmusic

i am not implying anything,,,,,i am stating flat out, clear as day,,in no uncertain terms,,,,the Bush Chaney industrial war machine needs to be in jail,,,or hanging from a tree,,for 911 crimes against humanity,,Treason

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

Bush-Cheney spent eight years catering to "the money" and proved beyond any doubt that the "trickle down" theory is a complete fraud only making the wealthy wealthier and soliciting political support. Now the Republicans are blaming Obama for everything and saying the problems are "big government", government spending and the deficit and they are pushing for more considerations for the 1%, even with increased costs to the 99%. Romney has said he actually wants to cut taxes further and to aggressively cut regulations and Ryan’s budget recommends giving more considerations to the very wealthy and raising costs to the 99%. Now how does that thinking match up against reality?

While reducing the size of government, government spending and the deficit are all good goals they neither will solve the problems nor even address what caused the problems, actually they are a distraction from focusing on what did cause our problems. None of our problems were caused by government spending and some responsible government spending will actually help revive the economy (as some already has). What caused our problems in every case was exploitation by the few, with excessive deregulation, lax oversight and weak enforcement encouraging run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence resulting in repeated crisis in savings-and-loans, banks, dot.coms, the mortgage, financial and investment industries, also with corporate corruption (like Enron) and costly industrywide failures - always with the few walking away with substantial gains and the country, the majority left with the significant costs. 

Those circumstances were set-up by permissive politicians catering to "the money" and calling it "conservative", with the resulting problems growing as the politicians were busy looking to the 1% for their support, including to finance and help con the people and manipulate public opinion. What Romney, Ryan and the Republican / Tea Party are now recommending is a return to that style of government, with the few once again having Carte Blanche to aggressively exploit the economy for their large gains. Nothing they seek even directly addresses the need for increased revenue as they just rationalize the economy will provide that, even as they cut taxes more. That mentality is what pushes this country further into being a two-class society with the 1% feeding their insatiable "more" (never enough) appetite and competing in having it all, while the 99% continually looses more. If the voters buy into that deception and support a return to "more of the same", Bush-Cheney style, the result can only be "more of the same" and again the people will pay the price.

Pnnto
Pnnto

This is a great illustration of Willard's inability or unwillingness to explain his policies.--

"On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Romney dodged multiple questions about which deductions or credits he’d target, saying only that he’ll get rid of “some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end” while seeking to “lower the burden on middle income people.”

Pressed for one specific example, Romney replied, “Well, the specifics are these which is those principles I described are the heart of my policy.”

sacredh
sacredh

It's a good thing he's been practicing for the debates. He does sound sharper than usual.

Pnnto
Pnnto

The term "word salad" is thrown around a lot but dang that sentence was a doozy.

Alright, off to sit in the sun and watch my sad, sad Twins and keep an eye on JC's Orioles against the fast fading Yankees. Enjoy your afternoon sacred. 

sacredh
sacredh

Have fun Pnnto. I'm recovering from the flu though. My long weekend has sucked.

sacredh
sacredh

Disqus. Shakes head.

Pnnto
Pnnto

No kidding about Disqus, it won't open a reply to you above.

But to your point about Willard-I think it's a symptom of his greatest problem, he just wants to be president because he wants to be president.

Agree or disagree with BHO one can see what his vision is. With Willard there is no reason to support him other than he is not BHO. 

Byst1nder
Byst1nder

The only vision Romney has is to be elected as President. Then you'll see his Billionaire friends reaping all the benefits... That is why they're investing so much money on him.....

sacredh
sacredh

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight has dropped Romney again. Today he has Obama with a 79.8% chance of winning the election. Mitt's 20.2% chance is his lowest so far.

Pnnto
Pnnto

As BHO campaigns more he becomes more likely to win, as Willard campaigns more he becomes more likely to lose.

Just like four years ago this is a down ticket election for the republicans. Willard will be told to spew more and more nonsense by his handlers. That'll hurt him but, they hope, rally the base.

And I do mean base. 

sacredh
sacredh

If it finally does start to sink in to Mitt that he isn't going to win, I wonder how far he's willing to go in the debates. For all of Mitt's swing to the right, he's still the republican establishment candidate. The Tea Party candidates took their turn at the top and then faded.

.

This has to be Mitt's last shot. If he loses, he's getting the blame. The Tea Party will never admit that they cost Mitt the election. Mitt had to jump through hoops to get the nomination, but he also had to adopt extremist right wing positions that are hurting him in the general election with moderates, women and just about every other demographic that isn't right wing older males.

.

I still feel that this was Mitt's election for the taking but he got hamstrung early on by the tea party.

sacredh
sacredh

Pnnto, it's not only likability, it's believability. Romney will say anything and change a position at the drop of hat to try to score points. What continually amazes me about Mitt is that he keeps pandering to different groups as if the other groups aren't watching too. Maybe that's just who Mitt is. He's Sybil.

Pnnto
Pnnto

Which leads to the rather silly "Likability" issue. Another one where Willard trails BHO.

I just read that Willard now supports some parts of ACA after months of vowing to repeal it on day one. The man will say anything and that's one of the reasons people can't warm to him.

The politically disengaged still have a sense of the two. 

sacredh
sacredh

The economy still is sluggish and the job reports are just shy of dismal. Fair or not, the President gets the credit or the blame. Mitt is a flawed candidate, deeply flawed, but it's not as if we have an informed electorate. For every political junkie like we have here in the swamp, there are thousands that can't name their own congressional representative.

Pnnto
Pnnto

How far will Willard go? I don't know, he did make the sideways claim yesterday that BHO will take the words "In God We Trust" off of currency so pretty much anything silly is on the table.

I don't know if it was ever Willard's election to lose as he's such a flawed candidate but it sure was the republicans to lose. 

They just didn't have a single quality candidate to run that could get through the rightists firewall in the primaries.

paulejb
paulejb

More on the BIG LIES of the main stream media in Charlotte.

Pinkerton’s Amusing Take on How Media Would Have Reacted If GOP Had Platform Dispute

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/b... 

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Don't worry, spambot.

In two months the election will be over, and you and your heroes can go back to trying to sabotage the nation for the next go-around.

~

paulejb
paulejb

ifthethunder...

If you were really confident in that you would not be quite so irascible and churlish, If.

Andrea
Andrea

The democrats pretended there was no dispute and that the vote was actually a two-thirds' vote.

The extremists in the democratic party were in full fight mode.  And then there were those lovely tweets about Archbishop Dolan.  Religious bigotry right there as well.

paulejb
paulejb

"Hope and Change 2 - Barack Obama's Nomination"

Jon Stewart nails Obama 2012 with Obama 2008.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa...

D_Bob
D_Bob

Since you enjoyed Jon Stewart's take, maybe you should watch his whole show more often. It's even free at www.thedailyshow.com -- since you spend so much time on the internet anyway! Cheers!

ahandout
ahandout

Why did the democrats check ID at the door?  Those R@cist B@stards!

ahandout
ahandout

Why did the Democrats check Ids at the convention?  Those racist bastards.