Now that the Republican Convention is over, what have we learned? It would appear that not much has changed. Economic policy remains the same -- the party favours the wealthy over the working man. But, more strikingly, the party of George W. Bush -- which did not feel beholden to the "reality based community" -- certainly now refuses to be "dictated by fact checkers."
If there is a difference between the party of 2000 and the party of 2012, it is merely a matter of degree. The GOP now has more contempt for facts than it did a decade ago. Those non existent weapons of mass destruction have not caused a rethink. Truth be told, Paul Krugman writes, Mr. Ryan tells bigger whoppers than George W. did:
For Mr. Ryan, as you may recall, has positioned himself as an icon of truth-telling and fiscal responsibility, while offering policy proposals that are neither honest nor responsible. He calls for huge tax cuts, while proposing specific spending cuts that, while inflicting immense hardship on our most vulnerable citizens, would fall far short of making up for the revenue loss. His claims to reduce the deficit therefore rely on assertions that he would make up for the lost revenue by closing loopholes that he refuses to specify, and achieve further huge spending cuts in ways that he also refuses to specify.
At least Ryan is consistent. Romney, however, doesn't know the meaning of the word. Dan Gardiner writes that Romney has campaigned :
as a moderate, a pragmatist, even a liberal. He has campaigned as conservative one long shot of Ted Nugent’s bow to the right of Ronald Reagan. He has been pro-choice, pro-life, pro-whatever the hell the polls say he needs to be to win. His greatest accomplishment as governor of Massachusetts was the implementation of a policy that ensured health care for everyone in the state yet he is now campaigning to win the White House by fiercely attacking ObamaCare, which is essentially the same policy implemented by Barack Obama at the federal level.
Watching the Republican convention was like watching that segment in Dumbo where the little fellow with the big ears mistakenly snoots too much whiskey laced water. He hiccups and blows several pink elephants up and around the big top. Clint Eastwood's speech was the biggest pink elephant of all. As an accomplished actor, he should have remembered what happened to Macbeth after he began talking to empty chairs.
Still, the crowd ate it up. That master of the big top, P.T. Barnum, was right. There really is a sucker born every minute.