After hearing so many blatant mischaracterizations, misrepresentations, and outright misstatements of fact (or lies as we usually call them) it was easy to miss the biggest whopper of the Republican National Convention coming from Romney's mouth last night. The biggest lie among all the big ones flowing out of Tampa was Romney's outrageous and ridiculous assertion that after the election of Barack Obama, the Republicans united behind the new president for the good of the country. Really, Mitt? Really? I know that many of the fanciful stories that the RNC spun this week can be, and have been, shown to untrue, but none is so fundamental to the Republican campaign narrative as the phony notion that "we gave Obama a chance, and he failed."
We heard Paul Ryan's outrageous attempt to paint Obama as a threat to health care coverage for daring to reduce costs in Medicare as a way to get more coverage for our money, not less benefits. This is in contrast to Ryan's own plan that makes the same cuts to medicare costs, but uses the savings for tax cuts for top earners. We heard Ryan blame the U.S. credit rating downgrade on Obama, despite the fact the rating downgrade specifically cited extremist obstructionism by Paul Ryan and the Congressional Republicans as the factor that damaged our credit. We heard Ryan cast himself as defender of the poor, despite his budget plan which targets the poor for 2/3 of the total cuts he proposes while lavishing huge giveaways on the wealthiest Americans who need it least. We heard Ryan chastise Obama for not taking action on the recommendations of the bipartisan debt commission that Obama himself established, when in point of fact, Ryan and the entire House Republican group on the panel had already voted to block any such action. And, of course, we heard Ryan blame a GM plant closure on Obama. In reality, the plant was all but completely closed before Obama was President, and finished closing shortly after his election. Mitt Romney, at the time that Obama was risking his political life to save the U.S. auto industry from total collapse, suggested that we should just let GM go under altogether. That could be the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.
In Romney's speech, buried amidst all the sentimental pandering, were a few more whoppers. Romney chides Obama for not having a jobs plan, when he knows full well that the Republicans in Congress killed the plan that Obama had: the American Jobs Act. The Romney plan for "12 million new jobs" basically takes credit for the 12 million new jobs that economists already predict will be created during that time frame... without any action from Romney, or additional action by a second Obama administration. Way to set the bar high, Mitt. Romney also blamed Obama for raising taxes on small businesses, when in fact 97% of these businesses saw a tax reduction under the Obama administration. Likewise, Romney painted Obama as starving America of energy and hurting the energy industry and manufacturing in the process. The truth is that oil, coal, and natural gas have all increased production under Obama, and alternative energy has started to blossom as well. Add the snide, and untrue, nonsense about Obama apologizing for America and the veiled dig at Obama being somehow less American than Romney, and you are left with nothing more than bits of rhetorical flotsam floating in a sea of lies.
With all of the untruth that is laid out above, and with many more examples of repeated lies by the Republicans this election cycle that are viewable all over the web, print, and TV media, it would seem that there could not be anything less true that comes out of the mouths of the right wingers. It would seem that way until one looks at the overarching narrative that Romney tried to depict for the American voter last night, and throughout his campaign. Romney would have us believe that the Republicans gave Obama a chance, that we tried the Democratic Party plan, that American businesses all worked to make recovery happen faster and more fully. That simply never happened. We watched the Republican obstructionism. We saw the speeches where they howled that making Obama fail (and America along with him) was priority 1,2, and 3... not jobs. We saw the signs outside businesses saying things like "I will not hire anyone until Obama is finished". We see today that many American corporations have record cash reserves, high profits, and massively bloated top tier compensation and bonuses... what we don't see is the hiring of Americans by those that could hire. Nasty sign outside, or not, there has clearly been a coordinated effort to make things worse by many of those in positions to help Obama and help America make things better. The top 1% doesn't need more tax cuts so they can hire you or your neighbor; they have plenty to hire with now. The top 1% does need a lesson or two in statesmanship, as do Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Lessons in honesty might also help.