Republican convention: Truth vs. Fiction

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By Art Hyland

Romney and Ryan took their own advice and promoted the “everyman” image that they indeed are.  It must be difficult if you’re an Obama campaign consultant to have opponents who are so thoroughly ordinary, so genuine, and so American perfect. The only way to attack Romney/Ryan is to attack America, and that, they know, won’t work anymore.  It worked 4 years ago, but yesterday’s plan is just that, yesterday’s.

Romney: I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.

Ryan: I live on the same block where I grew up.  We belong to the same parish where I was baptized.  Janesville is that kind of place.

And Condoleezza Rice, in a superb, teleprompter-free speech, also underscored this theme

Rice: The essence of America… What really unites us, is not nationality, ethnicity or religion, it is an idea. And what an idea it is. That you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things, that it does not matter where you came from. It matters where you are going.

Because they routinely speak truths, beating back their message becomes an exercise in desperation for the Obama campaign.  Truth is always a relevant approach, despite the short term gains stolen at times by its opposite.  Obama lives a lie, but you don’t have to say it when you have the truth to display in obvious contrast.

Romney:
Tonight that American flag is still there on the moon. And I don’t doubt for a second that Neil Armstrong’s spirit is still with us: that unique blend of optimism, humility and the utter confidence that when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.
It’s the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today’s.

Ryan: I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life.  I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself.  That’s what we do in this country.  That’s the American Dream.  That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

The Republican convention was a huge success despite the venue’s limitations for conservatives who prefer reality over fanfare.  People like Christie, Rubio and to a lesser extent Romney, are somewhat diminished when constrained by a teleprompter.  Not ones to be told how to think or what to say, they nevertheless agreed to scripts they no doubt edited.

Their speeches, especially Christie’s, were obviously affected by reading words rather than creating them live.  They don’t even like the idea of having to “perform” because that is so anathema to them, and smacks of trying to compete with people like Obama and other image makers in what they claim is a game, when what’s taking place isn’t a game at all. And so, at this week’s Democrat Convention, we’ll see politicians acting, and speeches as performances in a desperate attempt to obscure a lack of substance. It won’t work on a nation looking for economic answers.

Eastwood’s appearance may turn out to be the cleverest idea precisely because it completely baffles the Obamacamp.  They don’t know what to do when people fight the game they play with the game they play.  They are calling him senile, and the performance weird, but when an icon says Obama has to go, that sticks, and all the criticism that Hollywood and Obama can muster will only go to reinforce the words that Eastwood said.  It didn’t matter that he rambled at times, because his words are living beyond the slow utterances of a performance that didn’t look like one. But it was one.  Clint made our day.