Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Coverage of the Republican Convention Misses the Nuggets of Truth

Ann Romney speaking, from my seat at the RNC
Why are Obamaites eager to cry "Repression!" about Republicans' social policy platform planks? Because they know they'll lose if dialog focuses on the economy, but think they can stir up resentment about positions on abortion, same sex marriage and gun ownership. They'll do anything to imply that Romney and all Republicans want to force religiously-based, restrictive laws upon an easy-going, freedom-loving, live-and-let-live citizenry.

But it's baloney. This morning, we attended a massive meeting hosted by Americans for Tax Reform, held in the proverbial Republicans' Big Tent, where about thirty policymakers and organization reps presented their latest accomplishments.  My husband told the reasons why Obama's likely to lose, from his e-book, The Odds Against Obama. One of the other pundits who took the mike for a three-minute summary was the ever-active Phyllis Schlafly. I'll admit there have been times when I've disagreed with the personable, very conservative attorney and author, but today I respected the central role she's had in Republican politics for several decades. She said the GOP platform on all the issues the Dems want to protest--abortion and gay marriage in particular--stayed the same through the many years she's been involved in platform creation. She testified that there's no difference in the content, only that the platform is now better written.

This stuck in my mind as I then read the Washington Post front-page story to which I suspect she was responding. It painted the platform as more constrictive than ever before, misogynous, bigoted and intrusive.

First off, if you ever actually read the platform, you see in big letters at the very top, "Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee." It's signed by the chair and two co-chairs of the platform committee, and it's 62 pages long. It's irrelevant enough for Speaker John Boehner to have said, "Anybody read the party platform? I never met anybody."

Chris Christie tells nuggets of truth at the RNC Tuesday night
But it's fodder enough for the biased press to base a front-page story on it. The same prejudiced press, this time the New York Times, in their lead editorial, called the convention gathering last night in the Tampa Forum, "a blast of propaganda," suggesting outrageously that the entire event was a pack of lies: "Voters looking for a few nuggets of truth would not have found them in Tampa."

From our stadium seats in the last row on the side, our little group of five had a sweeping view of the excitement of the event. Nuggets of truth were liberally available, especially given that under the theme of "We Built It" most of the speakers told personal stories of their families' arrivals as immigrants and creating businesses that over several years of sacrifice eventually succeeded.

How about the autobiographical nuggets of truth expressed by, say, Mia Love, the vivacious African-American Mormon mayor and congressional candidate from Utah? Or the articulate ex-Obama supporter (who seconded his nomination at the Dem convention four years ago) now outspokenly for Romney, Artur Davis, the Harvard-graduate attorney and 4-term congressman from Alabama? Chris Christie described the pluck his mother instilled in him, and  the tough changes needed in our government. But most affecting was Ann Romney, who moved me to tears with nuggets of truth about her non-storybook marriage, and the steadfast devotion of her husband during early years living in a basement, and later, coping with her multiple sclerosis.

Americans don't need statistics to feel the disappointment after four years of Obama. The convention speakers last night expressed that frustration, but there was no "attack dog," despite expectations that Christie would fill the role. Instead, the mantra was about removing roadblocks, especially regulations for small business, to let the economy thrive. Most were irked by the shocking level of the deficit, saddling our children with debt. If I could summarize the gist of all the messages together, I'd say it was, "remove the fetters of taxes and regulations and do-gooding by big government and let US build." And of course, the conduit for accomplishing that increase of freedom is the ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

But this morning, the coverage gap was apparent, when we turned on the TV in our little motel room. CNN was exclusively covering Tropical Storm Isaac. Fox News was covering the convention. By this morning, the raincoat-clad reporters relating Isaac's effects repeated some thankfully not-so-dire impact. You'd think the content of convention speakers would then take over, but no...again I remember how slanted the "objective" news media really are.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann & Gov. Hayley Barbour concerned about Hurricane Isaac
The Michael Medved Show today featured a series of top-notich guests, including Gov. Hayley Barbour, Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Ann Coulter. It's so exciting to sit here listening in on headphones on Radio Row, watching the constant activity of celebrity and activism. We're about to head over to tonight's convention speeches, headlined by Tim Pawlenty and Paul Ryan. Should be another energizing evening.

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