September 1st, 2012 13:43 EST
Political Games 2012
The conventions are here; let the games begin!
If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood, the man and/or the actor (as I am), then you probably wish you hadn`t seen him give a speech at the RNC last night.
Let the record show that he debated an empty chair while taking very cheap shots at our sitting President.
Some commentators are saying that the empty chair actually upstaged Romney, so I doubt Mr. Eastwood will be asked to speak at many Romney appearances this fall.
Sadly, Mr. Eastwood mostly demonstrated that he is truly home on the range, or at least that he should be IN a home on the range.
Romney supporters are rightly concerned that any undecided voters who tuned in may now as[s]ociate the supporters of Romney with a rambling, rich, old white guy who holds political discussions with an empty chair.
Personally I don`t get into politics beyond the small town level, as my years as a Washington-based reporter only confirmed my long-held belief that All politicians lie; some of them steal, too. No one has ever showed me definitive proof that this is wrong.
In fact, lies, backstabbing, and cheap shots are expected in American politics.
But some things are just beyond the pale and among them is the way some people give the slightest weight to what actors and sports heroes have to say about how we should vote. (I`ve never understood how skill at moving a ball of some description from one place to another qualifies someone as a hero.)
I give slightly more weight to political comments made by economists, but not much more since they often seem to win Nobel Prizes by contradicting earlier Nobel Laureates` work.
I`m certainly not going to say who should be elected or even attempt to guess who would be better for America as a whole, but I can see which side is for the 1% and which isn`t.
Last night I heard an interview with Ben Stein, an economist best known to many as a teacher who calls Ferris Bueller`s name when taking class attendance.
After saying he would NEVER vote for a Democrat, he went on to explain just why many people probably should. He pointed out that the U.S. has the lowest tax rates of any advanced country, and that Ronald Regan raised taxes every year but one when he was in office.
Ben Stein also suggested that although he would like to see lower taxes, there is no evidence that this would increase employment or improve the economy, pointing out that the 1950s were the greatest period of growth in the U.S. and had the highest taxes.
Compare and contrast that with the Republican platform, then recall that he said he would NEVER vote for a Democrat and you have a good explanation for why the country is in so much trouble and why outsiders have so much trouble understanding American politics.
American political campaigns should be viewed as many non-English view cricket - a very interesting affair that would only be spoiled by an understanding of any actual rules if they truly exist.
For example, I saw the Republican VP Candidate Ryan twice in a single interview deny that the platform bans abortion.
What it actually does is call for recognizing in The Constitution as an amendment that a fetus is a human being and therefore has the full protection of the law.
Anyone who can read (certainly anyone smart enough to be able to actually find the platform on the Web) understands that full rights would mean that anyone terminating a pregnancy in any way would be killing a human being and therefore guilty of either manslaughter or murder.
It is understandable why some people would see that essentially as a ban just reworded a bit. Certainly the RNC supports who demand that plank in the platform see it that way.
I found the Daily Show interviews where delegates were asked about Romney`s approval of limited rights to abortion highly enlightening. They kept saying that Romney had a right to his own ideas, a right to choose.
The only conclusion I could come to was that if you had a penis instead of a vagina you got the right to choose.
2012 RNC Platform
I also found it instructive that this GOP site didn`t seem to have any link to the actual platform, which I eventually found at http://www.scribd.com/doc/104420962/2012-Go-p-Platform.
The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life
Faithful to the self-evident truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which can-not be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment`s protections apply to unborn children.
I`m not saying this is right or wrong, good or bad, just difficult to reconcile with Mr. Romney`s public opinion or Mr. Ryan`s defense of Mr. Romney`s campaign position.
And, just why couldn`t I find a link to the actual platform on the GOP platform site?