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President Obama Must Use the Convention to Tell the Unvarnished Truth
Now that the ‘Day late and dollar short’ Republican National Convention has passed into the political archives of “who cares?” (other than Tampa Strip Club owners) it’s time to turn our attention to Charlotte. But before we do, let me assess a few remnants of the “Conventions for Dummies” served up by the radical-right of the GOP.
On a scale of 1-10, I’d have to assign Tampa a gentlemen’s 2. I’ll give the GOP credit for changing scheduling of speakers and events on the fly after having to cancel the first day because of Tropical Storm (at that time) Isaac. Logistically, things seemed to go off without a hitch. The message was certainly controlled – “We built it. We built it. We built it. We built it.” Until Eastwood that is.
Keynoter, the arrogant New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, bombed. The Glamor boys, Rubio and Ryan didn’t quite carry it off.
So the Republican’s have given the Democrats a gaping opening. A huge void of just bitching about “We built it”, having no plan and presenting the driest candidate this side of Death Valley. The question is will the Democratic brain trust take advantage of this historic opportunity?
The Democratic Convention will be a 3-day-affair as well. It opens Tuesday at the Time Warner Cable Arena and closes with the President’s acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium. The stadium accommodates about 74,000 fannies. We’ll see if it overflows as did Denver’s Invesco stadium in 2008.
The dems scored a real coup in their Tuesday night Keynote Speaker, even though the Keynoter is little known outside Texas. He’s Julian Castro, the 37-year-old, Harvard Law, Hispanic two-term mayor of San Antonio. That he won re-election with a total of 82% of the vote pretty much tells you all you need to know about this future heavy hitter in Democratic Party circles. To make things even more interesting, Julian has a twin brother, Joaquin, who is currently a Texas State Representative, who is running for Congress this year.
Wednesday will feature the great Elizabeth Warren and the most effective Obama spokesman currently making the national rounds, Bill Clinton. There’s something charismatic about this old heart-damaged, DINO dress-stainer. Forget that Bill is doing it all for Hillary’s 2016 Presidential run, he’s vital to Obama’s chances in November.
The Thursday prime-time trio will include former Presidential candidate, John Kerry, VP, Joe Biden and of course, the acceptance speech of the man, himself, Barack Obama. Among other scheduled speakers at various times include, ex-President Jimmy Carter, another very politically appealing minority, Newark Mayor, Cory Booker, Charlie Crist, a former Florida Governor and fallen-away Republican who has endorsed the President, a few other current and former Governors, Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor, who after his speech will return home to a probable teachers strike. Giving the orbs a treat will be comely Mexican-American actress, Eva Longoria.
There will also be NARAL and Planned Parenthood speakers, the face of the contraception debate, Sandra Fluke and activist, Lilly Ledbetter. Have you ever had legislation named after you?
The most important presidential words need to be far removed from Obama’s Denver acceptance speech. The 2008 campaign was a time of great naïve optimism that the opposition Republican Party would cooperate with his efforts to right the economic ship. Barack, the nominee, borrowed liberally at the time from the iconic text of Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream.” One of Obama’s quotes from the speech was, “In America, our destiny is inextricably linked that our dream can be one. We cannot walk alone.” With the greatest of respect for Dr. King, might I suggest that Democrats have not only ‘walked alone’ the party has had to battle Republicans every inch of the way on every last piece of legislation designed to make this into the kind of nation Dr.King envisioned. And they lost every battle.
A Sunday AP story was headlined “Obama slams GOP.” The President said that Republicans have no new ideas. He added that at the convention, the Republicans wouldn’t tell you what their new ideas were. “Republicans will take us backwards to the age of ‘trickle-down, “you’re on your own” economics that begin with tax cuts for the rich but tax increases for the middle-class.” Heartfelt and true, but without additional context and stats it won’t gain Obama a single vote.
He needs to spell out the specifics of everything that happened in the preceding administration that led to such a mess that it will take years to get back on track. He must explain what deregulation did to the banking and investment and mortgage industries. He must place the housing collapse squarely on the Bush administration’s deregulated shoulders. Obama should explain that privatizing sells education to the highest bidder. He must clarify debt and deficits in Economics 101 terms. He must make it plain what’s in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how devastating and incredibly ignorant it would be to repeal it. He must break down Medicare into its smallest component parts and again, show how destructive the Republican voucher plan would be and the brutal cuts to Medicaid. He must review the history of Social Security and it’s extraordinary success and how it’s not nearly as bad off as depicted and how easy the fixes would be. And how privatizing would turn SS into a crap shoot.
He then must explain the concept of dept and deficits and talk of relatively benign solutions based on the rich carrying their weight. He must explicitly tell how pollution has taken the country to the brink of not being able to reverse its affects. The Republican plan to hand the country over to the wealthy has to be exposed in addition to explaining voter repression laws. Billionaire purchases of the government should be identified…and names should be named. This next one’s for Biden. Press the hell out of Romney on his tax returns. Really push it.
List the Democratic bills that would have added jobs, reduced pollution and increased wages that Republicans blocked at every turn. Divide this effort up between the President and Vice-President. The media cannot ignore these speeches. The texts will show up everywhere.
Reviewing: 1. Here’s what Bush did. 2. Here’s how President Obama attempted to correct it. 3. Here are the Obama initiatives to benefit Americans. 4. Here is what the Republican legislature did to block every one of those initiatives.
If Obama does his bi-partisan nonsense in the face of hateful Republican 100% partisanship, he stands a very real chance of losing. Explaining and debunking. Those should be the only concerns in Charlotte.