In case you couldn’t stomach watching our livestream last night, we’ve compiled a quick summary of the RNC’s first day. That way, you can grab a bottle of Pepto – or grain alcohol – and tune in tonight without feeling like you’re missing something.
We pointed out during the liveblog that the RNC didn’t need to spend money on the speakers, it could have just played President Obama’s out of context remarks on a loop for five hours. If you took a drink every time someone said that they built something, or every time Obama’s voice said they didn’t, you aren’t reading this. You’re dead of alcohol poisoning (our condolences).
We can respect a good theme. Our senior editor has been dreaming all week of having an “Ecce Homo” themed wedding someday. But having every single one of your ten million speakers yell at the president that they built stuff, having the crowd chant it, featuring videos of small business owners telling the president they built stuff, and commissioning a song about it? It’s called overkill.
Plus, no one was conducting. People couldn’t remember if they were chanting “We Built It” or “USA” – some confused people even started chanting “Yes We Can”. No, seriously.
Small Business Owners
Americans learned an important lesson last night: small business owners are the only people doing anything even remotely important in this country. They appear to be the only people paying taxes under Obama, too. During the prime time speeches, he word “small business” was uttered approximately 92 times per minute.
Of course, many of the small business owners who claimed they had been unfairly impacted by Obama’s policies weren’t actually small business owners. And the idea that the best way to pay your family’s medical bills is by starting a business is not true for the vast majority of the population. But hey! We didn’t say facts won last night.
Even though the GOP gave the stage to every minority representative they could scrounge up, white people one by sheer numbers alone. If you were watching the crowd and drinking every time you saw a person of color last night, you would have been sober enough to legally drive your friend who drank for “you didn’t build that” to the hospital. We were able to spot two African-Americans in the crowd that were neither speakers nor recognizable government officials.
And we were watching for five consecutive hours.
It wasn’t the crowd very white – as evidenced by their dancing and music selection – their message was too. The rhetoric about “take back our country” and “send Obama back to Chicago” was all very loaded language with a mission statement as obvious as the voter base is white.
There was a lot of back-patting and self-congratulations at the convention for people that allegedly pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Of course, all of these people somehow had the assets liquidity and personal capital to be able to not make money for a few years while still raising a family, but we’re sure they totally did that all by themselves with no help from the government ever at all.
Oh, and Ann Romney tried to make her life with Mitt sound like a rags-to-riches story. Yeah, that happened.
Like we said before, the RNC made a valiant attempt to lend the appearance of diversity to their event. But in reality, the audience was one of the least diverse crowds ever caught on camera, Rick Santorum rehashed Romney’s racist welfare remarks, and the entire “We Built This” theme is absurdly racist. Really? We’re going to make a big white deal about building stuff buy ourselves when our entire country was built on the backs of slaves? Not cool.
Racial minorities weren’t the only ones the Republicans half-heartedly pandered to yesterday. While nearly every other speaker was a woman running for office, or in office, or owning a business, none of them said anything about the tough issues facing women. There were no constructive solutions to the massive poverty problem, or the wage gap, or reproductive rights. Republicans don’t give a damn about any of those things, and no number of stylish pencil skirts and folksy women are going to change that.
The stories from business owners about working hard without government help were on message, but unfortunately, weren’t true.
The tax breaks for individuals that everyone blaming Obama for ruining only exist for people who are millionaires. And it’s not a “crippling blow” to American tax payers; we’re returning the tax rates back to where they were supposed to be - still lower than in any other war in our history.
Job creation isn’t at an all time low under Obama.
Remember when Gilchrist Metal’s owner was talking and how he was saying that he built it all with his bare hands and didn’t need none of that there government assistance? In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority “to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment,” according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time…Last year, Gilchrist Metal also received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about 83,000 and a smaller 5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008, according to a government web site that tracks spending. (TP)
When the Governor of Ohio was talking about how he balanced the budget all by himself and didn’t need Uncle Sam to help at all, he forgot to mention that his state received money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Surplus that he later mentions was part of slashing education and public works. Way to go, Ohio.
Oklahoma boasted the lowest unemployment rate in the country, and they got there without the government helping them! Oh wait: turns out the government was investing in their natural energy industry.
When the owner of Sakato Farms talked about how he built Sakato Farms from the ground up and didn’t need no government help, he forgot to mention that his company received government subsidy payments totaling $79,430 from 1995 through 2010.
Mitch McConnell frequently said that Obama got nothing done, but forgot to mention that he purposefully instructed his junior congresspersons to not work with the Obama administration on anything.
Republican governors lead 7 out of the 10 lowest unemployment states – and 6 out of 10 of the highest unemployment states.
Scott Walker was talking about unity, but voted against equal pay for women.
More than one person mentioned immigrants, but not the immigrants you’re thinking of.
The Nevada Governor said he “looked around for help” but there was nothing to help him turn his state around, but didn’t mention that he refused millions of dollars in federal funding for state-run initiatives.
A minority small business owner said “Obama is not helping small business,” implying that his business was struggling because of Obama, but if it wasn’t for the MBDA, he wouldn’t have a business.
More mentions about people “just getting their welfare checks” because Obama ruined welfare (basically just regurgitating this terribly racist political ad), but FactCheck shows otherwise: “Under the new policy, states can now seek a federal waiver from work-participation rules that, among other things, require welfare recipients to engage in one of 12 specific “work activities,” such as job training. But, in exchange, states must develop a plan that would provide a “more efficient or effective means to promote employment,” which may or may not include some or all of the same work activities. States also must submit an “evaluation plan” that includes “performance measures” that must be met — or the waiver could be revoked.”
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO TONIGHT
How could we not be looking forward to hearing from Rand Paul? He’s the son of recently Ron Paul, the perpetually running and recently scorned GOP libertarian. And he’s named after Ayn Rand. And he thinks health care is the same as slavery!
The fail is strong with this one…we’re going to have to have reaction gifs ready in advance for him.
Paul Ryan’s “Policy Wonkery”
The GOP has hailed Paul Ryan as the intellectual’s Sarah Palin. So why have we mainly just heard about how brave his terrible budget is and how intense his workout program is? Paul Ryan has yet to talk policy, and tonight is his big chance.
As Paul Krugman pointed out, there’s nothing truly wonky about Ryan’s “sloppy as well as dishonest” policy proposals. Of course, if you’re watching the RNC live on television as opposed to on Lawsonry’s awesome livestream, you’re unlikely to hear Ryan’s lack of real ideas categorized as a failure.
Ronald Reagan Hologram
There has been some speculation that Ronald Reagan will be dropping by a la Tupac at Coachella. A Gawker commenter speculated about this possibility, writing, “In other words, Gover Norquist took his Ronald Reagan sex doll to the cleaners, and will lower it from the rafters.”
We would love to see either of those things happen. Augusta will tape her reaction, and you can feel free to make a gif out of it.