The GOP fought the spotlight Tuesday with Isaac, the hurricane (recently downgraded to a tropical storm) that pounded the Gulf, as Republicans pounded President Obama in Tampa. Mitt’s wife Ann was the star attraction last night at the convention, followed by New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie.
Let’s go back to late 2001 so you’ll understand better who I am and how I see people. Not long after 9/11, people in their grief latched on to goodness wherever they thought it came from and President Bush received astronomically high approval ratings for his response to the crisis. If it was 92% who supported his handling of the situation, I was in the other 8%. It was not simply about my belief that he was a misguided fool, curious about nothing, but that he lacked empathy. So while I didn’t doubt that he was sad and sorry about the terrorist attacks, I also didn’t believe he possessed the depth necessary to feel for us as a country and sustain those feelings. When, with then Mexican president Vicente Fox, he tested the phrase “Wanted: Dead or Alive” in regards to Osama bin Laden, I was further disgusted. This is all to say that I won’t jump on the Ann Romney bandwagon today just to join the crowd and feel good. I’m a tough audience. I’m also a Democrat. Did I mention that?
Instead of politics, Ann Romney wanted to talk about love. Okay, that’s fine. I’m all for love. But then she proceeded in the first half of her speech to talk to me as a woman, and to assume all women need to identify themselves by the myriad ways we are better and different than men.
“I’m not sure if the men really understand this but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy,” she told the adoring crowd. It smacked of all the chain emails I’ve received over the years from women in which the struggles of mothers and wives are put up against fathers and husbands and elevated to a holy uniqueness. I hate those emails. I’m a mother. I’m a wife. Of course my problems are not the same as my husband’s, but just because they’re different doesn’t mean they are better or more important. I have no doubt Ann Romney is a good wife, mother, equestrian, and neighbor. This isn’t a personal attack (or maybe it is). I just didn’t like her assumption that we required a lift up from our lot in life compared to menfolk, that’s all. The second half of her speech worked better, illustrating her husband as a man who gets things done. “This man will not fail”, she convinced us, and then, “This man will not let us down. This man will lift up America.” She had me. She had everyone. And then Mitt came out and the air came out of the balloon. I don’t doubt he’s a man of action. I just don’t agree with his methods of fixing the country. Oh, and he bores me.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie followed as the keynote speaker and someone on Twitter said he looked like he ate Mr. Romney. All I can say is – that would explain why he sounded like the Republican presidential nominee himself – because he had ingested Mitt. Christie didn’t mention the man’s name until the very end of the speech. As for the speech itself, it was standard fare, though unlike Ann, he wanted respect more than love. He also reminded us of the GOP convention theme – We Built It. To that I say, read this from HuffPo, and read this quote from Elizabeth Warren.
And what’s with the backdrop? Are those clouds? Mist?
Tonight, Eddie Munster Paul Ryan.