I said I wasn’t going to post on the political conventions and I plan on sticking to that. However, I’ve got to say that I’m baffled by the commentary about the Republican National Convention. The blogosphere and media outlets are absolutely full of posts, articles, columns, etc. debunking Paul Ryan’s speech of last night.
I haven’t hear any of it but I have read snippets of the prepared text as well as some of the criticisms. Outside of the mendacity that I’d associate with any political speech but especially political speeches giving during national conventions I didn’t see anything particularly outrageous. What’s all the hub-bub, bub?
To my ear the reactions sound a bit desperate. Can somebody please interpret this stuff for me? I really don’t get it.
Let me expand on my remarks above a little. According to the RealClearPolitics average, a composite of polls, President Obama leads by 1.1%. That’s not a very big lead for a sitting president.
Now, maybe Mitt Romney will completely fall on his face when he gives his acceptance speech tonight. Maybe President Obama will completely knock the ball out of the park when he gives his next week. I don’t expect either of those things to happen. I expect Mitt Romney to get a small bounce from the RNC and President Obama to get not much of anything from the DNC. He’s not exactly underexposed to the American people.
What does that mean? To me it means that the presidential election is too close to call, there’s still a slight likelihood that the Republicans will get a majority in the Senate, and, although it looks like it might be possible that Democrats will narrow the Republican lead in the House slightly, the Republicans are likely to hold the House. Which is, essentially, what I’ve been saying for the last year.
Partisans of both parties have unenviable chores ahead of them. Democrats must defend the indefensible. President Obama has gotten nearly everything he’s asked for and the economy is still in the toilet. We’re still in Afghanistan, bleeding lives and dollars every day. Pakistan destabilizes a bit more every day and our drone attacks are contributing to that, at least at the margins. Guantanamo is still open. The president continues to repeat that Iran’s getting nuclear weapons is “unacceptable”, whatever that means. The Holder Justice Department and the Geithner Treasury are just about as horrible as any of my memory.
Republicans must embrace the incoherent. Gov. Romney wants to shrink federal spending but he wants to expand defense spending. His tax reform plan, even if it were to be adopted, would not of itself heal the problems with our economy, at least not in the near term. And that it would suddenly produce 4% real GDP growth is beyond understanding.