A convention is taking place in Tampa. Mitt Romney has been nominated and his wife thinks he's a swell guy.
The only suspense right now is how the GOP are going to hide Ron Paul away--an old campaigner who keeps popping up as a NPR commentator put it, like the pesky puppet- groundhog that plagued Bill Murray back in the movie "Caddyshack".
As someone pointed out quite a while ago, political party conventions are no longer very suspenseful. The days of the pre-television and pre-primary age, the were smoke-filled rooms of king-makers and power players. These were called "brokered conventions" and they were numerous:
"Before the era of presidential primary elections, political party conventions were routinely brokered. The Democratic Party required two-thirds of delegates to choose a candidate, starting with the first Democratic National Convention in 1832, and then at every convention from 1844 until 1936. This made it far more likely to have a brokered convention, particularly when two strong factions existed. The most infamous example was at the 1924 Democratic National Convention (the Klanbake), where the divisions between Wets and Drys on Prohibition (and other issues) led to 102 ballots of deadlock between frontrunners Alfred E. Smith and William G. McAdoo before dark horse John W. Davis was chosen as a compromise candidate on the 103rd ballot. Adlai Stevenson (of the 1952 Democratic Party) and Thomas Dewey (of the 1948 Republican Party) were the most recent "brokered convention" presidential nominees.The last winning U.S. presidential nominee produced by a brokered convention was Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1932." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brokered_conventionThe closest thing we have seen in the modern age to a "brokered" convention goes all the way back to 1976 when President Gerald Ford came to the GOP convention just shy of enough delegates to defeat former California Governor Ronald Reagan. Ford managed to gain the delegates before the actual roll call vote, but their at least was a measure of suspense.
The 1976 Republican Convention was also interesting for another reason---there was no speech or even a sign of Ford's predecessor, Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States and the first and only President ot resign in disgrace for office. Few Republicans missed "Tricky Dick", the man whose cover-ups and crimes had help push Republicans to a massive defeat in the 1974 Congressional elections. No one wanted a pardoned felon to represent the Republicans in front of a national audience.
We are seeing something of a Nixonian situation played out in Tampa this week. Where is two-term President George W Bush, the hero of "9/11" and the man who promised to bring democracy to Iraq on the war front and prosperity and jobs to the domestic front ?
This is the most interesting thing to me about the convention is not who is speaking---the usual group of mainly women, black Hispanic and younger political speakers who are the human wall paper the Republicans need to make the party look less white, worried, older and male then they really are. Not only are these two not speaking, but Bush and Cheney are literally not in the building and are as scarce as Elvis sightings.
I'm talking about former President George W. Bush and his Vice President, Dick Cheney, of course. These guys served two terms in the offices of the Chief Executive and where the hell are they?
Officially, they are just taking the convention off to go fishing or something.
I, for one, don't buy it.
They are not in Tampa because both men are a major liability for the GOP. If they thought about coming, these twins of economic and human rights disasters were dissuaded. In a very polite and respectful way, I'm sure, but, believe me, if they asked to address the delegates, they were dissuaded.
The Bush Administration was the worst failure for the GOP since Nixon--but at least Nixon left office with only a mild recession for the country to cope with, a recession caused mainly by the "oil shocks" caused by the OPEC nations in the Middle East in the wake of the Israeli-Egyptian "Yom Kippur War" of October, 1973.
What Bush left behind was far worse in my view. Millions of jobs were lost by the end of his term, sparked by a housing bubble fueled by an unregulated Wall Street "perfect storm" of greedy investors and irrational mortgage companies and home buyers. And none of this bothered Bush anymore then his trillions spent on two untaxed "credit card" wars fought halfway around the world.
The man who proved that "trickle-down" economics and perpetual tax cuts don't create jobs would be a major turd in the GOP punchbowl were he to address the GOP Convention. And that doesn't mention his water-boarding-enthusiast pal, Dick Cheney.
It's a good thing these guys were dissaudable, good for the Romney-Ryan Ticket at least.
i'll leave the last words to columnist and editor Froma Harrop of the Providence Rhode Island Journal:
"The Bush tax cuts drained the Treasury of money needed to pay for what the Republicans wanted, never mind the Democrats. Ryan now calls for even more tax cuts with the proviso that they be partly offset by closing loopholes. Broadening the tax base is not a bad idea, but Ryan's plan fails to impress because it does not specify what loopholes would go. How about doing away with the big popular deductions, like those for health coverage or mortgage interest? Ryan's lips are sealed.
"So while the Tampa convention hosts no George W. Bush, it has his plan. More defense spending. Less regulation. More tax cuts for the upper incomes. As another famous Republican might have said: Here we go again." http://www.creators.com/opinion/froma-harrop.html