Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GOP Convention Special: Where's George and Dick?

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:

From Wikipedia:

"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.[citation needed]The last winning U.S. presidential nominee produced by a brokered convention was Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1932."

 The 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."


  1. President G W Bush will be giving a video talk. he said when Obama was elected that he would not be making judgment calls on Obama's decisions. he respects the office if not the man and i do not know whether he likes Obama or not.

  2. With what is out there spewing their nut talk, they have enough to wrangle with. They dont need Bush and his henchman Cheney to pollute the air any further.

  3. He won't be in the building, Tess, and I expect his address will be short. They do NOT want him presence to remind undecided voters of just what Obama inherited from his rolling disaster of a presidency.

    George H W Bush at least instilled in his son some measure of modesty...and, to paraphrase Winston Churchill's remarks about a political rival, George W. Bush "is a modest man---with much to be modest about."

  4. Yes, Marty, the barely-reconstructed Ayn Randian nutter Paul Ryan speaks tonight. His boviating about all "the evils" of not letting big business have all they want (when they want it) will be enough crazy talk for any party to deal with.

  5. On 6 October 2008 I wrote the following on a blog:-

    "Now Bush is already history, he has never been mentioned here throughout the whole spectacular election pantomime.

    He won't be impeached or brought to book for his many crimes against humanity, because he has already been forgotten like a rapidly fading nightmare at the coming of the new American dawn.

    In Obama the conscience of America has been vindicated."

    I think GW's absence from Tampa is what we might have expected, job done, contracts expired ...Florida even despite Jeb's best efforts, holds bad memories for George Bush II...they damn near came close to killing him in Sarasota on 9/11/01 - he might be dumb, but he is not that dumb to not know about that. I know you've seen it all before Doug, but I refer back to my post of 20 October 2007 for anyone interested in this paticualr take on the story at the link below.

    Bush and Cheney are not there I would suggest because after 9/11 it was a ghost presidency in Washington DC, the locus of power had shifted. Ghosts are characterised by their invisibility and lack of substance, says it all really I think Doug.

  6. I just heard they will be putting up the Bush's in a film on the big at the convention.

  7. There are many interesting things about looking at those two blogs of yours, AA.

    For me, one of the most interesting is in my comments and specifically my naive belief that it would take more than four years for the public to forget how the working and lower middle-clas were kickedin the teeth by Bush and Company.

    It took two years for some of these same folks to start blaming Obama for inheriting a bad hand.

    It is now roughly four years later and the race, despite Romney being even more of a plutocrat than "W", is polling nationally at dead even.

    Makes me wonder, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker, what "fresh new hells" may lie ahead.

  8. I suspect that is the bare minimum, Marty, to avoid looking like they are throwing "Scrub" Bush under the bus.

  9. Dick Cheney was busy hunting and visiting his friend whom him shot at in a hospital. Bush was busy reciting the Bible- the only thing can he can do without getting high.

  10. Doug, there was a group of protesters who tried to arrest Condi Rice as she got out of her limo to check in to the hotel; they were stopped by police. While this didn't get much news-coverage, one of the protesters asked one of the police officers why he wasn't helping them - a damn good question, in my own humble opine.

    Bush probably stays out of the media-glare because of things like this - because he's not as stupid as he seemed. He likely knows the truth: That in a just world, he (and Cheney; and Rice; and several others) would be hauled up in the dock there in The Hague to account for war-crimes, crimes-against-humanity, and a lot of other things, besides.

    Condi Rice should have been arrested. She belongs on an island, breaking rocks for her two-fish-and-a-coconut a day, right along with the rest of Bush's 'posse'.

  11. LOL! I have nothing that can top that, Tinh. Thanks.

  12. Interesting Will. I've have to read more about that. Sounds like the sort of event the media should be covering. I understand Dr. Kissinger has faced similar situations and likely Bush the younger and his crowd plans their outside trips with great care.

    The Hauge may get a couple of these posse members one of these days; may not be a big player, but some America officials I predict will find their way into the Interational Court. It's a matter of time.