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"We Can Change It": RNC 2012

Matt Pressberg |
August 29, 2012 | 5:41 p.m. PDT

Staff Columnist

Are Wednesday's recycled luminaries really "change" at all? (Dawn Megli/Creative Commons)
Are Wednesday's recycled luminaries really "change" at all? (Dawn Megli/Creative Commons)
Wednesday's Republican National Convention theme is “We Can Change It,” which seems an odd choice of language for a day headlined by the last (and unsuccessful) GOP nominee for president and prominent Bush the Younger administration figures. Maybe "We Can Rewind It" would be more appropriate.

Sen. John McCain, a true war hero who must also own up to introducing the world to America's foremost aerial moose-hunting hockey mom, explained his economic philosophy in a 2008 interview as follows:

"You can't seem to get over the fact that it's spending that's out of control. And you restrain spending and also you can't get over the fact that historically when you raise people's taxes, revenue goes down. Every time we cut capital gains taxes, there has been an increase in revenues."

This is boilerplate Romney/Ryan/W. Bush logic which has proven not to be very true by our current economic situation. European countries like Greece and Spain who had to slash spending during a recession have recovered much more slowly than the United States. Trying the exact same thing that voters rejected four years ago and has not worked in other countries similar to the U.S. that it has been tried it is a lot closer to the definition of insanity than change.

In his remarks at the convention, McCain spoke of "devastating" cuts to the military and the planned pullout from Afghanistan "emboldening our enemies." This is also not a change, just more of the same thinking about national defense that keeps bleeding valuable dollars and invaluable lives in pursuit of a goal many Americans can't seem to articulate anymore.

New Augusta National member and former National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under George W. Bush Condoleezza Rice plans to speak tonight about Mitt Romney's foreign policy qualifications. Condi is a scholar of the former USSR, and Mitt Romney seems quite convinced that the Soviets remain America's main enemy. Another featured orator, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, also held two positions in the W. Bush Cabinet. Not a change, but a rewind.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, now in the news for defending embattled and biologically misinformed Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, will also address the Tampa crowd on Wednesday. Huck is charged with firing up the evangelical base, but the only thing he wants to change is our schoolchildren's understanding of human evolution.

This one may not be true, but these daily slogans, named after plays on Obama soundbites and catchphrases, are clever and appropriate in what has been a fairly uncouth campaign on all sides. With all the ammo that socially awkward Mitt has been able to provide over the neverending campaign, I’d like to see the Democrats run with this trend next week. A couple suggestions: “We Are Concerned About The Very Poor" and "Where's The Tax Certificate?"


Reach Staff Columnist Matt Pressberg here.

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Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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