But who versus? Who are we doing it versus? (UPDATED!)


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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177 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    Is it a reference to “Wag The Dog?” I don’t know because I never actually saw it even though you’d think that would be exactly the sort of movie I’d be all over.

    In answer to your first question — this is pretty standard stuff for the GOP. I can’t recall Democrats chanting “U-S-A!!!” at their conventions; they cheer and hoot and boo and chant three-syllable slogans (“Yes we can!!!”) but their mawkish patriotism does have a different sort of expression.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I don’t mind cheerleading. I mean, that is sort of the point, right? This particular approach just seemed odd… And I don’t want to make mountains out of mole hills and argue that this is evidence of widespread birtherism or an attempt to otherize the black guy or any of that. Because I *REALLY* don’t think this is that. But that makes me think it was just sort of stupid and thoughtless. I guess that is better?Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Burt Likko says:

      And Democrats don’t generally feel the need to distinguish between the USA proper and Puerto Rico.Report

      • I found that one more problematic than yelling it when Love was speaking. What one takes out of it, though, is often what one puts into it. Still, it touches on something that the RNC needs to be more cognizant of.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

          Again, I think the primary weakness that these examples show is a lack of thinking on the individuals’ part. It is possible there is more there there, but there are enough reasonable other explanations that I’m sticking to thoughtlessness as the primary culprit.Report

    • James H. in reply to Burt Likko says:

      this is pretty standard stuff for the GOP. I can’t recall Democrats chanting “U-S-A!!!” at their conventions;

      Just more proof, right?Report

  2. Mac says:

    Day man,
    Fighter of the night man,

  3. Brandon Berg says:

    I’ve never really watched a convention before… but it stood out to me as strange, given that both candidates are playing for America.

    You’d like us to think that, wouldn’t you?Report

  4. BlaiseP says:

    Dear Mia,

    I’m glad your parents made it here from Haiti. I’ve been there. It’s a shithole. Lots of good people end up in this country. I’m sure that ten dollars didn’t go too far. Having worked with refugees, lots of them, yes, Haitians too, I’ll tell you for a fact, in case you’ve forgotten, a great many people helped you and your parents along in their quest to become fine upstanding American citizens.

    The America you know is filled with patriots and pioneers, you say. Well that’s interesting. Most of this country is full of people like you and your parents, people who came here because we’d built something here, a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Our heroic servicemen and Olympians? They had plenty of help, too. Just like you and your parents. Now it’s true that God helps those who help themselves, but for every soldier in uniform, there are dozens of people who made him who he was. For every rifleman out there in the field, there are more than a dozen support personnel who keep him there. As for Olympians, if I had my way, it would be the families of the athletes going around the track at the opening ceremonies. They’re the real heroes of those stories.

    When I see a child who looks at the seemingly impossible and achieves something, curiously I always see someone behind that child, encouraging him or her, believing in that child.

    I am also pleased to see you agree President Obama’s version of America is a divided one. He’s had no cooperation from the GOP. Arguably, things are worse than before, but four years ago, we had President Bush. Good thing you didn’t mention him. Nobody wants to remember him.

    Mia, I’m not buying what the GOP is selling. They’re selling, all right, selling America down the river and over the sea, to China. They’re selling fear and they’re going to be selling a lot of T-Bonds, too: the mathematics of Romney/Paul add up to massive deficit spending.

    The American Dream is just a story. It’s a story of a nation composed of refugees and misfits, of slaves and masters, of the long struggle for an equality and opportunity which served as the magnet for your parents. Dreams are just dreams until someone acts on them. It’s about then when the trouble starts: the Democrats have long had a dream where health care was available for everyone in this country. We acted on it. We’re very sorry you don’t like our version of the dream, but we acted on it and if it isn’t a complete solution, it was one of those Small Steps you mentioned, a step the GOP opposed, though it was originally their dream. We just borrowed it.

    With Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, we can go back to dreaming. Dreams of hard-working entrepreneurs like John Galt and Dagny Taggart. If the reality is a bit sordid, if people get hurt so stockholders can prosper, if it’s more profitable to invest in consumer debt than building factories, if it’s okay that millions of people can go without health care, well, go on dreaming, Mia.

    What happens to a dream deferred? You know the poem, Mia.Report

  5. trizzlor says:

    I tried pretty hard to step out of my liberal mindset for this thing but I have to conclude that the GOP is re-launching their national brand themed entirely around the misrepresentation of a single truncated quote from Obama. I’m sure it’s terrific spin and we’ll have to wait and see what cards the DNC plays, but if I was an informed party voter I’d be pretty embarrassed by such a strategy.Report

    • Tom Van Dyke in reply to trizzlor says:

      Not misrepresented atall, it’s a difference in worldview. The president is far more communitarian than libertarian.

      Some said pushing the slogan got jive, and I understand that, but I’m not sure they realize that it’s not all for effect—the GOP has a serious problem with the president’s anti-neo-liberal worldview.Report

      • Michelle in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        Despite Obama’s more communitarian outlook, the whole Republican “we built it” meme is based on a quote taken out of context. Granted, it was one of the President’s more inelegant speeches, but he clearly meant that business people use roads and other public services but they didn’t build them, not that they didn’t build their own businesses. It’s a worldview that envisions a common good, which government helps to promote.

        Republicans these days seem to be taking their worldview from the Ayn Rand play book, a hyper-individualism that implies anyone who succeeds succeeds on their own without any kind of support structure. Watching them puff and hyperventilate as they chanted “we built it” was an exercise in theater of the absurd. It was especially galling to see the governor of Virginia take credit for the relatively low unemployment rate in his state when so many of the jobs there are government, courtesy of the Feds and the military. We built it indeed.Report

        • North in reply to Michelle says:

          I don’t mind their crawlign over Obama’s built it fish up. My personal annoyance is over the welfare thing which, as they’re presenting it, is a flat out lie.Report

          • Nob Akimoto in reply to North says:

            And evidently that welfare line is the biggest applause line for Romney and co and their best rated attack ad according to their internals.

            Essentially Romney is now, in fact, in both substance and in style running a thoroughly “post-Truth” campaign.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

              Is welfare even really that big an issue for most folks at this point? The numbers I see peg it at about 5-6% of federal spending which isn’t nothing, but also isn’t going to balance the budget. I feel like I hadn’t heard welfare really talked about in a long time and suddenly it has become a hot button issue. Curious…Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                The numbers I see peg it at about 5-6% of federal spending which isn’t nothing, but also isn’t going to balance the budget.

                Somewhere between 5% and 60%, depending on how you define “welfare.”Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Well, yes, I was speaking specifically about income assistance to folks which they did not directly contribute to (e.g., unemployment, Social Security, and federal pensions are NOT included).

                While there is certainly a room for conversation about the size and extent of our welfare system, the Republicans are levying a very narrow attack on a very specific subset of that, which the numbers I found peg at about 5-6% of the budget. Which is also something fine to discuss… I’m just wondering where the sudden desire to discuss it came from.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                Social Security actually does have a pretty significant welfare component. The payout formula is set up so that those who contribute a small amount get a much better return on their money than those who contribute a large amount of money. This is somewhat offset by the fact that rich people tend to live longer than poor people.

                On the other hand, life expectancy differences increase the redistribution from men, who make more and die younger, to women, who make less and live longer. Of course, most people get married, so it balances out for a typical heterosexual couple.

                I think you can see where this is going: Social Security was created by a cabal of lesbians, headed by Eleanor Roosevelt, to extract wealth from gay men.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Well, yes, social security and other programs are not a one-to-one, contribute-benefit model. But there is SOME contribution. And I doubt folks are mad that Obama supposedly cut the requirement that Social Security recipients work.

                They’re talking specifically about income assistance to low income folk who are not on disability or unemployment.

                Your last statement now has me imagining Dr. Saunder’s and Jason Kuzniki in some sort of steal cage match with Eleanor Roosevelt and her tag team of lesbians. I don’t know if this is the best or worst thing you’ve ever done here.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                and that rich people don’t pay SS on most of their income.Report

              • North in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Oh Fish! Now you’ve done it B.B. The Lavender stealth helicopters are on their way to your location, best pack yourself a little bag. Don’t both packing shoes, we at the Lavender Conspiracy can pick better ones for you than the ones you own.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:


                I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!!Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                it’s lilac, not lavender.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                It’s basically a way of trying to turn the middle class against working class or unemployed people. The basic premise is “gutting welfare reform” which means “giving money to undeserving people.” There’s also a bit of racial dogwhistling going on there (which people will of course, deny) in implying that white middle class people are getting screwed to pay for urban black folk with escalades and t-bone steaks. It’s the “strapping young bucks” bullshit all over again.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Whenever anyone mentions welfare recipients, it’s the leftists whose minds go straight to black people. But conservatives are the real racists.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                FWIW, I think it’s more a class issue than a race issue, though I think both are in play. I don’t now that it is dog whistling as much as a complete distortion of reality for two main reasons:

                1.) The type of welfare they are railing against is too small a part of the budget. Even if it were completely eliminated, we’d still be very much in debt. Which doesn’t mean cutting or reducing it should not be a consideration, but it shouldn’t be hailed as a magic budget. Basically, they are grossly exaggerating the extent to which welfare is a “problem”.
                2.) The notion that folks are sitting around on their lazy asses for indeterminate years collecting welfare and spending it on rims or pools is just stupid. It is hard to get numbers on welfare, because it is state run, but based on the numbers I found for SNAP, the benefits are pretty meager… an individual earning less than $14,160/year receives up to $200/month for groceries. Nobody is living high on the hog because of welfare.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                Agreed on #1. It really ticks me off that Republicans are attacking Obama for imaginary Medicare cuts, when the reality is that we need Medicare cuts. The idea that paying 2.9% of your income, no matter how much or how little you paid, entitles you to all the free medical care you can eat, is absurd.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                My guess is that the math once worked, or worked better at least, when folks didn’t live as long and end-of-life care wasn’t so expensive.

                We should move to more sustainable models of Social Security and Medicare. I won’t pretend to know what those models are. What little I do know tells me that neither side’s plan actually does what it says it does.Report

              • MFarmer in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Brandon, that’s true. Actually more white people receive welfare than black people, so the Left is using race to scare people, which is very racist of them. One day all poor people suffering under statism, regardless of color, will see through the lies and fight for a free market and a shooting chance.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to trizzlor says:

      All the glitz and cheerleading and rah-rah, I sort of expected it. I agree that “We Built It” does what you say it does and deliberately misconstrues what the President said. What stood out to me was the fact that they couldn’t even consistently deliver that message, as so many of their speeches mentioned the very public and/or social institutions, goods, and services that the President was referring to (e.g., many folks talked about their immigrant experiences of their ancestors; none that I heard mentioned those folks building their own boats out of trees they planted and cut down themselves and rowing across the sea to get here). But, again, it’s what I expected and I wasn’t bothered by it. I’m sure the Dems will engage in something equally silly.

      FWIW, I see a certain wisdom in the Republicans clinging to an ambiguous phrase instead of something demonstrably false (such as Santorum going off on the welfare bit). Most folks who give a fair and honest reading of the President’s speech know what he meant, but there IS room to disagree if someone wants to read it uncharitably, which is exactly what the Republicans are banking on.

      One other thing… I caught a good chunk of Mrs. Romney’s speech, which I thought was quite good (again, given the cheerleading, rah-rah context). But, unless I missed it, it seemed like she spoke quite a bit about Bain capital but never actually said the words “Bain Capital”. Did I miss her saying it? If not, that itself was a fancy bit of dancing. Which, again, is what I thought this whole thing about. These events, as far as I understand them, are not evidentiary hearings; they’re opening statements. They are SUPPOSED To be full of spin and hot air.Report

      • Michelle in reply to Kazzy says:

        Nope, she never mentioned Bain Capital by name. Nor did she bother mentioning that Bain made a deal with Mitt guaranteeing his salary should the consulting business fail, which makes it a lot easier to “build it” than if you actually have to risk your own livelihood.

        That said, her speech was pretty good as these things go. She has the charm her husband lacks.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Michelle says:

          That’s what I thought but, again, I didn’t listen to the whole thing and was only half listening. I thought she did well, especially for someone who (as far as I understand it) has never really been up in front of a giant crowd of people like that delivering a speech like that. The only other nit I’d pick is her constant reference to him as “Mitt Romney”. I understand why they did that from a branding standpoint, but her purpose was to flesh him out as a person. How often does one partner refer to the other by his/her full name? If she called him Mitt, she would have humanized him even more. But, yea, picking nits at that point and most of the criticism I would levy on her speech would be unfair with regards to the messenger/message thingy… she did well and was in a tough spot of having to spin some things that were hard to spin.Report

          • Michelle in reply to Kazzy says:

            Yeah. She essentially had to convince voters that her husband is an actual human being–a tough sell especially when Mitt Romney comes out on the stage after her speech looking like the droid he’s criticized for being.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Michelle says:

              Can we vote for her?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                Also… my wife asked this and I couldn’t answer… is it customary for the candidate’s wife to speak at the conventions? I could see arguments going both ways.

                Note: Even if it isn’t customary or even unprecedented for them to speak, I have no issue with Mrs. Romney speaking. The primary argument I’d make in opposition for it is that it risks opening the individual up to unfair and undue criticism, as I’m sure there is no shortage of folks on the left who will criticize her needlessly. Of course, if the individual doesn’t care about that, good for them! Given Romney the Male’s difficulty seeming human, having Romney the Female give the speech she gave seemed pretty smart and likely effective.Report

              • Pierre Corneille in reply to Kazzy says:

                I’m not sure if it’s customary, but I think it happens. If I’m not mistaken, Michelle Obama spoke in 2008, and Heinz-Kerry spoke in 2004. I’m thinking Ms. McCain did, too. Also, Elizabeth Dole spoke in 1996. I might be missing something or someone.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

                That’s cool.

                Question: If Hillary had gotten the nomination, would they have let Bill speak? Again, I can see arguments in both directions, intense arguments even.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

                Former president, elder statesman, still extremely popular, great stump speaker? I’m sure he would have spoken.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Kazzy says:

                Poor pumphead.
                if he was alive, they would have let him speak.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                The risks I’d imagine would be…

                1.) Him outshining her.
                2.) Critics claiming she is riding his coat tails.
                3.) Another round of Lewinsky jokes.
                4.) Him remembering how fun it was to do all that stuff and claiming the nomination as his own.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

                Bill absolutely would have spoken. But as Bill, though. Not unlike Ann Romney’s speech actually. The goal would be to humanize her (probably focusing on the younger years rather than you-know-what). He’d probably talk policy comparatively little for Bill Clinton. He always had the engaging personality that she lacked. They’d use that.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                I can just imagine…

                “Remember, Bill… HILLARY. You’re talking about HILLARY. God help us if you say some other woman’s name…”Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

                Like he knew any of the other ones’ names.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


            • Brandon Berg in reply to Michelle says:

              Apparently mocking people’s social disabilities is okay if they’re Republican?Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                And yes, these kinds of comments were equally dickish when leveled at Al Gore.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Romney is too smart for it to be acceptable for him to have a social disability of this nature.
                I do not make fun of GWB’s nerves (which led him to be publically drunk/high while President). We cannot all be good public speakers.

                But to allow a disreputable habit, such as insulting people as your first and only social move? That’s not right.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kimmi says:


                There is absolutely no reason to think that GWB was drunk or high during his Presidency. That is a baseless and ridiculous accusation.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Kazzy says:

                not according to the psychologists that I’ve (idly) talked to. He exhibited large and drastic changes in body language and facial expressions during public speaking engagements.

                I’m not saying it’s a problem, not at all.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                As silly as it is, I’d ask you to provide something more than armchair shrinking from unnamed sources.

                Furthermore, intelligence and social skills/ability have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it is not uncommon for folks who excel in the former to struggle with the latter, especially if they have a genuine social disability (e.g., autism). And, no, I’m not saying Mitt is autistic.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Kazzy says:

                I agree. However, this is the sort of “disability” that is inappropriate in a leader of any stripe, and the sort of thing that I will not give forebearance for.

                He’s not a fidgeter. He actively gets people to dislike him who liked him previously (even the authoritarian types).Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:


                For what it’s worth, I would venture to guess that Romney’s public persona is less a function of social disability and more a function of controlling a personality that some might find offputting. Based on the Romney I saw during his time in Massachusetts (I was in college there when he was elected governor), he struck me as a bit of the douchey BMOC type… the kind of guy you might actually like if you knew him well enough but otherwise could be rubbed the wrong way by. It seems he’s pulled that back a lot and is opting for (or being told to be) dryer.

                If he has genuine social disabilities, that tempers the criticism, but I think also gives good reason to evaluate the extent of them.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                He’s in a position where being able to seem natural in highly artificial situations is one of the prime skills required, and he sucks at it. It’s entirely within bounds to mention that.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                One doesn’t need to be a good public speaker to be president.
                One does need to avoid pissing off Putin needlessly and unintentionally.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Certainly not in the bigoted terms Michelle used.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:


                I’ve read through all of Michelle’s posts and am struggling to find a bigoted term. Can you point me towards them?Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Kazzy says:

                It was here:

                “especially when Mitt Romney comes out on the stage after her speech looking like the droid he’s criticized for being”

                The offending word was the derogatory slang”droid.” Mitt’s “people” prefer the term humanly challenged.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

                “C’mon, we can’t send Buster out there bare-handed.”

                “I thought I knew where he kept them, but this guy in a robe told me those aren’t the mitts I was looking for.”Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                Droid? They prefer PC.

                Not only is he losing to Mac, but he’s from a previous marketing campaign.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

                Somewhere in here is a joke about seeking an injunction against the Droid. Maybe a T-shirt, with an Apple logo and Mitt Romney’s face with a circle-and-strike.Report

              • MikeSchilling in reply to Kazzy says:

                Mitt’s not in violation — no rounded edges.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                She essentially had to convince voters that her husband is an actual human being–a tough sell especially when Mitt Romney comes out on the stage after her speech looking like the droid he’s criticized for being.

                Isn’t the suggestion that a disability makes someone less than human pretty much textbook bigotry?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


                Do we know, for a fact, that Romney has a disability? Of have any real inkling that he does? Honestly, this is the first time I’ve heard someone seriously (and I assume you are being serious) suggest that he has an actual disability which accounts for the difficulty with which folks have connecting with and relating to him. As such, my “bigotry detector” didn’t go off (though I will confess that despite my experience working with children with special need, it is not my strongest detector). Still, I struggle to accept that criticisms of Romney’s stiff demeanor amount to bigotry against folks with disabilities, given that there is zero evidence that he actually has a disability.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                He is apparently unable to do something that comes easily to most people. I would say that that qualifies as a disability.

                It’s one thing to say that a certain level of charisma is a bona fide job requirement for the president and that Romney’s lack thereof makes him a bad candidate for the job. I have my doubts about that—I think the transformation of the Presidency into a cult of personality is something we ought to resist—but it’s a reasonable argument to make.

                But it’s just mean-spirited to say that this quality makes him not recognizably human. And it hits far more than the intended target.

                I see Michelle’s comments and the follow-up from the peanut gallery as being roughly on par with, say, having a good laugh about what a fatass Chris Christie is. We all understand that that’s beyond the bounds of decency. Why is this any different?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                I’d argue that you actually articulated the difference between criticizing Mitt’s personality and criticizing Christie’s weight perfectly… one of them impacts his ability to effectively do his job and the other does not. Christie’s weight has no bearing on his ability to lead and govern. Mitt’s inability to connect with people and form positive relationships has a direct impact on his ability to lead. He should not be disqualified from consideration, but people should have the opportunity to discuss it and criticize it as they evaluate the candidates.

                Personally, I just don’t buy that it is fair or appropriate to qualify his struggles in this area as a disability. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m of the opinion that his stiffness is more about holding back his natural personality and is less his actual natural personality. But if I concede this point, and conclude that we really are seeing Romney… I’m still not sure we can say he is struggling with something most people do well. Most people are awkward and stiff when in front of crowds, most people aren’t smooth when dealing with strangers in high stress situations, most of us aren’t calm, cool, and collected during job interviews. Romney is acting much the way so many of us would if we were in that role.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                I wasn’t good with that stuff either, Mr. Berg. Not as bad as putting the n-word in your opponent’s mouth, but in that zone.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                So seriously, what were the bigoted terms?Report

              • MikeSchilling in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Let’s just stick with “Mitt would stink on ice if he were made of anything biodegradable”.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Yes, seriously, what were they? I’m happy to call them out, as I did down below when the word “Cracker” was wrongly thrown around. But I’m not interested in pulling people out of the victim well.Report

      • MFarmer in reply to Kazzy says:

        It really is scandalous that Americans are cheering for their nation. It’s disgraceful. How dare these people believe that the party they support will help the USA which they show their love for by chanting “USA, USA”. This is dangerous stuff — it might even be unconstitutional.Report

  6. DRS says:

    Yes, because until America was founded 200+ years ago, nobody ever had any dreams or founded a business enterprise, or for that matter walked with small steps or took giant leaps. How did the world ever exist without America? It’s a huge mystery.

    On the other hand, give her props for smuggling in something interesting: “It’s been told for over 200 years with small steps and giant leaps; from a woman on a bus to a man with a dream; and the bravery of the greatest generation, to the entrepreneurs of today,” she added.”

    Did the audience even catch that?Report

    • Kazzy in reply to DRS says:

      I’m not really sure what you mean here, DRS. Can you elaborate?Report

      • DRS in reply to Kazzy says:

        She was referring, I assume, to Rosa Parks, whose famous refusal to move to the back of the bus hopefully needs no further historical description and makes pretty clear that the story “told for over 200 years” may not have been the same for all Americans. It was a two-second reference to something real and powerful amid all the usual “go us!” rhetoric.

        I suppose Americans are innured to this by now, but to non-Americans like me it’s a source of amazement – and no little uneasiness – how much Republicans need to hear this we’re-wonderful-we’re-the-bestest-ever stuff. At some point the most powerful country in the world should have more self-confidence than this.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to DRS says:

          Well, yes, and the “man with the dream” was Dr. King, no doubt. I don’t think that was “smuggling” at all. If anything, I thought it was a deliberate branding of the party as one that ought to be palatable and acceptable to people of color (African-Americans in particular). Which I still think many folks (on both sides) co-opt into the narrative of “Go us!” Lots of folks look back on the CRM and say, “See what we did? That was great of us! We solved that problem right then and there!” They do this despite the fact that the problem was created because of a decided lack of greatness, despite the fact that many of the folks expressing that sentiment likely would have objected to the solution of that problem had they been there at the time, and despite the fact that many of them today work against solving similar problems facing our nation today. But it is easy to say, “America… Fuck Yea! We solved slavery!” I don’t think this is what Ms. Love was saying specifically, but I think it is easily contorted into the larger “Go us!” narrative.Report

  7. Liberty60 says:

    The chants of “USA! USA!” were simply the crowd referencing the GOP foreign policy platform, which consists of exactly one sentence: “America FUCK YEAH!”Report

  8. Mike Schilling says:

    This, on the other hand, is quite traditional:

    Two attendees at the Republican National Convention were thrown out of the convention center in Tampa on Tuesday after throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying, “this is how we feed the animals.”

    That is, having too much to drink and acting like a fishhole.Report

    • Liberty60 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      The drunk man speaks what the sober man thinks.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      it’s when they do similar to republican congressmen that I get concerned.Report

    • DRS in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Charming behaviour. I’m sure TVD will be here soon with an emoticon or two to somehow demonstrate to the initiated how it’s something completely different than what it looks like.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      I’m surprised that the two attendees weren’t given speaking slots instead. Or free guns. Maybe some people to fire.Report

      • MikeSchilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        They’re still unidentified, so who knows?

        I have a guess, but it won’t be confirmed unless he was telling the camerawoman not to settle for food stamp.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      This is, indeed, concerning. And disgusting.

      I don’t think there is much to discuss here… whatever their motivations (drunkenness, racism, CNN-hatred), once you start hurling peanuts at folks, you’ve forfeited your right to be taken seriously.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kazzy says:

        You know who will be the next up-and-coming GOP politician?

        The junior state senator from Georgia who sees somebody pull something like this and hauls off and decks them. Meteoric rise if someone catches it on a cell phone video.Report

        • Liberty60 in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

          Who sees somebody filming this behavior and decks the cameraman, you mean.

          Yeah, I agree.Report

          • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Liberty60 says:

            No, I mean that sincerely.

            I think there is a majority of the GOP that is struggling simultaneously with the outside perception that they’re racist (nobody likes being a punching bag) and the interior struggle between some of the things that are said or done by the fringe where nobody appears to be willing to violate the commandment of Reagan: speak no ill of a fellow Republican.

            That commandment has soured. The tent got too big… but it seemed like a good idea at the time. In order to make it easier for everyone get rid of it, someone needs to violate it flamboyantly, in a way that nobody can really fault the guy.

            Hey, nobody can fault the guy. Those idiots had it coming.

            Until this happens, I see the GOP nominating one wooden stick after another, and not really understanding why it isn’t working. Hell, even if the economy sucks so bad they win, they’ll still attribute that to winning, instead of the other guys losing.

            It isn’t working because these guys don’t seem genuine.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Here’s a take on the USA chant that I hadn’t heard before and has the benefit of being just crazy enough to be true:


    The Credentials Committee that was up before Permanent Organization denied a request from the Paul folks to seat the disputed Maine delegation. They were, understandably, really unhappy about this. Loud chants and cheers and boos broke out in the hall. At one point there were several dueling chants. These chants continued to take off and die out in almost cyclical manner. Paul people were fuming that their Maine friends were shut out of the convention.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

      It’s a bit unclear why either angry Paulites or angry anti-Paulites would chant “U-S-A!” but, hey, crazier things have happened.

      In case it wasn’t clear, this post was specifically about the chants during Mia Love’s speech. I had actually known about (but didn’t fully understand) the brouhaha with Paul and did not know about the situation with the Puerto Rican speaker until reading about it here.

      Can anyone explain why they wouldn’t let the delegates supporting Paul sit down or stand up or whatever it was they were forbade from doing?Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      And the Paulites expressed their anger at being screwed over by the party apparatus by chanting “USA!”. Because “Tippiecanoe and Tyler Too!” has too many syllables, and they didn’t think of “Wolverines!”

      This is typical Reason, though: “What I’m saying is true, and everyone who says otherwise is stupid or ignorant or dishonest. What do you mean, it makes no sense and I’ve presented no evidence? Stop changing the subject!”Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        54-40 or fight!

        Though, honestly, “I was there and this is what happened around me” used to be considered evidence on the part of reporters on the scene.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

          Yes, and Jack Hitt of Harpers, whose piece the Reason guy was disparaging, was there. Though the Reason guy says that Hitt wasn’t paying attention. So there.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            Hitt’s very own piece included the part where he said that he didn’t know what was happening. In those cases, it might be helpful to read the “I was there, this is what was happening” articles.

            Or, hell, just run with the reporter who said that he didn’t know what was going on.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

              Explain why “USA!” means “We’re getting shafted!” and we’re good.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I can easily see “USA!” being a defiant, mocking chant. That’s how it’s used in Pro Wrestling, after all. It makes far more sense to me that the Ron Paul guys would be chanting it at the people in authority who just shafted them, at the moment in time that they were being shafted, when the Puerto Rican delegates happened to be on the stage than that they were chanting it at the Puerto Rican delegates because of their accents when they happened to be getting the shaft.Report

              • MikeSchilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                There are relatively few Paulites there (even fewer after the Maine incident.) So what were the rest of them USA-ing about?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to MikeSchilling says:

                It’s a Republican convention. Someone starts chanting “USA!”, you chant USA!, lest you be the guy at the convention who refused to chant USA!

                That’s what makes it such a great chant for mischief makers to have in their bag of tricks.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                So if some people start chanting USA, and other people pick it up, and pretty soon everyone’s doing it, there’s no reason to think they’re all doing it for the same reason, subtext being a difficult thing to convey in three shouted syllables. And it’s entirely possible that a significant number of the ones not paying attention to the business being transacted (given my experiences at conventions of different kinds, call it 80%) were making fun of the lady’s accent.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sure it’s a possibility… But we’re got two reports, one of whom said that he didn’t know what was going on and one that said that “this is what was going on”.

                To conclude that the folks were doing it because of the accent of the speaker does fit a lot of narratives, though.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                “Look at the liberal press inventing racism” fits a lot of narratives too.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well, regardless of what ACTUALLY happened, you still have the reality of what was going on… a group of conservatives chanted USA while a Puerto Rican woman was speaking. No one thought, “Um… guys?” Then again, mob mentality is a powerful force…Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sure. I’d say that if there was a reporter who said “we don’t know what the Yahoo guy said” and a reporter who said “The Yahoo guy said that Republicans were happy that this was happening while black folks were drowning”, shouldn’t we split the difference and say that we don’t know what the Yahoo guy said?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                No one thought, “Um… guys?”

                Given that the guys in question were Paulbots? It’s fairly easy for me to suspect some sort of lazer-like focus on the whole “Ron Paul” thing to the exclusion of any other conversations, speakers, or environmental stimuli.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, I didn’t realize they were all Paul-Bots. I got the impression that the chant spread throughout the crowd. If I am in err in that understanding, than disregard what I’ve said here. Mea culpa. It is entirely possible, if not probable, that a small group of shit-stirrers focused on the task at hand (i.e., shit-stirring) would be blind to the broader context in which they are working (i.e., shit-stirring). Doubley-so if they are Paul-Bots.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                The Paulbots started it, then it got infectious.

                You don’t want to be the guy not chanting it, of course.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                “You don’t want to be the guy not chanting it, of course.”

                Would you rather be the guy blindly chanting “U-S-A” at a Puerto Rican woman endorsing your pick for President?

                I think an individual’s answer to this question matters more than we might think.

                Not unlike asking whether you’d nervously laugh if someone made a racist joke that everyone else laughed heartily at or would you be the guy to call him out?Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Radioactivity would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            “NO NO NO… I was there.”
            “I was thereer!”
            “I was the thereest!”Report

  10. John Howard Griffin says:

    Not everyone will find this as funny as I do, but thought I would share.

    Romney Party Yacht

    So, the Romney campaign had a party for their elite donors. On a 150-foot yacht. Which flies the flag of the Cayman Islands.

    And, the yacht is named…..”Cracker Bay”.Report

  11. MFarmer says:

    Yes we can, Yes we can, Yes we can. Can what? Hmmm. Turn America into a socialist drug den? This needs to be looked into also. I smell a dog whistle. I know, you can’t smell a dog whistle, but you know what I mean.Report

  12. Kazzy says:

    More “U-S-A” chants during McCain’s speech. Just a smattering.

    This line stood out: “…if America doesn’t lead, our adversaries will…”

    That’s a false dilemma if there ever was one, no? Well, unless you believe that everyone else is our adversary. Hmm…Report

    • MFarmer in reply to Kazzy says:

      Have the Republicans done anything at the convention which, like, made you say “Cool”. Or does it all suck?Report

      • Kazzy in reply to MFarmer says:

        See my newest post, brotha…Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

          I also thought I made clear that I was quite impressed with Mrs. Romney’s speech.

          I am also understanding much of the superficial appeal of Paul Ryan. I’ve seen quite a bit of him on the telly with the sound muted at the doctor’s office (he tends to have FNC on), and though, “Man, that guy’s got it.” Watching him speak now, I get it a bit more (though I could do without the faux music populism). I don’t agree with him on nearly anything, but I get the appeal. He passes the “My mom would like him” test.Report