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blue bits. red rocks.

election 2012

We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers… Mitt Romney

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Deep inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the impenetrable fortress where this year’s Republican National Convention is being held, my colleagues and various GOP delegates assure me that the venue security I experienced is typical for events of this kind — that it’s been this way ever since 9/11. “This must be your first convention,” they say. It is. As a newbie, it feels like an Orwellian police state, albeit one where the men in military fatigues carrying assault weapons are exceptionally polite. Convention veterans are inured to the layers of security checkpoints, the metal detectors, the bomb sniffing dogs, the concrete barricades, the chain link fences, and the virtual absence of protesters. I’ll likely feel that way too after a few more days flashing my official credential, emblazoned with a holographic elephant raising its trunk in triumph. It’s the new normal. For now, however, I still find it striking that a community organizer turned president and a Republican Party constantly talking up limited government have collaborated to police and host a civic event literally held beneath multiple hovering police helicopters. Security at the RNC: George Orwell Meets a ‘Call of Duty’ Cityscape

Meanwhile, Romney had better speak often and with conviction about his own disagreement with some of his party’s platform, or the anti-woman narrative will become so entrenched that the 2012 GOP may go down in history as having sacrificed the nation’s economy to protect the rights of human embryos. He will have to speak loudly, too, if he is to be heard over the iconic women the Democratic Party has assembled for its own convention stage—from the famous Ms. Fluke to the heads of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. The 2012 election seems to have devolved from a debate between Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes to “The Clash of the Embryos.” Perhaps the math is just too hard for either party. What the *#@% Is Wrong With Republicans?!

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As should be clear by now, the forces that make Romney a formidable candidate are far stronger than the forces that make him a ridiculous man. Nothing he does to embarrass himself in public is bad enough to overwhelm the power of what a truly remarkable liar he has become. No misstep is bad enough that it cannot be disappeared from our collective mind by a few dozen more commercials. The memory hole in this election is located in Sheldon Adelson’s wallet. His is the most purely cynical campaign in recent memory, selling to a battered economy the very policies that battered it in the first place, and doing so confident in the knowledge that the country has forgotten, or has become completely confused, about what was done to it. And cynicism sells best to the cynical. Charles P. Pierce

Let’s briefly review Noonan’s argument for Rice to appreciate just how wrong it is. Rice is a figure of “obvious and nameable accomplishment”? Which accomplishment would that be? Completely failing to do a competent job as National Security Adviser? Presiding over the worst period of U.S.-Russian relations since the Cold War? Facilitating Hamas’ takeover of Gaza? Advising Bush as he embarked on one of the greatest debacles of post-WWII U.S. foreign policy? Helping to shape one of the most disastrous foreign policy records of modern times? Take your pick. No one can take any of that away from her. Her accomplishment is obvious. Noonan says that Rice wouldn’t be “learning on the job.” Certainly not. She didn’t seem to learn anything while she was in her previous administration positions, so why start now? Choosing her as the VP nominee would have a “certain boldness.” Then again, driving off of a cliff demonstrates a “certain boldness.” Noonan’s “Brilliant Choice”: The Absurdity of Condi Rice as the VP Nominee

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