Today I’m debating a friend who graciously agreed to play Devil’s Advocate with the Paul Ryan nomination, although she might have preferred Nikki Haley if it had been her pick. I know this may seem a bit…late to some of you, but I wanted to give it a few weeks so we could really see if it’s made a difference or not. So, smack dab in the middle of the Republican convention, let’s shop up Ryan, dirty campaign tactics, hate groups, and who will come out on top…
Brody: Hi, “Iris” [and that is not her real name, just in case you really think there are Indian-American women named Iris.] I appreciate you being here on a Monday night [when this was done] instead of not watching the networks invisible coverage of the Republican National Convention…since they aren’t even showing it. Do you think the nets made a mistake by not covering the conventions instead of showing reruns of Bones?
Iris: Well, they made one not showing the RNC, but the Democratic one…lol, no, they should be showing the conventions. The chatter is always that voters are misinformed, so why not cover them? Why not make them more informed?
Brody: I don’t know that the conventions are really going to inform voters. They’re both pretty much just spin for the parties that we’ve heard a million times before. I mean, at this point, who really doesn’t know about what Chris Christie thinks of unions? Or Paul Ryan on Medicare? Although I’ve noticed that Romney/Ryan are actually lying a good deal about their stances on government programs they don’t believe in.
Iris: Here we go lol…I knew it was coming. Ryan isn’t lying about Medicare, he’s trying to save it–
Brody: By destroying it. A fanatical free market capitalist that hates government programs and spending is going to save the 2nd most expensive one?
Iris: Obama has cut Medicare drastically in his first term. You could argue that he’s the one out to destroy it.
Brody: He funneled some of the money from Medicare into “Obamacare,” but it basically does the same thing. It’s not quite the complete destruction Ryan wants.
Iris: That’s just not true on either count–
Brody: I really want to move on. Republicans could bore us to tears about Medicare costs for hours, but I want to talk about Ryan from a strategic point of view.
Iris: I’ve read a lot of your debates in the past and I notice that you really don’t give the people you’re arguing against a chance to say what they want to say or even have a real, in-depth debate.
Brody: You mean I don’t give Republicans a platform to lie. Look, I’m not going to change your mind about anything, because I’ve never changed a conservative’s mind about anything. They don’t exactly like new information. It doesn’t matter how many charts I show them about income inequality and Reaganomics or global warming or even evolution…they just aren’t going to see it. With Republicans, it’s very much “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
So I want to make these debates move as fast as possible so people don’t get too bored or bogged down reading them.
Iris: I don’t know what you want me to say about that.
Brody: I want you to tell me why you think Paul Ryan is a good strategic pick for Romney. Not why you like him, or think he’s the dreamiest, but how he will actually help Romney win this election, because I don’t think he does at all.
Iris: Well you mentioned him being “the dreamiest” which sounds like you’ve got a man crush–
Brody: Or I’m just able to process sarcasm–
Iris: But his being good looking certainly doesn’t hurt with women voters.
Brody: Women voters will vote for a man just because he’s good looking? How shallow [more sarcasm]
Iris: And men don’t? It certainly doesn’t hurt Sarah Palin or Nikki Haley that guys are interested in them.
Brody: No, it does not. I understand you actually would have preferred Nikki Haley as the running mate. We’ve talked before about you both being Indian-American…
Iris: It would send a strong message to some that the Republican Party is not just “Whites Only,” which I don’t believe, but I think it would really shut the Democrats up. Between Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, there are many prolific Indian Americans in the Republican Party, but liberals never want to talk about them because it messes up their racist narrative.
Brody: You know what else messes that up? Republicans being racist–
Iris: Oh, come on–
Brody: Today, as in this morning, there was a story about a radical rightwing group in Georgia, former soldiers that murdered one of their own and his girlfriend, all because they’re plotting a series of anti-government attacks, including the assassination of Barack Obama. This is just this morning…and the number of radical rightwing groups (nearly all of them with serious racist policies) has skyrocketed since Obama’s election. That’s not a coincidence.
Iris: The country is more polarized as a whole–
Brody: Because Republicans, specifically the Tea Party, have made it that way.
Iris: Obama has made it that way with his divisive rhetoric. What I was going to say before is that both sides have their extremists–
Brody: Yeah, except they really DON’T. Gabrielle Gifford’s shooter, the death threats poring in daily against Obama, the radical hate groups growing by the thousands–
Iris: And the New Black Panther Party–
Brody: Jesus Christ, a dozen fucking guys?
Iris: There was the so-called “Chic-Fil-A” shooter that came into the Family Research Council firing at people–
Brody: And the Sikh Temple shooter that killed five people just because he mistakenly thought they were Muslim. You have one guy holding a Chic-Fil-A bag and going into what the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group. Not quite the same thing.
Iris: The FRC is a lobbying firm, not a hate group.
Brody: Bigots can lobby too, and do. Even Ron Paul has accepted money from racist hate groups in the past.
Iris: Others, and I don’t agree with this, but others would argue that Islam is a hateful philosophy of bigotry–
Brody: That same argument could be made about Christianity–
Iris: I’m saying this cycle just goes around and around. What is a hate group? What isn’t? Who is more violent? These questions could go any way.
Brody: Well, I’ll say that if you were to walk into a “New Black Panther” Party gathering, you’d be a hell of a lot safer than if you walked into an Imperial Klans of America gathering. And I suspect you know that, even if you’re covering for your party here.
Iris: I’m not covering. I truly believe that this is an extremely polarized time that has brought out extremists on both sides.
Brody: People always try to see balance when balance is not there, if it benefits them, and don’t see it when it doesn’t. For example, would you say the Obama campaign has been dirtier than the Romney campaign?
Brody: Told you so.
Iris: I believe it’s been dirtier because it has been dirtier. They are really slandering Romney–
Brody: With the truth about him.
Iris: No. There are stories invented every day about Romney.
Brody: Here’s the problem, are you ready because here it is: Romney is a bad candidate. He only looked like a great candidate because Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann were standing next to him. The fact is that he is an out of touch half-billionaire. He did make a living off firing people. He does have a secretive, lucrative relationship with the Mormon Church–
Iris: Now who’s being bigoted? Mr. Romney’s faith is irrelevant to–
Brody: Well, he is actually a Mormon with a Mexican born father because his granddad fled to Mexico so he could practice Polygamist marriage. Unlike Obama who is just misrepresented as a Muslim and a Kenyan…even by Romney himself in that awful joke last week.
Iris: That was blown out of proportion. It was an awkward joke, and much better than Biden saying the banks will put us in chains. That was just irresponsible.
Brody: And extremely blown out of proportion because Obama doesn’t make the gaffs Romney does, so they have to find something to slander him with.
Iris: But if Romney is such a bad candidate, then why is he currently leading in the polls? You mentioned earlier about Paul Ryan, and since he chose him, the polls now favor Romney.
Brody: The race was always very close, and I still don’t think Ryan has really made any impact on those polls. Romney is capitalizing on the bad economy and the buzz going into his convention.
Iris: More excuses. But why is he leading if he’s such a bad candidate?
Brody: That’s the thing. Romney screams “dirty campaigning” because he has so much he won’t talk about. He has to lie about Obama while Obama only has to tell the truth about him. Romney has declared everything off limits. He doesn’t want to talk about his Mormon faith, he doesn’t want to talk about Bain Capital, he doesn’t want to talk about how he made all his money (firing people and hiding it in the Cayman Islands), he won’t release his taxes, and he won’t even talk much about his governorship of “Taxachusetts” because it’s a liberal state with high taxes and poor job creation under him, and, oh yeah, “Obamacare” is based off his plan. [What is so mad about Obamacare for, plagiarism?] Republicans just hate Obama, they don’t love Mitt Romney. And yet…and yet there’s a chance he could still win.
Iris: Really makes you look at how bad Obama has been for it to come to this.
Brody: It makes me look at how black Obama has been for it to come to this.
Iris: Come on, you think everyone that hates Obama is a racist?
Brody: Everyone that “hates” him? Well…
Iris: Everyone that doesn’t VOTE for him?
Brody: But you were right to call it hate, because the people that don’t like him, REALLY don’t like him. They hate his guts and have from day one.
Iris: A lot of people that voted for him the first time aren’t going to vote for him this time.
Brody: We’ll see. I suspect a few of the Obama 2004 states (like North Carolina, Virginia, and possibly Florida) will go for Romney—-all Southern states with race problems, just worth noting—-but the electoral map won’t really change that much between now and the last election. Obama won’t win as big as he did, but I think there’s at least a 55 percent chance he’ll win re-election…provided Romney doesn’t buy this race like he’s bought everything else.
Iris: Obama has plenty of money.
Brody: Romney has a clear fundraising advantage so far. Obama will be the first incumbent president to get out fundraised and spent by his challenger.
Iris: Again, that shows you how unpopular he is.
Brody: No, no, no, no, no, no, couldn’t be more wrong. Popularity has nothing to do with it in a Citizens United era when Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers can write one check and match the money all of Obama’s 2008 supporters did.
Iris: Will that be the excuse when you guys lose the senate and the White House?
Brody: No…voter suppression (via the Voter Rights Act) and outspending us three to one will be. And I think suppressing ten percent of our voters and carpet bombing independents with negative ads is a pretty great “excuse” for why our Democracy could get hijacked this November.