RNC 2012: Expect the Usual Sound and Fury

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(The Root) — When the Grand Old Party gathers this week in Tampa, Fla., during the peak of hurricane season, the politicians' sound and the fury on the inside of the Convention Center may well match the wind and the fury of tropical storm Isaac on the outside.

For three days, one blowhard Republican after the next will take to the national podium, attributing all the nation's ills to President Obama while extolling presidential wannabe Mitt Romney as the man with the plan to cure all.


Almost all the accusations will be predictable. Almost none will be all that true.

Thanks to the unrelenting efforts of the right-wing echo chamber, where talking points are passed around like the cold virus in a nursery school, we will have heard it all before.

For the past four years, the echo chamber — a cabal of extreme-right media, 1-percenters and politicians — has had plenty to say about our 44th president. None of it's been good. As one malicious message after the next was transmitted from Fox Cable News to Newsmax to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity to one Republican politician after the other, it has been mind-numbingly repetitious. In the right-wing narrative, our nation's first black president is always The Other, someone or something different from true-blooded Americans. There's Obama the socialist. Obama the foreign-born. Obama the Muslim.

And then there's Obama, "the brother from another planet." As Speaker of the House John Boehner charged as he was interviewed in January by a small group of reporters, "We just come from two different planets."


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed the same sentiment and language a couple of months ago when Fox News quoted President Obama as saying, "After losing jobs for 25 months in a row our businesses have actually created jobs for 27 months in a row; 4.3 million jobs in all," by responding, "Well, the president must be on another planet."

We can expect more of the same signifying next week at the Republican National Convention. Besides more not-so-veiled references to the president's otherness, there should be plenty of mentions of his "failed record" and how unemployment has remained above 8 percent throughout his presidency. We'll hear about the national debt and deficit and how America is on the verge of becoming Greece any day now, how the debt will burden our children and our children's children if left in the hands of the current administration.


We will also hear, although perhaps not quite as bluntly, echoes of what McConnell told the National Journal's Major Garrett a couple of years ago: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

The Republican's so-stated one-item to-do list will probably be as truthful as it gets at the GOP national meet-up. Other than that, look for the not-so-loyal (to the nation) opposition to speak in specifics-free, vague generalities about what they'll do once they've reclaimed the White House. There will be plenty of talk about encouraging the job creators (by not asking them to pay their fair share), but no mention of why so few jobs were created when the Republicans were in power during the Bush era.


In reaction to Obama's "you didn't build that" speech from last month, in which the president pointed out that there are publicly funded systems in place that assist successful businesses, Tuesday night's theme in Tampa is "We Built This." We'll hear first-person testimonials from small businessmen about how they did it all on their own.

But, you can bet $10,000 that you won't hear Romney's 2002 Winter Olympics opening-night speech in which he told the athletes, "You didn't get here solely on your own power."


Nor will we be hearing any speeches bragging about the GOP's successes in its scheme to suppress the vote to make it much more difficult for African Americans to exercise one of their most precious rights in November.

Also absent will be any mention of Obama's first two years in office, which arguably were the most impressive of any president since Lyndon Baines Johnson launched the Great Society. So you won't be hearing about the president's far-reaching consumer protections on the credit-card industry, the successes of his economic stimulus plan or his success in keeping GM from the brink of bankruptcy. You won't hear about his executive order that assures Historically Black Colleges and Universities will receive $850 million in federal funds over the next decade.


Don't hold your breath waiting to hear a speech bragging about how the Republicans have blocked as many measures as they could to assure the president's failure — even to the extent of voting against bills they had once proposed pre-Obama.

You'll hear how the United States lost its AAA rating last year under Obama, but you won't hear we were downgraded because House Republicans played politics with the debt ceiling and refused to raise revenues.


No. You'll hear them talk about a bitter, partisan president. You'll likely hear, when Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and presidential candidate, hosts a series of public policy workshops for delegates at the convention, a repeat of his characterization of Obama as "the food-stamp" president.

And when the GOP convention ends three days later, you'll probably find that you're still hungry for the truth.


Cyber columnist Monroe Anderson is a veteran Chicago journalist who has written signed op-ed-page columns for both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and executive-produced and hosted his own local CBS TV show. He was also the editor of Savoy Magazine. Follow him on Twitter.

Cybercolumnist Monroe Anderson is a veteran Chicago journalist who has written signed op-ed-page columns for both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and executive-produced and hosted his own local CBS TV show. He was also the editor of Savoy Magazine. Follow him on Twitter.

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