A party nominating convention is intended to showcase who you are and what you are as a candidate and party leading to a national election, but it is now clear that the GOP has an “identity crisis."
The face that the GOP will display at the convention in Tampa is not the same as they touted a few months ago and drastically different from their persona in 2010. The Republican Party has so many multiple personalities that they make Sybil from the 1976 movie appear relatively well adjusted.
To begin with… where’s the Tea Party? It is obvious from the GOP convention speakers list that the Tea Party is now persona-non-grata. Where is the Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin that “fired up the conservative base “at the last GOP convention? Maybe this time she will be busy firing up her wood stove for the coming Alaskan winter.
Palin will not be the only Tea Party star absent from the GOP limelight. Where’s Michelle Bachmann? Is she too radical or just too crazy for the new Romney/Ryan Republican Party? Perhaps Michelle Bachmann is absent because while campaigning for her own nomination she referred to Romney a little too often as a RINO, Republican in name only.
What about other Tea Party frontrunners like pizza magnate Herman Cain or Texas Governor Rick Perry, neither of whom will be allowed to get near the podium. Let’s not forget Tea Party Birther champion Donald Trump who will also be MIA from the Republican Platform.
So what’s the deal, why has the Romney/Ryan ticket excluded the Tea Party? Well actually the answer is pretty simple; despite all the claims of grassroots support the Tea Party does not appeal to independent voters, and those voters will play a major role in the coming election drama.
Now I have my fundamental differences with the Tea Party movement but I must give them credit, grudging though it may be, for one thing and that is they are consistent. The Tea Party knows what they want and they are sticking to it, but Romney, he is the “Teflon Candidate." Romney stands for nothing and everything all at the same time, whatever way the political wind blows he flip-flops with it. Romney has always been pragmatic in both his private and political life and he is not going to change now.
The Tea Party is being excluded from the GOP convention for the very same reason they came to prominence in the first place, they fire up the conservative base, but the conservative base will not win a national election as the McCain/Palin ticket proved in 2008. Both Romney and Ryan realize that as their Republican Party moves into the future they need independent voters more than they need the Tea Party. If Romney could he would outsource the Tea Party to India or China but they don’t want them either.
Now Ron Paul is a different story but none the less Romney has silenced him too. Instead of allowing Ron Paul his rightful place at the Republican convention table Romney has instead delegated his entire campaign to the few moments of a video tribute but no live address. All that campaigning by Ron Paul supporters and all those earned delegate votes now mean nothing at the hands of Romney.
I think it is important to remember that Romney has always been about perception and not reality. Concentrating on perception allows you to erase your own past actions as well as those of the political party that you represent. Hence we will not see any trace of President George W. Bush or his VP Dick Cheney at the Republican National Convention. In the eyes of Romney they represent an unpleasant realty that he is trying desperately to hide from the American people.
Bush and Cheney represent failure, nearly a decade of Republican policy failure. Their very presence would rekindle unpleasant memories of war, torture and economic collapse, a reality that the entire Republican Party is running from as much as they are running against President Obama. When Romney and Ryan talk about looking forward it is because the Republican past is a disaster for the American Middle Class, women’s rights and equal opportunity in America.
Romney wants to portray himself as competent, but that is just a perception, the reality is that the GOP and their leaders have repeatedly brought the United States to the brink of economic and social collapse. But like the Russians erased the memory of Stalin, the Republicans think they can also erase their own failure, this election will determine if they succeeded in that endeavor.
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