RNC BLOG – We Built This City on Government Subsidies

WASHINGTON – 7:17 p.m. EDT, House Speaker John Boehner is referencing that President Obama “you didn’t build that” line, easily evoking for me the story of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating, featured in a Romney ad, a company that relied on hundreds of thousands of dollars in government subsidy.

7:19 p.m. EDT – Crowd shots from C-SPAN, heavily bleaching on the women’s hair.

7:24 p.m. EDT – Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus seems like he’s awfully loud, considering that he has a mic.

7:28 p.m.. EDT – Mr. Priebus strongly hammering home the “you didn’t build that” as well, disparaging the infrastructure that comprises a mixed economy.

7:40 p.m. EDT – “Not up to government to save our country . . . up to us,” says Mia Love, Utah House candidate, in ad, further espousing the view that the government is not in fact representative of public will. Is the common law the will of mankind, as Robert Kennedy contended?

7:45 p.m. EDT – The United States, says Love, is the “last, best hope,” a country with an accelerating fall in human development index.

7:48 p.m. EDT – When actress Janine Turner describes an ever-growing government, she is trying to describe the federal government’s level of control, not the net number of federal and state employees as a percentage of the population, which is in fact in serious decline. (Source: Hamilton Project)

7:51 p.m. EDT – When RNC officials and spokespeople endorse “God” blessing America, are they really respecting the First Amendment, and the tacit separation of church/synagogue/whatever, which also protects polytheists and atheists?

8:04 p.m. EDT – Delaware Republican lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Sher Valenzuela touts that Mr. Romney understands the “human case for free enterprise,” but her own family’s business relied on “millions of dollars in secure government contracts.”

8:16 p.m. EDT – It’s interesting that “penalties” Ayotte discusses for a small-business owner, who might otherwise expand a business, others might describe as funds meant to provide a basic social floor for employees.

The senator also disparages the “rolling back” of “Obamacare” by a President Romney, while Mr. Romney’s book, “No Apologies,” in fact postulates a nationwide expansion of the widely disfavored individual mandate.

8:20 p.m. EDT – And here’s Jack Gilchrist, who no doubt desires to trumpet how he “built it.” He says the Obama administration is “killing us” and “won’t get out of our way.” However, as discussed by the New Hampshire Union Leader, his company received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds.

8:36 p.m. EDT – Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin reminds me once again how popular bleached hair is in the GOP female crowd. We’re adding the fashion tag now.

Gov. Fallin is remarking that the first oil well in Oklahoma was not subsidized by public capital. According to a 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute, between 2002 and 2008, the government subsidized oil drilling and exploration to the tune of $7.1 billion.

8:44 p.m. EDT – In the years that it Bob Sakata characterizes President Obama’s claim that he didn’t build his own farming business as “completely nonsense,” yet Sakata received almost $80,000 in Department of Agriculture subsidies to get it off the ground.

8:59 p.m. EDT – There is the biggest of all cheers yet for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Gov. Walker says we need to elect Mr. Romney and Representative Paul Ryan (WI) to “save America.”

9:09 p.m. EDT – Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval expresses pride in Nevada’s role in putting Abraham Lincoln in the White House. It is an interesting historical footnote that Communist Manifesto co-author Karl Marx would write to President Lincoln to congratulate him on his win.

9:15 p.m. EDT – Road sign builder, Phil Archuletta, who makes signs for the Forest Service and a variety of federal agencies, takes the stage, ambiguously a part of the “we built it” agenda.

“[The Obama] administration is putting us out of business,” says Mr. Archuletta, referring to their denial of subsidy to his busines, saying that he is “barely hanging on with orders from the state of New Mexico” thanks to Republican Governor Susana Martinez.

9:22 p.m. EDT – Mr. Santorum conspicuously dodging a reference to his Italian communist heritage.

He says that welfare reform didn’t work precisely because the “welfare rolls were cut in half.” It’s unclear at this point from his statements how seriously he is implying that cutting welfare rolls unto itself actually spurred job creation.

Mr. Santorum says that America is the “greatest country in the world.”

9:48 p.m. EDT – Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz espouses his parents’ involvement in the, for decades, massively subsidized petroleum industry.

9:51 p.m. EDT – Former Representative Artur Davis (D-AL) knocks the individual mandate, endorsed by the conservative Heritage Foundation in the early ’90s

9:58 p.m. EDT – Mr. Davis disparages the prospect of the Democratic Party, at their Charlotte convention, showing off their most famous presidents, while every president since the New Deal, Republican and Democrat, oversaw much higher taxes on the top 1 percent and 2 percent. In disagreeing with those rates, the modern Republican Party engages in the most unpopular part of its platform — on which it has distanced itself even from its voting base.

10:01 p.m. EDT – In pushing voter ID laws, comparing them to the necessity of carrying ID onto an airplane, Governor Nikki Haley (SC) overstates how common voter fraud is, and understates how alarming, easily exploited not requiring ID to board a plane, would be. Plane trips are and should be a relatively luxury compared to suffrage. Citizens with the economic wherewithal to afford plane trips are more likely to have the time and resources to more conveniently obtain state ID.

Fascinatingly, Gov. Haley calls President Obama a “mack daddy,” apparently a reference to virility — fascinating because he has so many fewer children than Mr. Romney.

10:15 p.m. EDT – It sounds like Ann Romney is slightly caving to Democratic spokesperson Hilary Rosen’s criticisms from months ago, when she contended that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life. In the prepared remarks, Mrs. Romney references “the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy.”

The calculation here is to improve Mr. Romney’s lagging numbers with single women. Even Rick Santorum extended a hand to the “heroism” to single mothers per se.

10:21 p.m. EDT – Also, from Ann Romney’s prepared remarks (but as she more or less said it), she says her father “moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan. There, he started a business — one he built himself, by the way. ” However even her father took advantage of the government dime to expand his business and expertise, helping to design the landing crafts for D-Day.

10:36 p.m. EDT – Seemingly channeling Obama’s own terminology, New Jersey Governor Christie calls his own speaking gig “improbable” due to his being a Republican from a relatively Democratic-leaning state. But in fact that is one of the main reasons for his degree of influence and certainly his speaking position.

10:50 p.m. EDT – Potentially confounding Gov. Christie’s comparison to other developed countries’ relatively successful educational systems is that most of those other countries have relatively robust teachers’ unions and pensions.

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