Can the Republicans top 2008, when one of their pages later spent $87,000 compiling guns and bombs in an army plot to assassinate Obama?
They will certainly try. We have already seen they have tried to sabotage the economy and organize a capital strike against the American economy (inspired no doubt by "Atlas Shrugged") to get Obama out of the White House.
We have seen a campaign based entirely on mendacity where they have tried to hide their agenda from the public, not because they are ashamed of it, but because the people are nobodies who wouldn't understand and can't be trusted. It is highly probable that it is the Republicans who have asked the networks to limit convention press coverage this year, because Republicans speaking at the convention have a history of saying embarrassing things, plus they want to minimize the Democratic convention coverage, where the president might be able to make up for some of his campaign's financial deficit with free publicity.
Their most effective tool so far has been misleading emails sent out, blaming the Bush 's administration's failures on the weak Democratic Congress of his last two years, faking the statistics which actually show the worst came before the Democrats won a tenuous victory. They have not done a similar analysis for the Republican Congress elected in 2010. This has been effective because it was sent out on private email trees and therefore beyond the reach of fact correction by the opposing campaign.
It has really come to this. They can only succeed when an opposing point of view is suppressed. The convention, in contrast, promises to pull out all the stops in telling lies about Europe in an orgy of Faux-Patriotism that will nonetheless fail to obscure the fact that these people view their fellow Americans as their biggest enemy, not any foreign power.
Romney told a series of huge whoppers when he claimed to have experienced hardship on his mission in France, not having toilets or showers and baths (in Paris, in the mid 1960s!).
In truth the contraption he describes was a toilet. And he lived in a mansion furnished with stained glass and crystal chandeliers worth approximately $12 million
Like his charitable giving example that was just a business deal, Romney's attempts to seem like a regular guy are so ill-chosen they just reinforce the notion that he is not.
But in this case, he is counting on more than that. He was counting on American ignorance of Europe.
Since 1945 France has experienced a greater percent of economic growth than the US. Only 20% of Americans own passports, and probably fewer than 10% have ever been to Europe. If they had been to Europe, they would see that the French live well. Their unemployment is no worse than ours, they get lots of vacation, good medical care, and retire at 60, all without bankrupting their country or harming their private sector. This year they elected a socialist government that wants a 75% marginal tax rate on the rich.
Romney thinks it is imperative he prevent the U.S. from doing even half as much for its people. Yet if the people ever saw France, they would demand the same rights and privileges because the French way has worked better for more people than the way promoted by American conservatives. Indeed, the European Union as a whole, including all its poor countries and Greece, employs as high percentage of its population as the United States does, while Canada employs considerably more. In none of these countries other than Greece is a quarter of the population in need of food aid during a typical year as is happening now in the USA. In none of these countries do annual layoffs total anything like the 10-20 million the United States has been experiencing every year. 43% of Americans have gone a week without cash, which does not reflect their plastic so much as their lack of income.
Americans have been bamboozled by Romney's class, yet the Republicans are counting on the Democrats not being so stupid as to try to defend Europe by enlightening the ignorant. That would be unpatriotic. That would mean the liberals are being "led" by Europe if we dare to copy some of their ideas which have proved to work.
It's not clear to me why the Republicans think these arguments play with the public, except that they think the public are stupid and worthless. I don't think the public is, but they have seemed to miss one thing: they have not understood the contempt in which Romney and the Republican hierarchy hold them.
Will the Republican party ever stop creating terrorists and become the home of actual patriots? One thing is sure. Not in 2012. Not in Tampa.