Las Vegas Sun

September 1, 2014

Currently: 104° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Sun Editorial:

Can America do better?

Republicans use a divisive, dubious campaign to introduce Mitt Romney as their candidate

Another view?

View more of the Las Vegas Sun's opinion section:

Editorials - the Sun's viewpoint.

Columnists - local and syndicated writers.

Letters to the editor - readers' views.

Have your own opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

Among the most notable themes of last week’s Republican National Convention was the GOP’s willingness to stretch the truth. Of course, exaggeration and twisting facts in a campaign are nothing new, but the Republicans exceeded expectations last week.

Speaker after speaker tried to paint President Barack Obama as an abject failure and a “divider” who has polarized the country, ignoring the role their party has played. Over the past four years, the Republicans have been tireless in their efforts to defeat and frustrate the president and his plans, even when it blocked progress in the economic recovery. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Obama’s promises turned into “disappointment and division.”

He and his party can complain about Obama and the Democrats, but it was none other than respected political scientist Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute who fingered the GOP for the bulk of the problems in Washington.

To borrow a line from the convention: They built it.

But the Republicans weren’t about facts nor were they going to take responsibility.

In his acceptance speech, Romney created a hazy fairy tale to cover up his party’s actions.

“Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president,” Romney said. “That president was not the choice of our party, but Americans always come together after elections.”

We must have missed that kumbaya moment when the Republicans turned from a hard-fought campaign and, as the loyal opposition, extended a hand to the president, pledging to find ways to work together for the good of the country.

Romney surely missed it too as he was busy plotting his own presidential run.

Of course, the nation missed it because it didn’t happen. Republicans refused to work with Obama despite his attempts to engage them.

The GOP points out that the Democrats had control of Congress for the first two years of Obama’s term, but Republican lawmakers refused to negotiate or work with the Democrats. In the Senate, the rules give power to the minority party to block legislation and appointees. And Republican lawmakers used all the power they had to effectively disrupt Congress. Remember, it was Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, who said very publicly the ultimate goal for his party was to make Obama a one-term president.

So much for coming together for the good of the country.

The Republicans’ scorched-earth offensive hasn’t let up, particularly since they won control of the House of Representatives and embarked on an all-or-nothing approach intent on vilifying the president.

During the convention, the Republicans pressed on with a laundry list of dubious allegations about the president and his administration. Romney said that “unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.” As the Associated Press reported, that’s not quite the case. Although some taxes may increase under Obama, he has worked to cut taxes on the middle class. Meanwhile, Romney’s budget plan would allow certain tax cuts to expire, meaning many lower and middle class families would pay more.

But let’s not let the facts get in the way of Romney’s narrative. He claimed the president went on an “apology tour” after being elected, even though that is patently untrue. And he said the president was going to gut the military when it was his own party that not only agreed to the cuts but allowed them to happen by refusing to make a budget deal. Romney should know that — his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, has been a key part of the Republican obstruction in Congress.

And Ryan did a masterful job of dicing the truth in his acceptance speech Wednesday night. For example, he blamed Obama for the downgrade of the nation’s credit rating when it was Republicans in Congress who engineered that. And he tried to put the blame on Obama for a shuttered General Motors plant in his state. Never mind that the automaker announced its plans nearly eight months before Obama took office.

There were plenty of other falsehoods repeated by the candidates, as well as a host of other Republicans, that have been debunked by fact checkers.

The Republicans have said this is a campaign about ideas and choices; they say their ideas are better. If that’s the case, why aren’t they talking specifically about their ideas instead of playing fast and loose with the truth, pandering to the lowest common denominator?

The Republicans’ divisive, disingenuous rhetoric isn’t fitting for a presidential candidate who pledges to unite the country.

To borrow another line from the convention: America deserves better than this.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 16 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. The tone & tenor of the 'R' convention...

    Shameful.

    The gang of 'I, ME, MINE!' made one thing perfectly clear at their little soiree;

    they want an immediate return to the EXACT SAME SET OF POLICIES that led us down the road to economic disaster in the first place, and SHAME on those that don't!

    Those less fortunate ought to suffer quietly and leave the rich folk alone!

    It's unconscionable that the homeless, hungry & sick, along with the struggling mass of our former middle-class, have their collective hand out for a help-up...

    'Pull your own selves up by your bootstraps! It's the American Way!'

    We don't need Mannequin Man Mitt to 'lead us out of the darkness'...

    we need a continuation of the concerted effort to move forward in our economic recovery led by President Obama, in concert with a house & senate that works together to implement well-reasoned, balanced legislation, not the one that worked SO VERY HARD to 'prevent Barack Obama from becoming a 2-term President', as has been the singular, massive failure of the current 'R'-led Congress.

    'Well, fine then! We'll just hold our breath for 4 years (like so many little children that didn't get their way) until we turn blue in the face & can get rid of this guy!'

    That has been the plan since January 20, 2009.

    That is anti-American to the Nth.

    Tell THAT to your empty chair.

  2. 1. The "super committee" knew sequestration was the default option if they did not secure a budget deal. They failed and every Republican voted against the proposed budget plan. All the GOP members of the committee are signatories to Grover's little pledge, so the failure was a foregone conclusion.

    2. TARP was passed by Congress, not Obama. Without congressional approval there would have been no TARP. The president wouldn't have gotten the bill on his desk unless Congress passed it in the first place. They did.

    3. In GM's words, the Janesville plant is on "standby", and can be reopened if GM decides economic conditions warrant it. The government did not shut down the plant, GM did. It was a business decision THEY made, like any other business decision.

    4. "Gut the military"? Really? As Jim DeMint stated, Republican "fingerprints are all over sequestration". Now we have GOP senators and representatives traveling to military bases with their "sky is falling" rhetoric about draconian cuts that they agreed to in the first place. Let sequestration begin (and it will).

  3. There is a comprehensive plan to save Medicare by Ryan. The President took $776 Billion from Medicare for the Health Care Initiative. The reason the President did that is to bankrupt Medicare so that all Americans are forced into a single government reimbursement program. Meidicare, in its present form will not be solvent in another six years. I will probably vote for Romney because the alternative is worse and I know what I have with the President and I don't like it.
    I'm rolling the dice.

  4. The writer has it right! The righties who so far have responded, need to do their proper research, and just not repeat faux news. Emma, The number is $716b, not 776. And that money has extendended the life of Medicare by eight years. By the way it came from the insurers and the Hospitals. The hospitals gain by having fewer people not paying for service(Known to R's as freeloaders). The insurer's gain by having more policyholders, and Medicare gains $716b. The Pres. didn't apolgize to the world, he enhanced the World's view and opinion of the U.S. Again to the R's, quit complaining and propose something something intelligent and with substance.

  5. What BULL! NOthing, nothing could be more divisive than the campaign war waged by the bigots on the left.

    The Suns Babinski syndrome is yet again prominently displayed for all to see.

  6. It's good to hear and read responsible individuals acknowledge what we all know to be true. The Republican Convention did a disservice to the America public, sending out distortions and misleading statements. In some aspect, this is an assault on the America press. Trying to confuse voters, especially undecided voters, to question authority and only listen to extreme statements.

    Bravo to the Sun Editorial, for being an honest broker on this issue of candidates distorting facts and spreading misinformation, as we are seeing and hearing from Republicans and the Romney campaign.

  7. Re Heretic. Any business has the right to close a particular store/plant/factory any time they want without declaring bankruptcy. If I own 15 7-11's, and choose to close one or more, I don't have to declare bankruptcy to do so. If the rest of my stores are viable, the business continues; same as it ever was. Let's recall the facts, the plant closed BEFORE the president was in office. So if you want to blame him go ahead. That doesn't make it true. Your boy Mittens would have let the entire auto industry fail. The same way he ran his crooked Bain Capital scam.

    Re BRASS. Look up the word bigot, and then tell everyone how the word applies to the article.

    Re Future. The comment on TARP was meant to show political illiterates, such as yourself, the separation of powers defined in the Constitution. The point being, there was no presidential fiat involved. It was a bill, passed by both houses of Congress, sent to the President, who signed it into law. What part of that don't you get? What trip to the White House to pound on the desk are you referring too? If Obama was in office, he didn't have to take a trip to his own residence. Sometimes it is hard to sift through the typos and rambling BS you consistently write on this blog. Take a pill and vote for your boy Mittens and his sock puppet, lying running dog RyAYN. Feel better?

  8. Lyin Ryan didn't lie when he said that he ran a marathon in under 4 hours.

    Then he said he mispoke . He didnt mislead. He out and out lied.

    These phonies will lie and lie and lie till they reach dam lies.

    The only thing worse than a. Liar are those that fall for that nonsense.

    Give us a break with your lyin Ryan who voted for every unbudgeted bush effort an then with a brave baby face tells us that he is a fiscal conservative just like his boss who is a severe conservative.

  9. Re Janmara1. So true. It is time to bring back the not so politically correct word: LIAR. Mittens and RyAYN are both congenital liars, and have been their entire political careers. I love the word "Liar". It says it like it is. It should be used much more often, in political discourse. "Less than truthful", "Ambiguous", "stretching the truth", "Disingenuous" are all synonyms for LYING. Let's call a liar a liar. It has an aggressive tone to it, and it doesn't flinch from the truth. Political candidates should be called out ALL THE TIME, when they LIE!

  10. kepi,

    If you are saying that instead of $778B the correct figure is $716B then yes, that was the number cited by the CBO.

    If, on the other hand, you are saying that nothing was done to Medicare, then you should do your homework. Granted, the actual action taken can be described in various ways depending upon what side of the aisle the describer is on.

    But there is no dispute that the CBO did say there will be some form of reduction in Medicare payments (most to hospitals and insurers) of $716B over 10 years.

  11. If presidential elections were decided strictly on the basis of resumes, Gov Romney would topple President Obama easily. Romney has private sector business and leadership experience that beat the president's teacher lounge and community activist roles in a walk. And public sector service as well that outscores the president's thinly written and lightweight background.

    But presidential elections are decided as much by unquantifiable factors too like voters' remorse and restiveness. Not to mention fundraising ability, and the power of persuasion. Here again, Romney shows he's matured and evolved as an aspiring occupant of the White House in 2012 from 2008. Beating the incumbent in these areas even with the president's 4 years of on the job training.

    The unequivocal answer to the Sun's editorial question is a resounding "yes." America can and will do better with Romney-Ryan in 2012.

    CarmineD

  12. Is the letter writer suggesting everything Obama has said in the last 5 years ( 1 year campaigning) is all truth and fact, that he has done everything he promised? NO? of course it is someone else s' fault!
    What happened to the BUCK STOPS HERE? He should take the blame like a man and tell us what he intends to do to fix it. Unfortunately he is not as strong a person as other presidents have been and with little experience in the outside world it is no wonder he can not get anything done, but wait, he did get a health care bill passed and made some stimulus bills pass. He just can't run the country.

  13. All nations can do better, and do when fair media is in play but it's rare today. I suggest that the path to stability, harmony and trust will be charted by those inspired by fair media, that peoples champion and conscience of nations holding history of inspiring citizens to gather overwhelming public opinion in order to force needed changes!

  14. When you have a past President G.W.Bush (2000,2008) who nearly destroyed this country single handed.The Republicans have no platform to work from,so lies and fabrications are what they now use as their platform.Unfortunatly this will not work as American voter's are to smart to fall for this,and it will show up at the voting booth, with their defeat (Republicans) in Nov.

  15. The plant closed in the summer of 2009: http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/30/ryans-...

  16. also note, Dems COULD have compromised on a budget... they didn't.

    Compromise is a two way street... compromise does not mean "Agree with Brian Greenspun"