One of the smartest decisions the Republicans made for this year's national convention was to add a mystery speaker to their lineup for the final night Thursday. Even through Fox News is already reporting that the speaker is Clint Eastwood (an old, rich white guy who pretty much defines the Republican stereotype), the suspense surrounding the speaker has already done enough to shift the public's attention away from what voters should care about.
Viewers tuning into the RNC Thursday night will probably see Eastwood and GOP nominee Mitt Romney deliver another Paul Ryanesque performance for the American public. The speeches will be low on specifics and high on emotional posturing, things like "Obama is a threat" without any reasoning to back it up are sure to be said. Hopefully, Thursday's speakers won't jump right into outright lies, like Ryan did.
If the RNC organizers wanted to delve into the party's real beliefs instead of having Romney go up there and, as the Onion put it, "Avoid Mentioning Personal, Professional, Religious, Political Life," they would have had no trouble finding voices to show how the party really feels on the issues.
Todd Akin - Republicans and Democrats both say dumb things, but it doesn't seem the pinko-Commie-Muslim-lefties have as much trouble when it comes to shamelessly bashing women. We all know what Akin said by now -- that women can't get pregnant if they're "legitimately" raped, whatever that psychobabble means -- but it was still a bit surprising when the potential VP didn't exactly shy away from those words.
During a recent interview (that you can watch here) Ryan said he encouraged Akin to quit his Missouri race, but stressed to the reporter: "I'm joining the Romney-Ryan ticket, and the president makes policy and the president -- in this case the future president, Mitt Romney -- has exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother, which is a vast improvement over where we are now."
Saying that's a "vast improvement" implies that Ryan would be in favor of removing those exceptions. By suggesting he thinks a woman should bear a child that was fathered by either her rapist or family member is hardly distancing himself from Akin's backward, uneducated comments. Based on his reaction to the question, Ryan doesn't even seem to favor abortion in the event that the mother's life needs to be saved, which should say it all about his "pro-life" leanings.
Dan Cathy - When the Chick-fil-A president admitted his business was "guilty as charged" when it comes to being anti-gay, he set off a firestorm of controversy. But at least he owned up to his bigotry, unlike too many other Republicans who just won't come out and say it. The GOP has turned into a party that's a vehicle of the religious right, more interested in having a tantrum over the inevitability of gay marriage than focusing on the principles that have made America great.
In a few short years, the pictures of lines outside Chick-fil-A stores on Mike Huckabee's "CFA Appreciation Day" will look uncannily like the old ones of Southern segregationists. Only in the current Republican Party would a Fox News host encourage voters to go to a fast-food chain to combat what he considers a threat to the health of a nation.
Joe Arpaio - Arpaio is the Republican sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., (Phoenix) who's made his name by describing his "Tent City" jail as a concentration camp and limiting inmates to two daily meals. He's publicity-hungry and even made his prisoners wear pink while working on a chain gang. Arpaio has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for admittedly profiling Latinos as criminals, often referring to them in interviews as "illegals."
Even without Arpaio, the Republican Party doesn't have the best record on immigration. Despite showcasing Latino supporters and potential voters during the RNC coverage Wednesday night, the GOP previously blocked the DREAM Act, which was designed to allow young immigrants who have completed two years in the military or finished four years of college to temporarily stay in the country for a six-year period.
Arpaio is a personification of the Republican Party's difficulties with race and civil rights for minorities. Still, he only won a spot in this conversation by beating out Frank Szabo, a candidate running for a sherriff position in New Hampshire who said he'd okay the use of deadly force to stop an abortion, according to Think Progress. Pro-life, indeed.
Then again, there's always the rumored Ronald Reagan hologram to show how the party has failed to develop over the years.