Here's my major takeaway so far from the Republican convention: the mean and unnecessary pettiness that comes through every single speaker's theme, except for Condoleeza Rice, who actually gave a speech worth listening to, even if you don't agree with her.
The theme for Night 2 was "We Can Change It", but as far as I could see, there weren't any actual ideas for changing anything so much as bashing the change that Democrats have brought about. Change like stopping the economy from dropping into another Great Depression, and actually doing something about the abysmal health care system, student loans, and getting us out of these godforsaken wars. But that wasn't on their minds. No, this was a night to be mean and petty and point fingers at us and others.
For all of Republicans' big talk about the big serious problems facing our country, they didn't spare the nasty little personal attacks every chance they got. I mashed up a few for you here. From Tim Pawlenty's Biden-bashing to Mike Huckabee's uncalled-for comment about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, no one was spared.
The unbearable meanness of conservatives spills from petty personal attacks on their opponents over into abject hatred for people who don't agree with them, and it's ugly. Any impartial observer would have to be scratching their heads wondering how someone can be talking about public policy one minute and slapping their opponents around the next for daring to have a day off from time to time!
That same impartial observer might also wonder how it is that the entire audience can rise to their feet to applaud the inevitable deaths that will result from denying health care access to people who aren't perfectly healthy. In another time and place, that decision might have been called something ending with -cide. Today it gets a standing ovation. Watch Paul Ryan smugly tell 50 million or so Americans they can die, and die quickly.
I shudder to think what people on the outside looking in must think.