Republican National Convention Party at The Flip Side

Put on this party hat and crack a warm Steel Reserve. It’s the RNC on MSNBC! Take me to heaven, Ed and Rachel.

Chris Matthews gets us started by dropping an adorable Spielberg reference: “(It’s) like E.T. phoning home. When Romney’s in a room with Ryan, his heart starts to blow- to glow. He seems to wake up in a way he never does when he’s not around.” That’s how everyone acts around Ryan, dummy. Look at him.

Chris kicks the coverage to Andrea Mitchell, who becomes mortified within moments: “This is definitely a Ryan crowd. This is the base and they’re about to do the national anthem, so we have the color guard. And I think, uh…”

She drops to a whisper, because Sen. Scott Brown’s daughter has begun singing the anthem. “… I think it’s hard for us to talk about this, during the national anthem. Uh. Chris. But. If you could come back to me in a just a moment, let’s take a quick break.”

Isn’t that perfect? Can you picture the Republicans who hate MSNBC standing around watching a reporter from that channel talk into her microphone during the “Star Spangled Banner”? She was terrified in that moment.

Ezra Klein will talk over the anthem. He can do that, because he’s in a TV studio. “Pretty much everything you think you know about Paul Ryan’s budget is wrong.” He says Ryan’s budget doesn’t lower taxes or cut the deficit. It barely touches Medicare, for old people, but it takes a huge bite from Medicaid, for poor people (which is not politically difficult). It leaves social security alone and then shreds everything else, like veterans benefits and education. Can he cut enough of those extra services to make up for massive tax cuts to multimillionaires? Ryan says yes, without providing a specific.

Laurence O’Donnell says we’ve never had a candidate for president who exploits tax shelters like Romney. No regular people have money stashed on islands to avoid paying taxes, Laurence said. He wrote the epic debate episode of “The West Wing,” so I’m gonna choose to believe everything he says.

Mitch McConnell is scary looking.

These MSNBC guys really do get fired up over Republicans. Chris Hayes is pissed about Rand Paul’s speech. “Here’s a guy that says ‘The reason my ancestors came to America, it is a place you can be judged on merit and not who you are. This is the son of a United States congressman who has no plausible case that he would be a United States senator BUT FOR THE FACT THAT HE HAS INHERITED ALL OF THIS PRIVILEGE IN THIS LAST NAME, talking about what a great meritocratic experiment America is. This person who was born on third base – like Mitt Romney, like George Bush – appropriating the story of other people’s social mobility to make his case for why America is a meritocracy as he stands up there, completely without acknowledgement of his own privilege. Remarkable.” That you said that so well is remarkable, bro. Way to talk in capital letters.

The Reverend Al Sharpton thinks this is “a 21st-century version of the Civil War all over again.” He does not like the state’s-rights argument, because Civil Rights came through federal action. “If someone breaks in my house and wants to turn the clock back, I don’t care if they’re 12 years old or 70.” Rand Paul is a Young Gun, along with fellow Rough Riders Eric Cantor and dreamy veepstakes winner Paul Ryan. Get on board.

Ron Paul’s fans have been booing Republicans like maniacs.

W. didn’t show, but he sent a video tribute to himself, with Laura saying “I’m so proud of George.” H.W. talks in the video, too, about his son: “Integrity. Honesty. There was never any kind of scandal around his presidency. And I think we forget the importance of that. They’ll remember him for being a good, honest president who got a lot of things done, but the thing I take pride in is his integrity.” Barbara cries. Bush segues to an endorsement of Romney. Slow piano music has been playing over this whole thing.

Karl Rove disciple Steve Schmidt (played by Woody Harrelson in the awesome HBO Sarah-Palin slam “Game Change”) is an MSNBC pundit now, and he takes issue with Ed Schultz saying W. lied about why we went to war with Iraq. The way these guys debate each other on-the-spot, live, is pretty cool. Schmidt says the notion Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction “is complete and total nonsense.” Schmidt’s cohosts take turns yelling at him. Hayes is rattling off death-toll figures and says “There still has to be accountability in the basic conscience and soul of the people that oversaw that, whether or not you think it was deliberate.”

McCaaaaaaaaain!!!! Mitt makes me actually miss John McCain. He calls Romney “my friend” at the start of his speech, but check out this line from Game Change (the book): McCain routinely called Romney an ‘*sshole’ and a ‘f*cking phoney.’  Guiliani opined, ‘that guy will say anything.’  Huckabee complained, ‘I don’t think Romney has a soul.’

I added those asterisks, because they make it more funny.

Did anyone see the new “Bourne” flick? This reporter from The Guardian (a newspaper in England) gets sniped by the CIA in a busy terminal because he was getting too close to finding out about our super-soldier brainwashing program. The Washington Post, meanwhile, happily helps the American government cover up its killings by running planted, made-up stories. Lesson!

McCain wants us to go to war with Syria. Bad.

Are we ready for a robust debate in this country on military intervention and foreign policy? The question is posed, but duh.

New Mexico’s Gov. Susana Martinez is yet to speak, but she’s on at some point tonight. She got higher billing than the last presidential nominee. 505! Take a hike, prisoner of war! We got demographics to target.

The way Republicans attack Obama as a big spender comes back on them with these MSNBC guys. They take turns making points about how much bigger the deficit got under Bush 2. Says Chris Hayes: “They were just running the country for six years, and then the last two (years) Democrats took over the House. How did they run the country during that period of time? It’s not an abstract, theoretical question. They actually ran government, and they did not shrink government. Government as a percentage of GDP, the federal government as a percentage of GDP, did not go down. They want to frame this as this massive ideological choice between smaller government and bigger government. It is about who the government will benefit. I guarantee you, if they are running the show, we’re gonna see massive deficits again.”

The Founding Fathers “lived under the boot of big-government,” Mike Huckabee tells the horde, apparently cool now with Romney’s lack of a soul. Like we have her now? And what does Obama do? “He tells people of faith that they have to bow their knees to the god of government.” Oh yeah, I forgot about that time he did that. Obama also finds “human life to be disposable and expendable, even beyond the womb.” Beyond the womb?

Condoleezza Rice kills it, but fortunately I’m watching this on DVR and I can fast-forward through most of her speech. I think there’s a bunch of lipstick on her teeth.

Gov. Martinez is on right before Paul Ryan. 505! Her speech is good, but it’s also a little creepy. Two sentences stand out to me: “Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fear.” Then, “Success is the American dream, and that success is not something to be ashamed of or to demonize.”

Who disputes that?! God dammit…. (For more on Martinez, check out Independent Source PAC’s website, where I get paid to write stuff like this. Not well, but still.)

Paul Ryan’s up now. He’s an even better looking version of the horn-dog governor candidate Zajac on “Boss” (where Kelsey Grammar plays the murderous mayor of Chicago). Women who find power sexy have got to be throwing themselves at Ryan like they’re in a body spray commercial. If Romney wins the election, the Awesome Sex Scandal Countdown Clock starts running on his veep.

“When Gov. Romney asked me to join this ticket I said ‘Let’s get this done,’ and that is exactly what we are going to do.” Ryan gives little stabs with his finger when he says this, and then the camera cuts to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, villain of labor unions. Walker is looking up at the vice presidential candidate, a single tear rolling down his cheek. A tear.

Scott Walker just ruined our party, but man can he play this game.


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