Among Fineman's "observations are that the following were missing. Each is followed by my own observation:
1. "Social" issues. In 1992, a rudderless Bush One reelection campaign turned the GOP convention over to the abortion/traditional family crowd. It was a disaster. Republicans ever since have tried to tone it down, with mixed success. In Tampa, there has been barely a mention of those issues. Even Mike Huckabee toned it down -- and did not mention his good friend Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri. No reference to gay marriage or traditional marriage. Nearly no mention of abortion.
[REPLY] Het ta break this to ya, Fineman, but those are not the issues that most Americans are absorbed by today. Today they want to know what would be done on the economy and jobs. Nor was it necessary - everyone already knows where the GOP stands on social issues. The purpose of a convention is two-fold - nominate a candidate, and tell folks what they DON'T yet know about the candidate.
2. Sarah Palin. Even Fox TV banned her for one night of the convention, a remarkable editorial coincidence.
[REPLY] No, they did not "ban" her. As was clearly stated by both FOX and Palin, one entire night of the convention was "erased" due to hurricane Isaac. Therefore, all scheduled interviews also had to be canceled. But Palin has been prominently featured on FOX on each of the three remaining days of the convention.
3. Romneycare. Even though Mitt brags about it selectively on the campaign trail, his health care program in Massachusetts has not received a mention here. The reason is obvious: He's running against Obamacare, which was modeled on his own. Wouldn't be prudent.
[REPLY] How about some facts, Fineman. Such as, RomneyCare is quite different from ObamaCare, which was 27,000 pages of new taxes and regulations. Romney actually CUT taxes. Also, what may be good for a single state may not be so good for the nation - each state has different needs. In MA, only 6% of the population was without insurance, so the cost to cover them would be a lot smaller.
4. The GOP's spending/budget record 2001-2008. During George W. Bush's presidency, more than $3 trillion was added to the debt. Paul Ryan voted for most of the measures that made up that total. In his speech on Wednesday, he made passing reference to the Bush spending, but not to his own role.
[REPLY] Guess you missed it, Fineman, but Republicans have always stated they did not approve of all Bush's spending habits. That said, much of that spending was a direct result of 9/11 - what did you expect? Also, America was not in economic trouble at the time - we had it to spend. But mostly you miss the REAL point - while Bush jacked the debt by $3T in 8 long years, Obama has jacked it more than $5T in just 3 short years. BIG difference.
5. Immigration. The divisive issue is verboten here and for good reason: Romney is way behind among Hispanics, disastrously so. He is 5 percentage points behind in Florida, and Nevada and Colorado are in danger, too. I saw Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the floor the other night, but no one was giving him high fives and he was nowhere near the stage.
[REPLY] Immigration is not the issue of the day. Time enough for that in the campaign. Again, bonehead, the purpose of a convention is to tell folks what they do not yet know about a candidate. It is not a 3 day political ad.
6. Lack of diversity. There have been plenty of persons of color at the podium, nearly as many as there are in the hall. It is, frankly, a white-on-white crowd. And the GOP, for better or worse, does not seem to mind. It's not that they don't want more diversity; they just aren't for the kind of methodical outreach that accelerates it. They think their ideas are enough. At least that's the generous interpretation.
[REPLY] Even Fineman knows all are welcome. If more blacks show up at the Democrat convention, it is because most blacks are Democrat. It is not because Republicans don't want them. It's just that the Democrats have bought and paid for the minortities with their entitlements.
7. War in Afghanistan. Last night I watched a stirring and, at the same time, heartbreaking color guard of amputee vets bring Old Glory on stage. That was about the only reminder of the war. Or the trillions that have been spent since 9/11.
[REPLY] Your memory seems to conveniently forget that it was Obama who said the Afghan war was just, and needed to be fought. And he has kept it going. And Obama has done his own trillion dollar spending on it. American security is not a party issue
8. Foreign policy. Except for Condi Rice's speech, and then only partially. And just one mention of Osama bin Laden, by Romney himself, for the obvious reason that President Obama got him and President Bush did not.
[REPLY] There were several pointed statements on foreign policy. But again, you seem to keep forgetting the purpose of a convention. All else is meat for the campaign, but not a convention.
9. The Bushes.Except for Jeb and a short video on the Georges.
[REPLY] The Bushes are not relevant to the purpose of the convention. Do you REALLY think Obama will feature - or even bring up - Jimmy Carter? The Bushes are yesterday, and everyone knows all they need to know about them. Romney, and the convention, are about today and tomorrow. While I understand liberals prefer living in the past, Republicans prefer to look to the future.