Corruption and unfair practices painted over with conspiracy theories and complaints of being victimized characterized the message of a desperate party.
Opinion By Solomon Smith, Political News Editor
The second night of the RNC was more of the same with the number of lies and conspiracies from the Republican party issued by speakers that ranged from questionable to nefarious.
Pam Bondi, former Florida attorney general, was involved in an ethical quagmire of her own making when she dropped an investigation against President Donald Trump and his charity, The Trump Foundation, almost immediately after receiving $25,000 for her reelection campaign from his charity, according to articles by the Associated Press and the Florida-Times Union Jacksonville. The charity was later found guilty of mishandling funds and Trump, along with several of his family members, were fined and punished according to the New York Times. Bondi came back last night, after being hired by Trump, with lies about Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“A corrupt Ukrainian oligarch put Hunter on the board of his gas company, even though he had no experience in the Ukraine or in the energy sector … a few months after Hunter Biden joined that corrupt company’s board, the Obama/Biden state department began doing business with him even when it remained under investigation for corruption,” said Bondi. “And it gets worse. That very same company was investigated by a Ukrainian prosecutor. Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless that same prosecutor was fired. And then — he was fired.”
Bondi’s story has been debunked several times. Bondi omitted key facts and lied about what happened, when and why. Biden was tasked to remove a corrupt prosecutor by “the State Department, European governments and Republican senators,” according to the Washington Post. His son was investigated several times by both the Ukrainians and the State Department and no wrongdoing was found. Trump’s impeachment was spurred by perpetuating this lie.
To get dirt on Biden for the 2020 election, Trump offered a quid pro quo during a phone call in July 2019 as reported by CNBC. Trump tried to trade American arms and support for damaging info on a political enemy. Bondi accused Biden of doing what Trump tried, unsuccessfully, to do himself. Accusing Biden of nepotism without noting the irony of the speakers at the RNC was bad politics. Several of Trump’s children were speakers, most in official capacities as members of his administration or re-election campaign. Many of those positions are paid.
It was tone deaf, like most of what followed. Kimberly Guilfoyle talked about wanting a job based on her merits as she, a wealthy woman posing as the child of an immigrant (Cuba is part of the U.S.), left a then ally of the president at the time, Fox News, to work on Trump’s staff. Also, she is dating Donald Trump Jr.
Another tone-deaf speaker, Tiffany Trump, was ushered out of the shadows to reach the common man in her speech.
“As a recent graduate, I can relate to so many of you who might be looking for a job,” said Tiffany.
Tiffany is the daughter of the president of the United States and wealthy. Not being able to get a job after graduation during a pandemic has a different meaning for someone who does not need a job to survive. According to celebritynetworth.com, her estimated net worth is $10 million. Wealthy powerful people speaking to those suffering the most and bragging about their freedoms is part of the confused messaging of last night.
Vice President Mike Pence also came out. He spun an imaginary connection between Trump and President Abraham Lincoln in a video segment.
Ryan Holets — a Albuquerque, New Mexico police officer — spoke about his experience of reaching out to a pregnant heroin addict. It was a touching story that expressed compassion for those affected by the opioid crisis. His story about adopting a child from an addict was caring, touching and human. It also had little to do with Trump or his administration.
Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez talked about the evils of socialism, confusing socialism with communism, a common tactic during the Red Scare and McCarthyism in the 1950s.
Swearing in new Americans as Trump stands awkwardly waiting to give his speech making this sacred moment about himself, again. Trump read the words of several of the new citizens himself, mangling the names of several people like it was the first time he had seen them. The strange disjointed reading of his speech, voiced over a photo op with these new Americans, undermined the humanizing mission of the night. They were also unaware they were being filmed for use in the RNC, according to USA Today.
Putting a fine touch on the president’s disregard for ethics or the rule of law, was the use of the White House as a location for his reelection bid, violating the Hatch Act. The law, created in 1939, prevents the executive branch from participating in political activities under the auspice of office, and prevents the use of federal resources for campaigning. It exempts the president and vice president but not federal resources. It is a depressing reminder of the price Republicans are willing to pay to maintain power.
Eric Trump spoke about the Democrats and his view of the Democratic vision of America.
“America is the source of the world's problems, they want to move forward and forget our past,” said Eric. “They do not want the pledge of allegiance in our schools, many of them do not want one nation under God. President Reagan said, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.’”
He also brought up the false and disproven idea that Obama “bought Iran” by returning monies confiscated for violating the nuclear deal. The money originally belonged to Iran, assets that were returned after they signed the 2015 nuclear deal, according to Snopes.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, hours before the RNC, released a statement that there will still be no charges for the officers in the killing of Breonna Taylor, according to local news channel WDRB. For months, protesters and family members have been asking his office to respond to their requests. Cameron’s inclusion in last night’s line-up was a figurative middle finger in the eyes of the Black Lives Matter movement. His statements, with the context, were almost a reprimand aimed at his critics. Referencing slavery, his speech indicated, yet again, that everyone who is Black and does not agree with Republicans is somehow a slave, at least mentally. It was in poor taste, but worse is an argument aimed at white viewers, not people of color.
“Whether you are the family of Breonna Taylor or David Dorn, these are the ideals that will heal our nation’s wounds,” said Cameron.
It was his only mention of Taylor or the civil unrest about police brutality.
Mike Pompeo spoke from Jerusalem as Secretary of State while in his office and in direct violation of a State Department memo sent December 2019, warning against bipartisan activities while in an official capacity. It was another flagrant disregard for democratic processes and rules set in place to protect the integrity of the State Department. This speech, with golden domes and minarets in the background, used taxpayer money to support one party over another. More than inappropriate, it was just plain wrong.
First Lady Melania Trump delivered her long speech on the White House grounds. Her speech mentioned the dedication of an exhibit for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the right for women to vote. She mentioned children across the country sending in art, but neglected to comment about the separation of families or clarify the famous “I really don’t care, do you” jacket she wore when visiting housing facilities, and dropping the bullying aspect of her Be Best program. She listed helping children as a “moral imperative” and referenced some current events.
“It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past,” said the First Lady. “We must remember that today we are all one community comprised of many races, religions and ethnicities. Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong, and yet we still have so much to learn from one another.”
That much was true.