Last night at the RNC in Tampa, after much sturm und drang, Mitt Romney came before the people and attempted to present himself as a viable candidate for president. His task was to move public perception of himself as a suit, a puppet of his party, to a multi-dimensional leader. Those talking him up last night especially rang the rhetorical bell in casting him as a man of integrity.

We come away with the same suit on its hanger and a candidate unexplained, not even by himself. No one will be satisfied with his efforts to reinvent Bain Capital’s dealings from the podium. Particularly. questions remain about integrity and how the campaign stoops to outright lies.

Because someone of integrity would come before the people and take responsibility for blocking every reform including the American Jobs Act put out there by the Obama administration.

Someone with integrity of the opposite party would acknowledge the achievements of the Obama administration including making the world safer by taking out Bin Laden, even while making the claim that the country needs a new direction.

No one would be opposed to hearing about new strategies to solve unemployment if the candidate with integrity had spent less time talking about mothers and fathers and more about how he can build on the achievements of his predecessor.

Instead we got an automaton wearing a grim and pale face who made polarizing statements and bashed the sitting president around homey anecdotes about Mom and Dad.

The Republicans had no men and women of integrity to offer up to run in this election and so they dusted off Mitt Romney, who now promises 12 million new jobs, asserts that only businessmen are qualified to be presidents, and that Bain was a success when we know he and his companies were corporate raiders—all while distorting the presidents’ words about the fact that in this country no one achieves anything alone.

Romney stood there saying that Obama denigrates success., and apologizes for America.

Only in the eyes of the paranoid extreme Right.

To a great extent we all hear what we want to hear. But to say that the only true patriots are those of one party, is inflammatory and untrue. All of it goes to the ongoing theory that often rises to the level of paranoia—that Obama is not a true American, something that sane people know is also untrue.

Mitt Romney is a recycled, re-minted puppet; he suffers not with a lack of business sense but with an utter lack of imagination and vision.

Moreover, Romney’s early foreign policy gaffes are not promising. Chris Matthews called the speech jingoistic and it was. He also called it a cold war speech, and polarizing in the face of relaxed cold war antagonisms.

Romney also bashed science. And regarding bringing us together, as one country? A wash.

Crown thy good with brother (and sister) hood from sea to shining sea—What happened to that?

In this convention America became a slogan when it is a motherland and a country, the land of opportunity, the land of “Give me your tired, your poor: your huddled masses yearning to be free.”

Where Clint Eastwood is concerned, his bit of theater was a lot of fun; he brought the house down and made everyone crack up. Given some of the flak about all of that today, how sad that thousands of people don’t understand improv or that his performance was spot-on and brilliant. I didn’t think his tremendously funny gig was all that hard to comprehend—-but then, I’m not a Republican.

Let us not forget that the Republican Party, on the night of the inauguration of Barack Obama, met in private to strategize how to insure his failure.

Therefore the failure of the Obama administration to make more progress, initiate more reforms, pass more laws, is on guess who—the Grand Old Party which has time and time again revealed that it will stoop to lies and obstruction and then via the oldest smoke and mirrors trick in the book, blame it all on the other side and on Obama.

Take these men out of politics for a minute and evaluate them. Who has depth and vision—who is the born leader, who has withstood every criticism leveled at him, who has demonstrated a thick skin, who has gone all over the world to reach out to others.

This election for many of us is indeed about the protection of freedom—the freedom of choice we won in the decades long fight to legalize abortion, the ruling that says a woman’s choice to carry to term or not is between that woman and her doctor and that it is not the place of the government to come between them. The freedom to receive good health care, to speak what is true in self-definition, to enjoy opportunities to grow, learn, accomplish. Republicans and Democrats alike celebrate American exceptionalism, the American story of the rise to the top from nothing, the forward-thinking empathy and outlook that suggest character.

There are many points of touch in common between our political parties, and they should have been focused on during this convention. We have all had enough seething in hate and disparagement and demonizing of people different than what we are accustomed to or seemingly so, simply because they have skin of a different color or dress differently.

Historically the GOP, which more and more seems as though it should stand for Good Old Pigs, ever rooting through the tubers for more insults, cannot see past the color barrier. Republicans cannot stand on a record of incentives for the poor. There are few compassionate conservatives out there. The GOP cares more about professing a belief in God than in reaching out to the poor—which would be acting upon allegedly god-given mandates.

Another GOP buzz word: prosperity. Maybe prosperity isn’t everyone’s goal. Many people aren’t about material things, but fulfilling creative and scholarly lives, for life to have meaning and for life to not to be a crucible of one insurmountable hardship after another.

Throughout the convention, there has been only a cursory reference in this speech to the poor, thanks to distortions like those of Gingrich yet again that Obama has waived the work requirement for welfare. Over-simplification and distortion of policy does nothing to earn respect for the Republicans or their platform. Who can believe that Paul Ryan isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing in vowing to protect entitlements?

The week has built to its apogee and is ending. There are few takeaways but skepticism and perhaps for me, a sense of the conviction of many Republicans. There are many bright people in the GOP and one wonders where they are when their much touted adherence to conservatism is trashed by campaign lies.

What’s that, GOP? I couldn’t hear you…. Oh that—-Sorry, but I can’t do that to myself.

Jenne’ R. Andrews