On a night of multiple crises, Vice President Mike Pence in his Republican National Convention address spun an alternative tale of this nation's reality and offered a raft of empty platitudes and out-right lies to Americans.
"Democrats spent four days attacking America. Joe Biden said that we were living through a season of darkness. But as President Trump said, where Joe Biden sees American darkness we see American greatness."
Never mind that Donald Trump made no mention of the 31 million unemployed people who at the beginning of August already were receiving some form of jobless assistance. And never mind the 1 million more who filed unemployment claims this week.
Never mind the 180,000 American deaths and 5.8 million of us sickened by the COVID-19 virus that Trump and Pence ignored, hoping — and claiming — it would just "magically disappear." Pence, as the head of the White House's coronavirus task force since February, didn't even mention the numbers Wednesday night.
Never mind the growing evidence that we have no reasonable, national plan for safely opening schools and that one after another college and secondary schools are having to reclose or cycle to some version of remote learning.
Never mind the continuing spate of shocking and, frankly senseless, killings of Black Americans at the hands of police.
Never mind the growing recognition that our country still hasn't reached a long-overdue reckoning with systemic racism.
Yet, Mike Pence had the consummate gall Wednesday to tell a singularly gullible audience: "You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. ... he wants to defund police."
Did we mention that police have charged a teenaged white vigilante and Trump supporter in the killings of two protesters in Kenosha after yet another unarmed Black man was shot in the back by police as he tried to get into the car where his children sat? And, yes, that means police fired into a car filled with children. And for the record, Biden has said repeatedly that he does not support defunding police. He does rightly support needed and specific police reforms.
Pence never once mentioned the Black deaths, but he did toss out a hasty and bland offer of "my prayers" for those in the path of Hurricane Laura.
All in all, it was such an atrocious speech that even the faithful RNC's richest 1% obediently clapped but seemed to lack enthusiasm when Pence lobbed this zinger: "And when it came to the economy President Trump kept his word and then some."
Pence's obsequious performance was predictable. After all, we've seen his worshipful face pointed in Donald Trump's direction for three and a half years now.
The New Yorker put it well, writing that Wednesday's address "will go down in history as a memorable example of how establishment Republicans like Pence have utterly capitulated to Donald Trump, debasing themselves and their party in the process, and, ultimately, betraying the country, which, in its hour of crisis, deserved honesty rather than pro-Trump spin."
Of course, Pence hasn't been the only RNC revisionist of history. Indeed, the entire convention thus far has been a dizzying room of not-so-fun-house mirrors aimed to distort what's happening in the here and now of America.
There was Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general who in 2013 received a $25,000 contribution from a Trump charity six days after her office said it was looking into fraud charges against Trump University. Suddenly Florida's investigation ended. But on Tuesday, Bondi used her prime-time moments to repeat the lie that led to Trump's impeachment — that Biden demanded the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating a gas company that employed the then-vice president's son, Hunter.
Those impeachment hearings, with the sworn testimony of Trump's own special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, disproved that charge. Biden sought the prosecutor's ouster as part of a policy developed at the State Department and coordinated with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Some Republican senators even took part in shaping that policy. Additionally, Ukrainian authorities said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son, which is why Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy resisted Trump's demand that he announce a probe of the Bidens to ensure Ukrainian receipt of aid against Russian encroachment.
But facts get in the way of Trumpite revisionist history.
Take Tuesday night's address by Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who peddled this irresponsible whopper: Radical Democrats threaten to "disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home and invite MS-13 to live next door."
Really, what else could we expect from a party with no platform other than to blindly support their candidate, even when that candidate — Donald Trump — has no agenda other than to aggrandize and enrich himself?
Trump continues to trail in the polls. And with no ability to see any person or anything beyond himself, he and his lapdogs resort to the only vision they know: Mislead, distort and lie.
We believe Americans will see the Trump administration lies for what they are — another looming crisis.