My word, watching the Republican convention last night was dull and dreary.  So many of the party’s ideas contradict each other; it’s hard to listen to.  Also (and this is true of every convention I have ever seen) it was painfully obvious that everyone had been told to include certain points.  All the speakers I saw made sure to mention the untrue claim that Obama removed the work/welfare requirement, for instance.

I think businessman Phil Archuletta’s speech really summed up the party’s beliefs the best of anyone.  I didn’t watch Ann Romney’s speech (she was supposed to “humanize” her husband, which ipso facto says he’s not likeable) or Chris Christie’s (I hear he mostly talked about how great he is).

Mostly though, it just seemed like a boring waste of time.  Nobody wants to say anything controversial, they are all giving speeches based on some sort of Master List of talking points, and, finally,  their obligatory assessments of Romney’s abilities are, at best, heavily biased data points.

It’s kind of like watching pre-season football, actually.  Your just seeing people going through the motions of politics and running the most basic of talking points.  Almost no one will remember anything that was said at the convention come November–unless somebody makes a truly awful gaffe–and so it’s just a lot of empty talking.

You have all heard Hilary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life”, and subsequent apology. You have all also probably heard the liberals saying she shouldn’t have apologized; as she was entirely right.

My take: Rosen was sort of right, but she spoke clumsily and was right to both clarify and apologize. But it’s not really Rosen’s fault. Nor is it Mrs. Romney’s fault. It’s not even Mr. Romney’s fault, although he was misleading people with the comments he made that started the whole thing. It’s Simon Kuznets’s fault. (I hate that tired, cliché ending: “the economist did it.”)

Kuznets invented the Gross Domestic Product, a measure of economic output which does not include household work. So, for this and other reasons, it is not an accurate measure of economic output. Kuznets himself said it was not a good measure of economic welfare, but he seems to have been ignored on that score.

So, what Rosen should have said by way of apologizing was: “Ann Romney has not done work that is counted in the widely-used measure for economic welfare. Therefore, her comments and advice aren’t relevant to women participating in the economy as it is presently measured by politicians and economists. I apologize for implying Mrs. Romney did no work at all.”