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GOP has a muscular first convention night

GOP has a muscular first convention night
Top of the Ticket cartoo (David Horsey / Los Angeles Times)

Republicans are from Mars. If there were any doubts about that before Monday night's opening session of the Republican National Convention, those doubts were pummeled, stomped and crushed in speech after testosterone-injected speech.

The most muscular presentation of the evening featured two impressive tough guys, Mark Geist and John Tiegen, members of the security team that fought back against the terrorists who killed four Americans during the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. The pair went on at great length, describing every violent twist in the battle — shooting down the attackers was "kind of like a game of Whack-a-mole," one of them said — while getting in digs at the Obama administration's handling of the situation.

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Geist and Tiegen concluded with an unambiguous condemnation of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They were, nevertheless, slightly more restrained than the speaker who preceded them, Pat Smith, the mother of one of the Benghazi victims. "I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son," she said.

Republicans have never been shy about tough talk, but this set a new mark for macho, perhaps because most of the speakers were not drawn from the usual parade of chicken-hawk politicians who have never actually seen battle. These were veterans, cops and the grieving relatives of slain soldiers and police officers. Their words were raw and rough — Republicans as Rambo or Dirty Harry.

Follow me at @davidhorsey on Twitter

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