This is the aforementioned column I had originally written for yesterday. As it will not be timely next week, not to mention that nearly every other columnist has addressed the subject I prefer to post it here and write something else for next week.
I believe I have sufficiently established my lack of regard for either mainstream candidate over the last two weeks, but it occurred to me that as the two major factions have gone to such trouble to put on these shows for us, those who actually care which side wins this fall might be interested in knowing how the conventions looked to one whose indifference to the November winner borders on Olympian.
STYLE: REPUBLICANS. Although the Democrats didn’t pull a “hey, we’re the gay party,” salmon-and-teal theme like the last time they nominated a Massachusetts arch-liberal, the 9/11 vibe for which they were striving simply didn’t work. Parties that don’t believe in God should stay far away, very far away, from anything that smacks of the memorial service and the afterlife. In New York, the Republicans looked as if they meant it.
THEME: REPUBLICANS. Democrats United should be the minimum level of competence for a major faction; it’s not an actual electoral theme that holds appeal for the independent voter. Four More Years is boring, but tried and true and strangely fun to chant if you’ve downed six hurricanes before noon. (Yes, I’ve been to a Republican National Convention, and I could write the story that Stephen Glass faked. But I won’t.)
SPIRIT: REPUBLICANS. Having attended a convention that preceded a resounding victory, there’s a certain triumphal spirit that is readily identifiable. It’s as if the smell of victory is in the air. The Republicans had it this time around, the Democrats didn’t.
2008: DEMOCRATS. The Lizard Queen was her evil, formidable self, and John Edwards is still handsome. In contrast to this, the best Republican was Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who isn’t eligible to run for the office. John McCain is barely a Republican and will never win the nomination no matter how much his friends in the media want him to, and a New York moderate, (otherwise known as a liberal to flyover country), like Giuliani is equally improbable. It’s odd that the Republicans didn’t do more to lay the groundwork for a potential Bush successor.
TRAITORS: REPUBLICANS. The Democrat’s favorite turncoat, John McCain, spurned his thirty pieces of silver. He stuck by his party with all the spirit of a robot, but he did it. Zell Miller, on the other hand, sounded ready to re-up with the Marines and dust some [insert politically incorrect term here] simply for the honor of serving under George [insert Oedipal adjective here] Bush!!!!
VICE-PRESIDENT: DEMOCRATS. Dick Cheney, despite all his flaws, is a terribly boring speaker. John Edwards has nothing meaningful to say, but he says it well and he looks good doing it. Sadly, that’s more than enough to win over 35 percent of the population.
PRESIDENT: REPUBLICANS. I very much appreciated that John Kerry wrote his own speech. A presidential candidate should be able to speak for himself. That being said, Kerry is rather like John Edwards in that he has nothing intelligent to say, only he doesn’t say it well. And looking like Lurch on Canthaxanthin doesn’t exactly help, either.
President Bush, on the other hand, delivered what was essentially a Clintonesque State of the Union laundry list, then reminded all those conservatives less than thrilled with his governance that they should support him because – all together now – there’s a war on! But he did make the case for himself and didn’t blunder by painting a massive target on his chest as Kerry did with his “reporting for duty”.
MEDIA: REPUBLICANS. The mainstream media’s left-wing tilt is quite useful, once you know how to read it. If, after a Democrat’s speech, an ABCNNBCBS commentator is not pretending to moan in ecstacy with one hand down his pants, you know it went over like Michelle Malkin at a reunion of Tule Lake internees. If, on the other hand, a cabal pundit is getting all bitchy and bitter after a Republican brings down the house, you know the speaker was all out of gum.
Let’s face it, when the mainstream cabal’s most damning critique is that the President’s daughters are, like, so ditsy, they’ve got nothing. And the fact that Fox News scored more convention viewers than any member of the cabal suggests Republicans are fired up to vote this year.
Add it all up, and I see no reason to modify my earlier statement that John Kerry will get beaten like a Vice City hooker this November.