Friday, September 5, 2008
The Soggy Center
The final evening of the Republican Convention gave us a glimpse of what it would have been like if McCain had gone with his instincts and picked a candidate close to his heart. The first and second night highlighted his opponents in the primaries; Thompson, Romney and especially Giuliani. All of them gave fine and stirring speeches making you wonder how the back-of-the-pack, least popular, almost non-Republican, managed to slip by in such a short time and beat these excellent candidates to the finish line. Of course, the headliner was Palin, the best speaker of either convention giving the best-written speech of either convention with a build-up that a billion dollars worth of advertising couldn't buy. She emerged as the candidate we should have chosen for the top of the ticket. But we didn't.
So on this last night, after the opponents had stood up to honorably give their support to the nominee and the new Star Was Born on the previous nights, we had the Parade Of The Cronies.
Lindsay Grahamnesty got up and spoke. How do speakers this bad manage to get people to vote for them? It was awful. I don't remember a word he said. It was all delivered in this broken monotone. He lost the crowd's attention after a couple of minutes and just rambled on until he sputtered to a stop. Groan. This guy just radiates 'lightweight'. A good pick for Secretary Of Paper-Clip Allotments in the new administration.
Then came Ridge. This was the caliber of human who was on the 'short list' of VP choices. His selection as the VP pick would have ended the Republican Party as a political entity in this country. To steal a Monthy Python quote, "Dull, dull, dull...Oh God he's dull!" My head was spinning. I suspected that my wife had slipped some liquid codeine into my Diet Vernors so she could slip out for a fast fling with one of the Mexican yardboys. This guy made Grahamnesty seem like Cicero before the Senate. But Ridge and the equally weak Lieberman were the candidates of McCain's soggy, liberal, mosseaten heart. All the fire and truth of the previous evenings, the evenings with the real Republicans, were gone in the Dance Of The Aisle-Crossers; a ballet preformed with the dancers dressed in hidebound cliches and stomping clumsily to the rhythm of the Bi-Partisan minuet. Diaghalev meets a political Salvadore Dali, I thought my TV was going to melt and run down onto the hardwood floor from this concrete idiocy.
But they weren't done. Not by a long shot. The haymaker that would put us into a deep coma was on the way. Cindy McCain. Now, I know what you're thinking. You've all read my previous remarks that I think Michelle Obama is the O-bomb-a! Her eyes, the set of her chin, the way she moves, that's a compelling Democrat! Cindy? Not so much, but its not for lack of raw materials, its for lack of trying. She looks good, dresses sharp, she's naturally very good looking in a way that plays well on the tube...a then she spoke. She spoke for a long time I think. The syrupy platitudes rolled out like a Mississippi of mush delivered in a voice honed to forensic excellence at the Minnie Mouse Academy Of Oratory. The most memorable moment of Cindy McCain's speech for me was when my wife walked in the room, shook me and said, "Will you stop snoring!" I took a walk into the back yard to clear my head.
When I got back it was dinner time so having to set the table and lock all the cats inside (there have been some coyote kills in the neighborhood recently so we trap them inside at sundown)
prevented any further attacks of politically-induced narcolepsy and made me miss the McCain film except in passing. It looked like a typical political bio. Instantly forgettable.
And then, there he was! The Wrinkly Old White Dude. The speech chugged on and on. I guess he was hoping that the narcotizing effect of the previous speakers had numbed the audience into paralysis and we were laying there like a boatload of stunned mullets letting this drivel wash over us. He ended on a more emotional note, evoking his heroism and then launching into an upbeat rhetorical flurry but it was sad after the previous evening.
And what does this go to show? It shows that the Republican Party has incredible vitality and life but it has become the home of some of the most dull, visionless functionaries and equivocators in the universe. The McCain crowd. The Bush crowd.
So, why do I support the guy, you ask? When it came to a choice between being groovy and bi-partisan and fighting to win McCain bypassed the Ridges, Pawlentys and Liebermans and selected a candidate that sent a giant jolt of energy through the party and dealt a crushing blow to the Democrat's attempt to win the hearts and minds of the Middle. When it came to a choice between losing civily and all-out-war he chose all-out-war. He could see the sorry sight his bi-partisan friends present and he knows he needs conservatives completely on his side because we like to fight too. We've been yearning for a fight. McCain knows about strategy and he knows that once you commit yourself to a struggle this intense there is no turning back. He's a conservative whether he likes it or not. A conservative who had been a joke to the Democrats, Bush's Third Term, an old Dole-like duffer, who would be easily pushed aside had now landed some telling blows and produced in Palin a candidate who just by her mere presence is a declaration of Total War to the libs. They are more than angry. They will attack McCain with attacks that will make their eight year verbal assault on the milquetoast Bush look like timid satire. So McCain has put us onboard and then bet the farm. This election is the showdown and we have a cunning, aggressive leader who is now stepped over the line and is landing blows. Do you think that if the Dems are robbed of a victory this November in an election that made Sarah Palin into the most prominent woman in the country that they are going to be in a 'bi-partisan' mood? Add raging partisan hatred to the natural antagonism between the Executive and Legislative branches and the chances of McCain turning into a liberal Bush-Bunny are zero. He is trapped in conservatism whether he likes it or not. The most important thing to this guy is winning. He can't win without us.