Friday, September 10, 2004

Conventional Wisdom - Part 2

I write this entry with an uneasy feeling and under (mild) duress. When I wrote about the first convention in Boston, I did not realize that I would even more ignorant of the facts for the second (begin, yaknow, out of the country and all*). For me to be more out-of-the-loop I would have to get my own show on cable. But I promised to write up the Republican Convention in NYC, so here goes:

The purpose of this convention, like the last one, was to get in, do the infomercial, and get out without anything bad happening. The bar was set higher for the Republicans since they were going into a city where a huge number of people hate their guts. In addition to native New Yorkers (ba-dump-bump), there were an additional half-million or so protesters. Yet when I got back to the States, it was as if it all had never happened - nary a ripple. So from that standpoint, it was a howling success.

Part of it was that the last convention hid the crazy people, always a good tactic (I think they put them on all the platform commitee). In the wake of the Dem convention, the Reps accused their opponents of hiding their more radical members, and such warnings are always a good sign that they were up to the same thing. Indeed, the theme of the convention seems to have been "Be very afraid, but not of us." Its a good a message as any.

I got no "Great Quote" speeches like Obama's from this go-around. Indeed, from this convention the breakout star seems to be Zell Miller, who (and remember, I'm only working on second-hand information) dropped to all fours, barked like a dog, and then urinated on Chris Matthews. But again, I'm working with second-hand sources, here, so I'm not sure about the barking.

One odd thing that did show up in the wake of the reporting (showed up in the Business Section of the Seattle Times and quickly reinforced by talking heads on the tube) was the idea that a Democrat President would be bad for the stock market. The strange thing is that the stock market was healthier after the Dem convention than it was after the Rep by about 400 points. Again, reality fails to jive with the current media wisdom.

Other than that, most of what I could pick up from a rerun of The Daily Show, which basically reinforced standard news stereotypes: Protesters? Funky, Good-Natured, Smell Bad (hey, this is New York). Delegates? Rude, Nervous, Afraid of being Sodomized at any Moment (hey, this is New York).

So they came, they declared victory, and they got out of town. Would that our foriegn policy be that well organized.

More later,

*For some odd reason, the media I did see in our neighboring nation did not talk about the convention at all. It was much more involved with the WTO ruling on Canadian softwood exports. Big news. That did get covered down here, right?