Saturday, August 30, 2008


That was the week that was. I got most of my convention news off the Internet this time, and so was spared much the filtering of the professional pundits. Even so, I caught enough of it to wonder if the phrase “Fully-informed electorate” is an oxymoron.

The Veep Choice - Obiden? Good call– strong foreign policy, willingness to bare his teeth, served alongside McCain in the Senate. On one hand he has strong corporate ties (Senator from DuPont), on the other, he has that wonkiness that I admire in my politicians. Good choice, but a safe one.

First time I’ve ever listened to Michelle Obama. Yeah, I can see where Obama gets his support. But where’s the scary terrorist knuckle-bumper the media promised?

Good lord, did Obama clone Rudy and Vanessa from the Cosby Show? Should I feel embarrassed to think that?

Hmmm – it seems the mainstream media keeps talking about the Democrats being too nice, then not showing any footage where they tear into McCain (That’s not a maverick – that’s a sidekick!”). I guess they’re waiting for someone to get truly nasty, then flip the coverage to “mean, mean Democrats”.

OK, Media, I don’t care if it is true. Stopping using the phrases “Out of the Park” and “Nailed it” in describing speeches. Now.

The Wild in the Streets/ 1968 redux meme failed to play out, primarily because the anti-war forces had moved into the convention center, leaving only the cosplayers outside to insult FOX news.

One protest that DID overwhelm the police was an unscheduled Veterans march, which scattered the cops before them to the convention center itself to present their demands (out of Iraq, decent Vet treatment). They were greeted and accepted, and then moved off to the “free speech are”a (also known as the “Freedom Cages” or the “John McCain experience”).

And yeah, I think the high-fenced, media-ignored “Free Speech Zones” are the stupidest thing that the last decade of politics has brought us. Since it carries the implicit assumption that free speech doesn’t exist elsewhere, and supports the idea that protesters should be pre-arrested.

Another meme that fizzled was the PUMAs – the dead ender Clinton supporters who would rather vote for someone who shares none of their candidates beliefs over a candidate who beat her in the polls. Most of the Clinton supporters voted their conscience, then joined the party, though there will be five new McCain voters that will get a lot of press time.

And yeah, not everyone voted for Obama on the first ballot. These are Democrats we are talking about. They can’t even order lunch without with a discussion of vegan farm initiatives and strong arguments about the wisdom of ordering from a sandwich shop versus a deli.

And you know who had the best coverage from the floor? The Stranger. What the freaking hay? The Stranger? When I moved out here, that was where the grungers, hipsters, and emo skateboard punks hung out (the old hippies were all at the Weekly). Now you can’t tell what city you’re in reading by the Weekly, and the Stranger is delivering real news from the floor. Wow.

And speaking of which, the local Dems were hot and heavy in Denver. Lots of shots of the Governor and Jim McDermott, who was always there when a blogger had a camera.

John Kerry’s speech raises the standard issue democrat complaint – Where was this guy when we needed him? That’s a larger issue in American politics – the conflict of candidate and campaign.

Four years ago I noted that his young guy, Barack Obama, gave the best speech of the lot, and we should keep an eye on him. I didn’t see an Obama-2004 level speech from this crop of newcomers, but they were strong, start to back.

And the big night – Yeah, beautiful, well-written, well-delivered, with a lot of details and stuff to hang your hat on. Energy independence in 10 years, measured withdrawal from Iraq, tax cuts for non-millionaires, holding the idiots currently in charge responsible. Reminds us that we actually expect things from our presidents.

The speech was so good, it apparently made Pat Buchanan’s heart grow three sizes, plus two.

So of course, an AP hack kissed his master’s whip and delivered a boiler plate hatchet job of “nothing new” for general consumption, trying to forget the speech as quickly as possible and regain control of the narrative.

And the strangest thing is – a few weeks back we had a wingnut fundy calling on his followers to pray for rain for Thursday Night. Not only was the weather fine in Denver, but now a hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf Coast, bringing up all the bad memories of three years back, with the GOP convention in the offing. I’m not saying that God is a Democrat this year, but she’s either got a nasty sense of irony or is a horrible shot.

More later,