Saturday, September 04, 2004

Convention tension

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Now that the Republican National Convention is over, I want to throw a blankie over my head, pop my thumb in my mouth and sleep until the debates.

If the RNC was any indication, we're not going to get anything of consequence from the Republicans this election, except for freezer-burnt 2000 convention leftovers like that old "compassionate conservatism" joke, whiny carping about who's weaker than whom, and platitude after tedious platitude about the nobility of spreading freedom by gunpoint.

If I'm a big crankypants, it's my own fault. I'm hungry at the moment. Also, the other day, when President Bush said he was going to use his speech to outline how his potential second term would be a success, I believed him. I must stop doing that.

Anyway, let's put the Republican convention to rest. I suggest we take extra precautions by garlanding ourselves with garlic and driving a stake through its heart. That should do the trick for about four years or so. While we're all whetting our whittling knives, let’s read my diary entries that I wrote throughout the convention coverage. Fair warning: If I digress, it's because the convention's menu of corn, saccharine and vitriol made me logy.



Dear diary:
Today, the convention opened with the traditional "arresting of the peacenik," a time-honored ritual as old as the GOP itself.

Among the myriad disgruntleds protesting at the convention are anarchist groups. The word anarchy comes from the Greek, meaning "white suburban kid with dreadlocks." They advocate a complete rejection of government. Kind of like Libertarians, but anarchism is a phase many practitioners thankfully grow out of.

Among the convention speakers today was former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who opened his remarks with typical humility, by crowning New York "the capital of the world." Yes, friends--this is why they hate us.

Later on, Rudy said that blaming America and Israel for the Middle East's troubles "does not relieve the plight of even one woman in Iran. It does not give a decent living to a single soul in Syria. It certainly does not stop the slaughter of African Christians in the Sudan." Then again, diary, we haven't done any of those things, either, so I guess we'll call it even.



Dear diary:

For God's sake, can Arnold Schwarzenegger get through a speech without sticking a reference to one of his movies in there? What's the matter with that nincompoop? Does he think we'll all forget he was a movie star if he doesn't remind us about it every fucking chance he gets? "One of my movies was called 'True Lies.' It's what the Democrats should have called their convention." It made me want to vomit.

My favorite part, diary, was when he admonished the crowd to not be "economic girlie-men," a splendid piece of oratory reminiscent of the great Patrick Henry's words, "Give me liberty or shut your fuckin' piehole."

After him, the Bush daughters, Barbara and Jenna, were hoisted onto the wagon for the night--kicking and screaming the whole way, no doubt--and made to duplicate the appearance and speech patterns of real-live young people. I have to admit, in a hypothetical match between them and John Kerry's daughters, the Bush girls win a giggling contest hands-down.

First lady Laura Bush capped the night. But something about her scares me, diary. She seems like she was frozen in 1951 and only recently thawed. I bet she still calls movies "talkies." I must ask her if I ever meet her.



Dear diary:

Today, Trash John Kerry Day kicked off with Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia giving his acceptance speech after winning the Crotchety, Self-Righteous, Ignorant Old Windbag Award for 2004.

He's about 143 years young, but he still wrote a speech that sounds as if it were written by an overexcited teenager drunk on his own brashness: "(Kerry) is the man who wants to be the commander in chief of our U.S. armed forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?" Oh you kid!

Of course, Dick Cheney, as secretary of defense, cut some of the defense programs that Zell accused Kerry of killing. And Kerry in speech after speech, including his acceptance speech at the DNC, has never said "he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations." And tonight, to Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Zell called Kerry a "war hero." But whatever.

Later, Vice President Cheney accepted the presidential nomination. Then he sleepwalked through another Kerry harangue, droopy-lidded and muttering. Five minutes into it, I was begging the Bush daughters to come back and teach him how to giggle.



Dear diary:

Last day of the convention. Pretty soon, all the confetti will be swept away, the balloons popped, the delegates returned to whatever ogre grottoes they emerged from.

If ever there was a day to persuade me to vote Republican, this was it.

This wasn't it.

For one thing, President Bush's speech was full of holes. I kept waiting for him to follow up on that "athletes shouldn't take steroids" thing he first brought up at the State of the Union speech. He never did. Some things must be beyond executive branch power.

Then, twice during the speech, yahoos interrupted him and were whisked away. If only the authorities were as adept at snagging Osama bin Laden--who was never mentioned, by the way, not even once.

When he finally got rolling, though, the clever Bush laid out a domestic strategy that looks dynamite. Simply use the same campaign promises he made in 2000 but never kept: better health care, more jobs, a quality education for everyone. It worked for him the first time, so what the hell?

Of course, Bush never specified how he's going to pay for any of the massive government projects he's promising, particularly when he's running record budget deficits. Because then he'd have to admit that he's actually promising massive government projects--and, diary, Republicans like Bush always say the government is not the solution, but the problem.

But just because he says government is a problem, that doesn't make Bush an anarchist. It just makes him confused, diary. He doesn't quite have the dreadlocks for anarchy.

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