FauxPolitik

Friday, September 03, 2004

Drunkblogging my ass: Stephen Green may be the hardest working blogger tonight (46 posts in under two hours, nice going Stephen) but he's hardly the drunkest. I had to go watch the Steelers lose to the Panthers tonight and get crossways with a bunch of people who couldn't understand that though I live in Charlotte (and rooted for them wholeheartedly last year in their run to the Super Bowl) I actually watched football prior to 1994 and have been a lifelong Steelers fan and I'm not gonna switch loyalties for some meaningless pre-season game, and can I have another beer please honey. Then i made it home in time to catch the last half of Bush's speech and pour a glass of something brown (dammit, meant to Tivo it so I could hear the whole thing "live"). So I can assure you that V-man's two beer/three martini night doesn't quite measure up.

Which is why he actually has coverage of the speech and I don't. Sorry.

But I do have some thoughts. About thirty seconds after sitting down with chilled beverage in hand, I turned to the girlfriend and said, "Christ, this going to be a bad speech." Bush was going on about supporting the troops and I was thinking this was just the usual pap that you could expect from any speech and he hadn't upped the ante for the big night. Really, he sounded flat and disinterested, not because he was being disingenuous, but because it was tired language that he has to repeat so often it just becomes hard to get up for it.

Then he started to work up a little of passion. I swear, for a guy who they say can't string two words together without tripping over them, you can really tell when he cares about what he's saying. He's a totally different speaker, and a damn good one. Some will call this a home run (Susan Molinari just called it the speech of his life, which I think is a bit strong. The speech after 9/11 was untoppable) which I'm not sure about. As I said, I missed the first half and the text probably won't cut it. Anyway, we'll see how big a bump he gets.

Everybody, including Chris Matthews is raving about what a great convention the GOP had, and I can't help but thinking that they just had a kick ass time in New York. The convention seemed fairly average to me, though with a few surprises. I thought Arnold was very good, probably the best speech of the week (though I missed Rudy Giuliani, but I read it and it didn't seem that great. I swear I'm not trying to "get over" 9/11 but Arnold did a much better job of speaking in broad strokes about what it means to be a Republican and what a war on terrorism entails). I like the theme of a big tent Republican party, I guess because it better be pretty big if I'm gonna continue to fit under it, and Arnold was a brilliant spokesperson for that party.

Zell Miller was exciting, and a little scary. The Southern preacher role definitely gets your attention, but I'm not sure how much it does to convert right-leaning Democrats who think the Republican party is already overrun by evangelicals. They were probably just shocked that Zell had waited this long to bail out, and I guess I was too. A lot of things changed after the attacks three years ago, and I can understand if that's what made Zell lose touch with his party, but he didn't say that in his speech. He should have made it clear to people that the world is not as safe as we once presumed it was and that there had to be a reevaluation of priorities. Kerry's voting record is important, but what he thought ten or twenty years ago is not as important to me as what he's done and said in the last three. I think Miller could have made a better case if he'd stuck to that. And I think The Ratchet Jaw had him on the ropes in that MSNBC interview, until he let him start punching back. Miller had no answer for Matthews' questioning, even if Matthews never lets anyone answer anyway. He was just filling dead air this time.

So it was a good convention, if he gets a big bump and wins, but a bunch of gasbags preaching to the choir if he doesn't (wouldn't it be more exciting if the Republican convention were attended by nothing but MoveOn.org contributors and the Democratic convention had to address the Christian Coalition? Just a thought.). Either way, my glass is almost empty. Stephen feels my pain.

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