So I think most Democrats would agree that the convention is working out pretty well. The Traditional Media got to have their fun, tittering about PUMAS and party rifts, chiding the Dems for maybe possibly screwing up this one, too, only to have the Clintons pull through and redeem themselves, and Kerry and Biden both step up to the plate and demonstrate that you can be tough on an opponent without being petty or personal or sounding like one the Heathers. Really, all that Clinton business and the tepid beginnings of the convention just provided the necessary suspense to up the ratings, and the TM and progressive bloggers played their part in wringing their hands, as I’m sure they’ll continue to do on the Dems behalf – ‘what suicide! A politician speaking in front of columns!’
Once all that is happily behind us and focus shifts to the Republicans, once we have learned whether McCain has decided to counter Biden with Droopy Dog or Lyle Waggoner, one wonders what bogus memes, out of fairness, the TM will be taking to the Republican Convention, what false sense of suspense will they be shoving down the throats of the American viewers who haven’t managed to find CSPAN. The obvious and most accurate backdrop for the event would be one of depression and apathy, that this is not a good moment for the GOP so who even knows who’s going to show up. Tagline: Has John McCain garnered enough loyalty within the party that its heavy hitters (whoever they are) will actually set aside their own self-interest, (which would dictate they be somewhere in the Cayman Island right now, or on a mushing holiday) and muster up a rousing endorsement of McCain, or an equally rousing smear of Paris Horton, er, excuse me, Barack Obama?
That’s probably too loaded and lengthy and disrespectful a meme for the TM to play. More likely they’ll buy the line that McCain should be getting trounced right now so it just goes to show what a resilient fighter he is that the polls are all so close. ‘Don’t count out John McCain!’ But they really can’t avoid such questions -- the ones about the awkwardness of the occasion -- when it comes to the President, can they? He kinda has to go. He’s scheduled to, anyway, which does make one wonder: how IS the McCain campaign, not as yet noted for its finesse, going to finesse the fact that what, under normal circumstances, would represent the high-point of their party convention – i.e. the full-throated endorsement of the sitting president – could very likely, in this instance, play like a cough at the funeral of someone no one ever really liked?
Seen from that perspective, and wishing only the best for those now standing in harm’s way, this storm off the southern coast that everyone seems to find so ironic, Gustav, could be a godsend for the GOP -- politically, at least -- insofar as it could provide Bush a legitimate out, whereby he has to go pretend to do his job, roll up his sleeves and help move crates in a fireman’s line. His endorsement can literally be phoned in from the flooded front porch of some desperate victim (preferably, a you-know-what). The Republicans can give the appearance of actually finally “getting it.” More important, they can avoid the prospect of writing, lighting, producing, and distributing the best campaign ad the Obama people ever came up with: George W Bush taking McCain’s hand and shouting, “This man here is my choice for the future of America!” all to conclude with another one of those delicious arm-pit sniffing hugs.