Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


We gotta tell the truth: The Democratic convention has mostly been "inauthentic" and boring. Even Hillary’s talk was too coldly programmed and sort of shouted. Bill gave an excellent lawyer’s argument and nothing more. But then Beau Biden (who mentioned but didn’t dwell on the fact that other duties will keep him from campaigning this fall) gave an eloquently classy and genuinely affectionate tribute to his dad. And then Joe himself gave a hell of an old-fashioned, unbobo, pretty darn manly, sort of ethnic New Dealy, American Dream speech. He was really good at being personal, in giving the case for Obama the man, and the programmatic case against his good and courageous friend John McCain. (There was the occasional misstep to remind us he’s human.) For me, he put Obama himself (not to mention Kerry, the Clintons, etc.) to shame. It would be an exaggeration to say that the Bidens saved the convention, but only an exaggeration.

Discussions - 8 Comments

I said the other day that Conservatives who are expecting Biden to blow it, and drop one gaffe after another are deluding themselves. The guy who WILL blow it is Obama himself, by jumping the shark in Europe, running down the country in comparison to China and Russia, and blowing easy answers to 7 year olds. He's the one that will blow it.

However, if any Democrat can pull Obama and his gang of 2d raters across the finish line, ----------- it's Joe Biden.

I said before that I look to him to be much more effective on the campaign trail than Obama, and for the reason that Obama's sermon style, {as if ALL of his listeners really enjoyed listening to speeches delivered in a style evocative of black churches} is NOT going to travel well in the weeks to come. Obama has gone to that well far too often, which is why people are turning away from him. If EVERY SINGLE SPEECH is supposedly one for the ages, one that ranks with MLK and Lincoln, then guess what, ALL OF THOSE speeches become trivialized, all of those speeches blur, and sooner rather than later, ALL of those speeches become FORGOTTEN.

We'll know within 48 hrs if there's a bounce, we'll know the scale thereof, --------------- and we'll have a damn good idea how this election is going to go. And I don't think it's going to go well for Obama, ---------- there's no there, there, and the Clintons, Biden and the media can't hide that fact, which is increasingly growing in America's consciousness.

My mother, whose relationship to the television is as close as mine to most humans, and who remembered she was a Democrat when her memory slipped about just about everything else, loved the whole convention. She gave it her full attention, watched every minute of it that she could and thought it a grand event, full of pith and moment. I would not suggest that she typifies the average American, but would suggest that loyal Democrats would not see the pageant in the same way you guys do. Mom is a type of a segment of aging America. She worked for the Board of Elections until they wouldn't let her dodder in anymore and who will vote if she has to get her Republican daughter to drive her to the polls.

I haven't heard from her about last night and the Bidens, yet, but she is delighted about the VP choice.

Maybe America WAS bored by the Democrats' convention, but if the Republican convention is not equally boring - well. As Dan said below somewhere, couldn't McCain let the convention pick the VP nominee? That would be a show. Who would the Party in convention choose, do you suppose?

Good point Kate, I think a lot of democrats seemed happy enough with the convention. I don't know if celebrities will hurt Obama. I asked a democrat and he said it was an example of the MSM airing republican propaganda. Strangely enough after the news segment ended a commercial came seems folks are pissed at the happy cows come from California commercial. It seems celebrities come from California, and California votes democrat...that is par for course, but dammit if they get happy cows too. At least that is what the same Democrat(who is from Wisconsin) is mad about, and strangely it transitioned into a rant on cocaine abusing celebrity fucks, accompanied by a deep wish that california would combust in wildfire while its other half drops into a not so pacific ocean.

The celebrity angle is too obvious and overplayed, Republicans should instead air commercials to the effect that happy cows come from California in battle ground states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.

I remain struck by the degree to which the 'political' is now evaluated entirely according to the boredom of passive viewers. I guess I expect more from blogging academics, who are so bored with their lives and professions that they feel the need to ask others on this site for topics to discuss at their conferences, and feel compelled to react to the slightest image and phrase and poll, or link to the latest pithy article. And whatever the VP choice is, he or she can be pro-choice, pro- or con- anything, but they cannot be boring. Postman was right: political meaning and depth is eclipsed in the demand to be entertained.

Stertinius is of course right (though the swipe at Peter Lawler is unfair: he was promoting discussion). Network TV is a Tocquevillian engine of democratic individualism, and wants everything in its path to become mere entertainment and diversion aimed at the broadest audience - just as they say at the end of the movie "Quiz Show."

Biden gave a good speech, but don't miss John Kerry's. He showed his party the right way to go after McCain.

I found myself a bit let down by all the focus on Michelle Obama the first night -- not because she was boring, but rather because I thought that focus represented an attempt to play the Republican game of values over substantive issues.

I get tired of modern-day Abe Lincoln and Horatio Alger comparisons, especially when half of these neo-mythical figures end up in a motel room with their pants around their ankles.

Joe Biden and My President were terrific, and possibly their energy seemed more intense after the good (but boring) Warner speech of the night before.

So, while I share Stert's lack of tolerance for "our" desire for entertainment over substance, I also think that the objective of a convention is to unite a party emotionally, viscerally, and sensationally. Before and after the convention, we can go back to the position papers and the tables and graphs.

The Biden's looked great last night. They are an attractive and classy-looking family (much in contrast to the Kennedy's on the first night of the convention--what on earth were they thinking about when they aired the clip of them parading around on their yachts? If I were an American struggling with the price of gas, I would not be impressed. Also, I can't see Ted Kennedy without thinking of Chappaquiddick, so their rhetoric on women's rights falls a little flat to me.) I digress, but McCain's going to have to pick someone spectacular--if he doesn't choose Huck or Palin, I don't think the Republicans want to win.

Steve Thomas, on many points the John Kerry speech echoed what conservatives said about McCain up to a few months ago. It was a good speech because of that. However, I still don't trust Obama to make us safe.

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