Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Republican National Convention Day Two: Um, Yay?

Hi everybody. Well, no one can ever say I'm not a good little citizen that hears all sides. Tonight I sucked it up and watched almost three hours of the Republican National Convention. And after taking a shower and an Ibuprofen, I think I've finally recovered. It was touch-and-go there for a while. Unlike with the DNC, this week I'm making a permanent viewing home at CNN with The Best Political Team on Television (TBPTOT) because, quite frankly, I don't really care if the pundits talk over the speeches. Besides, I needed the familiar faces of CNNers for moral support.

I'm a bit disappointed that during the hours I watched there was absolutely no mention of Hurricane Gustav. I realize that the storm was not nearly as bad as feared, and by all accounts the preparations were a 180 degree difference from Hurricane Katrina, but it's still true that an evacuation of almost two million people took place. Now all those people have to come back. Kind of a big story. Once the okay is given for residents to return, I really hope CNN gets back on the story in a major way. I know there's a convention going on, but the way the media just kind of declared everything good and then up and went back to St. Paul makes me worry. What if it turns out everything is not all good? Anyway, it looks like the best place to go for updates right now is nola.com.

Hey, have you heard? This John McCain guy was apparently some sort of POW or something. I wonder why they don't mention that more often. Yes, the preceding is snark. I mean, oh my God, how much are they going to beat us over the head with this? What's truly sad is that he does have a compelling story, and his decision not to accept early release was a remarkable show of integrity and now . . . he's staining the whole thing by running right up to the line of exploitation. It's tacky and completely over-the-top. Also, I've yet to figure out what being a prisoner of war has to do with running the country, not to mention the fact that the John McCain of that era is not the John McCain of today anyway. Hell, the John McCain of today isn't even the John McCain of 2000. I could have maybe voted for that guy. The guy with the integrity sold it all for a shot at the White House.

Anyway, it's time for the bullet point portion of the blog--now with more boring white people! I've got convention tidbits that are fun, wacky, and this time, a little infuriating. Enjoy:
    • Anderson Cooper has finally achieved "boo" status! After watching Anderson risk his life to report on Gustav's Gulf landfall, Donna Brazile proclaimed that there was now no question that he's their boo. Man, she's got some high standards. Apparently journalistic chops, a famous name, and adorableness just don't cut it with her; you have to be willing to stand in the middle of a hurricane and maybe get knocked in the head with a sign before you can rock that "boo" title. Speaking of Donna, for her, the kick off of the RNC included getting hit by pepper spray. Oh noes! At least she appears to be fine.
    • Laura Bush wants us to know that her husband has kept us safe. Tell that to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
    • I'm glad Bush mentioned Hurricane Gustav (though he pretty much had to), but this was infuriating: "If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain’s resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry Left never will." Let's see, preemptive war, a city left to drown, torture, wiretapping, trampling the Constitution, the destruction of the Justice Department, outing Valerie Plame, improperly equipping our troops . . . and on and on and on. Yeah, I'm a little angry. I have a right to be. Like it or not, George Bush is the president of all of America. Saying that line from the White House was unacceptable.
    • I guess it's not an RNC without a gushing film on Ronald Reagan. For a minute there I thought he was going to speak. Now that would have made the headlines (and stopped a few hearts). Also, it should be noted that there were many short films run at the DNC that TBPTOT totally talked through. Yeah, the Democrats took longer in between speakers, but still, uncool.
    • Fred Thompson totally sold me on Sarah Palin. She can field wrestle a moose? Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?! Because I'm sure that'll totally come up in her VP duties. And some may scoff at that video we've seen of her shooting a gun, but that skill is going to come in pretty handy when it comes to the VP requirement of shooting an old man in the face.
    • I was beginning to think Fred Thompson would never stop talking. Seriously, he probably put more energy into that speech than in his entire non-campaign campaign. Dun-dun!
    • The 2008 version of Zell Miller may not have rained spittle on the front row of delegates, but Joe Lieberman was just as annoying. His whole bi-partisan schtick is a load of crap. Lieberman screws the Democrats every chance he gets because he's learned it's a way to make a name for himself. And it's why he got kicked out of the party. No Democrat would go after Obama's support of the troops.
    • The news of the tear gassing (or similar substance) is disturbing. I hope CNN follows up and specifically makes an effort to get all sides of the story. Wolf Blitzer noting how safe they were inside was a legitimate thing to say, but it also implied that those outside were dangerous. We don't know that. For all we the cops went overboard with peaceful demonstrators. As always, Glenn Greenwald is all over this aspect of the RNC (be sure to scroll down for his updates on the arrests of journalists).
    • The McCain campaign are a bunch of big babies. Apparently, the candidate has pulled out of an interview with Larry King because he has his boxers in a twist over Campbell Brown's excellent interview with mouth-piece Tucker Bounds. Oh, boo hoo! If McCain can't handle Campbell Brown, how is he supposed to take on al Queda?
    • And on the same subject, go Roland Martin! His absolute smackdown of the McCain camp's childishness was kind of beautiful. Today's blog post from him was right on the mark too. Also? I loved Anderson's reaction: "Uh, let's go to Leslie." Heh.
    • Where would we be if TBPTOT didn't get a little wacky sometimes? Campbell referring to Tucker Bounds as "baby" was quite amusing to our little row of pundits. "If I started calling somebody baby . . .," said Blitzer. I'm not sure how he was going to end that sentence, but if the Wolfbot called somebody baby, let me tell you, I don't think my brain could handle that. Anderson then throws out to commercial with, "the honeys and babies will be right back." Aw.
    • Three cheers to Jeffery Toobin for noting the high percentage of old white guys. "The country is changing. I'm not sure the Republican party is." Amen. Somebody's going to be getting some nasty email.
    • David Gergen is dispirited about all the hating. Aw. Sometimes he's just too optimistic for his own good. It only ends in sadness.
    • John King using the term "BFF," made me smile, but the true moment of surreality was when Blitzer quite sincerely explained to the viewers what it stood for. Bwah!
    • Anderson Cooper wasn't about to let the night end without mocking the Blitzer band-love. What's my music verdict? Blech.
This, dear readers, is the part where I would normally be bringing you a plethora of behind-the-convention-scenes fun, but after searching the interwebs high and low, well, there's just not much out there. Sorry RNC, apparently fun has taken a look around and decided it's just not into you. Never fear though, I'm not completely empty-handed. Rachel Sklar explaining Twitter to Peggy Noonan and Tucker Carlson is admittedly quite amusing. And this video confirms that while bringing the news to us over the years, Anderson Cooper has also achieved some kind of rock star status. They love him so! (Seriously, they even say so.) That's gotta be embarrassing. You know Blitzer ain't getting that treatment. But then again, if you keep watching, he gets some love too. Kinda makes me want to buy the world a Coke.

That's it from me. I guess I'll attempt to do this again tomorrow. Grooooan. Sometimes democracy is painful.


Anonymous feedee said...

Excellent recap eliza, you're a lot stronger than I am. I had to mute the speeches and instead just listen to TBPTOT's analysis, the whole spectacle made me sick to my stomach.

Your rundown of why the left is angry should be broadcast in the media and seen on billboards across the country up until the election. Americans have short attention spans and can be fooled easily by the Repubs to the point where they forget why Bush had such low approval ratings in the first place.

Jeff Toobin's observation about the make up of the convention was right on target, it doesn't really reflect America the way Democratic convention did and that's nothing to be proud of.

Good luck in watching tonight, Sarah Palin's up and frankly I hope she screws up royally, but those Repubs are evil and shrewd and should not be underestimated by the Dems.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Anne said...


Like feedee, I cannot watch the republican spectacle. I cannot stand the holier than thou stuff from anyone, the Republican party specializes in that. I will read your blog for recaps. Thanks for suffering through it for me. For entertainment, read the threads at the Crooks and Liars convention blog. They plow through the convention stuff so I don't have to. How much more can we be hammered that McCain was a POW? When I glanced at the convention a few times, I thought all that is missing is a giant screen image of apple pie. Maybe they plan on it or I missed it.

Anne D.

4:13 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@feedee--Thanks. Yes, unfortunately you're right about American's attention spans. I'm very nervous they're going to swallow the GOP BS yet again.

@anne--I'll try to give you the highlights (or lowlights). Heh. I figure I can't really bash them if I don't at least watch.

3:43 AM  

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