So, they held the “roll call” last night, which was adorable. Some have said that it’s an unnecessary bit of theater, that don’t we all know who’s going to win anyway, and wtf let’s move on, but it’s nice to know that, as Lady At The Podium said, “we Democrats like to make sure every vote is counted.”
Also, it’s cute hearing people bloviate about their states. The Massachusetts delegation, featuring Whatsername the Senate President and Deval Patrick, who may or may not still be our Governor, name dropped “the winning Red Sox, the winning Celtics, and the New England Patriots,” just to prove that we ain’t no nambly pambly mamas boys with our faces stuck in books here in the Commonwealth. Then, Whatsername announced that we were the birthplace of American education, just to prove that, yes, in fact, we are nambly pambly mamas boys with our faces stuck in books. Please don’t hit us. Although, frankly, any state that has been the home of both Kevin Youkilis and Margaret Fuller is a state that I am proud to call home.
American Samoa even hired a witch doctor to do some sort of crazy incantation first, because (I assume) that is something they do there. Ok, I made that up. Not like you’d know. You didn’t watch it.
They didn’t get past New York, though, because Hillary apparently wanted to drop out of the running and let Obama win “by acclaimation,” which I guess is legalese for “everyone else knew this was coming but they waited until the last minute because it would make for good television for the six people watching on C-Span.” I thank you, as do my five cats.
John Kerry actually did speak at one point, and they didn’t broadcast a lot of his speech because, dude, he’s John Kerry, the living test pattern. You may have seen a couple of snippets of his speech, and they’re surprisingly firey for a man made out of wood. He bashed McOld for switching positions on, basically, everything ever, and then delivered the biting line “now that’s what I call being for something before you were against it!” If Kerry had shown this much life in 2004, there would be no Hurricane Katrina or cancer or anything.
Wonkette thought he was drunk, but they’re even snarkier than me.
The two big speeches were Bill Clinton and Joe Biden. Now, Bill’s job was basically to go up there and make everyone believe that Barack Obama would actually be a good president. The one line that really convinced me – the line I was waiting for him to deliver – was the part where he talked about how the Republicans used to say he was too inexperienced back in 1992. That almost made me believe that Bill was going to personally vote for Sen. Obama. The rest of it, I thought, was similar to Hillary’s speech – less about whether Barack’s ready, more about how McCain sucks.
But what suckage! President Bill slew the beast, set fire to it, danced around it, and made S’mores. I thought the speech was quite good, all in all. Here it is, if you’re interested.
Biden’s VP acceptance speech was amazing, though. I love Joe Biden. I want Joe Biden to be my second Dad. Joe Biden is totally going to help, maybe, sway working class white types who think Barack Obama is one of dem immigrants who tewk dere jerbs… sorry, “took their jobs.”
Look, I’m not a snob. I’m not an east-coast elitist, I’m don’t look down my nose at those less fortunate or less educated than me, I don’t think everyone in the rust belt or the south is a big stupid idiot based on their place of birth. I don’t think everyone who’s voting for McCain is doing so out of their hatred of black people with funny names. If you’re voting for McCain because you think he’s more experienced or has better ideas, fine. If you’re voting for him based on something your cousin Bertha forwarded you “in the e-mail, about that Barack Hussein” then you’re, well, a big stupid idiot. And you deserve everything a McCain economy will give ya (meaning: jack shit.)
Joe might help, though, just because he seems genuine and tough and he’s real hard to smear, except with this one thing he did back in 1988 where it looked like he plagiarized a speech by British MP Neil Kinnock. He didn’t, really. He gave the speech about 100 times, and credited Kinnock 99 times. That one time is what killed him, because that’s how politics works.
Then Barack showed up, out of nowhere, and man-hugged his running mate. I’m iffy about whether or not this was a good idea – the latest Rovian tactic employed by John McCain (a man who, in the past, has denounced such things) is to turn Obama’s biggest credit against him. That’s how Rovian politics works – it’s like rhetorical jujitsu. Al Gore really did do lots of stuff, so we’ll paint him as a serial exaggerator. John Kerry was a brave and dedicated soldier, so we’ll find six guys who don’t like him to say “well, he wasn’t that brave…” And Barack Obama is charismatic and popular, so let’s paint him as an egomaniacal celebri-tard.
::Sigh:: You might have heard the one about John McCain’s black baby. McCain and his wife, whatever else you want to say about them, genuinely care about poor kids in India and adopted one. “Someone” called a bunch-a rednecks in South Carolina back in 2000, during the Republican primaries, and asked how they’d feel if they heard John McCain had fathered a black baby. Seriously. “Someone” (we’ll call him Rarl Kove) took McCain’s philanthropy and turned it into a weapon. And now his campaign is employing the exact same tactics used to smear him and his own child.
Anyway, when Barack Obama showed up and surprised everyone, like Jim Henson showing up at the end of the Muppet Family Christmas, I think he risked playing into this narrative the GOP has cooked up of him as a preening egomaniac. Look at how he upstaged Joe Biden’s speech, they’ll say. Who does he think he is?
And then there’s tonight at Invesco Field. They chose the venue before his trip to Europe, and it makes sense to hold it there, because lots of people will no doubt show up to see him. Heck, if I was in Denver, I’d want to be there – it’s a historic moment, and for the first time in my life, there’s a Democratic nominee I’m genuinely excited about. But there he’ll be, on a stage that looks for all the world like the Parthenon, and in a venue of Wagnerian size. Expect Fox News to drop the first Triumph of the Will reference before he gives the speech, and expect the rest of the media to follow suit in the coming days.
Then, expect John McCain to accept the nomination of his party at a Brainerd truck stop.
Expect a torrent of bullshit, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since, well, 2004 or so.