Reflections on not being at the RNC …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on September 3, 2008

The energy (or lack thereof) in St. Paul’s Xcel Center appears nowhere near what was felt in both the Pepsi Center and that historic Woodstock, Part Deux-like day at Invesco Field in Denver.  Still recovering from that – so much energy that there was no real time to blog.  So worn out, we actually passed on free passes into Wyclef Jean and Kanye West concerts.  On the real: there is some relief we opted out of St. Paul.  After a week of the euphoria and multicultural love-fest that best captured Denver, St. Paul would have left cats angry, bitter or depressed – either way, someone on staff would’ve ended up hurting some smart-allecky, bow-tie wearing White College Republican or taking it out on a hotel wall.  Someway, we would’ve been choking on that anti-riot chemical we hear St. Paul police are using on thousands of anti-Bush demonstrators.  Because Denver was so peaceful, with little to no disturbances, the fuzz stocked up in preparation for cats protesting the pasty patriotism fakeness of the 2008 RNC.

This convention is as crunchy as it gets, folks.  There are many White faces; the few faces of color are either lost, paid or downright confused.  We’re not going off on a typical “sellout” rant because we appreciate the diversity of opinion in the community, but these very few, handful of brothers and sisters at the RNC have got to be feeling quite lonely.

And, we’re not just saying that because its a Republican convention.  Republicans can throw down, too. But, this year, there are a lot of them not feeling it either. Come on: at least play some live music on the convention floor.  You couldn’t find a good Jimi Hendrix cover band?  They couldn’t do Bruce Springstein scores since the DNC got dibs on that. What about some country? Or, is it just that they can’t find any major musicians who want to be affiliated with this mess?

It doesn’t go unnoticed that the first major speaker of the convention is a very unpopular President. Not to mention, he’s the first President in several decades not attending a major party convention. That’s a very interesting way to set the tone of the convention. In fact, the President appeared both disconnected from the audience and somewhat less than enthusiastic about the nominee and his running mate.

This is the most experienced White House in the history of the country – and look where we are. It’s clear that the McCain campaign is drawing a line in the sand on the perceived strength of his military service record. But: is that really the big issue for American voters?

The last four Presidential candidates with the most military experience have lost. WWII veteran President Bush I in 1992, losing his second term to then novice Gov. Bill Clinton (D-AR); WWII veteran Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) losing in 1996; Vietnam vet Sen. Al Gore (D-TN) losing in 2000 and Vietnam vet Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) losing in 2004. All of them attempted to tie their military service to some elusive link to Presidential readiness. And with the economy the way it is, Americans are displaying a natural tendency to look forward rather than look back.

The President and his party are using too many nostalgic military platitudes. That may prove quite a gamble in this election as questions abound on whether or not that message truly resonates with the American electorate.

On another note, Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (D-CT) address before the RNC should cost him his coveted chairmanship. The Lieberman speech is most notable for being chock full of the mischaracterization that Sen. Obama doesn’t reach across the aisle – which one is not certain of considering he’s got major Republican Senators like Sen. Dick Luger (R-IN) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), openly supporting him. And if Lieberman’s speech doesn’t carry any sort of political punishment, it should cost Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) his leadership post, thereby creating a political landing zone for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).  This may already be in the works.


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