The Republican convention has unconvened, closing out with clear demonstrations of just how close we all came to going down the plughole, as evidenced by the whining cadences of McBuddy Lindsay Graham (Senator from South Carolina and a long-shot for Veep) and the embalmed rhetorical stylings of Tom Ridge (former Pennsylvania Governor and a near miss for the Veep slot). God preserve us! And He did. (Also from Romney and Pawlenty, who were equally Not Exciting.)
McCain himself had a checkered speech with a checkered delivery -- it had a discernible arc to it, sometimes weighed down by a bit of boilerplate, then periodically roused to swirling broadsword -- but all was salvaged in the home stretch with deeply personal poignancy, rising to an almost "once more unto the breach, dear friends" climax.
There have been various pundit-based complaints over the past couple of days about the fact that McCain's POW story was told several times by several people, plus a video, and finally by the man himself -- that somehow this was overkill. Maybe so. But my feeling was that each person presented a slightly different subset of the facts -- no one individual told the entire story, and it took the cumulative narrative to put it all together. McCain provided the most naked fact -- that his captors broke him -- and how it became a turning point in his life. In any case, I think he put the lid on that box and that we will not hear too much more about it from this point on.
I don't know how McCain has campaigned locally throughout his career representing Arizona, but my sense is that, on the whole, he doesn't trade on the POW experience that much. I know he certainly didn't do it in 2000 during his primary run, and that it only came to the fore in 2008 when the timing seemed to require it. Besides which, it's a great story, requiring no fudging or exaggeration. It has at least as much place (let's face it: much MORE place) as the war-and-remembrance of Old Shrapnel-Butt Cambodian-Christmas-hat, John Fitzgerald Kerry.
ON THE STUMP
Sarah Palin has navigated through the gauntlet of media-smear and bitter feminist hostility with grace so far. I'm sure it will only get worse before it gets better, but one senses that she will be just fine. If there's anybody looking ahead to the Vice-Presidential debate with dread, I'm bettin' it's old Joe. She's a woman who hasn't flinched at the prospect of taking aim and blowing out a REAL jugular on a sweet-looking caribou -- I can't imagine she'll go all wobbly when she's got Jabbering Joe in her sites, no matter how much he leers at her with the big teeth and the small Irish-smiling eyes. KABOOM.
Ms. Palin positively dripped sarcasm as she dealt with the concept of "community organizing" -- perhaps she went a bit over the top? In any event, she has offended at least one community organizer with Presidential ambitions, our friend Iowahawk, who vents here.
Money quotes:SEE? SEE?
When I listened to the snarky and demeaning and condescending remarks of former beauty pageant loser Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, I could scarcely believe what I was hearing:
"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."
Ooo-oooh, Caribou Barbie makes a funny, hardee-har-har. Well yuk it up now, little miss former junior college baby machine, because your sarcastic attempt to belittle America's community of hardworking professional community organizers is about to backfire -- big time. Because, for your information, I am America's community organizer community...
What do community organizers do?...
- reach out and work with communities in various ways.
- liaison with, and for, community agencies for service within affected areas.
- fight to make a difference.
- raise awareness.
- deal with community issues.
- raise awareness in the community of how we are making differences about undealt-with issues.
- when necessary, refer inquiries to outreach coordinators.
- Help coordination agency administrators identify and address outreach opportunities.
- model timetables and conceptualize benchmarks.
- issue guidelines for poster contests and interpretive dance festivals.
- Gather voter registrations, win valuable prizes.
DON'T QUESTION MY PATRIOTISM, CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
Q: What's the difference between a Democratic Convention and Barry Obambi's lapel?
A: Nothin' much.
FLAG MODE: ON
FLAG MODE: OFF
FLAG MODE: ON
FLAG MODE: OFF
Neatly rolled or jammed in the bag, the gaia-friendly, organic arugula conventioneers in Denver were not so mindful of waste when they threw out over 10,000 American flags they had been using as photo-op props on the convention floor. They claim these things were awaiting return to the donating company -- in black trash-bags, next to the dumpster?
Bottom line is, they sat outside the Invesco Temple for just over a week after the Second Coming, and were then reclaimed and recycled into the hands of sneaky Republican operatives, who distributed them here:
As Grande Dame Bette Davis was once heard to intone:
Fasten your seatbelts. It's gonna be a bumpy night.