We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, August 31. 2012
It took a while to get here, but it's been a fun run. I enjoyed every minute of the debates, the primaries were quite interesting, as was pondering who would grab the VP slot. Now that the convention's over, it's time for the main event to get under way.
At this point, I like our chances. Along with gauging audience reactions, I also like gauging the overall feel of the comments on non-political sites. That is, if I'm on some site selling dog brushes, and someone mentions Obama in the site's forum and, the next thing ya know, there are regular, non-political people screeching about Obama & company all over the place, this is a good sign, and I see it all the time.
As for last night's show, the Reagan tribute was pretty cool:
On a local note, we have proof that Mitt Romney's son, Craig, reads Maggie's Farm. Hi, Craig! In my wrap-up yesterday, I suggested it would have been a smart move for Gov Martinez to talk to her fellow Hispanics en Español for an entire minute, just to show them that they really meant something.
So what did Craig Romney do tonight? Spoke in Spanish for an entire minute.
Thank you, thank you — I'll be here all week. Try the veal.
The ping-pong speech by Newt and Callista Gingrich was basically just Platitude City. With each of them doing their little bit, then handing it over to the other (after the obligatory applause had died down, of course), there wasn't any chance to build up a real head of steam. I wanted to hear Newt call for Ben Bernanke's head on a pike again, darn it.
News Flash: R&R Does E&E — Film At 11
As it's E-volved, it appears the two mains themes — the major and minor, if you will — of the campaign from here on out will be Economics and Education. A number of speakers spent most of their time talking about this or that, then finished up bashing our current educational system. Personally, I've always agreed with the famed Neal Boortz; that the NEA presents a greater danger to our country's future than al-Quida.
One buzzword seems to be Zip Code. It was in Condi's quote in yesterday's post, and Jeb Bush used it a couple of times tonight. While I'd be the first to admit that 'Economics & Education' makes for a pretty dry mix, I'd also admit it's the safest way to go, with the additional benefit being that it's also the correct way to go. It's amazing how sometimes that works out.
Some really old (over 40) geezers are talking now, so I'm ignoring them. Worse, I actually heard a Biblical reference at one point, sending tremors of dread throughout my body.
RELIGIOUS FERVOR SWEEPS THROUGH REPUBLICAN CONVENTION — JESUS SPOTTED RIDING BRONTOSAURUS! screamed the New York Times the following day.
BTW, speaking of the MSM, not only did Susana Martinez and Craig Romney have the utter gall to speak in Spanish for a moment, but Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio joined in the act later on. Look for the MSM to accuse the Repubs of 'pandering' tomorrow. Also known as 'communicating' in some circles.
Some Grade B Hollywood actor named Clank Eastwood came on stage and brought an empty seat with him and told us President Obama was sitting there. I've heard this Clank guy is pretty tough, so I was forced to believe him.
It was the only line of the entire convention that actually drew guffaws, whoops and whistles from the crowd. You just don't get that kind of blunt implication from your standard politician. The 'empty chair' metaphor should make for a great meme.
And the only moment of 'audience participation' during the entire convention?
Clint: "Go ahead..."
Audience: "MAKE! MY! DAY!"
It was a brilliant selection on the organizers' part, and double-fun because they kept it secret. His speech is here.
This isn't to say his speech wasn't laced with 'applause lines' — there's always that — but there's just something different about the wording. His countenance also works for him. He's 'young', by political standards, yet he doesn't come across as 'young' when he talks. Put another way, even battle-hardened old veterans like myself will actually pay attention to him. Condi Rice is in that category, as is Palin. Not a lot of others, tho'. Marco is quite special. His speech is here.
You're incredibly excited. You're down on the red carpet and Mitt Romney is headed your way. Unfortunately, you're standing behind the front row of packed-in people and won't be close enough to shake his hand. When he's right in front of you, you reach out your hand, but, unable to shake his, you put it into an upright fist and Romney fist bumps you back.
A few months later, Romney is in the White House.
You have fist bumped with the President of the United States of America.
You are the coolest person you know for the rest of your life.
"President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans..."
And then just let it hang there in the empty air. And the entire convention hall was forced to take the sentence literally — and its ridiculousness eventually started cracking everyone up. It was pretty funny.
And look, an actual pun:
The speech was decent enough. The MSM seemed to like it. That is, I didn't see any "Romney Uses Code Words, Dog Whistles, to Rally Racist Republicans" headlines this morning. But maybe I didn't look hard enough. His speech is here.
As for the next few months, the general consensus seems to be that if things keep rolling along the way they have, Romney has a better-than-average chance. If some disaster develops and we 'rally around the president', then that'll be enough to ensure Obama's continued
So, the question Obama & staff are asking themselves today is, How can we manufacture another Granada or Somalia?
Wouldn't it make the most sense to secretly pay Israel to attack Iran? 'Two birds with one stone', and all that?
It should be an interesting two months.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Very good job of Convention coverage, to the point(s).
Two of my own:
1. Even if O tries an "October surprise" it may work against him, as everything else he has done is so contrived that it will be seen through if not on the complete up-and-up. Particularly in October, more critical eyes, even among the legacy media, will be on the watchout.
2. What I found particularly remarkable about most of the Convention speeches was that they were about what I call "simple truths." I believe things are only complex or need to be made complicated when one is avoiding simple truths. Simple truths hit almost everyone's bullseye and are understood. The only ones deriding them are those in hard denial or avoidance and they, thus, expose themselves. That has happened with most of the Dem attacks this Summer.
Simple - yes indeed. Romney beat the President and his team to the punch by a simple side trip to New Orleans and the area impacted by Issac incidentally totally embarrassing the President who was campaigning.
Simple move, brilliant move - point, set, match. I think the Obama campaign just got a warning shot across the bow that accidentally punched a hole below the waterline - this is a fight to the finish and Mitt intends to win it.
Message received because President Obama is heading to New Orleans on Monday - after a couple of more campaign stops of course.
One of the things I enjoyed about his speech was that he reached out to the Obama voters who are unhappy. And they are legion.
I think this is going to be important. Either keep them home and not voting, or get them to at least vote for Romney.
My guess is they are more likely to stay home because they are not nearly as energized as the Republicans. That's just fine by me.
Clint's performance was odd and I felt uncomfortable watching him. He had 2 or 3 nice lines which should resonate, but overall he reminded me of the time I saw Chuck Berry on stage. The guy was old, didn't look quite right up there, but every now and then you got a fleeting glimpse of what he was, and what he could be. But overall, you just kind've felt like he shouldn't have been there.
It was a nice break from the standard speech-making, it was an important nod to a key group (Hollywood), who will never vote Republican. I did think his explanation on why Conservatives in Hollywood seem rare was pretty spot-on. They do play it close to the vest, and as a result seem invisible. I know there are quite a few out there, they just tend to not be as high-profile.
I wonder if there will be a convention bump in the polls? I doubt it will be significant if there is. The amount of coverage simply wasn't what it used to be.
I agree with what you said about Clint. I felt kinda sorry for the old guy. He's almost at the point of 'doddering'. I'm sure most in the audience felt the same way, but maybe it just made his presence all that much more real. And appreciated. When he goes, a true end of an era will take place.
I almost felt uncomfortable watching Clint Eastwood. I got the feeling even though he said he would speak, he really didn't want to actually choose sides. I thought it was a bit strange.
Jason, 12, and I watched Clint's speech. Jason sat there quietly, listened, more closely than to any other speaker, and asked me after "who is that? Real." -- I emailed Jason three Youtubes: The opening of Rawhide; Three Coffins from Clint's spaghetti Western days; and Feel Lucky, Punk from Dirty Harry Days. Jason then told me, when he speaks you better listen. I think that more people listened closely to Clint Eastwood than to any politician.
Kind of gives "Get off my lawn" a whole new meaning. :>)
...from one of his very best, Gran Torino --
...and to JKB, the one with the Orangutan --what was that one --of course CE played second banana --
Every Which Way But Loose
He has had some great ones in his time.
I couldn't help to wonder if some of that "doddering" wasn't an act. He'd seem to have trouble getting on topic, you'd lean in, perhaps ready to steer him to the corner, then "Bam" he'd punch hard. I'll bet it played well with the senior crowd. He did get a lot of things out in the open that in a direct speech would have been considered mean-spirited.
Now the real weird part was seeing Clint Eastwood do a comedy skit. Talk about dissonance.
I agree that Clint Eastwood is past his prime but that may be his last performance. He's 82 years old!! I am not in awe of actors or 'movie stars' but I do make an exception for John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. I am profoundly grateful that he did that convention for US. For Americans. Thank You Mr Eastwood!
Some general observations from the peanut gallery.
Mitt did exactly what he was supposed to do - demonstrate that he's in charge, keep it low key, make his points and show leadership. In short, this is how a good, effective CEO does his thing. As Rick said - he reached out to disaffected Obama voters and was effective doing so. It was a show of "this is how you lead folks". Not by stopping the oceans rise, but helping Americans back to work. Nice.
Eastwood? Awkward at times, but I think he was filling in for "The Donald" - I'm pretty sure this was what Trump was going to do Monday night until he got rained out. However it was effective- very effective I thought. In particular at the end. The Twitterverse went nuts over Eastwood - which was good. The hall needed some kind of emotional release after all the strong performances by GOP speakers and Eastwood delivered. MAKE MY DAY!!!
Side note: My favorite Clint Eastwood quote was not from this show, but from his run for office in CA. "
I don't believe in pessimism. If something doesn't come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it's going to rain, it will."
My general observation is that the GOP, Mitt, Ryan, Rubio, Christie, Rice, Martinez, Halley...the list is tremendous and they all did a terrific job...hit it out of the park - like having three Grand Slams in the same game. It showed the GOP leadership as diverse, articulate, motivated and ready to solve problems. Now admittedly, a lot of this was showtime and that's as it should be but this is the first time I can remember that I feel good about what can possibly happen.
Some general comments from the Twitterverse:
"A rich lady says "You are responsible for your own life," and the @LATimes hears "Let them eat cake." @JimTreacher
"Ask your doctor if you're healthy enough for sex. Then ask if you're attractive enough. Then ask your doctor for sex." @Tim Siedell via @Iowahawkblog ** ok, ok, that wasn't pollitical, but I thought it was hilarious **
"Speaking of empty chairs - Dems Giving Away Tickets to Obama's Speech." @ Jim Treacher
"Difference between Obama and a mom's basement chatroom troll? Obama reportedly has a job." @Iowahawkblog
"Chuck Todd, NBC Nightly News last night on Ryan's speech: "what he said many times was technically factual, but..." So tired." @Gabriel Malor
"The Left is in total meltdown, flailing around with profanity and reduced to bashing Clint Eastwood. And...scene!" @Monica Crowley
"Clint Eastwood must be doing something right. He got left wing media, msnbc, CNN and Huffington Post in total meltdown." @Larry Williamson
"I feel this sudden surge of massive campaign funds releasing themselves, as if a million voices cried out and said "HOLY F***iN SHIT" @Dave in Texas (which is a very clever use of a Star Wars quote)
"And thus Mitt saith - RELEASE THE CASHEN!!!" @Dave in Texas - get it? Release the Kraken - Cashen? Hell, I thought it was funny.
So I think it was a successful convention - it got the coverage, the MSM actually gave some props to various speakers, MSNBC's Chris Matthews has gone completely and totally flat out bat shit fruit loops crazy - mission accomplished.
Nicely put, as always, and thanks for the Twitterverse update. As you said, all in all, it was a rousing success.
I think the biggest story about the convention will be how deep the Republican bench is in great new candidates for office. When you think about Rubio, Love, Martinez, Haley, Paul, etc and then compare it with what the Dems will be rolling out, it's easy to see that the Dems have run out of new blood for the party. These folks will have a huge impact of the future of the Republican party.
"it's easy to see that the Dems have run out of new blood for the party."
And it's pretty easy to prove:
"So, who will the Dems be rolling out next?"
"Well, er, uh..."
Yes, but people were saying that after Clinton. To the point that Hillary was considered their next, best, hope.
Then Obama made a speech, and suddenly he went from being on the bench to being in the White House, primarily because of.....what talents and experience, exactly?
Well, yeah, he can read from a Teleprompter very well. So he's got that going for him.
Another wonderful wrap-up, doc. Your point of view sure is refreshing. Did you have a favorite speaker?
I actually thought about that, but realized I'd be basing it on something without much substance. I was enamored by Rice, as I always am, but I have a connection to her that dates back eight years. There's also a family connection, in a way. I liked Christie, but most of that is my being overwhelmed by the immense aura that surrounds him. I loved the fire and brimstone coming out of Mia Love -- for the first five minutes. (I wear easily)
I was expecting to say Clint was my favorite, but the whole 'empty chair' routine was kinda lame. As Cap'n Tom noted above, Trump was probably supposed to do that skit originally; it felt like Eastwood had learned his lines on the flight over.
BTW, one tidbit I forgot to mention: Condi Rice was the only speaker during the entire convention not to use a teleprompter. FWIW.
It looks pretty sad for the Democrats (and happy for the country). Their partial guest list is pretty sad. They have nothing to offer except racism.
As for Clint Eastwood, I thought it was good. Just the image of an empty chair with a teleprompter was priceless! The references to doing something to yourself were great! I don't think he's as conservative as some might like to believe - or even as political (or maybe the real word is partisan) as some would like. I think he generally leans toward the right and the fact that Obummer has been such a failure, helping Romney was probably an easy decision.
I understand the viewership was not that great. I can understand. These conventions can be somewhat tedious for people who just want to get on with their lives. They don't decide anything like they used to and they are really just partisan shows paid for largely with our tax dollars. It's too bad, though because it is a way to get to know who is running and why quickly.
One of the things I heard over and over was that they thought gommint should take care of those who actually need it. While it's certainly better than what we have now, it think it is partially what caused where we are now. Madison knew the danger of taking money from one person and giving it to another. It's understandable why pubbies would make the statement - it sounds so compassionate, but it is major reason for our current fiscal situation. It is a prybar into our wallets for all sorts of somebody's "good ideas", and it has a corrosive effect on our culture because it takes the responsibility of each individual to be charitable which is where it belongs.
Other than that, it was a good convention and I feel a lot more comfortable with Romney (of course, the alternative is a huge motivator!).
I got to watch only a few excerpts from Romney's speech. The parts that I saw were good on substance, but would not get high style points from me. It's probably too late in the election campaign (and his political life) for Mitt to work with a speech coach, but he needs to learn how to deliver a public speech that sounds less like whining---even if, I'm sure, it's not intended to sound that way. Unlike Reagan, Romney doesn't seem to have an intuitive skill for delivering a powerful line that arouses his audience to great enthusiasm. Last night he seemed not to know where to pause in his delivery to let the audience respond, how to gauge (or engage) his audience. Too often, in the parts I watched, he barged his way right past those natural pauses only to stop on a rhetorical down note, as if his most important task of the hour was to finish delivering the text rather than to bond with his audience. Perhaps his discipline (or compulsion) to "complete the task at hand" will serve him well later on in the presidential debates, but on the campaign trail I can't imagine how it will make him appear more approachable, more likable, more believable while he's giving his standard stump speech. At the same time, I think he needs to watch his facial expressions more carefully. Sometimes he looked a bit weird, almost creepy, when he finished one of those long sentences, as if he were giving himself a self-congratulatory smile at having finished an assigned task of delivering that part of the text. The measure of success of a speech is not merely what the speaker says but how the audience responds. Romney can do better.
Romney should just be himself, for better or for worse. Any phony baloney will be seen through pronto. If he phonied it up he would soon become the empty chair with the teleprompter.
"So, the question Obama & staff are asking themselves today is, How can we manufacture another Granada or Somalia?"
It would have to be a crisis that doesn't require the deployment of SEAL TEAM 6, that's for sure, but perhaps they could get John Kerry to report for duty. Of course, it's always possible the nutty Iranians or the Taliban could instigate trouble. You have to consider what the other side might be thinking. Do they want to influence the outcome of this election? Don't forget the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-1981, which played out during the 1980 presidential campaign and resulted in the defeat of Jimmah Carter at the hands of Ronald Reagan. Some things are beyond the purview of even the most controlling and well-healed campaign organization. Relations with Jerusalem are not going so well either. The Israelis appear to have tuned Obama out and don't seem to be sharing their real intentions vis a vis the Iranians with the US these days, although behind the scenes there may be a lot of bluffing going on. On that issue, Obama is probably powerless to influence Israeli thinking. Threats will not work. October surprise? Could be....
Heh. It's easier than something half a hemisphere away.
Ignore one hand. The other hand has captured your attention with so many other issues. I didn't know about this: "Guatemalan authorities say they signed a treaty allowing the U.S. military to conduct the anti-drug operations on July 16."
Clint Eastwood’s remarkable and original take-down of Obama Thursday night seems to have the entire liberal system in a tizzy. They’ve gone Soviet on him—claiming, in a single, swelling voice heard throughout the media, that he’s nuts, senile, a crazy old coot, or, as the “conservative” New York Post has it on today’s front page, “Off His Rocker.”
Do readers know what I mean here by “Soviet”? In the old USSR, dissidents were officially classified as mentally ill. It is instructive to see the liberal system giving the same treatment to a celebrity they had previously lauded for his fashionably liberal, anti-American movies, solely because he has now expressed, in an extremely effective manner, the damaging truth about Obama.
I’ve been saying since last year that no leftward turn taken by America in the future would surprise me, including its turning into a Soviet-style tyranny. Not that I expect that to happen, but I no longer consider it impossible.
i second that --can't help but think of early Bolshevik state-terror top cop Lavrentyi Beria, who held that it was good if the people knew the Party was responsible for all their misery, because then they would know who to come to with their support, when they had finally had enough.
The BDS from the latter-day Bush administration was Beria's dictum, in early incarnation. Note that after Katrina, the MSM no longer cared if the people knew the media was skipping stories it didn't like, and no longer cared if it was accused of open partisan BDS --its goal was no longer respectability as the fourth estate, but to crudely and coarsely wear the people out, to the point they really did need a change, and would be too tired to be particular about whatever the change was from/to.
For better or for worse, be it spontaneous or scripted, reducing Obama's entire presidency to an empty chair sitting alone was unquestionably the greatest meme to come out of the convention. Marvelously metaphoric.