|Shakespeare got nothing on these guys|
The Republican National convention is off to a fabulous start. Absolutely fabulous. One simply could not have written it better: this is farce of Shakespearean quality.
Gustav crashes the party
Last night was originally to be the night on which the GOP was going to stealthily bow to obligation and have Junior and Big Dick deliver their questionable benedictions on the dispirited masses. When better to have them speak than a day when most Americans are likely to be out enjoying the last of the summer far away from their televisions? Get the first day over with and move on.
Well, apparently, the Great Whatever had other plans. Hurricane Gustav came roaring in off the Gulf of Mexico. Republicans, unable to sustain the split screen images of horizontal rain beating the coast line and Junior Bush blabbing his mouth off in St. Paul instead canceled the first day of the convention. I haven't heard of any plans to reschedule Junior's or Cheney's speeches.
(I saw Junior delivering remarks from a FEMA meeting, urging people in the storm zone to heed the warnings, listen to officials, evacuate danger zones. He spoke with the forlorn honesty of a man that knows that no one has any reason to believe anything he says...I've never before seen him look so presidential.)
Sarah Palin gets screw-tinized
Meanwhile, McCain's gamble on Sarah Palin doesn't seem to be paying off. Apparently, she is under investigation in her home state for potential misconduct surrounding the firing of Alaska's Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan.
The media, having no convention to report, have been asking a lot of questions about it. None of them have, as yet, gotten off their asses and flown up to Alaska to get answers, mind you. Nonetheless, the questions themselves are progress. (And, let's be reasonable. One can't blame our intrepid national media for not wanting to leave behind the promise of catered buffets and open bars at the GOP convention to have to fly all the way to Anchorage.)
But, if he didn't know about the investigation, that raises the question of whether he knew anything at all about Ms. Palin. According to Jonathan Martin of Politico, McCain had met Palin only 6 months ago. His decision to include her on the ticket was based on that one meeting plus one phone call that occurred on August 24. It's almost as if (gasp) McCain picked Sarah Palin as a political gimmick!
What does that imply about a potential McCain administration? Haven't we already been subjected to an administration that bases decisions entirely on politics rather than on good policy?
The plebs are pounding on the door
Meanwhile, even though most of the Republican mucky-mucks stayed away from the convention on Monday, outraged citizens staged a protest against the war outside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Public safety officials put the size of the crowd at between 8000 and 10,000. That's a lot more people than were inside the place. And the protesters were certainly having a lot more fun. (I wish I could have been there with them).
As I watched the coverage of opening night of the Republican National Convention; as I listened to right-wing pundits stammer about the stories swirling around Sarah Palin; as I saw dispirited Republicans feebly put together a half-assed ovation for Laura Bush and Cindy McCain in the cavernous and near-empty convention hall; as I saw McCain standing by a trailer hitch filled with emergency supplies for Gustav victims, squinting and reading from a set of prepared remarks that looked to be written on a diner napkin; I couldn't help myself.
I laughed. I laughed long and hard. As farce, this is high art, worthy of comparison with any of the Bard's best comedies.
More to come, people. The convention hasn't actually started yet.