The Republicans have nothing left to fling. Watch the news- there is no mention of them.
The first couple of days, they were making some media headway with their war room, and certain memes would trickle into the news cycle. Now, nothing but limp jokes about the Greek columns from the official McCain website and attempts to gain some attention by claiming McCain has made his VP decision. The PUMA movement has been defanged (if, indeed, they ever had any fangs to begin with), and have now completely devolved into farce, with commenters on PUMA sites claiming Hillary was speaking to them in code by wearing an orange pantsuit (apparently the “color” of the PUMA movement) and asserting that the raucous applause for Bill Clinton last night was… an attempt to silence him.
Meanwhile, the Democrats got to accomplish what they wanted to do- unify the party, perform a grand set-up for Obama tonight, build the stature of the party and highlight some new blood in the Democratic party, marry Bush to McCain and draw some real contrasts while reminding America how good things were under Clinton and Democratic rule, and lay some good wood on McCain while respecting his service. No one will be able to claim McCain’s service was dissed, but the Democrats did get some solid licks in.
Granted, things could go horribly astray tonight, but I don’t have any reason to think they will. I think Obama will once again rise to the occasion, and we will get a great speech and the part of the country who has not been paying attention will get to meet the nominee.
And the best thing is what is to come- the train wreck that will be the GOP convention, and that can not be understated. It is going to be a disaster. The Democratic convention was forward looking, positive, hopeful, and constructive. For all the talks of disunity, this party is unified and ready for battle. Contrast that with what we can expect to see next week.
First, we know for a fact that the GOP, unlike the Democrats, will not be able to control themselves. They will launch attack after attack at Obama, and try to destroy him. It will fail, and they will get savaged in the media, who were all present at the DNC. The best thing about the babble all through the Democratic convention is that they will feel duty bound to do the same during the RNC, and they will be shocked and taken aback by the viciousness of the GOP. Bank on it. Either the gild will come off the McCain maverick/respectful lily, or we will have to realize that McCain wants to be President but can not even control his own convention. I will take either narrative for 1000, Alex.
Second, the Republicans actually are not unified. Just yesterday their platform took a step toward the troglodyte right, as a call for a ban of ALL stem cell research, public and private, was placed in the platform. The base currently hates their candidate, and are trying to will themselves through this election with a greater hate for Obama. They have NOTHING positive to say about McCain; it is all anti-Obama all the time. Not only will this not play well with the middle of the electorate, but it also provides minute-by-minute opportunities for them to over-reach and go to far in the attacks.
Third, forget about the PUMA’s. Ron Paul is going to outdraw the RNC. Hell, half the Republican party is not even attending the RNC.
Fourth, it looks like Hurricane Gustav is going to make a guest appearance on the first night of the convention, giving us all sorts of opportunities to remember the Katrina response. It looked a little something like this:
Even better, Bush is speaking the first night.
Finally, McCain is a horrible speaker. Just tragic. There may be camera angles that can hide the growth on his face (a result of his skin cancer), but there is no camera angle that I am aware of that covers up grating diction and shitty delivery.
So, if things go well tonight, I think we can consider this convention a real success.