RNC, Night One — the view from Cow Hampshire

Well, it’s 9:30 and I’m watching the RNC on C-SPAN. First one I noticed, was former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who praised President Bush’s reactions to 9/11 and stuck in a few veiled cheap shots at Kerry. That was followed by a couple Bush union endorsements — one from firefighters, one by NYPD Sergeants. The unions have always been considered strong forces behind the Democrats, but there have always been a few, relatively powerless, unions that have sided with the GOP. Police and firefighters are among them. That those unions are endorsing Bush should come as no surprise to anyone.

First impression: the roving “correspondents” supplied by the RNC are trying to appear like journalists covering some major event. To me, at least, they’re coming across like 4:30 a.m. informercial shillers trying to imitate journalists — and doing poorly at that.

Robert Khuzami, former assistant U.S. attorney from New York, just spent a couple minutes praising the Patriot Act and lambasting some of the false perceptions behind it. Again, no great shakes, but way too much applause.

I’m starting to realize why nobody but C-SPAN is skipping the first couple of hours of the convention. It’s a lot like the halftime show of a college football game. If you’re there, you might as well watch it; nothing else is going on. If you’re watching on TV, why not go surfing for something else to watch until the game starts up again?

(Updates as they move me)


(Updates moved to below the fold)

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9:45: An actress and a football player are giving a tribute to Congressional Medal Of Honor winners who are endorsing President Bush. Subtext 1: The Dems may have most of the celebrities, but we’ve got the REAL heroes. Subtext 2: If Kerry wants to keep waving his Bronze Star and Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, we’ll bury him in bigger medals.

Question 1: Why were both of the CMOH winners wearing “1-800-CALL IDT” lanyards around their necks? Of all the things that should be free from crass commercialism, the Medal of Honor oughta be at the top of the list…

9:55: My bad. It appears lots of people are wearing those stupid IDT lanyards. I think it’s for delegate credentials. They’re still ugly and distracting. But then again, the GOP is supposed to be the party of NASCAR…

Oh, dear God, Republicans trying to dance and clap to funk. Come on, people, you’re supposed to be moving AWAY from the label of “Party of Rich White Guys,” not EMBRACING it… and nobody can dance as badly (especially to funk) as conservative white people. Go back to line dancing or something…

10:01 John McCain comes on stage to the “Indiana Jones” theme. Well, I guess they couldn’t get the “Superman” theme rights…

10:06: McCain starts off by trying to kidnap FDR for the GOP. Good move: wartime president in great struggle against evil; commander in chief with no significant personal military career. Expect howls of outrage from Democrats in 3…2…1…

10:13: I think this is the third recitation of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan I’ve heard since 9:00. It’s almost like listening about Kerry’s 4 1/2 months in Viet Nam, but more recent and much more relevant.

And now McCain is dismantling the argument that Bush “destabilized” the Middle East and destroyed the “status quo.” Preserving a bad situation isn’t a good thing…

Oh, YEAH… Michael Moore gets bitch-slapped! McCain just bitch-slapped Moore! He’s acknowledging and waving to the booing crowds… well, I guess there’s not much else that particular lying sack COULD do…

And he does it yet again! I could almost forgive him for the Campaign Finance mess he gave us for that moment alone…

10:23: Hmm… McCain has plenty of praise for Bush on the war on terror, but isn’t saying anything about any other issues. I might be in deep tea-leaves-reading mode here, but it is striking me as a bit odd… the “dog barking in the night” element is making my political radar buzz a little.

10:27: I was right. McCain just alluded to having differences with Bush. He wouldn’t give details, but he sneaked it in nonetheless. And a rousing finish. But why did he rush off the stage? He probably coulda had a lengthy applause…

10:35: Damn, I’m tearing up again. Bastards. Bastards. Bastards. Every now and then we NEED these reminders of that day, to remind us of just just what happened then, and what we’ve been forced to do since. And what is almost certain to happen again if we dare relent.

10:45: Guiliani’s up. He’s praising the Republicans for bringing the convention to the Big Apple. He gets points for class for not mentioning that the initial idea was for BOTH parties to have their conventions in New York to show support for the city and as an “in-your-face” move to the terrorists, but the Democrats nixed that when they said they’d only come to New York if the Republicans were uninvited. It was a very Lucy Van Pelt moment, and for once Charlie Brown didn’t get screwed.

10:53: Now Germany gets bitch-slapped, over letting the Palestinians who committed the Munich Olympics massacre go free within months. I think now I understand a little more why they’re siding with France so much.

10:55: The first four examples of terrorism and appeasement were the Munich massacre, the Achille Lauro hijacking (and Leon Klinghoffer murder), Yassir Arafat, and pre-1939 Nazi Germany. I think Rudy Guiliani subscribes to the “Jews as canaries” theory — when things start getting bad for the Jews, it’s gonna get real bad for everyone else real soon.

11:00: “This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry.” But bend over, Waffle King — Rudy’s snapping on the rubber gloves and about to give you the Mother Of All Colonoscopies.

11:08: Yeah, Mother Of All Colonoscopies. John F’n Kerry, if he was watching, will NOT be walking very well for a few days. OH, YEAH, Rudy! ROO-DEE! ROO-DEE! ROO-DEE!

11:18: Rudy keeps stressing “free and accountable” governments. It’s a common theme. Spider-Man had “with great power comes great responsibility.” Paul Harvey says “self-government without self-control is self-defeating.” I’ve often harped on the concept of personal responsibility, but I haven’t ever managed to capture it as well and as succintly as these people.

And as Rudy takes his leave, so shall I. I’m about 2 hours past my normal bedtime.

All in all, a pretty good first night, once things got rolling properly.

Until tomorrow, folks.


GOP Babes Of The Day
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