A word dump on the first evening of the RNC; I would not watch another evening of this parade of the socially maladjusted for all the tea in China so if you're dying for convention talk, this is it. To say that the truth was abused throughout the evening would be an understatement; the apparent theme for the convention is luring the truth into a derelict ice cream truck with promises of candy and then repeatedly touching it in the bathing suit area.

Some highlights:

1. This lineup of speakers was a curious mix of shameless self-promoters and…no, that was it. With the exception of his wife, to whom we shall return momentarily and with great reticence, tonight's speakers barely mentioned Mitt Romney's name. They did so after endless monologues about, Surprise!, themselves and how much they have accomplished. All political figures are narcissists, but this was almost comical.

2. Here is a piece of free and sincere advice to the Romney campaign, albeit one that I'm sure they already (privately) admit: they need to lock Ann Romney in a closet for the rest of the campaign. She is just fucking awful. Again, the rich and privileged are not exactly rare in American politics, but some of them are capable of emotions like empathy. Others (George W. Bush, etc.) have mastered the art of pretending to understand us reg'lar folks or perhaps even to be one of us. Ann Romney can do neither. She is so bad at faking the personality traits she is trying to portray that it's embarrassing to watch. She makes Barbara Bush look like a warm hearted social worker. She is less a person than a caricature of the aloof, distant, pampered, and cluelessly privileged socialite who ends up getting vomited on in low budget comedies. There's not much the campaign can do with someone whose natural tone of voice is "Giving orders to servants".

3. That Chris Christie, he's really something. I can't recall seeing anyone who's quite that good at speaking thousands of words but saying absolutely nothing. He's part meathead fratboy, part Sopranos extra, and part O'Reilly-caliber populist. I suspect I could watch his speech a second time and still remain unable to tell you what point (if any) he was trying to make. Watching a crowd at a political rally react like slobbering dogs to an orator is not unusual, but they were leaping to their feet and applauding stuff that didn't even make sense. Watching someone as repulsive in all aspects of appearance and personality as Christie treated like a charismatic rock star was…unusual.

4. I liked Ted Cruz's speech better the first time I heard it – in German.

5. Whoever the RNC paid to write all of the awful Joe Biden jokes they've been dropping for the past week (and presumably throughout the convention) needs to go back to telling knock-knock jokes at whatever Open Mic Night in Lubbock he came from. The laugh lines in these speeches are terrible even by political standards. The Capitol Steps wouldn't be caught dead with this material.

6. Thank god for the Ron Paul people, the C3-PO of Republican politics – always on the spot to supply comic relief.

Wednesday night is a bunch of B-squad crap followed by Paul Ryan's acceptance speech, but the real excitement is on Thursday when "remarks by Newt and Callista Gingrich" are preceded by a "Reagan Legacy video montage". Must-see TV.

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  • There's also the fun involving a CNN camerawoman.

    Basically, convention attendant throws peanuts at camerawoman's face while telling her "This is how we feed animals." Camerawoman is, and I'd be amazed if you hadn't guessed by now, black.

    It's like their motto is "It's not racist if we don't say nigger/spic/chink//gook/squaw/kike, and it's just plain never racist if it's about them damn towel-headed A-rabs. How dare you drag race into this, you hypocratic libruls!"

    How the fuck did we get here?

  • Middle Seaman says:

    How do express yourself sensibly about the most illogical, hysterical and buffoonish of spectacles? We are used to the media making absolutely no sense. We are treated to the highest volume of expert advise that is totally wrong.

    The GOP convention, however, is a collection of drivers who ran into a ditch claiming unanimously that the ditch is evil. Since their driver licenses were long revoked and they are DUI, they all scream and holler in a slurred chorus.

    Even funnier, 50% of the American people believe that the ditch brought us the current disaster.

  • Better you than me, man – I haven't caught any of the convention yet on the assumption it would be a wreck, but not an interesting one. One notion that has been kicked around – jokingly I assume – is that the secret surprise speaker would be a Tupac-style holographic Reagan; something like that might be a surreal enough to catch, if only in the youtube rerun of the relevant section (sounds like the video retrospective is as close to a holo-Reagan as they'll get.)

  • Can we just forget about Chris Christie ever running for national office unless he loses 75 lbs? Dude is simply horrid visually.

    Not trying to offend, but there's a reason we haven't had a fat president since the invention of the television.

  • "the apparent theme for the convention is luring the truth into a derelict ice cream truck with promises of candy and then repeatedly touching it in the bathing suit area"


    Nicely done

    Ann Romney is pundit bait. She's not an absolute Palin-level train-wreck so they have to be nice to her and say stuff like "man she really highlighted the human part of Romney tonight". Which, if the Romney campaign really thought about it, is worse than not putting Ann out there at all.

    I wonder when the Reagan worship will start to embarrass them on its own terms. Cut taxes, bust unions, destroy evil empires abroad. Who outside of the 27% thinks any of those things is in the top twenty most important things that have to be done. Eventually even they have to be like ". . . yeah ok, that's done."

    The dash is in the wrong place, it's C-3PO, Christ might as well watch Luke Russert. And the best you can do with Ted Cruz is twenty-year-old Buchanan jokes? Pedophilia metaphors only get you so far.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    I'm not as fat as Krispy Kreme, but I'm no skinny-mini either, and I don't have to stomach for watching these people – so, thanks, Ed, for subjecting yourself to that display of "Rabid Conservatism."

    And I hope that African-American camerawoman sues the living sh*t out of the RNC, for the mental stress, among other things, of having some racist moron throw nuts and scream at her while she was gainfully employed trying to record their Village Idiot's convention.

    What, so now you can't VRWB – Video Record While Black?

  • Didn't watch it last night. Not watching it tonight. And certainly not watching it tomorrow. Just reading about it after the fact and watching a little about it on the morning news is enough to reinforce my belief that my time was better spent doing anything else.

    I need to hear what Reince Priebus, Rick Santorum and Chris Christie have to say? I don't think so; I already know what they have to say. The same for whomever is on the podium for tonight's cavalcade of bullshit. And tomorrow's Romneyfest promises to be an uncomfortable redux of Kerry's acceptance speech in 2004; they are truly flip sides of the same coin. Rich guys, uncomfortable in their own skin and unable to connect with any audience.

    I am still undecided about watching next week's show from Charlotte. Maybe I'll just tune back in here and see what you have to say about it, Ed. That will probably save me hours of my life better spent doing other things.

  • Thanks, Ed, for enduring the pain for the team. If I want more I'll record the Daily Show tonight. Ann Romney screaming "I love you women!" sounded lame enough.

    Andrew Sullivan on Colbert last night was worthwhile. Someone should hire him to design an ad or two.

    Will be interesting to see the audience numbers for this whole clown show. Or maybe the media won't release them, afraid of angry charges of treason?

    If this candidacy goes down in flames it might restore a little of my trust in the Amerrycan people. I remember having some, once. Long ago.

  • I watched a movie last night called "Crazy As Hell" – about a man who is so self-absorbed he destroys everyone around him and ends up as a psychiatrist in a mental hospital – trying to prove his theories correct. It turns out he is in hell – and just can't admit he was wrong about anything. It was a nice substitute for the convention – as it was fictional.

  • Actually Ron Paul's supporters would be more accurately compared to Jar Jar Binks. C3PO is somewhat bearable.

    I would like to pose this question to the gallery though:

    Why do conservatives fail so hard at being funny? This isn't the first time. Look at things like this if you need more examples:

    My theory is that for political humor to be funny, it needs to have at least a kernel of truth to it. If someone makes a joke about Putin crushing demonstrators with tanks, that joke wouldn't be all that funny because he's never done anything like that(that would be Mr. Yeltsin). Conservatives have got to a point where they are almost totally disconnected from reality, a world in which Obama is a Muslim Communist. It stands to reason that an attempt at satirical humor where the punch line is Obama's Marxist theories is going to fall flat unless you buy into that fantasy.


  • @Arslan: "Why do conservatives fail so hard at being funny?"

    This would be a good post for Ed. He knows conservatives (God help him) and also Funny. I love comedy and have a contemplative streak but this stumps me, too. Dennis Miller always sounded forced and P.J. O'Rourke is only funny when he's self-abnegating. A conservative dumping on conservative ineptitude can be funny. But then, as you say, there's a glimmer of truth to it.

  • Hey, has no one used the word "shitshow" yet? Too literal?

    My favorite part was imagining Ann Romney as the bejeweled society dame who has the Three Stooges show up and ask if she called for a plumber.

    But maybe she's more like Margaret Dumont, who played the grande dame for the Marx Brothers. She *has* to know how ugly it is, to soak up love for her breast cancer survival as she roots for a man trying to defund Planned Parenthood AND destroy the Affordable Healthcare Act.

    Clinical breast exams for impoverished, uninsured hoi polloi? But why?

  • @wetcasements
    Not trying to offend, but there's a reason we haven't had a fatgood president since the invention of the television.

    Fixed that for you.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Conservatives arent't funny because of a tragic medical condition.

    They suffer from a severe "irony deficiency."

  • I love your description of Chris Christie! I am repulsed by his appearance every single time – partly due to his excessive weight and partly due to his personality and everything he is trying to do to NJ. He is a bully plain and simple!

  • Chris Christie is apparently a Republican in the Harding tradition. Harding was renowned for his ability to bloviate, i.e., talk for hours about not much of anything and leave a crowd convinced they'd just heard something wonderful.

  • Lacking Moral Fiber aka Useless Muthfucka frmly Nemesis says:

    Speaking of zombie reagan fetishism, will the Thursday evening hologram depict scenes from reagans most famous, but oft ignored, performance where he, as POTUS, sells military weaponry to our arch-enemy Iran, in order to use the proceeds to fund an illegal war in Central America. Is it THAT reagan?

    Kinda makes Oval Office blow jobs seem, well, quaint by comparison.

  • @anotherbozo:
    Ed has ventured into this area before:

    @The Mad Dreamer:
    I was almost sure that story was a hoax when it "broke" on liberal blogs last night. It just seemed perfectly designed to pique HuffPo commenters and other dumb lefty reactionaries.

    But now it seems to be true. And I'm convinced that conservatives either haven't heard of the internet or they're actively embracing irrelevance. I know there's a lot of heavy drinking in Tampa right now, but… that's fucked up.

  • "..secret surprise speaker would be a Tupac-style holographic Reagan."

    I'm sure that Garry Trudeau would be only too happy to lend them Ron Headroom (assuming he can find the old server Ron's been stuck on since the 1980s).

    "..maybe she's more like Margaret Dumont.."

    How dare you, Sir! Margaret Dupont was twice the woman Ann Romney is!
    (stick with the 3 stooges one; she had it coming.)

  • Sorry, JohnR; I am a woman; I thought you knew? :-)

    As for Margaret Dumont, I was guilty of being obscure sans referent. Dumont was a very wealthy woman, and Groucho said that she never got the joke she was part of; that made HER the joke. But the lady had come up from the comic stage, before she married a millionaire, so this was a base canard. Since Ann Romney spoke of her own humble roots, I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. But apparently her humble roots included a childhood in Bloomfield Heights and private schooling.

    So apparently she's sincere in wondering why everyone is being so darned mean, not to mention insubordinate in daring to question her — which puts her closer to Marie Antoinette than to Curly Howard. Too bad.

  • "… they need to lock Ann Romney in a closet for the rest of the campaign. She is just fucking awful. "

    Hey, she's got MS for Pete's sake – you can't criticize her.

  • Just came across this wonderful piece of overt racism at the RNC. The fratty rube delegates drown out Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization, when she tries to make a speech…chanting "USA, USA", until Priebus calms them down.

    You can't even make this shit up!

  • @Bill – I love the conservative echo chamber's response to this vid:

    "We're not racist, it's just the inherent flaws in our ideology and race-to-the-bottom tactics are tearing at the seams of our party's highly orchestrated display of new-found unity. We are just really really bad at this."

    Oh, OK then, Republicans. In that case, there's nothing to see here. Carry on!

  • @ladiesb:
    "Sorry, JohnR; I am a woman; I thought you knew?"

    What – I can't call a woman Sir"?! How sexist of you…

    "As for Margaret Dumont, I was guilty of being obscure sans referent."

    That's OK, I was being literal, so in a sense it cancels out.
    I'm not even going to address Anne Romney. I'm sure she has her good points. She must.

  • Conservatives arent't funny because of a tragic medical condition.

    They suffer from a severe "irony deficiency."

    BWAHAHAHAHA oh thank you, thank you cund gulag, I needed that while waiting for Paul's self-justifing glorification and Bono's response to Huckabee's taking his name in vain as I thanked the flying spaghetti monster that Condi kindly chose not to be the trojan horse for admitting the teabagger wackos into the White House.

  • My understanding is the night one had 22 million viewers, 17 million of which were over the age of 55.

    And Ann Romney's line about being raised in a small town was rich. Bloomfield Hills is the wealthiest suburb in the US not located in California, Texas or Virginia with less than 20k people. 49% of homes in Bloomfield Hills are valued at $1 million or above. Some small town.

    Of course, if Mitt had his way, two of the Big Three would have gone out of business, and it's awfully difficult to sell those $1 million+ homes when the primary industry that makes up the rotting central core of your metro area is completely shuttered.

  • Halloween Jack says:

    @RosiesDad: "tomorrow's Romneyfest promises to be an uncomfortable redux of Kerry's acceptance speech in 2004; they are truly flip sides of the same coin. Rich guys, uncomfortable in their own skin and unable to connect with any audience."

    Dude, please. Kerry has repeatedly been re-elected by the same state that got one taste of Romney and spat it out. That "Kerry is wooden" meme was brought to you by the same people who insisted that Al Gore was a big wimp who tried to claim that he invented the Internet.

  • Odd that no one has mentioned the Republican meme that Liberals are dour Birkenstock wearers who have no sense of humor.

  • I had never seen or heard Ann Romney before she did that mini-interview where she "explained" why no more tax returns would be released. I was prepared to like her; I think W is a criminal frat-boy, but Laura Bush is a lovely person.
    No such luck. She radiates a kind of angry, lacquered meanness.
    Then I caught the part of her speech where she claims she was brought up in a small town. I know where she was brought up; I live in the next suburb over. To claim that Bloomfield Hills is a 'small town" is a distortion so remarkable as to qualify as a lie.
    I guess her handlers thought that if she said she had grown up in an upscale suburb, surrounded by exclusive golf and hunt clubs, most Americans would have been put off, but she could have just left it out.
    I suppose it IS possible that she's been so protected by the bubble of extreme wealth since she was a child that she imagines that that's what Grover's Corners looked like.
    Either way, she doesn't do anything for Romney's chances.

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