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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also a film journalist/critic for Cocktails & Movies and CinemaBlend, as well as the author of several short stories such as "The Devil v. George W. Bush". Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: mikereyeswrites@gmail.com

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Convention-al Thinking: Day 5 - To Protect America

Note: My coverage of the Convention is limited to whatever text the Internet gives me, and morning news shows like Good Morning America. I apologize if my coverage isn't all encompassing or anything like CNN or Fox News. I'm here to offer analysis and punditry, not whether Bristol Palin is going to be a MILF like her mother or not.

(She very well could be, but this isn't the time and place to speculate such matters.)

After a day's delay due to anticipated relief efforts after Hurricane Gustav, the Republican National Convention started last night. From the photographs and the video coverage, it looked like the Republicans played true to their traditional stylings, with a very traditional looking stage on which to act out their end of the political drama. Clearly, while the Democrats went for a stage replete with video screens and fanfare, the Republicans responded by designing a stage that resembled a metal brief case. You know, the same type they carry missile codes or bribes in?

The convention started with a big ol' sloppy handjob to the party's ego. And it all started with former Senator/Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson. (Full speech text can be found here: Fred Thompson’s speech) Thompson, who took time out from his day job as New York's District Attorney, praised Sarah Palin as much as he possibly could last night. “She is from a small town, with small town values, but that's not good enough for those folks who are attacking her and her family.” I come from a smallish town, and I can say that Senator Thompson is right...teenage pregnancy is a small town value indeed. However, I cannot belief that they'd promote this "small town value" and still be on a platform of "Abstinence Only" education in schools. Unless, of course, they enjoy teenagers getting pregnant from failing to abstain, and enjoy teenagers having children at such an age where they can't properly support said children. Which would of course lead us to believe that they also enjoy teenagers wrestling with the possibility of abortion. I have nothing against teenage mothers, more power to them in fact. However, I doubt this is the "breath of fresh air" that the Republican party had hoped for when they rushed Gov. Palin's nomination into being, without proper vetting mind you.

The former senator also said that, "She is a courageous, successful, reformer, who is not afraid to take on the establishment.” I would also agree with that...she's not afraid to take on the establishment, and abuse it for her own political means. Particularly with that little matter known as "Troopergate". I don't care if your former brother in law is a douchebag and a half, if you don't have a proper reason to fire him then don't do it. You could make his life a living Hell, slander his name in every way you can, and do whatever...if it's within reason and within the law. Another issue tackled by our friend was Palin's inexperience, by way of previous "accomplishments".

“She has run a municipality and she has run a state. And I can say without fear of contradiction that she is the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field dress a moose ... with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt.”

Firstly, she's only run the state for about 22 months, Senator. I don't think she's quite got the hang of it yet, and before anyone mention she ran a small town, keep in mind that was for 8 years, and it was a small town. A town of about 8,471 people. Secondly, Alaska has about 683,478 people and brings in a median income of $54,627. So almost two years of experience, with that many people and that much money, in a state that remote from the continental United States, qualifies her to half govern a nation with 305,029,000 people, and with a Gross Domestic Product of about $13 trillion dollars? But yet, three and a half years of representing his state on the National level doesn't qualify Barack Obama? That's about a year and a half more experience in the National level than Finally, field dressing a moose isn't a viable skill in the Vice Presidency...unless you're VP of a nation comprises of a majority of moose. In which case you're not qualified to run America...you're qualified to be Norwegian. (Which isn't a bad thing. Moose are cool.)

The second hand involved in stroking the massive circle jerk of the evening was none other than Democratic/Independent/Republican without the ring himself, Senator Joe "Papa Palpatine" Lieberman. (Again, full speech can be found here.) He started out by invoking a speech that would have been more fitting for Katrina, seeing as Gustav really just huffed and puffed compared to the previous storm to hit New Orleans.

"At times like this, we set aside all that divides us, and we come together to help our fellow Americans in need. The last thing we think about is whether one of the victims was a Democrat or a Republican, because we're all Americans.
You know, the sad truth is that it shouldn't take a hurricane to bring us together like this."

I whole heartedly agree with this. However, wasn't the same thing said after 9/11? Look where both parties ended up after that. We went straight from singing "God Bless America" together, straight through the Anthrax attacks, right into acting like partisan assholes, and hating each other again due to the War on Terror. And even during Katrina, both parties still attacked each other, mostly the Democrats attacking the Republicans for not doing their job during the storm's aftermath, ON TOP OF having a former chairman of a show horse organization as the Director of FEMA. Gustav, on the other hand, was mild enough that we could still like each other, while feeling mildly threatened. At least, that's what Senator Lieberman seems to be saying here. Oh, and I know he calls himself an "independent Democrat", but I disagree. He's crossed into Republican territory and he's never coming back. He then continued:

"Every day...Every day across our country, millions of our fellow citizens are facing very big and real problems. They're worried about their homes and their jobs, their businesses. They're worried about the outrageous cost of gasoline and health insurance, and they are worried about the threats from our enemies abroad."

You know, for the opposition, the Republicans are quite an agreeable lot. It's just the hypocrisy behind their statements that tanks the message. Of course people are worried about these things, they've ALWAYS been worried about these things. All you're doing is giving the audience a John Edwards (the Psychic, not the former VP candidate) Cold Reading. What are you going to tell them next? "The money is safe. Your nation will thrive." He later went on to say that,

"Sen. Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who I think can do great things for our country in the years ahead, but, my friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record, not in these tough times for America."

I agree with that as well. Just ask George W. Bush about well he did trying to compensate his lack of a leadership record with "eloquence". Is our nations learning anything yet? Here's a couple more pull quotes from later in the speech:

"Let me tell you. What you can expect from John McCain as president is precisely what he's done this week: Put our country first." (If by "put our country first", you mean "potentially leave it in the hands of a power hungry, inexperienced, and hypocritical former beauty queen of a babysitter if you kick off in the middle of the night", then sure, he's putting our country first.)

"If John McCain was another go-along partisan politician, he never would have led the fight to fix our broken immigration system or actually do something about global warming. But he did." (He also agreed with 90% of what George W. Bush told him to agree with. That's not "go along partisan politics", that's shoving your head up a man's ass.)

"Gov. Palin, like John McCain, is a reformer. She's taken on the special interests and the political power-brokers in Alaska and reached across party lines to get things done. The truth is, she is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington." (Which is a lot to say for someone who, again, has only had 22 months of experience as Governor. File this under the "political soulmate" line of premature commenting.)

"...when you vote for president, vote for the person you believe is best for our country, not for the party you happen to belong to."

Whoa...wait a minute? You're going to say something like THAT at the end of your speech? You mean...we can vote Democratic this election? And you're inviting Republicans to do so too? And all your speech is, really, is a whitewash answer that supports voting Republican as much as it does voting Democrat? Wow...way to go, Joe. Way to play the party line. Way to undercut your whole fucking speech with one line of text.

Compared to the Democrat's first night of their convention, this was more of a political show. They gave us the Biography on A&E version of McCain and Palin's records and lives, even going so far as to showcase photographs of them in the background. There was no teleconferencing with their families, there was no "I love you, Daddy" moment, all they presented was politics.

Oh, and on a final note, George W. Bush teleconferenced with the Convention, after cancelling his appearance due to "relief efforts" for Gustav. It had nothing to do with people being warned that if they wanted political careers in 10 years, they'd steer clear of the lame duck. It was just him making up for Katrina. I'd cover his speech, but really all you have to say is he wants to keep his party in power, and he said 9/11 was basically the reason to elect McCain. (Bush invokes 9/11 in backing McCain - The conventions- msnbc.com)

Bah, ok, fine. I'll give you ONE quote from Georgey:

“[I] stood in the ruins of buildings knocked down by killers and promised the survivors I would never let them down. I know the hard choices that fall solely to a president.”

See?! THEY WERE RIGHT! The Dark Knight was OBVIOUSLY a Bush parable. How could we not have seen it? C'mon, "stood in the ruins of buildings", people. Look at 1:42 in the trailer...

BATMAN DOES THE SAME THING! ZOMG! To further the analogy, Hillary Clinton is obviously The Joker, and McCain is obviously Harvey Dent/Two Face. Help me out here, Senator Leahy!

Tonight's round 2, and Gov. Palin is set to "wow" the nation with her brand of speechifying. Let's see how that turns out...

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