Thursday, July 29, 2004

All in the same boat--just like in Apocalypse Now

(40 minutes before Kerry’s speech): The convention is almost done, and unless Kerry makes a brilliant speech for the first time in his life, I’d call it a failure. But Kerry would call it a success, because it didn’t do any particular damage, didn’t give the R’s any ammunition to replace Shove-It-gate (I wonder if it makes a difference that Cheney’s similar mini-scandal involved a phrase that can’t be broadcast, unlike Teresa H-K’s).

But the convention neither strengthened anyone’s understanding of Kerry, nor damaged Shrub. In their efforts to do no harm, they wound up doing nothing at all. In retrospect, the way to take on Bush without seeming like meanies beating up the retarded kid would have been to leave Bush mostly alone and attack Ashcroft, Rumsfeld etc.

Oh dear Christ, Alexandra Kerry is relating a story about Kerry having given mouth to mouth to a hamster. Well, I’m sure no one will make fun of that story, and we’ll never hear about it again.

(Later): Now Kerry is speaking, and it would have been a good speech, if it been shorter (although the "reporting for duty" line at the beginning had me sick to my stomach for the next several minutes). He even kind of attacked Ashcroft & Rummy, for a couple of seconds, just like I advised, before veering off.

Kerry has a good line, that the US must never go to war because it wants to but because it has to, but he always undercuts the line by his refusal to say which one of those categories the Iraq war falls into.

(15 minutes later): No, he’s lost it completely. "Help is on the way," indeed. No word on whether hope, which was on the way yesterday, has shown up yet.

He wants an America where we’re all in the same boat, like he was on the Mekong, where "No one cared about our race or our backgrounds" and they just killed gooks. Thanks, I’ll walk. I get motion sickness anyway, even without VC shooting at me.

Speaking of models of democracy, the Iraqi convention was just postponed. A Sunni party pulled out because of death threats during the meetings that were supposed to select delegates, and the meetings were held in fewer than half the provinces.

Just as The New Republic predicted, a "high-value" Al Qaida target is captured by the Pakistanis during the Dem convention (actually a few days ago, but the news was mysteriously not released until today).

The US has decided not to push for sanctions against Sudan after all, but will give it more time to stop killing black people.

The Florida Republican party is advising party members to vote absentee, because you can’t trust those machines.

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