. . . Tuesday August 31, 2004

The Arnold and Laura Show

(Or: How I Quit Drinking Forever)

Before we begin, I should make it clear that tonight was by far the best night of both conventions and by a long shot. Both Arnold and Laura gave good speeches (good enough to forget the twins’ performance which in pop culture parlance would make them the first comics not standing). Notice too how completely the Republicans filled the television moments. There was no time for pundit commentary.

But now’s that there is some time…

Arnold’s main goal was to attract the undecided independents. He spent much of his speech explaining what would make one a Republican.

“If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a Republican! If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican! If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does, then you are a Republican! If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children, then you are a Republican! If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope of democracy in the world, then you are a Republican! And, ladies and gentlemen, if you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a Republican!”

Yeah. In fact you can believe that or anything else just so long as you’re good and scared.

You don’t necessarily have to share the views of most of the Party’s most powerful members. Arnold’s description would include everyone from Hillary Clinton to Noam Chomsky.

In his redefining of the word Republican, Arnold paid tribute to just about every recent Republican president. Well, everyone except the President’s father. Even Nixon got a few plugs.

Is it possible that the Oedipus complex is contagious?

Look, I’m all for a hard hitting speech, but the last line of the section above is unacceptable on every level. First, we expect Arnold to work in cheesy references to his movies. We don’t expect him to work in that crap when referring to the war on terrorism. Second, any suggestion that Democrats are not fierce and relentless in the war on terror is offensive; especially so considering the President’s opponent. You’ve got a movie hero questioning the courage of a real life one.

Next you’ll tell me that a duo made up of those who avoided Vietnam would sanction attacks on the character of their peer who served and fought.

Laura Bush did a solid job of describing the details of her relationship to W the person. She included the days when they first met, family dinners, the war on terror, their courtship in Midland, the fight against the evil doers, George behind the wheel of the Oldsmobile Cutlass, rooting out foreign dictators, Barney’s heartwarming antics, the friggin islamists and watching the twins play soccer.

This lady really is a throwback. But it sort of works. I am clearly rooting against her in this election, but I must admit that by the end of her speech I had completely quit drinking, snorting coke, gangsta rapping, being Jewish, shooting H, dropping E, smoking J’s, letting my cat squirm on my lap, performing voodoo without just cause, sniffing glue and gas, voting my conscience and having sick fantasies about me and the Bush twins beer bonging Cristal on PDiddy’s yacht.

We’ll see if it sticks. I’ve still got to get through Cheney’s speech and I’m only human.

Concentration is important!