A Tale Of Two Cities
The Republican Convention in Tampa was about as exciting as frozen orange juice. No lumps. No surprises. But the convention did reflect a kind of America straight out of the early 1950s: it was very white, suspicious of ‘otherness,’ of women who didn’t know their place, of ‘homo-sex-uals,’ and of all non-Christians. Did I mention it was very white?
Once they presented two governors “of color” (Indian descent) and the inscrutable Condoleeza Rice marched off-stage, they had pretty well exhausted their ‘important Republicans of color’ (Man-Tan Boehner doesn’t count.)
As for GOP women, Mrs. Romney gave a very nice speech followed by a string of nice women who told us they’d been helped by Mr. Romney, praising the nice non-Bain Mitt Romney for his kindnesses. It almost seemed like Romney was running for Deputy Mayor of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Surrogates for Romney, especially ‘Mr. Sincere,’ aka Paul Ryan, were grim-visaged as usual, in their warnings of the looming doom of deficits (most of which they created with un-funded wars.) Uh Oh! That word ‘war’ was never spoken in Tampa. But Romney did threaten China with a Major Frown of Disapproval if they didn’t shape up. Take that, People’s Republic!
Except for the sparkling wit of Clint Eastwood and his chair, the GOP convention was mostly a humor-free zone, and what humor there was looked like an out-take from the movie Grumpy Old Men.
Unlike those Godless Dems, Republicans practically wore out the word ‘God.’ As for separation of church and state, some critics advised the GOP to simply drop the P, slip in a D, and come out of God’s closet.
Oh yes — before the convention was over, Mitt Romney made a nice, nice speech promising to fix everything that was wrong — by using tax cuts — for the rich.
In Charlotte, we watched a very different America march onto the stage in the Democratic Convention. We saw many men and women of many colors and ethnicities. The cheering in the hall was almost constant and exuberant. No buttoned-up, flag pin types here, lots of red, white and blue costumes and crazy hats were everywhere. No tight-lipped ideologues here. Even when Romney’s name was spoken, it never provoked anything like the hatred you heard simmering in Tampa whenever the GOP audience heard the President’s name.
Even when Democrats attacked Romney’s policies, or lack of them, there was none of the vulgar, nasty name-calling in the Limbaugh-Ann Coulter vein.
Yes, women are leaning democratic. You saw it on the stage as our beautiful First Lady was so eloquent that she started a Michelle boomlet for the 2016 election. The Lady says no thanks.
Watching all this from overseas, as her husband demolished the Republicans, was the formidable Hillary Clinton. That lady might say yes in 2016. Who knows.
Elizabeth Warren was smart and feisty. After listening to Dr. Jill Biden speak from the heart about education, you could see why Joe kept on proposing (five times) until she said yes.
There were plenty of democratic men in evidence, too. They made the Republican prospects look like last month’s goulash. There was Joe Biden himself, John Kerry being funny, the two young brothers Castro form Texas, Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., Governors Strickland and Patrick Duval, and several promising prospects who seemed to have the same last name: Kennedy.
Does this mean the Democrats will win the 2012 election in spite of a sluggish economic recovery? Will Americans vote for statistics or for character and principle? I don’t know. But I have seen the future and it didn’t look Republican. So pull up a rocking chair, Clint, and watch the world pass you by.