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Monday, August 30, 2004

Take No Prisoners
John McCain has already stolen the moment of the entire week, with the help of Michael Moore, no less. Bombastic filmmaker Moore, perched high atop the hall as an invited member of the press, is public enemy number one to each and every delegate on that floor, even more so than John Kerry. And tonight, three-fourths of the way through his remarks, McCain fired a direct shot at the reviled documentarian responsible for producing what most in the party consider to be a complete misrepresentation and manipulation of the truth... kind of like FOX News, but without the commercials.

The hall absolutely erupted in a booming, sustained chorus of boos and foot-stomping and vicious torrents of anger. Moore of course, loved every minute of it. He smiled wide, threw up his arms and relished in the spotlight for a few more minutes. Surely, it was a bigger response than W. will be able to muster this week. Clearly the highlight of the week, hands down. Here's the video.

The speech itself was extremely effective, but all anyone will be talking about tomorrow is that moment, when John McCain took the fight right to the pugnacious filmmaker. The speech was so good, maybe it's a godsend for Democrats that Michael Moore stole the show.

The raucous mood in the hall didn't linger long as the producers of the show immediately got their somber on by switching to a 9/11 memorial, followed of course by none other than...

Rabid Rudy
The Republicans opening one-two punch of McCain and Rudy was formidable. They got to talk about defense and terrorism, and they got to talk tough. Very tough. The Republicans have seized 9/11, it belongs to them. Rudy's turn at the podium was no doubt powerful, but please keep in mind that he is far from representative of the ultra-conservative Republican party he's stumping for.

He does seem to have one thing in common with the base however, he hates a lot of people. Rudy seems to hate Europe..."they accommodate, appease and compromise." And the media..."they misinterpret and distort." And the Democrats..."most of their ideas are wrong." And John Kerry..."a wishy washy flip flopper." At this point, the flip flopping section of his speech, Rudy turned comedian, channelling Shecky Green for a few moments before taking the gloves all the way off. Rudy mostly attacked Kerry's senate record, which is much better than continuing to argue about the Mekong delta and may take the silly fight over Vietnam off the table for good. But let's remember that all politicians, by nature, are 'flip floppers', including the president.

Overall, Rudy's speech was a winner. He was engaging, combative and funny. Thank goodness not one of the networks decided to air coverage tonight. Uh oh, liberal media conspiracy! I'm sure the conservative airwaves are ablaze with theories already... Drudge is probably tearing his skin off at this one.

This was a very effective opening night for the Republican party, but their point is simply this: Bush is determined. Bush is unflinching. Bush doesn't waver or shift positions, he stays the course. But what if the course he's taking us on drops us directly off a cliff? Shouldn't we consider another way? They say he has a vision but what if his vision is wrong? It doesn't seem to be heading us in the right direction at all right now. And what is the vision exactly? I still don't know because they won't tell us. And what about Iraq? Can you please explain the rationale for invastion to me one more time? Because I'm not getting it. And if you launch a war, shouldn't you do a little planning for what happens when that war ends? Just asking.

Tonight the GOP pulled no punches, but they also offered nothing more than tough talk and machismo. No substance at all, but incredibly effective nonetheless.

Next up, the Terminator and the Librarian... stay tuned.

The Nation's take on night one can be found here.

ONLY 41/2 OUT...
One more reason to hate the Yankees.

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