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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

RNC NIGHT TWO: GROPING FOR VOTES
Conan the Compassionate
How did this happen? I can't believe I'm watching The Terminator give a prime-time political speech from Madison Square Garden to support the reelection of president George W. Bush. In 1989, one of these guys was trading Sammy Sosa, while the other was heading to Mars in Total Recall. Now he's the governor of California. How the hell did this happen?

Here's a European Republicans actually seem to like, imagine that. Attempting to tie his speech to the evening's theme, Compassion, Arnold played the immigrant card, which was to be expected... I mean, they can't let Teresa be the only one to pull that. Arnold's wife, Maria Shriver of the Kennedy Shrivers, seemed a little uncomfortable up in the box among the Bush, watching her husband pimp for a platform he can't even stand on himself. At one point, Schwarzenegger told a story about arriving in America and being welcomed by the words he heard Richard Milhous Nixon. Like hearing "a breath of fresh air" is how he described it. So Arnie is a Nixon Republican... yeah, that'll play well.

The California governor defended the president, continuing to paint a picture of him as a strong, resolute leader. Arnold peppered his speech with lines from his films, referencing both True Lies, The Terminator and Predator. What, no mention of Twins? The governor repeated the over-arching theme of this convention, that Bush "doesn't flinch, doesn't waver, does not back down"... unless of course he himself is faced with the prospect of going to war, in which case Bush'll use any connection he has to avoid service. Schwarzenegger spoke firmly about how Bush doesn't make decisions by listening to polls, because, let's face it, that would be too much like listening to the people.

And then, Arnie dropped his infamous remark about girlie-men on the rabid throng. The packed hall of homophobes went wild, and all of Chelsea raised a middle finger.

The Bush Twins Speak
My god, don't let it happen again.

Laura's Theme
Introduced by her husband, who was planted in an Iowa cornfield or something, Laura Bush took the stage and let the Prozac do the talking. She's like sugar cane. Measured. Relaxed. Assuring. Librarianesque. Stepford.

The first lady embodied the evening's theme of compassion. She mostly spun warm tales about her husband, attempting to make him seem as cuddly as possible. But we all know the best way to make the president seem cuddly is to stand him in between Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. Against a backdrop of signs proclaiming "W Stands for Woman", a silly notion when you actually look at this administration's record, the first lady spoke of her husband's emotional struggle over the decision about Iraq. Apparently, he was weighed down as he wrestled with the notion of dropping a few cluster bombs on Paris on the way to Baghdad. He decided against it, instead flushing a cathartic bottle of French champagne down the First Toilet on the eve of the invasion.

Laura also brought up the stem-cell issue again. That's right, I almost forgot, she's a scientific expert on the subject, just like Ron Reagan Jr. I love Laura's approach to stem cell research. Essentially, she believes that early testing with stem cells haven't yielded results yet and therefore we just shouldn't explore any further. This issue is too complicated for me to get into lest I put you all to sleep, but if we went by this basic philosophy we'd still be at the mercy of polio and tuberculosis.

I don't know what to make of tonight... kind of lame really. They tried to end on a hug with Laura, but the GOP is much more effective I think when they're throwing gut shots and kicking their opponents in the crotch.

Tomorrow night, Lord Vader speaks. Gut shots and crotch kicks for everyone.


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