So what did we learn from the conventions? A few things, actually – even though they are probably lessons we already knew, the salient points deserved repeating and reinforcing.
Point One – Republicans liked the Republican convention and believe that Democrats are at fault for everything.
Point Two – Democrats liked the Democratic convention and believe that Republicans are at fault for everything.
Point Three – Just like all the endless hours of campaign advertisements preceding them, most undecided voters will not be swayed either way, opting to “see what the debates bring,” and even those will prove to be inconclusive and Election Day will all come down to how you are feeling at that time. If you feel like there was no accomplishment in the past four years, you’ll probably vote Republican. If you feel there has been significant change in the past four years, and there would have been much more if the Republican goal, first and foremost wasn’t “holding that man to a single term,” you’ll probably vote Democratic. But if you haven’t made up your mind right now, your decision will be a last-minute choice.
Point Four – Ain’t it great that football season is back? I didn’t watch either convention, instead opting to delve into the pious pundit pontification the day after, and I am slightly happier than I had been during the two previous presidential election cycles. See, with football it really is up to the two teams on the field to make it happen. There will be a quantifiable winner and loser based directly on performance, which is something neither the president nor his rival can equal because…
Point Five – Like a car with brand new tires and a broke-down motor, logical, reasonable America has come to see what the real issue is. The president has no power. None. If Congress can’t do their job, then everything withers and dies under the war whoops of the seething mobs. Big Tea wanted intransigence to grind the wheels of the “runaway liberal agenda” to a halt, and they got it. The problem is that they are an unwavering lot and presidents have to waver. Romney, seemingly having sold his soul and every good idea he ever had as bad, cannot hope to please the mob all the time, and when that dissonance happens, he’ll be just as henpecked as Obama.
During the debt ceiling standoff of 2011 it is said that John Boehner was ready to go on Obama’s Grand Bargain, an act that would have given the Republicans so much more than they ever could have gotten at the bargaining table, and at the same time would have slain many Democratic sacred cows and would have doomed Obama’s reelection choices right then and there. Yet it was deemed it would be viewed as a “win” for Obama in the short term, so the word was set forth that there would be no deals. Period. John Boehner looked like a wimp in the process, but the shadow of Eric Cantor at his back like a stalking lion to a confused gazelle receded and the Caligula-like form of Grover Norquist in the stands approved in this twisted passion play. If Mitt Romney thinks he’s getting any Etch-a-Sketch margins to work with, he’s a fool.
Point Six – Because of Big Tea’s influence – and let’s not forget that at the beginning of 2012 the media was reporting the movement virtually as dead – it has a heavy lock on our governmental process right now, and the only way to shake that loose is to see it through. They have to take the country to the brink, and possibly over it, to wake up the glassy-eyed rage-o-holics across the nation. They need to be ankle deep in it before they recognize what has been done, but that’s just human nature writ large.
I’ve seen family members die terrible deaths of cancer and their kids continuing in the same habits that brought the worst of the cancer on. They are now experiencing some of the first symptoms of the addictions that killed their parents, yet they charge forward. It will likely not be until the doctor says things like, “biopsy,” “chemotherapy,” “radiation,” “dialysis,” “transfusion,” or “pray” that they will finally alter their individual courses, but by then the damage will have been done and though they will blame themselves to a certain level, they will mostly aim their fury at the liquor, the cigarettes, the illicit drug. Human nature tends not to see the problem until they’re drowning in it.
So anyone who thought they were going to get roadmaps to redemption from the political conventions fell victim once more to drastically heightened expectations. Those who feel the president, whoever he may be in 2013, will guide us like Moses through the Red Sea waters will be deluged by their delusions. Congress will blame each other and remain as do-nothing as ever, and it will only be in the depths of catastrophe that someone, anyone, recognizes that of all the people they could have handed the keys of power to, they chose Otis the Town Drunk.
But at least we have football…sweet, sweet football.