Political Conventions

They bore me, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter who the party is, they are essentially all the same. “We’re better than them and if you elect us we’ll show you” followed by cheers from people who already support them. Talk about preaching to the choir.

Now if you had Kerry address the Republicans and Bush address the Dems and then we heard cheers I might be impressed.

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  1. Judy August 4, 2004 at 4:36 am

    Then again, there was Clinton’s policy wonk speeches, which people criticized for being too detailed and long. Gore’s too, actually.

    Now, I know you didn’t name your little girl Esther, and it has a “W” in it and ends with “R,” so that’s where I’m stumped.

  2. Jack's Shack August 3, 2004 at 2:18 am

    Hi Judy,

    I don’t mind people posting interesting pieces. I still disagree with Maher. The conventions are only mildly interesting because they tend not to deal with specific details. Just comments about who is going to be better. I don’t want that, tell me how you’ll improve things.

  3. Judy August 2, 2004 at 6:20 am

    Oops. Well, I brought it back here, all cut and ready to paste, and I see it’s going to really cumbersome and hard to read (to say nothing of being a no-no to post articles on your blog!! You’re the one to do that, right, Jack? But I’d almost forgotten it and want to re-read the points. Too bad you can’t just post a link from the L.A. Times.

    July 30, 2004

    Tune In, Turn On and Decide

    By Bill Maher, Bill Maher is host of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

    Political conventions are important, and they deserve to be broadcast and viewed in their entirety. You can’t call everyone in Washington morons if you don’t know exactly what it is that makes them morons.

    The conventional wisdom is that conventions nowadays are beneath our attention because they’re so “produced” and there’s no drama. So what? We’re picking the president, not the last comic standing. It’s not a reality show; if it were, they would have voted Al Sharpton off the first night.

    The media treat these conventions as if they’re pointless interruptions of their real job, which is covering the Scott Peterson trial. No drama, no excitement.

    Hey, you know what’s exciting? It’s exciting when politicians get drunk with power because people aren’t keeping an eye on them. That’s when the high jinks really begin: Who expected we’d invade Iraq because of 9/11? Unpredictable, whoo!

    And by the way, it’s good that these conventions are “produced.” “Produced” is good. I like the produced version of the “Let It Be” album better. It’s good that someone produces my show, and when I find out who it is, I’m gonna shake his hand! It’s good when you produce a date: Most women like it when their boyfriends pick the restaurant and make the reservations. The postwar in Iraq is something that could have used a little more production value.

    The point of “producing” political conventions is to make it easy for us to make a choice. In recent years, the parties have gone out of their way to give you their pitch in the one medium all Americans respect and can still understand, the infomercial — and yes, they produced it so as not to waste your time, or drag you away for too long from the challenges of the “Andy Dick Show.”

    They put on a pageant for you: “These are our faces, these are our voices, this is our vision of America’s future” — like a car show, but instead of cars, they have ideas, ideas about where our country is going and about how the people who take such a huge chunk of our money are going to use it.

    And you’d think, after all that’s hit the fan since the last conventions, viewership would have gone up from 2000. What does John Kerry have to do to get your attention, fire Omarosa?

    I’m not asking you to pore over issues and read everything that’s out there; we can’t even get our president to do that. But the conventions are one of the only times when the election isn’t reduced to a war of sound bites and attack ads, one of your last chances to form an opinion that means something.

    Americans don’t get taught anything, but they get asked their opinions every day, so we get the impression that having an opinion is the same as knowing something. Which it isn’t. And I’ve got the polls to back that up.

    So instead of downgrading the conventions, let’s elevate them so that campaigns are no longer reduced to just sound bites, and come November, I guarantee that voters will finally be able to make informed decisions based on speeches they TiVo’d but never got around to watching.


  4. Judy August 2, 2004 at 6:11 am

    Jack, I listened to many Republican commenators during and after the convention and I heard almost nothing but good marks from them. I was surprised. They ranged from Laura Ingraham to Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak (who gave several of the speeches an A). Then, on the MacLaughlin Group on Saturday night, even that bastard Tony Blankenship from WSJ or whatever is name is, had to concur some of the positive highlights. There was a really great column in the L.A. Times about two days ago written by Bill Mahr spelling out why conventions are not just a lot of fluff and why they are good for ideas. I will have to see if I can resurrect it.

  5. Jack's Shack July 29, 2004 at 8:55 pm

    That is the problem with the conventions, the candidates preach to the choir so you end up with little in the way of substance.

  6. Anonymous July 29, 2004 at 6:44 pm

    I tried to watch, but after seeing Al Gore speak on night 1 (who I actually voted for), I couldn’t take it anymore. Just a bunch of rah, rah crapola. Where’s the beef?

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