When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

July 30, 2004

Convention Blogging

Bravo Romeo Delta

I'm not generally big on convention blogging - but I just wanted to share a few thoughts. I've not actually watched more than a couple of minutes with actual sound, so this is really my first entree into the DNC, other than reading about it.

First of all, his had gestures were off - to many, too fast, and too expansive. Nothing critical, but he just needs to work on that. He may have been trying to rouse, but it didn't work - at least over TV.

Secondly, the firehouses in Baghdad v. firehouses here - not the kind of thing that I want to hear from a guy bitching about exit strategies. Sounds like a recipe to yank folks out. Freaked me out that he got such a huge round of applause.

40 k additional troops? That's a great idea - provided it's funded. Not using them in Iraq, but simply to relieve troops already deployed? Cheap ploy to get military family votes. But a stupid cheap ploy. Basically, what people with family in the combat zones will hear is that Kerry intends to leave their loved ones overseas, bring on additional troops, and then not use them to bring their family out of harm's way. Not that great of a spin.

The "backdoor draft" thing royally irritates me. The basic premise that the sacrifice that reservists make is somehow more minimal than full-time troops is asinine. I don't think that's where he meant to go, but it is where he ended up going when he equated signing up for the reserves as being equivalent to getting drafted. Either that, or he meant to say that reservists are dumb. God knows they don't do it for the cash.

The rest of his military/defense talk is, of course, total crap. But that's not a super big surprise. All it did was generate quotes for attack ads.

He made some good unity points, but I think they can be used against him. We'll have to see.

The drum beating about national health care scares the holy living hell out of me. The demographics mean that we simply cannot support it, yet the increasing confluence of boomers and retired folks make it a near certainty that weíll get it sooner or later. Iím just hoping to hold the damage off for as long as possible.

I was a bit torqued about his assertion that healthcare is a right. It isnít a bloody right. That kind of thinking stems from that pernicious patrician crap that FDR set in motion with two of his four freedoms and the idealists of JFK and LBJ took through the roof with all that Mediocre Great Society garbage and the frigginí War on Poverty.

I was also really intrigued by his picking up the notion of being accused of being unpatriotic in the same speech he mentions the good old days of unity after 9/11. Leads down an interesting path that.

The thing that did strike me (and even compelled me to write this post) was this closing line: "Our best days are still to come." The thing that hit me as I heard it, but know it's not where he was intending to go, is that I thought he was trying to say that the best days of Democrats are yet to come. This struck me as a fantastic insight into the party, since his harkening back to great presidents included FDR and JFK, not his speakers, Carter and Clinton.

I wonder if that is a brief blip that might mean that they genuinely fear that the party is really that ill. Odd sentiment for a convention.

HmmÖ

Overall, the whole thing wasnít too bad. I found it fairly strong in stretches when his language about unity was actually matched with language about unity. That said, super self-contradictory, and clearly an effort to keep all the kids in the tent. But it doesnít help his waffling. I also wonder about the incessant beating of the Vietnam drum. Military service didnít get us a President Dole in 1996, and didnít get Clark the nomination in 2004. But it does keep opening up this nasty bitching match. That also kind of ties in with some of my theories of the Democrats being particularly backwards-looking this time around. Finally, the speech mechanics were so-so. Good, but not compelling tone, meter and intonation. Got people excited, but didnít seem to get them excited about him.

Granted, I'm not an unbiased observer - no shock there - but I don't think this was the homerun he needed to hit. That said, he did give himself some room to manuver to the center without losing too much of his base. As with every other presidential election since 1992, it'll be interesting to see how much he can get away with contradicting himself on the campaign trail.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at July 30, 2004 04:24 AM

Retaliatiory Launches

My thoughts on the speech:

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford at July 30, 2004 04:32 AM

I saw your post, and was compelled to match that level of interest with um... something. And stuff.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at July 30, 2004 05:03 AM

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