The premise behind modern conventions is that free TV time is too valuable to waste on anything but an infomercial for the candidate and the party. All that other boring stuff conventions used to do should now be done before the convention starts. All that matters is the show.
What a show the Democrats are putting on! After two nights it looks like they are determined to put a face of middle-class, traditional values normality on the party. I have not seen or heard anything remotely controversial -- no gay or lesbian antics, no minority grievances, no Native Americans bewailing the white man, no foreigners denouncing American imperialism, no illegal immigrants begging for amnesty, no stoners calling for the legalization of dope. All the left-wing stuff is left out with the anarchists on the streets. Inside the convention hall, you'd think it was a Republican convention.
Where are the nutcases raving that Bush and Cheney are war criminals who should be tried and hanged? Where are the truthers giving earnest demonstrations on how Bush was behind 9/11? Where are the calls to bring our troops home now? Where are Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore and Dennis Kucinich? Where are Al Gore and John Kerry?
This must be the phoniest convention in history. You don't think Barack and Michelle, when they're sipping white wine in Bill Ayer's radical salon, talk about "American imperialism," "social justice," "false consciousness," "alienation" and the rest of leftist terminology?
His mild-mannered style has thrown off even some angry black radicals, who want him to speak out more forcefully about the legacy of U.S. racism and economic inequality.
One is Princeton professor Cornel West, a militant black and self-described socialist. Reportedly, West was reluctant to join the refined Obama's presidential campaign until Obama took him aside and explained to him that he had to walk a rhetorical tightrope to reassure whites. West is now solidly on board his campaign as an adviser.
The Obamas are putting on a show to gain voters' trust. They're doing what they have to do to gain power.
I thought the Kossacks would be angry and disappointed at how boring and "white bread" the show is, but they're delighted by the convention. They are collecting their favorite attacks on Republicans like stamp collectors at a philately convention. Apparently, there had been just enough red meat to keep the angry base happy.
Everyone seems to understand that the Democrats need to hide their true leftist nature in order to appeal to the heartland. They already have the votes of the Upper West Side and Castro Street; in this convention they're going after the Reagan Democrats, FDR Democrats and independents. They want to assure religious, small-town Americans that Obama is just like them.
I expect the Republicans to attack this facade and expose it for the lie it is next week. I also expect them to be denounced for "swiftboating" and "throwing red meat to the rabid right-wingers." But if the Republicans don't tell the truth about the Democrats' Potemkin Village Convention, who will (aside from little blogs like this that few read)? The MSM cannot be depended on to do the job. Bring on the swift boats.
UPDATE II: I see on O'Reilly that Kucinich was allowed to speak on August 26th.