By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004, 2:39pm PT  

A few final thoughts on the DNC Convention after it's close (other thoughts on the week's activities are sprinkled throughout the last 3 or 4 days worth of Blog items below).

John Kerry said all the right things last night in his speech. A little too quickly perhaps, there was so many applause lines that he'd have better served himself to allow them to reverberate a bit more. But he's never been known for his oratory genius. It's what he said that counted most. At least to me.

Still not certain I'll actually be able to cast my own vote for him, paticularly since I live in the "locked" state of California and my vote may be better spent elsewhere (though, obviously not on Bush). If you live in Missouri or Texas or Ohio or Florida, etc., you'd be crazy to vote for anybody else. Which is what the Bushies are counting hoping for, of course!

I was, however, impressed with the speech in general. He said a lot of things that a lot of us Progressives had been wanting to hear from the man who isn't George W. Bush.

The coverage of the speech, which I watched mostly via Fox, though switched over to CNN and others throughout, showed again how even in their choice of camera shots the Foxies are anti-Democrat and Pro-Republican. While earlier in the week they would cut away to bored folks, dark folks, and folks in funny outfits right in the middle of important points in the various speeches (as opposed to waiting for applause lines and then showing cheering Dems) they subtly switched to a new tact last night.

If you watched Kerry's speech on Fox, you'd think he was actually in Hollywood making his speech! Which was clearly no accident of editing by the Fox directors. Almost every cutaway was to one of those "awful Hollywood Liberal Elitists" (I counted shots of Ben Affleck, Leo DiCaprio, two guys from The West Wing, Rob Reiner, John Cusack, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Steven Spielberg..and oh, yeah, Hillary...all within the first fifteen minutes of the speech!)

There were about five thousand delegates there, 15,000 reporters, scads of Democratic officials, but it was the "Hollywood Liberal Elite" who got the bulk of the camera time. That's Fox for ya. More on them later.

I was a bit mystified by the following comment from Kerry's speech though:

I want to address these next words directly to President George W. Bush: In the weeks ahead, let's be optimists, not just opponents. Let's build unity in the American family, not angry division. Let's honor this nation's diversity; let's respect one another; and let's never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.

The ideas of building unity and not angry division, and respecting one another, etc., made shrewd sense. But the last part there, about "never misus[ing] for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States" seemed an odd way to end the thought.

I wasn't certain what he was speaking of there, until I saw a Bill Schneider/CNN explanation that he was referring to Bush's cynical and failed "Gay Marriage Amendment". Then it made sense.

Perhaps the most interesting developement of the week was the Dems enormously clever --- and so far very successful --- move to co-opt the "optimistic" tone that Republicans had likely been hoping to seize upon themselves. The Reagan Effect is fully in play suddenly in this year's campaign, and it's the Democrats, ironically, who have successfully taken that legacy (for now) and made it their own. Beating the GOP at their own "we're the party of optimists, they're the party of doom and gloom!" game.

So kudos to whoever came up with that plan!

The Bush-Cheney thugs already look pretty pathetic (and un-American in this case), by tearing into Kerry-Edwards in the bargain. Drudge's lead item at this moment, for example, "Bush Derides Kerry as Man of Few Achievements..." will likely ring pretty poorly today for Team Bush amongst the electorate who really does seem to want some hope and optimism in this country for the first time in years! Yes, I know the pols always claim that "American voters are tired of the negativity"! But this time, I sense that it may actually be true!

Thus, I'd predict the more positive candidate this year may also end up winning because of it! Bush may soon figure that out, but his record of years of ugly divisiveness along with a proven inability to be the "uniter, not a divider" he claimed to be, added to his surrogates complete inability to be positive (that's just not what they're made of, and they don't have positive facts on their side to boot) means that Bush finds himself now in an unfortunate corner.

Anybody wanna start laying bets for which day between now and November 2 that Dubya will have his own "Bozos" moment this year? (Surely you all remember when Papa Bush's chances were so bleak back in '92, that the sitting President referred to his opponents as "those two Bozos".) Desperation does funny things to a guy, I guess. Watch for it from Mr. Bush at some point within the next 95 days.

Also, of note this year, was "Fox Up Against It!" They weren't able to pull of their usual all-out unchallenged assault on the Democrat Party this week. Was it because they were surrounded by Dems? Or is the Anti-Fox Movement really beginning to have an effect in the House that Murdoch Built?

More on that later...and meanwhile, where are those fucking balloons? Well done, CNN! You guys are geniuses!