Thursday, 8:58 AM: Let me begin today’s dispatch by offering one caveat for what is to come: I’m not saying ALL Republicans are retarded.
I’m starting to feel like I’ve wandered into the worst Twilight Zone episode ever. From the threat of hurricane Isaac and subsequent inclement weather to the fat-man’s-ass level humidity to the toothless, mouth-breathing, degenerate yahoos, the plagues that have descended upon Tampa this week are enough to make one wonder whether God is just using this as a tune-up for the oncoming apocalypse (which will, of course, be brought on by the gays, the commies, the academic elites, union members, and anyone who’s name ends in a vowel).
Bring on day four.
9:43 AM: I’ve come to realize that the only way I’m going to be able to make it through this final day is by getting rip-roaring drunk. Thus, I find myself at the bar in the hotel lobby ordering double Bloody Marys, and making sure the bartender understands I’m not looking for the soft country club pour he’s been giving these seltzer-swilling suburbanites all week. Celery and olives will have to serve as my sole solid nourishment for the time being.
11:11 AM: There’s a stupid old superstition that if you make a wish when there are all 1’s on the clock it will come true. Right now I’m wishing that I wake up from this awful nightmare that is the 2012 Republican National Convention. The two flabby, khaki pants and polo shirt-bedecked, Karl Rove lookalikes sitting next to me at the bar are drinking Mai-Tai’s and arguing about women’s reproductive rights. There’s a couple sitting in a booth by the door who are eating pancakes and periodically straightening the thousands of campaign buttons on each others vests, their bolo ties and Romney/Paul cowboy hats lying on the booth beside them. It’s hard to fathom that these people exist. I order another Bloody Mary. This time with a beer chaser.
12:37 PM: At this point I keep going to the strip clubs as much for the air conditioning as the women. In the cases of more than half these strippers, if I saw them walking down the street, fully-clothed, the thought, “I want to see that person naked,” would be one of the last to come to mind. One corner of the bar is occupied by a group of Young Republican frat boy-types, who are practicing trickle-down economics by making it rain on a crew of homely meth-heads, girls (?) who were only brought in for this week in order to service the overflow crowd from the convention.
2:13 PM: Still at the strip club. Three traveling salesmen, who used up much of their allotment of frequent flier miles to finance their trip, are sitting next to me at the bar. They are arguing over who was the best candidate in this year’s Republican presidential field. This is one of the most prevalent conversations I’ve overheard this week. Classless yokels yelling about Michelle Bachmann being the one true conservative in the field, or Herman Cain’s ceaseless charisma. Rick Perry was at one point considered their savior candidate, for shit’s sake.
3:74 PM: That’s right, 3:74. It’s official, this convention is taking place in some sort of alternate reality. Either that, or the humidity has caused the clock display on my cell phone to malfunction. I need another drink.
6:42 PM: I skip dinner, instead deciding to grab a six pack at the corner store and guzzle them all down while I walk back to the convention center. I can’t tell whether people are looking at me funny or if they all just have a natural sneer affixed to their faces, ready at the drop of a hat to turn it on anyone who might possibly maybe be thinking about infringing on their personal freedoms.
8:12 PM: The past hour has been a real dazzler. It started out with the party’s highest ranking person of color, John Boehner, spewing the same drawling, nonsensical drivel we’ve all heard from him many thousands of times. In the past four days alone. Then, in a sort of “Who invited them?” moment, we got to hear from both Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista. That was followed up by one of the Bushes. I’m not sure which, though. Given his roots and this setting, I am sure he’s an asshole.
9:47 PM: And the mystery speaker is… A reanimated corpse? No, wait, it’s Clint Eastwood. Really? Clint Eastwood? Why?… Oh, now I see why, it looks like the Republicans had yet to fill their crotchety old white guy quota… Wow, this is awkward. His speech is such a rambling, incoherent farce I’m half expecting him to start yelling at the crowd to get off his lawn. Okay, now he’s talking to an invisible President Obama. Yeah, that makes sense. Way to whip the crowd into a frenzy, Clint. Although, talking to imaginary people does sound about right for this day, this week, this convention, this party. I’m starting to wonder if they didn’t just find a homeless man out on the streets of Tampa who was a dead ringer for Eastwood.
10:24 PM: And finally we get to the man these people have all been waiting for, Marco Rubio. The charismatic young Senator represents everything the Republican party is looking for in a candidate. He’s got strong conservative values, a way of connecting with people, and a different skin tone. This is the man for whom they’ve been waiting. Sadly, for them, he is here to introduce the man they’ve decided to nominate for President.
11:18 PM: Finally, the candidate himself. And here’s where any sane human being has to get off the bus. There was something about the string of half-truths and outright lies the Republican party foisted on America throughout this convention, throughout this campaign, throughout the past several years, that, when coming from lesser figures, could almost be dismissed. But when your candidate for President of the United States gets up in front of everyone who supports him, or at least kinda supports him, and spews out one blatantly false or misleading statement after another you have to realize this party has gone off the rails on a crazy train.
If there’s one thing this convention has taught us, it’s that this election is not a choice between two parties or two candidates, it’s a choice between some approximation of sanity and insanity. Only the most gullible, deluded, or willfully ignorant among us could be swallowing this garbage and, depressingly, it appears there are A LOT of gullible, deluded, willfully ignorant people left in this country. The fact is that the Republican party has become the party of ignorant white people, and if they continue along those lines their ultimate failure as a major political party in modern America is inevitable.
Unfortunately, we are still stuck in a time when these people make up enough of this country’s population to be a political and social force. As scary as our future may look at times, I envy my children, because in the very near future, as we progress as a society, people like the ones I’ve come across at this convention will go the way of the segregationists, the John Birchers, and the McCarthyites.