Wednesday, 9:52 AM: In my travels I’ve usually found that, no matter how exciting the place your visiting is, it takes four or five days to get tired of it. I don’t know if that’s a hard and fast rule. Maybe I just have a serious case of wanderlust. But in the case of the Republican National Convention I found that it took four or five hours.
As I awake in my hotel room this morning I’m going on hour number 50 in Tampa. It’s taking every ounce of willpower I have to get out of bed and face this mosquito den of a city.
10:45 AM: I decide to skip the continental breakfast today. Again, there are so many white people here I feel like I have to look away for fear of being blinded. I know the Republican platform isn’t exactly the most inclusive, but you’d think they could have found someone of color to spice things up a bit. Wait, never mind, Condoleeza Rice is set to speak tonight. Way to go, Republicans.
12:20 PM: Since there isn’t really anything happening until tonight I decide to peruse the Republican party platform. Here are some of the highlights:
- Banning gay marriage. For some reason I enjoy seeing the Republicans standing so far off on the wrong side of history. This is like having a ban on interracial marriage on your party platform in the late-1960s. Although, I suppose you can’t really expect a party that planned their convention in Florida during hurricane season to be particularly forward thinking.
- Banning all abortions. Even in cases of “legitimate rape”?
- Job creation through lower taxes for the wealthy. I’m paraphrasing a bit here, but I think this one makes the most sense. I hear the private yacht and jet businesses have been hurting lately. If we could find a way to make sure rich people get to keep more of their money these industries should be hiring again almost immediately.
- Getting RNC Chairman Reince Priebus cast as the evil, smarmy frat boy in a raunchy college movie. I might have read this item wrong. About three pages into the text my eyes began to glaze over and I’m pretty sure minor hallucinations were wracking my brain.
- Making sure the government doesn’t dictate gun clip or magazine limits. Hey, like B.I.G.G.I.E. said, “One in the chamber, 32 in the clip.” I won’t have my government telling me how many caps I’m aloud to bust in someone’s ass. Plus, when you’re out hunting deer it’s that 23rd shot to the buck’s dome that assures you of a clean kill.
- Ending voter fraud. This is one I can really get behind. Of all the misdemeanors that take place in this country a handful of times on a quadrennial basis this is the one that we, as a country, really need to stamp out. It’s like an election version of the “broken windows” policy. If you don’t clean up the little things, like nearly non-existent voter fraud, then how are you ever going to clean up the big things, like assholes in state houses who focus time and energy on ending nearly non-existent voter fraud in an effort to disenfranchise minority and younger voters?
- Decimating labor unions. Because corporations have it really tough in this country.
2:55 PM: I’m back out on the streets of Tampa trying to waste time until the convention heats up tonight. If New Jersey is the armpit of America, Tampa is definitely the crotch. My underwear hasn’t been this damp since I first saw Charles Krauthammer in person and mistook him for a zombie that had come to eat my brains.
4:12 PM: How do you make a place like Tampa even more boring than it already is? Hold a convention that attracts a couple hundred thousand middle-aged white people. The average skin tone of the crowd wandering around town this week falls somewhere between translucent and diaphanous.
6:23 PM: Just finished a completely unsatisfying dinner. Note to self: Not only do they strictly enforce the “Don’t Touch The Strippers” rule at the clubs here in Tampa, they’re just as adamant about the “No Double Dipping” rule at the dinner buffet.
7:36 PM: Just heard from the great Kentucky senatorial duo of Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. Another note to self: Never go to Kentucky.
8:13 PM: The excitement of this convention is really peaking now. We’re getting to hear from two guys – Ohio Senator Rob Portman and former Governor Tim Pawlenty – who were so boring they were rejected as Vice Presidential nominees on a Republican ticket in favor of Paul Ryan. The energy these two are generating is electric.
9:24 PM: The most notable part of Mike Huckabee’s speech was his ability to wolf down three Chic-Fil-A sandwiches while at the same time hitting on every single social conservative talking point. Impressive. Somebody call Guinness.
10:04 PM: Condi’s finally up on the bump. Every time I see her I think to myself, wow, this woman is impressive, she’s overcome so much to work her way up to the top of American society, she projects an aura of competence and depth that very few of our leaders can hope to emulate, so how the hell did she end up so misguided? I just hope that when she sees old news clips of herself walking alongside President Bush she wonders the same thing from time to time.
11:18 PM: We end the night with the now official Vice Presidential nominee, Paul Ryan. In other words, if you haven’t already had your fill of half-truths and misrepresentations, buckle your seatbelts kids. As I described here, here, and here, Mr. Ryan’s turn to libertarian political philosophy was the result of a bad acid trip he went on in college, making his stringent, unwavering dedication to that philosophy even more unnerving.