so, i not going to watch the whole Repub convention (a man can only take so much), so it’s just Wednesday and Thursday this time around. To be fair, i wasn’t going to watch any of it … but i have to say that I think the nomination of Palin for Veep (or Trophy Veep, or VPILF, depending) is a masterwork. the dems are in real trouble on this one, and i hope she’s not the harbinger of the apocalypse for their ticket.

Also, in full disclosure, I must confess that I am not live-blogging this, but instead “tivo-blogging” this … on wednesday night, the lady sparkler and I had to decide between going to RFK to watch D.C. United win its 12th major championship, or stay home and bear witness to the coming apocalypse. it didn’t turn out to be as hard of a decision as i’d have thought.

UPDATE: I was going to try and tivo-blog both nights right now… but my weak psyche just can’t take another three hours on top of what i’ve already endured. You’re on your own until the weekend when i’ll plow through the final night.

UPDATE #2: It’s two weeks later, and the last night of the convention is still untouched on my Tivo. I’m beginning to question my dedication to this effort …

UPDATE #3: It took three-odd weeks to gain the courage to finish the repub convention. Boy, the things that I do for my loyal readers … all three of you.

Random thoughts below.

thursday night

8:07 PM “Sometimes the best sermons aren’t preached, they are lived.” Pithy, but I don’t actually know who this guy is.
8:08 PM eighth incancation of “John McCain put our country first.” at least those wacky repubs got that call and response thing down … drill, baby, drill!!!
8:11 PM Now he’s extolling the virtues of “Sam’s Club republicans.” Big, empty, ugly, destroys family businesses, filled with crap you don’t need in quantities you can’t use. Interesting analogy.
8:12 PM Who is he again? Oh, Governor of Minnesota … the state that brought you Jesse Ventura. Of course, I say this from the city that brought you Marion Barry.
8:15 PM Bill Frist is talking about HIV/AIDS? That seems like an odd play for the Trade Federation. What’s he up to…?
8:16 PM Interesting to see Frist explaining the genocide in Rwanda to the Convention … wonder if he is going to need a map. He might want to explain what “Africa” is first, and move on from there.
8:17 PM Frist ended with “God bless the children of the world.” Is he some sort of Commie? Who ends a speach with something other than “God Bless the United States of America.” I mean, really?!?
8:24 PM Nothing’s better than a white man in a $800 suit saying “Are you ready to rock, America?”
8:25 PM Brownback is highlighting McCain’s historic vice presidential nomination. Has he forgotten about Geraldine Ferraro, or is he just highlighting that the RNC is historically 20 years behind the DNC on social issues?
8:27 PM Great talking point for the repubs: “Last week in Denver, the other party was encouraging us to ‘believe.’ They told America over and over, ‘Yes we can.’ But when you look at the past two years with Democrats controlling the House and Senate, all we’ve seen is, ‘NO we can’t.’ They said we can’t reach energy independence by finding new sources of oil and gas in our own country. We can’t cut spending. We can’t have a health care system run by doctors and patients instead of a federal bureaucracy. They say we can’t win the war in Iraq. While the other side may say ‘yes we can’ and then votes ‘no you won’t’ — John McCain says ‘yes we will.'”
8:28 PM okay, okay, okay, okay, okay … call and response. i get it. you guys are *just* like baptist preachers. i get it. please stop.
8:34 PM Now Mary Fallin (R-OK) is digging up the OKC bombing? They really are the party of the past … how about we focus on health care, education, foriegn policy or the economy? Heck, I think talkin’ babies, guns, gays and jesus would be more useful for the party.
8:37 PM Candidate for most forced soundbite of the evening: “We need a president who knows you can’t negotiate with Evil.”
8:39 PM Oh, God. A video about 9/11. This can’t possibly be good news for either party.
8:39 PM “The first attack came in Iran.” Wow. Subtle. I wonder who we should invade next.
8:40 PM “And kill us they did.”
8:41 PM “We remember buildings burning, bodies falling.”
8:42 PM Video closes with: “We will never allow that to happen again.” Wonder if that statement comes with a life-time guaruntee. I can just imagine: “We voted for McCain, and then it happened again. Can we sue for false advertising?”
9:01 PM Sen. Lindsey Graham is discussing the “surge” in Iraq, with a picture of military headstones (Arlington National Cemetary?) in the background. Now, *that’s* an unfortunate image …
9:02 PM Newsflash: According to Lindsey Graham, John McCain is presponsible for the Surge! If we pair his surge up with Al Gore’s internet, I wonder what crazy things we could make …
9:04 PM Oifff: “Ladies and Gentlemen … thank God for Joe Lieberman.”
9:06 PM Graham just downgraded “Mission Accomplished” to “We are winning.” Maybe “we are doing pretty okay” is next?
9:06 PM There are some *really* awkward pauses in Graham’s speach, while he waits on applause lines. Is the convention just waiting for big names, or does Lindsey have the speaking presence of a turnip?
9:10 PM Video on Palin. Starts with: “Mother, Moosehunter, Maverick.” I don’t think they were kidding …
9:11 PM Palin’s daughters make me … uncomfortable. How much of the under-25, Middle-American-male vote do you think they bring in for McCain?
9:13 PM “Alaskan Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.” What noun exactly does “Conservation” modify in that sentance, “Alaska” or “Oil and Gas”?
9:14 PM So, this whole “candidate as sex-symbol” thing the video is pushing … Sarah Palin creeps be out in one direction, and Hillary Clinton goes the other way. Isn’t there a happy median somewhere?
9:18 PM Tom Ridge is great and all, but couldn’t they find a better setup man? And where is Cindy. I thought she was speaking today.
9:20 PM Again, the applause from the audience is really weak. Where did they get these delegates? Shouldn’t they be making a ruckus?
9:22 PM Not being glib (this time) but I honestly don’t understand this line: “For the consideration before us is not about who can take a 3 a.m. call. It’s about who has answered the call throughout his life.” Is it a reference to something I missed?
9:25 PM Oh, no. I sense another “call-and-response” thing coming on. Do repub operatives read my blog? I’m honored and all, but i think you took my advice a little toooo literally.
9:31 PM Hey, hey. Here she comes. Cindy McCain video: Why don’t they recognize his first wife, and those three kids? Strange, from the part of family values.
9:35 PM Yup. I’m sold. Cindy McCain is just like me. I have a $300,000 dress, too.
9:36 PM No podeum? Shut up and get on the stage, woman. No speaking for you!
9:37 PM Speaking without a podeum?!? Interesting. Veeeeeerrry interesting.
9:38 PM Nope, strike that. Without a podeum, she looks like a talk show host … only less Whoopi Goldberg.
9:39 PM No, wait! An NFL sideline reporter … only more awkward.
9:40 PM No, wait … Sally Struthers! Yes, I want to give money to the Christian Childrens Fund! Yes, yes, yes!
9:41 PM Must. Resist. Fast forwarding.
9:42 PM “From the beginning of time, no matter how accomplished in other fields, women have always sought a husband with an eye to what kind of father that man would be. Well, I hit a home run with John McCain!”
9:45 PM No more! Where is the #@$%@ tivo remote?!?
9:46 PM We get it. No animal is safe so long as Sarah Palin has a gun. Next slide, please.
9:50 PM This speach goes … ever ever on, over rock and under tree, by caves where never sun has shone, by streams that never find the sea.
9:52 PM Rwanda again. Crazy. It’s like there are at now atleast 10 or 12 other countries in the world.
10:05 PM McCain video: John’s father ordered the place he was being held to be carpet bombed?!? Did I just hear that right? — "Gee, thanks Dad!"
10:08 PM Okay, I admit … his Viet Nam story is great. I would have gone insane by day two. Okay, okay … hour two.
10:10 PM Ooooooo. They just name-dropped “Mother Theresa.” They are goooooooood.
10:13 PM Now, *there* is the audience applause that the GOP handlers have been waiting for. Thank god they showed up before the coverage shifted to the networks.
10:15 PM How did we get here? He was written off more times than I can count …
10:17 PM Listen to that applause for good ‘ol Dubya.
10:17 PM “Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We’ll go at it over the next two months. That’s the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn’t be an American worthy of the name if I didn’t honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.
10:23 PM What just happened? They showed three people tussling, one of them holding a flag.
10:29 PM Fascinating. THe protester was holding a flag that said, “You can’t win an occupation” on one side, and “McCain votes against vets” on the other. Unfortunately, it appears to be the work of Code Pink, which almost completely de-legitimizes the whole thing.
10:31 PM It’s a bad sign that I am paying more attention to researching the protest than I am the speach. Come on, McCain … earn your nomination.
10:32 PM Hmm, didn’t realize CodePink disrupted Palin’s speach, too.
10:33 PM McCain’s an environmentalist! He keeps recycling his lines … “I’d rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.”
10:33 PM Good decision to bring regular people to shout out during speach. Very presidential. Very “state of the union,” actually.
10:34 PM Senator Obama passed a corporate welfare bill for oil companies? That doesn’t even sound possible. Wonder if it was another republican rider to an appropriation bill.
10:38 PM This is a sharp change in tone from the rest of the convention so far. I know you send your pitbulls to do the attacking, but it’s almost like a completely different convention …
10:38 PM This is a sharp change in tone from the rest of the convention so far. I know you send your pitbulls to do the attacking, but it’s almost like a completely different convention …
10:39 PM First time I have heard a call and response that consisted of “boo-ing.” Did the Dems do this? Doesn’t seem like a way to bring in undecideds and moderates.
10:40 PM He’s doing a much better job that I’d have thought. Very mellow. Not snippy. Almost seems compassionate, which is something his public persona could use a little more of.
10:40 PM Good line: “My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We’re going to help workers who’ve lost a job that won’t come back, find a new one that won’t go away.”
10:40 PM Another good one: “Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I’m President, they will.”
10:43 PM Speaking of … it’s amazing how intrenched charter schools are now in our culture. Not sure I saw that coming. Maybe it’s just because i’m in DC …
10:46 PM So glad that America got to hear chants of “Drill, baby, drill!” in prime time.
10:48 PM Georgia (the country, not the state) must be so happy to have gotten invaded at such an opportune moment. The republican party couldn’t even find it on a map two weeks ago.
10:53 PM John has been practicing the “earnest” vibe. Wonder if he has been watching old tape of Ronald Reagan. The repubs only wish he had the same level of charisma.
10:57 PM It all comes back to a prison cell in Hanoi. I wonder if that is going to be enough to get him elected…
10:58 PM This whole “choosing” to stay another four years … if the Viet Cong really wanted to send him back, why would they be bound by the wishes of a prisoner? It seems a little non-sensical.
10:59 PM He’s starting to get warmed up: “I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.”
10:59 PM Yup, definately going for the Reagan-esque grand finish: “Fight for what’s right for our country. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people. Fight for our children’s future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all. Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America. Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.”
11:04 PM Well, time will tell. McCain definately came across as more of the 2000-01 McCain that moderates fell in love with, but he didn’t seem to make an overarching statement. There was a lot of traditional conservatism, and I’m guessing once Palin went right, McCain felt better about moving to secure the center. In my humble opinion, I don’t think this speach was a win for McCain … but it certainly wasn’t a loss either. One thing is for sure: Palin has oppened him up to whole new strategy in the last two months … and I think only time will tell if it’s going to pay off the way he hopes it will.

wednesday night

8:17 pm parade of female ceo’s (meg whitman, carly fiorina) testifying.
8:26 pm michael steele is no baptist preacher, but holding his own. “we need someone who won’t play to the public applause.”
8:28 pm beautifully framed argument against affirmative action: “the ideal of a color blind society is worth fighting for … because each man, woman, and child is an individual, and not the member of a hyphenated class or group.”
8:29 pm good god, did steele really say “drill, baby, drill. and drill now.”
8:30 pm omg. the crowd is now chanting “drill, baby, drill.” i’m not kidding. i swear, they are actually doing it. oh, god .. and there are signs, signs that say “drill now.”
8:31 pm btw, the republicans get the call and response thing. steele’s use of “do you want to put your country first” was exactly how it should be done.
8:34 pm damn. if i was african-american, i would have some poignant things to say about mr. steele’s position visa vis our shared ethnic background.
8:35 pm “the only label that counts isn’t partisan, but ‘American.'”
8:36 pm romney is up. oh, my.
8:37 pm “For decades, the Washington sun has been rising in the east – Washington has been looking to the eastern elites, to the editorial pages of the Times and the Post, and to the broadcasters from the coast. If America really wants change, it’s time to look for the sun in the west, cause it’s about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska! “
8:40 pm Oh, my. He’s not kidding when he says … “Is a Supreme Court liberal or conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitution rights? It’s liberal!”
8:41 pm “Liberals would replace opportunity with dependency on government largesse. They grow government and raise taxes to put more people on Medicaid, to take work requirements out of welfare, and to grow the ranks of those who pay no taxes at all. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity … It’s time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother!”
8:43 pm I hate to be naive, but could we at least kind of not lie about your opponent’s positions? “Democrats want to use the slowdown as an excuse to do what their special interests are always begging for: higher taxes, bigger government and less trade with other nations.”
8:44 pm Ouch: “And I have one more recommendation for energy conservation – let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground!”
8:45 pm Well, good news if we elect McCain … “radical violent Islam is evil, and he will defeat it!” I was so worried … can we sue for false advertising if it turns out he can’t do it?
8:46 pm Ooooff: “There’s never been a day where i haven’t been proud to be an American.”
8:48 pm That speech was amazing. Who abducted Mitt Romney and replaced his brain with Newt Gingrich’s? I think he just staked out the Conservative right for 2012.
8:52 pm I’m starting to get nervous. Sick to my stomach, but nervous.
8:57 pm mike huckabee. he just called McCain his “second” choice for the nomination (behind himself, of course).
8:58 pm Just thanked the “elite media” for unifying the republican party behind McCain and Palin.
9:01 pm First props to Obama for being the “person of color” nominee.
9:04 pm Good message point. “Barack Obama’s excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even vote or pay taxes here.”
9:08 pm Biggest applause line of the night: “I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich, but because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.” It’s going to take a long time for Dems to shake this image in middle America.
9:14 pm Good line from Gov. Linda Lingle of Hawaii about the authenticity of Palin: “She will not be trying to reinvent herself during this campaign! She is who she is.” They are just daring the opposition to take her head on … sheesh.
9:18 pm This is going to be tough … i the Dems don’t take Palin on, she gets a free pass. If the Dems do, then they are beating up on a girl. We are so screwed.
9:22 pm Oh, God. Someone get Mrs. McCain a gay man. I didn’t know they *made* dresses in that color of florescent green. That being said, it’s the only thing that could have topped her gold dress that looked like it was made out of my grandmother’s drapes.
9:32 pm Rudolpho Giuliani. Can you imagine his career if it weren’t for September 11th? I’m pretty sure, he wouldn’t be speaking at the Convention, that’s fer dern shure.
9:34 pm He’s started off being quite conciliatory, but I can just feel the wheels getting ready to fall off the rationality bus.
9:36 pm Another refrain the party is obviously pushing: “America comes first.” Fascinating in the number of nuances you can read into that.
9:37 pm Sure Giuliani can rip on Obama’s Harvard education, but he’s ripping on him for being a community organizer?!?
9:38 pm Did Obama really vote present at 100+ State Leg votes? “For president of the United States, it’s not good enough to be present.”
9:39 pm Giuliani doesn’t know how good of a speech he has. He keeps looking surprised at each of the reactions he gets.
9:41 pm Giuliani is such a good old boy. Audience is eating up all the condescension. Is the key to Conservatism about the promise that one day you might get the chance to be a good old boy?
9:43 pm Best line yet (despite the poor delivery): “They would have you believe that this election is about change versus more of the same, but that’s really a false choice, because there’s good change and bad change. Because change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.”
9:44 pm “Drill, baby, drill” again. Is this a NIMBY thing? Repubs live in middle america, so they don’t care about drilling so long as it’s off the coasts of the Blue states?
9:47 pm “For four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the words ‘Islamic terrorism.’ I think they believe it will insult someone. Please tell me, who are they insulting if they say ‘Islamic terrorism’? They are insulting terrorists.”
9:50 pm “And I believe, ladies and gentlemen, when they gave up on Iraq, they had given up on America.”
9:52 pm Israelies and Palestinians aren’t “morally equivalent” and some United Nations bashing. [Insert punchline here.]
9:53 pm At least they recognize the problem: “Like Ronald Reagan, John McCain will enlarge our party, open it up to lots of new people.” [emphasis added mine.]
9:55 pm Oiiff, that hurts: “She’s already had more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined.”
9:57 pm “One final point. And how — how dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be vice president. How dare they do that.” Who did this? Someone tell me the name of the Democrat who did this?!? Speeches should require footnotes.
10:00 pm  More awful delivery, but good lines: “We’re the party that has expanded freedom from the very beginning, from ending slavery to making certain that people have freedom here and abroad … And we’re the party — and we’re the party that unapologetically believes in America’s success, a shining city on a hill, a beacon of freedom that inspires the world. That’s what our party is dedicated to.”
10:02 pm Here come Palin, and she’s a’ wearin’ pink. Or is that a light taupe? Or is that lavender? Why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks did they put her in something that is even allowing me to think about this …
10:05 pm Palin’s son (who’s service is being trotted out again) is deploying, to Iraq, on September 11th. There is no way we can win an election against these people.
10:06 pm I’m going to hell, but i am not sure i can support a woman for elected office who named her children Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig.
10:08 pm At least her flaunting of her special needs baby was a *little* less crass.
10:13 pm More community organizer bashing, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” I just don’t get it …
10:18 pm This little gem is the byte I woke up to this morning on NPR (and my day never recovered): “Here’s a little newsflash for those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this great country.”
10:23 pm Much better response to drilling (and certainly more subtle) than I had expected: “Our opponents say again and again that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems, as if we didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling, though, won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”
10:26 pm More ouch: “But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or even a reform, not even in the State Senate.”
10:28 pm More comments I’d like to see the footnotes for: “America needs more energy; our opponent is against producing it. Victory in Iraq is finally in sight, and he wants to forfeit. Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay; he wants to meet them without preconditions.”
10:30 pm She is trying incredibly hard to make McCain the candidate of change … “In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers, and then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”
10:32 pm I’m running out of nice things to say. “And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they’re always, quote, ‘fighting for you,’ let us face the matter squarely … There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you in places where winning means survival and defeat means death. And that man is John McCain.
10:33 pm Another knock on community organizing.
10:34 pm Apparently, It doesn’t count if you aren’t being shot at by foreigners: “And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they’re always, quote, ‘fighting for you,’ let us face the matter squarely … There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you in places where winning means survival and defeat means death. And that man is John McCain.”
10:38 pm Objectively, a good speech … but I see the strength as energizing the base. Very aggressive against Obama, and (obviously) very positive about McCain, but I don’t think it will turn the undecided and there was very little on policy. There was a lot of mocking and condescension, and I don’t see how that grabs the independent, undecided middle.
10:49 pm The more I think about this, there is no way she pulls disaffected dems. Big pull for the heartland, tho, but I don’t know how much of the heartland they didn’t already have.
10:55 pm Gawd, I’m depressed.