Yesterday, I watched most of the prime-time content at the Democratic convention in preparation for the speech by Hillary Clinton. I hadn’t tuned into Day 1 for scheduling reasons; I’m doing live shows at the State Fair for AM 1280 The Patriot most of this week. What struck me on Day 2 was that the themes sounded on the stage made little sense in 2008, and sounded like a rerun of 2004.
All night long, as one dreary speaker after another took to the garish and overwhelming stage, they talked about two basic issues: their misery and George Bush. This seems rather remarkable to me, since George Bush isn’t running for President again, and since almost everyone outside of Denver understands that. In 2004, that theme made sense, since John Kerry wanted to defeat Bush in that election, but John McCain isn’t George Bush, and most of the time the speakers were too lazy to even make the McSame case.
Democrats took control of both chambers of Congress in 2006. One might have expected a Democratic convention to focus on the achievements of the party in legislation over that period, but then again, that might make for an extraordinarily short convention under the circumstances. Instead, person after person came to the stage to air their grievances that the Bush administration hadn’t helped them. Viewers might have asked themselves, “Why didn’t the Democrats do anything to help them in the last two years?”
Congress must be irrelevant to Democrats. Maybe they’d do us a favor and quit if they feel that way.
Mostly, though, few if any Democrats talking to the cameras had anything positive to offer American voters. They gave plenty of sob stories, plenty of vitriol, and plenty of arguments that the only way to make them happier would be to elect Barack Obama. One has to wonder whether American voters will respond at all to this kind of Maury Povich-like spectacle, or at least any better when their nominee actually did run against George Bush, and lost by almost four points nationwide.