I largely avoided watching the Republican National Convention. I'm much more than just okay with getting the highlights from online news: Ann Romney announcing her love for her husband and almost making us believe they're not both all clockwork inside, Chris Christie announcing his non-gay New Jersey Republican love for Bruce Springsteen and eating crates of Krispy Kreme doughnuts at a sitting, Mitt Romney announcing his love of corporations and firing people. Here's a little fact that the few journalists who still have jobs seem to find incomprehensible: ordinary people -- and I consider myself ordinary, despite my evil second head -- you wouldn't believe how my parallel parking has improved since that thing popped up -- simply don't care about the endless bloviation and marketing that goes on at these overblown spectacles. Even Hurricane Isaac, recognizing what a complete bore the RNC would be, swerved off toward New Orleans, where both people and dangerous weather masses go to party.
Short of some kind of Hunger Games for presidential candidates, which would also save the American people vast amounts of money on primaries and make "running for office" both more literal and more amusing, it's hard to imagine how to make the kind of coronation that the Republican convention represents interesting. Sure, Ron Paul supporters "revolted," as some media outlets put it, but not, sadly, because their party's platform made not one single lick of sense; no, their revolt concerned some kind of arcane delegate-related rule and had nothing to do with legalizing pot, so we at home rapidly lost interest. (Please explain what this revolt was about at great length in the comments. Because that will make it interesting.) Even the by-now requisite displays of Republican racism -- chanting "USA! USA!" when a Puerto Rican delegate stood up to speak, throwing nuts at an African-American camerawoman and calling her an animal -- haven't risen to the level of things that Romney has said in public. (Yes, sir, it is surprising that no one has asked a rich white dude about his birth certificate.) Come on, Republicans! Burn a witch on that platform! You know you want to...
I'm sorry, but I can't even get all that excited about the irony of the "We Built This!" theme of the convention, meant as a rebuke to President Obama's half a gaffe, but actually proving the point he was trying to make, since 62% of the money to build the Tampa Bay Times Forum stadium came from the government. Oh, sure, that would be a lot of fun if Republicans had any shame left, never mind sensitivity to irony, but after doubling down on "the voices in my head told me" ideas like "legitimate rape," non-man-made/nonexistent climate change and Obama cutting $700 billion from Medicare, never mind our center-right Bush-tax-cut-preserving President being a socialist, it's hard to imagine what could cause a Republican any shame at all. Conservative anti-gay activists being outed? Yawn. BTDT. What else you got? Racist appeals to whites? Right back at you with: "Stop playing the race card!" (Does the race card beat an ace? I forget.) "We win, liberals! Because we will say literally anything! Poor people cause flatulence! Fertilized ova like soft rock! Wind power kills puppies! Ahahahahahaha!"
So, I wonder if the incredible tedium of this convention isn't purposeful. Are the Republicans hoping that we won't be watching as they put on their light shows and drop their balloons and pretend to be excited that an all-grown-up Richie Rich is their nominee? As Mittward pretends to be a conservative, rather than just a guy who'll say or do anything to get elected, do the Republicans hope that sensible people continue to pay no attention? I suspect they fear that if we do watch -- and fat chance in my case, because I have 10 hours of the last season of Damages cued up to go on the Tivo -- we'll recognize their nominee for what he is, a coiffed Ken doll in an Armani suit, loaded up with stock phrases that appeal to the worst instincts of the worst people in this country.