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You’re running for President belonging to “the Party of Failure”. Your most rabid supporters prayed for it to rain… on your opponent, only to see your opening day derailed by a Hurricane on the third anniversary of your President’s greatest failure… well, his last failure to cost thousands of American lives and destroy an entire U.S. city. You schedule his appearance to land on a holiday so few will see him, but the hurricane forces you to move him to the day some might actually be watching. You give him just the last five minutes before the major networks tune in, only to have him run long enough for them to back up and replay his remarks in their entirety before the entire nation. You failed to thoroughly vet your running mate and now reports of criminal investigations and a public record that’s about as close to a complete lie as one can get, but she’s a religious nut that the Wingnuts adore, so now you’re stuck with her. Your campaign must now go around and convince 200 million voters that she has foreign policy experience because “her home state is close to Russia and Canada”. And on your big night, the reigning Super Bowl champs play their opening day game opposite your acceptance speech. Maybe God is trying to tell you something.


Being the most important night of the three, the arena was the fullest it had been all week, yet still not filled to capacity:

Still some empty seats
Still some empty seats.
(Click to enlarge)

Bird’s Eye View, final night
Bird's Eye View, final night
(Click to enlarge)


With a seating capacity of 19,000, plus an additional 1,000-1,500 on the floor, I’d guesstimate roughly 20,000 in attendance. Take that, Barack Obama, with your crowd of 84,000 supporters! (so packed they were turning people away.) Nyah!

While “Democrats” were the target of the likes of Romney & Rudy on Wednesday, Obama himself was the target this night, with one snarky comment after another. George Bush called himself “a uniter, not a divider” in 2000, but this Convention seemed to embrace being “dividers”. I guess when your President ignores Congress and does whatever in the Hell he wants anyway, it doesn’t matter if the next president is faced a Democratic Congress or not.

The theme of the night was McCain’s military experience. Gee, you think they might mention he was a P.O.W.?

First speaker was former “VP Short Lister” Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota: Nearly the entire focus of Pawlenty’s comments was McCain’s military experience.

The big catch-phase of Pawlenty’s speech was “[McCain reminds us to always] PUT. OUR COUNTRY. FIRST!” (repeat ad nauseum)… a lesson he learned as a POW. Pawlenty tells us “[McCain is] a Purple Heart recipient with a heart of gold.” How nice! Suddenly, these people think a Purple Heart is worthy of respect. I heartily encourage each and every delegate to give Senator John Kerry a call and beg forgiveness. No?

Following his own definition of the term, Pawlenty tells the crowd, “John McCain & Sarah Palin connect with Sam’s Club Republicans.” Really??? Forget about the seven homes and two Lear Jets, Wednesday night, Cindy McCain wore a $300,000 outfit, and I’m certain Thursday nights’ outfit cost even more. Do you believe the McCain’s have ever even set foot in a Sam’s Club, let alone identify with those who shop there? Gimme a break!

Probably the most comical speaker of the night was former Majority Leader Bill Frist… not because he said anything humorous, but because his head-bobbing Southern Preacher style of talking was SO distracting, it was difficult to pay attention. While talking about the benefits of “Aid to Africa”, Frist remarks that “John McCain knows, [people] don’t go to war with the country that saved [their] child’s life.” I guess we no longer have to worry about suddenly being attacked by The People’s Republic of Togo. Whew!

Frist tells the crowd, “McCain’s energy plan is bold & aggressive” McCain’s energy plan… you might remember it from the night before: “Drill baby, drill!”

Next up was Lt. Gen Carol Mutter (Ret), the first female 3-star General ever in the USMC. The most significant thing regarding Mutter’s endorsement… she was the ONLY high-ranking officer to endorse McCain all week. Compare that to the steady stream of officers and Iraq vets that endorsed Obama (photo of “The Generals”.) Sure, there were dozens of Vietnam, WWII and Korea vets there supporting McCain, and a number of former POW’s that were held prisoner with McCain, but when it comes to vets that have actually served in any of the current military conflicts, Senator McCain will have to be satisfied with THIS guy:

IVAW protester

This particular shot was shown DURING McCain’s acceptance speech, live, on all the major networks… not just once, but twice, for several seconds each time.

Next up was Palin’s male alter ego, Fmr Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, the most staunchly anti-choice candidate of the 2008 election. Brownback told us of McCain: “Are we going to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians? YES WE WILL!” (new catchphrase, new chant) Ah, Iran is on the menu and in the sights of a potential McCain Administration. Good to know… in case I’m hit by a truck that scatters my brains, turning me into a drooling moron, I’ll still be sure not to vote Republican.

(oh, speaking of “Morons”… or more appropriately, “Morans”:)

No spell-check with crayons


As so many had before him all throughout the week, Brownback was sure to remind us of how years of torture by the Viet-cong would prevent McCain from raising his hand above his shoulders to take the oath of office… you know… like this:

McCain enters to give acceptance speech
McCain enters to give acceptance speech


Next up: Rep. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma. Fallin appears on stage with footage of the still smoldering Oklahoma City Murrow Federal Building, destroyed by an act of domestic terrorism by disgruntled White Separatist Tim McVeigh in ’96 on the anniversary of the Waco siege.

Fallin segued (segwayed) to “9/11” almost immediately without any sense of a difference between the two acts of terrorism… one by white American religious extremists, the other by dark-skinned Arab religious extremists. The lesson: no particular religion (nor skin color, nor country of origin) has a corner on “terrorism”. But I never heard Republicans in 1996 “denouncing” McVeigh’s religion, nor advocate bombing his hometown to oblivion… you know… turn Tyler, Texas “to glass”? Somehow, the lesson Fallin came away with was that “John McCain will “stay on the offense against terrorism”. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how McCain intends to stay ahead of domestic acts of terrorism BY Americans AGAINST Americans. Can you say “Massive scale wiretapping”? I knew you could!

Fallin tells the crowd that we “can’t afford a President that thinks you can negotiate with evil.” I love the use of the term “evil”, like you can identify “evil” on sight. No, actually, it’s much easier than that if you’re a Republican. Anyone that comes from a country we don’t like is “evil” and we therefore won’t be negotiating with them. I’m reminded of the words of the late great George Carlin: “What? They have bigger d*icks than we have? Bomb them!“)

Fallin’s talk about terrorism leads to a short video about… guess! “9/11”.

The video starts with footage of the Iranian hostage crisis, and a voice-over “reminds” us of just how long America has been fighting “Islamic extremism” (because in Republican World, the U.S. is totally blameless, despite overthrowing Iran’s Democratically elected President and replacing him with the brutal and twisted Shaw of Iran.)

Within seconds, we travel from 1979 to footage of the collapsing Twin Towers on 9/11. “This is a war we. will. win. And we will have a President who knows how.” (A not-so-subtle dig at Bush?)

(ADDENDUM: Apparently, I wasn’t the only person to find the repeated use of footage of the towers to be in extreme bad taste. Thank God for Keith Olbermann (fast forward to 4:30):

Next up, John McCain’s BFF, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

If the evening weren’t rabid and partisan enough for you, “Hillbilly Bevis” (like his buddy Elmer “Fudd” Lieberman the night before) took being snarky to “a whole ‘nutha level”. Lindsey LOUDLY proclaimed that “The Surge has worked!” Someone should tell him that saying something loudly doesn’t make it any more true.

“12 of 18 benchmarks have been met by the Iraqi government…” according to the uber-Conservative “American Enterprise Institute”. If, however, you were to believe noted Time Magazine reporter Michael Ware, who has been in Iraq since before the war began, the actual number is FAR lower. And when confronted on the issue, AEI altered their assessment to claim only “significant progress” had been made in 12 of 18 benchmarks. “Progress” a far cry from “met“. But, Lindsey, like any good Neo-Con, believes anything & everything to come out of the AEI without question, and those in attendance Thursday certainly didn’t know any better. “America is winning! Yeah!” That’s all that matters. And to correct them is to “hate America”. “You WANT America to fail! Mooslem lover!”

“Three” (or was it “two”?) “brigades that made up the Surge have returned in victory!” Only, they haven’t “returned home”. Because of the growing crisis in Afghanistan, most all of them will be redeployed there. So they’re simply not in Iraq, but the total number of U.S. troops currently deployed in the Middle East is still as big today as it was five years ago. Yea!

“The SurgeTM” has become THE defining issue of the Three Musketeers: McCain, Graham & Lieberman (now THERE’S a trio I wouldn’t want at my side in battle!) “YOU know it’s worked! Our troops know it’s worked! And al Qaeda knows it has worked!” (wild cheers, natch.)

Graham then pushed the falsehood that McCain spearheaded the push for more troops in Iraq. Flatly false. In fact, it was Democrats that begged President Bush to send more troops to Iraq back in 2005:

“Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don’t you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave.” – George W. Bush, June 28, 2005.

So, much needed additional forces to shore up the violence in Iraq and bring the war to a speedy conclusion was flatly rejected by President Bush and the Republican Congress for years, until just before the Earthquake 2006 election, at which point more than 100 troops a month were being killed, and the Iraqi government, after three long years, had demonstrated they had NO interest in making the necessary political changes to unite the country and quell the violence. With that, Democrats started demanding “redeployment” of troops out of Iraq. Republicans screamed “Cut & Run!” and labeled Democrats as cowards. The Republican alternative? Send in MORE troops… and “The Surge” was born.

Graham: “We are on the road to victory. Victory! You can say it at THIS convention!” You know where else you can say “Victory”? Aircraft carriers parked off the coast of San Diego.

“And we are SAFER because of Iraq.” (the shifting of troops from Afghanistan… the home of al Qaeda… to Iraq, has resulted in a resurgent Taliban and a steep rise in the number of U.S. troops being killed there each month. Osama bin Laden has yet to be caught seven years after the fact because George Bush chose to focus more on getting rid of Saddam than capturing Osama bin Laden. “Safer” due to the invasion of Iraq, Lindsey? In what way?

Graham: “Obama… REFUSED to sit down with Petraeus!”

Senator Barack Obama riding in helicopter with General Petraeus over Iraq: July 21, 2008
Barack Obama rides with Petraeus

I know I haven’t gotten to Senator McCain’s big acceptance speech yet, but it’s past 4am as I type this, so look for the final portion of my review tomorrow. – Mugsy.