There seems to be consensus among the pudit class: The GOP Convention was completely outshone by the Democratic one. But I'm having trouble with their explanations for why that happened.
I'm hearing, over and over, the disparity between the two conventions explained like this: GOP/poorly planned, produced & executed; Democrats/beautifully planned, produced & executed. But watching the convention in Tampa, I didn't get that impression at all. Quite the contrary. I saw methodical planning, and meticulous execution. Clint Eastwood was a disaster of course, but that wouldn't be enough to make the criticism of top to bottom, overall poor planning & production legitimate, and the condemnations I'm hearing are all-encompassing. I'm hearing speechwriters blamed, execution criticized, and production values slammed, when I'm just sure that as I watched, I heard, and saw, chillingly methodical, brilliantly planned, overall production and execution.
So I disagree that the GOP convention was poorly produced. I was impressed with how polished the message was, and with how well it had been packaged and delivered. Polished, planned, and executed however, not from an authentic place of moral conviction, or patriotism, or enthusiasm for the days ahead -- but from a manufactured one. I believe that's the only significant difference between the two conventions. I believe that the people now running the GOP, the Karl Rove breed of planners and message manipulaters, did the best job it is possible to do with ersatz moral conviction, enthusiasm, and patriotism.
My strong conviction is, that the reason the Democratic convention seemed to shine, like a jewel, in comparison to what looked like the crashing, thudding mediocrity of the other one, is because here and now, at this moment in time, they are on the side of the angels, and since the GOP is so clearly not on that side, the contrast is huge. The contrast brought into high relief the fact that the GOP is now, at this moment in history, doggedly pursuing mere power and influence for no other reason than merely to have them. The people running things, in the once honorable but now not GOP, know that's all they want. They don't have any problem with it. But they also know they have to pretend otherwise. And I think their pretense was extremely well carried out in Tampa. Had the Democrats been in the same moral wasteland, there would have been no contrast. As it is, Karl Rove and the rest of the Uruquai couldn't possibly compete, no matter how beautifully planned and executed their pretense was.
I'm not native enough to believe that most of the people who are going to vote for Romney give a rat's ass about whether their party has integrity or not. Is patriotic or not. I do however, know some of them DO believe that, with real sincerity. I genuinely respect them. But I must believe there aren't very many of them left. And that they can only believe that because they aren't really paying very close attention. That's a forgiveable failing of course. But we can't pretend it's not a failing.
Maybe there was a time that simply being on the right side of an issue was all you needed to be elected. I'd like to think there was, but that's a discussion for another day. Here and now, we can only pray for two things: 1) that there is still enough appeal in the ultimate issue (which is basically right vs. wrong), to carry the day in November, and 2) that those on the Dark Side who have put in place a meticulously planned and beautifully executed apparatus to render our election process all but meaningless, will fall short of that awful goal.
It could happen. It did happen in 2008. They gnashed their teeth and ramped up their efforts. These are not people it is wise to underestimate. It is my constant, and fervent prayer, that we will prevail again. Because more than ever before -- there's kind of a lot at stake.