Judging by the just completed Republican National Convention and the way Mitt Romney has conducted his campaign, I do not think Saturday Night Live is going to be short of political material this year. I think Clint Eastwood’s empty chair was a brilliant bit and deserves to be honored for its originality. Maybe Mr. Eastwood will consent to a guest hosting role where he could reprise his performance. We also have the awkward and gaffe prone Mr. Romney and the factually challenged Paul Ryan. The ground is fertile.
This struck me as a very bizarre spectacle. It started with Ann Romney’s speech, which seems to have received very high marks, but which I have already forgotten. That’s the thing, it struck me as a very narrow appeal to very limited demographic, of a certain age and upbringing, but nothing memorable and nothing in the end that you would remember about her husband that might actually humanize him. It really was another trust me speech, a phrase I seem to remember her using. As I said I can barely remember anything about the speech. Oh yes, now I remember one thing, they have a real marriage. But compared with what was to come, I can see why she got high marks.
Next Chris Christie gave the first speech of his 2016 campaign for President, unfortunately it was supposed to be the keynote address for Romney’s campaign. Apparently no one told Christie, because after his speech, you had to wander if Christie even knew who Romney was. But we do know Christie is a man of respect.
Then came Paul Ryan. What can you say about this man? He seems to have pulled the wool over the mainstream media, who always describe him as serious, wonkish, intellectual and deep. When I see Paul Ryan I think of Dopey, but that is unfair to Dopey, because Dopey was kind, sincere and actually was a possessor of wisdom. Has anyone in the media actually ever looked at Paul Ryan’s positions? A high school student who presented the Ryan budget in class would have been failed. Even Reagan’s OMB director David Stockman calls Ryan’s plan fairy tale economics. Paul Ryan’s economic philosophy can be laid out in one sentence. Lower taxes on the wealthy, and cut all non defense spending to the bone. I called him Chainsaw Paul Ryan in a diary, because he reminded me so much of Chainsaw Al Dunlap. But the Republicans are so starved for real intellect, Ryan passes as a Republican intellectual, amazing.
I don’t really have to say anything about Ryan’s speech, because it’s all been said. His political philosophy is as simple to understand as his economic philosophy. One sentence is sufficient to state it. The truth is irrelevant.
But nothing could prepare me for the convention’s final night, or what could be titled, “The Three Stooges in Tampa”. What can you say about Eastwood? People are seriously wondering if he was a Democratic plant. I have to say I’m perplexed. If that wasn’t a Saturday Night Live sketch, then SNL should hire him to write for them. Of course Eastwood went way over on time, but Romney, the man who wants to be President, certainly does not command the respect necessary to control Eastwood.
So on came Rubio to introduce Romney, and now under time constraint. But although Rubio did mention Romney, he was clearly more interested in introducing Marco Rubio. So time constraints were ignored. After all his speech was going to be all in Prime Time regardless. But Rubio’s speech was mainly just boring, which was actually pretty good in this group.
And then came the main event. Although no one was going to top Eastwood tonight. Mitt Romney delivered a pretty incoherent jumble of topics. But hey, if you’ve got nothing, maybe the best option is incoherence. I thought Romney was effective when he talked about his parents, otherwise it was unrelated sentences and applause lines that had a very small audience.
I think the Republicans would have been better off canceling the convention due to Isaac. At least they would have gotten some sympathy. Now the only sympathy they get is related to their own incompetence. And that’s not sympathy you want. It’s usually hard for me to watch these things, because its all potshots at the people and principles in which I believe. But this was different. It was like one of those movies that’s so bad, it becomes entertaining as a study in ineptitude. I guess this RNC was good for laughs. I hope they pumped a lot of money into the Tampa economy.