Did it have to end? Couldn’t the Democratic National Convention have remained in permanent session? Then it would be true that we had died and gone to heaven, where day after day so many nice people sit and cheer while others stand and speak in an angelic display of humanity at its finest and most caring. Gosh, we had a good time.
Everyone was brave. To pick a random example, let us focus on Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack (not to be confused with Christie Brinkley, who charmed Democrats and Wolf Blitzer at the 2000 Los Angeles convention). She spoke movingly of her parents, who came from Iowa and Missouri. “Children of the Depression,” she called them. But on top of that, they were “survivors of a world war.” Yikes. We didn’t know that Hitler and Tojo brought WWII to the Midwest. Elizabeth Edwards mentioned her father fought in that war, just like John Kerry fought in Vietnam (though odds are dad didn’t come home when the band-aids ran out). One could only conclude from her remarks that maybe John Edwards is not the man in her life to be serving on the Democratic ticket. To be sure, no one questions Johnny’s willingness to serve in uniform, provided his lovely hair won’t have to be shorn.
Alexandra Kerry delivered a line worthy of Mae West apropos her father, when she noted that with hair he measures a neat 6’6″. But it was her sister’s hamster that stole the show. It had sampled first hand the Kerry clan’s compassion. “We watched as Licorice, the unlucky hamster, bubbled down to a watery doom.” (Teddy Kennedy swallowed a canary when he heard that.) Fortunately or not, Father John came to the rescue and via CPR extended the “soggy” hamster’s life. Opinions are mixed whether extraordinary means should have been used. “He was never quite right after that,” Ali (as dad calls her) said, without clarifying whether “he” in this case meant John or Licorice.
For some sexist reason the Kerry girls received all the attention, even though the Kerry stepsons are worth a lot more money and groomed to remind everyone of their superior situation. Some contend they resemble the late JFK Jr., or the scions of Middle East opulence residing in the vicinity of Rodeo Drive. Best of all, one of them even sports a French name, Andre, despite having no blood ties to the authentically French side of the Kerry famille. Only in America.
Or only in Democratic America, whose convention showcased the Two Americas living happily side by side. Or to be more precise, in Masterpiece Theatre harmony, as in “Upstairs, Downstairs,” the lower rungs made up of the “average” Americans President-Select Kerry has agreed to tolerate, the upper comprising denizens of the corporate boxes. Anyone who was anyone, e.g., Hillary, Affleck, Spielberg, spent their time looking down on the proceedings. Anyone who was no one spent his time being looked down on. Welcome to the Kerry social contract.
But wasn’t the entertainment great? True, Toby Keith might have provided greater diversity, but Willie Nelson was the next best thing. (His “Crazy” remains a Country-Western classic.) Willie’s braids have never been thicker and better woven; for all we know, he’s the squaw of one of the many Indian chiefs who delivered messages to the convention. But our favorite of faves was Ms. Carole King, who performed her moving song, “You’ve Got a Friend.” She was an inspired perfect choice for a Kerry event.
Some years ago, “Saturday Night Live” did a sendup of Ms. King and that song’s claims. Inside a house, on a dark lonely night, an SNL regular played Ms. King, fondly singing the song aloud to herself in her living room. Out on the sidewalk, meanwhile, a passerby (probably played by Garrett Morris) gets mugged and knifed. He crawls to her front door, begging for help. She comes over to the front window to see what’s disturbing her song to herself. On noticing this bit of desperate humanity, she pulls down the blinds and turns off the porch light. On his last night on this earth, the Morris character turned out not to have a friend in King.
Will Enemy Central turn out to have a friend in Kerry. Better, he should ask, will he have a friend in us? If it turns out he does, will that mean this week marks the last time this Bush-stabber, Moore-echoer, and ravenous power-seeker can be our honorary Enemy of the Week?
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