The presence of 15,000 journalists in Tampa and Charlotte for the conventions was ridiculous but even wackier is the size of "Nation PR." Likely bigger than Newark or its governor, this is an industry of propagandists, bloggers, twitterers, scandal-mongers, pundits, spin doctors, pollsters, journalist-partisans who pen biased op-eds and columns, campaign operatives and dewy-eyed "Monicas" who will do anything for the boss. Nation PR never sleeps and now the fun, for the rest of us, begins as they launch their saturation bombing campaign on US voters to capture victory in November.
The Republican convention showcased a party that has become a loose coalition of social conservatives and a membership base that does not reflect the national demographics. This was embodied in the "mystery" speaker, Hollywood Star Clint Eastwood. His rambling speech, with failed prescriptions and disrespect toward the President, will become a metaphor for this disjointed, grumbling party and its campaign.
The highlight of the RNC was the surprise appearance of Clint Eastwood, which virtually every commentator knocked as embarrassing, disrespectful to President Obama, the meanderings of a senile old man. What rubbish! Eastwood was brilliant and devastatingly funny. I guess you had to be there, but delegates were rolling in the aisles -- and he made some good points, too.
If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win in November the religious fringe of the Republican Party will solidify its place in Republican politics. The Party needs to lose, and loose badly, so it can remove from its tent the intolerant and credulous whose presence has begun to rot the bowels of a once great institution.
As Harper dilates on the virtues of Calgary, and the United States slogs into one of its dullest and nastiest presidential campaigns between two of its least impressive candidates ever, the West may take some comfort from the relative tranquility around their major office-holders. As dismal as things can seem over here, we should be aware of how bad things can get, and in some countries, generally are.
The good news is that, win or lose, President Obama has succeeded after decades of attempts in providing the type of healthcare the rest of the developed world provides. America's private-sector health experiment has failed abysmally and is on its way out. Governments outside the U.S. deliver medical care better and cheaper. The proof exists all over the world, except in the minds of partisans who would defend the indefensible.
Obama doesn't acknowledge that he's flip-flopped on the "marriage" aspect; he says he's "evolved" to that belief, encouraged by his wife and daughters. By supporting gay marriages, Obama may have lost the Evangelical vote -- assuming he ever had it, which is doubtful. But in any case, same-sex marriages are more a case of national curiosity than national importance.
There was a time when it would have been unthinkable for an American president to utter those words, but today that era has passed. In a nation divided by Democrats and Republicans, secular and religious, north and south, today marks a day where America has moved one step closer to no longer being a nation divided by straight and gay.
Mitt Romney vowed that Canadian oil will flow into the U.S. if he becomes president in his victory speech in Michigan on