Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Purpose Of A Convention

I've been to State Party Conventions and I've watched on TV and read about National Party Conventions.  As best I can tell there are two competing agendas:
Make the base happy to work at the electioneering
Use the Media time to make an introduction to voters you want to win

Platform fooferaw is about the base that is at the Convention or the few at home at the Party meetings.  It is the a game of pleasing the Party activists and giving them hope for the future direction of the Party.  The wrangling and word corrections are the fodder of the purists and not to be mistaken for serious political strategy.  Sure - it does tell you who that group is and where they want to take America and even who they think counts, but it is just a grown-ups game of tiddly-winks.

The selection of speakers and what they have to say starts getting to the heart of the politics.  This selection portion involves what the general reputation of the speaker says about their political machinery and also works to bring forward the 'Next New Best Thing' - bestowing a mantle of Party respect and approval - and also puts the Party imprimatur on surrogates and their messaging.  Any one speaker can hold a variety of those roles and sometimes without knowing the policy positions of one it would be easy to think they'd been anointed "Next" when what they really are about is tone.  Chris Christie fits this slot I believe after listening to commentators proclaim his as "Next" when what I believe his role to been is to play the bully - the hard-assed hard-nose that represents how "tough" the GOP is.  Christie would have to perform Mittenesque retroactive redefinitions to fit the role of "Next."  The Base won't have that without a r-Money win and that puts Christie pretty far off.

I tried to listen to the speakers, but it was too much and I kept switching to the satellite Blues channel.  The gist of what I heard was a play for the Base and even Wife Surrogate didn't seem to be reaching for Undecideds but rather to be trying to reassure the Base.  Her "shout out" to women seemed painfully jarring considering the GOP's stance and her Hubby's stance on women's matters like contraception and choice and work rights - not to mention with an entire disconnect from the daily issues facing most women beyond somebody's platitudes.  (disclosure: every time this rich bitch opens her mouth my eyes go red) ((don't start up with me, I like strong women and weak ones make me tired)) (((strong women deal with hard things and persevere - not buy their way through)))*  Look, the Undecideds are going to choose on something other than race or European socialism or God-bothering and that something other will most likely be who they FEEL will care the most and do the best job of straightening up their economic pain.  Damn it, they will not analyze policy points - they'll go with a general sense of that piece.  Women who are flat done with the misogyny of the GOP won't change their minds because Anne says they're great and women who haven't decided because they've somehow missed having their heads kicked by it won't care Anne says they have it tough.  The undecided audience is primarily white working class of the "don't bother me with this shit until later" variety.  These folks are marginally convinced their vote matters and they couldn't be less interested in the high-falutin ideological fights - they just want things fixed for them and they're not real sure who is responsible for them not being fixed.  Racist dog-whistling won't do much with them, not because they're committed to equality but because it requires energy to hate and it makes them uncomfortable.  These folks need a reason to be reassured that r-Money gives enough of a damn about them to actually do something.  I didn't hear that - at all.  It is still early but these first out of the gate folks tend to set tone...

I can only hope this GOP thing is a massive failure.

*I realize that was a lot of parenthetical speaking and no I don't give a rat's patoot about MS, I've had women friends with it and they didn't have dancing horses and the money for the best medical treatment in the world and I don't give a damn about her five or eight or whatever kids and gazillion grandkids the hired help takes care of - the women I knew had a real hard go of it and did a pretty good job of living until it killed them.  Yeah, it killed them and not a single one of them would have taken it as a badge for respect.

1 comment:

LanceThruster said...

I watched with a mixture of fascination and disgust. These people are our fellow citizens and neighbors, and they frighten me to no end.

I am willing to entertain any discussion, any philosophical or ideological disagreement, but it has to be rooted in fact.

These people lie to themselves, each other, and us, to the point that it becomes impossible to know where to start.