Well tonight is the night. Barack Obama will officially accept the Democratic Party nomination for President.
I have no real desire to get into a debate about whether or not Obama’s policies will help or hurt the country. What I think is important right now is for all Americans to sort of step back and go “Wow”. Many Republican and conservative commentators have rightly pointed out that, politics aside, this is a pretty special and important moment in American history. Our country has gone from the horrors of slavery to being on the brink of electing a black president. That’s pretty cool! It’s a message to the country and the rest of the world that, though often slower than we’d like, progress is an everyday occurrence in this country. For all the talk about how culturally and socially advanced the “Western World” is, we can be proud as Americans knowing that we knocked down a barrier that other places haven’t. Tonight is the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I’ve been watching the convention all week and it’s so cool to see people like John Lewis crying tears of joy because they feel like everything they’ve fought for has been worth it. It makes you feel good to be an American and regardless of whether or not you like the Democrats, you’d have to be a pretty ice cold bastard not to feel some sense of pride about what is going to happen tonight.
Speaking of the convention…
The great mystery over what Hillary and Bill would do has been solved. I don’t think any Democrat was expecting Hillary to stop the roll call with a vote of acclamation for Barack. That was classy. I’ve been a vocal critic of Hillary all throughout this campaign, but she really delivered, and far exceeded, what many people thought she would do. Same with Bill. Watching that speech last night I thought to myself “Well, it’s easy to understand how he got elected twice”. And I know conservatives will snicker and say “oh she didn’t mean it blah blah blah”. Maybe, but sort of like Jeff mentioning that Kobe Bryant really seemed to love playing for his country even though it could just be savvy marketing, this was sort of on par with that. At no point did anyone think she was just phoning it in. Both of them did an amazing job.
Speaking of amazing job, where the hell was THIS 4 years ago? I’m not ashamed to say I like John Kerry a lot. I wanted to see and hear what he had to say. He’s sort of faded away, Dukakis like, since he lost. People forget that he got more votes than any other Democrat in history. But as the saying goes “Democrats hate a loser”. If he would have delivered THAT speech 4 years ago, we wouldn’t be talking about Barack Obama right now. You can really tell that Kerry was letting off 4 years of pent up steam. It’s unfortunate that all the networks cut away to talking heads. I had to go to c-span in order to view it. Props to Joe Biden for thanking him.
Joe Biden’s speech wasn’t as good as Hillary or Bill, but then again, was anyone expecting it? Biden is on the ticket to punch John McCain in the face and to act as a conduit to those “Middle Class Scranton Blue-Collar” Democrats the media talks about so much. McCain better pick somebody on Biden’s level because the VP debate will be a slaughterhouse if he doesn’t.
Other highlights: Montana’s governor is beyond awesome Ted Kennedy was great as well. Dennis Kucinich was hilarious.
One more thing: there seems to be some massive disappointment amongst TV pundits that the democrats are not “attacking John McCain enough”. It’s a constant drone of “They just wasted an entire day” blah blah blah. Of course, setting aside the fact that if the democrats DID “attack” then the Republicans would just go “oh well, see, Barack’s just doing the usual politics. some change, huh?”. It’s basically a no win situation for the democrats if you’re watching the pundits. My position on this is that I’m glad that this hasn’t been a slash and burn convention. Obama’s entire image is predicated on the idea that he isn’t going to participate in those sorts of conversations (have you noticed that all of Obama’s “attack” ads only feature McCain’s own words? Nobody is talking about that). Now obviously, as we get closer to the convention, the attacks will start to heat up, that’s just par for the course. But I disagree with everyone who says that it should have been the focus of the convention. Everyone knows George Bush and John McCain blow and there will be plenty of time to dismantle them in the next 3 months. 99% of all Democrats have a very relieved, exciting, and happy feeling coming out of the convention. We’re fired up again. Contrast this with next week where the Republicans will have nothing to offer but gutter attacks and attempts to frighten white America with tales of the Tall Black Boogeyman. The contrast will be stark.
As a long time Obama supporter, I can’t wait for tonight. It’s validation for us. More importantly, it’s validation for the entire country of our capacity to stick it to racial prejudice and hate. History is being made tonight. I’m proud to be a part of it.