Now The Work Begins

Today the confetti has been swept away and the delegates are heading home.  We must now begin the heavy lifting of getting out the word that Barack Obama is a better choice for America.

I was moved by the crowd at Invesco Field in Denver and all the people who spoke from their hearts.  If you were watching one of the networks or cable news shows you may have missed some of the best speeches of all.  People from around the country who spoke about their lives and how the last eight years have been difficult for them.  It seems very arrogant of the media to talk over the speakers; I wanted to reach through the television screen and strangle a couple of them.

It was clear from the crowd that Obama’s speech was a huge hit.  This night belonged to the Democrats with hopes of making the country and world a better place.  I don’t know when the media began allowing the opposition to rain on others parades, but I don’t like the trend.  For once, let us have our moment, let us bask in the glow of a true leader, let us have our opportunity to soak up the significance of nominating the first black man for president.  It truly was a momentous event.

Immediately after Obama’s speech, David Brooks was on PBS talking about how disappointed and underwhelmed he was by the speech.  Listening to that you had to wonder whether he was watching a different speech!  It didn’t take long to realize the coordinated Republican Slime Machine had distributed talking points so the pundits on Fox News, etc., could launch invectives post haste.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the GOP is actually the PPP, the Peter Pan Party, comprised of people who refuse to grow up.  No longer able to argue the issues, they resort to name calling and cheap tricks.  As an example, I give you this from Newsweek:

The Democratic convention has already moved to Invesco Field, but that hasn’t stopped the GOP from making mischief back at the Pepsi Center. On my walk from the parking structure to the NEWSWEEK workspace this afternoon, I stumbled across a posse of young men and women wearing togas, waving “The One” placards and chanting, in the adoring drone of brainwashed Branch Davidians, “Change! Hope! O-BAM-A!” One sign read “The Temple of O.” I figured they were referring to the neoclassical stage where Obama is planning to accept the Democratic nomination tonight.

“Look to the clouds!” shouted one worshiper.

“Is he descending yet?” asked another.

“He must descend so we can change,” the first one intoned. Then they began singing the word “Obama” to the tune of Handel’s “Messiah.”

When they stopped, I approached and asked who they were representing. “Obama,” said a tall goateed gentlemen. “Obama,” repeated a shorter, clean-shaven woman. “He is ‘The One.'” “What about that McCain sticker on your toga?” I asked, pointing at the McCain sticker on another man’s toga.” “I’m not worthy,” he said. “So I’m supporting McCain.” I didn’t bother to mention the RNC credentials–“A Mile High, One Inch Deep”–dangling from everyone’s belt loops.

As I walked away, a woman who’d traveled from Montana to see Obama’s acceptance speech sidled up beside me. “What did you think of those Obama fans?” I asked. “Stupid,” she said. “All the negative people are voting for McCain.” Then she started the mile-long walk to Invesco.

Do these theatrics work?  It’s hard to say but there are people in this country who can’t or won’t think for themselves and the Republican Party targets them relentlessly.  I vividly remember, as if it were yesterday, the day after the 2004 election and reading about this headline:

I hope to the depth of my being that a similar headline won’t be news on November 5, 2008.

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