If knowing how to waste millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money
is a prerequisite for governing this great country in this day and
age, the Democratic Party is demonstrating that they are highly qualified
to take the reins of power.
Obviously, this bash is not, technically, being paid for by the taxpayers.
True, the contributors to the National Party are taxpayers,
or at least their shareholders are, but they have contributed "voluntarily",
the interest of, shall we say, greasing the gears of
the Democratic mechanism. Not content with funding the politicians
in power, these masochists give money to out-of-power politicians practicing how
to wallow in the public trough.
This weeks Democratic National Convention is an excellent example of
over-the-top over-planning, over-spending and conspicuous over-consumption.
The price tag for this 4-day love fest? Around $100 million dollars.
Of course the REAL big boys, the team these guys are auditioning to
replace, have just wasted $100 BILLION bucks, throwing it onto a sinkhole
in the desert in hope that in time it will bubble back up to the surface
in the form of a 40-year revenue stream for Haliburton and the oil companies.
As slick a scam, in terms of a large scale redistribution of income from
the poor to the rich, as we have seen in a long time.
The reality is that all the real business of the convention could be
done in a day and a night, a single session with a nationally televised
climax, all of the interesting stuff concentrated in one thrill-packed
day. Cynics will say that all of the interesting stuff could be concentrated
in a 60-second campaign ad, but even in the activity-intense time-pressured
modern world such an important rite of democracy deserves a whole day.
And, solely for the sake of following the parallelism, let us say that
the entire adventure in Iraq should have been over in 3 weeks and everybody
should have been home again inside of a month. And if they somehow managed
to mount a serious threat against the United STates within our lifetimes,
well, we’d go in and do it again. But this occupation business
is way too sordid and twisted for Americans to absorb without becoming
Today are the state caucuses, and these serve a purpose in that they
allow the party organization in each state to take care of business and
schmooze in an exotic, out-of-town locale. Why can’t they take care of
business and schmooze in the privacy of their home states? Well, we suppose
there is a benefit to the party from having all the troops in one place
before the big battle. But even with a second day for the party caucuses,
this should be a two-day event, tops.
After all, the main item on the agendas of most delegates and all members
of the media is to PAH-TEY. When the Fleet Center session broke up last
night, after the climatic speeches by the Clintons, all the talk of the
exiting masses was which party are you going to, how late do the subways
run, how late do the bars stay open, how stupid is that, how far away
is Cambridge, what the fastest way out of here. We have know who the
candidate will be since Super Tuesday, over four months ago, and the
party platform was hammered out way before this shindig began.
Myth and image to the contrary, we doubt much actual deal making takes
place at the convention. It is a chance to network, to meet the
people you will be working with over the coming years, to put faces to
names, to observe personal habits and try to position oneself for the
coming rush to power.
As for your intrepid correspondent, which Power Party did we attend
last night? Unfortunately, as we were exiting the Fleet Center,
sometime after 11, being regurgitated by the building in an irresistible
gush of anxious humanity, we realized that we didn’t have our keys. Car,
work, home they had all been attached to an Ecuadorian key ring/bottle
openers reading "Mitad del Mundo". We had left them at the super-efficient
but intimidating x-ray, secret service security checkpoint on the way
into the Convention.
We got off the subway in Kenmore Square and hailed a cab. $20
later, around 12:30, we arrived home. This morning when we arrived
at the office at 7:30 there was a ticket on our car at the meter where
we had left it before heading to the Fleet yesterday. $30 for No Overnight
Parking. At least the car was still there.
This afternoon we get to ask the Secret Service if they’ve seen an Ecuadorian
bottle-opener key ring. We are certainly looking forward to that.
We bet those Secret Service guys really know how to party.
photo by Marc Serota