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The Philadelphia follies

And here I thought the Republican National Convention was a comedy of errors. There was plagiarism. There were contested voice votes. Senator Ted Cruz soft-shoed his endorsement of Donald Trump, setting off a chorus of boos. And then there was that “Make America Great” song, which made America cover their ears. The GOP took the stage near the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame and turned in a performance barely fit for a cover band.

They also opened the door for the Democrats. By phoning it in in Cleveland, the Republicans had perfectly set up Hillary’s horde. If they could put on a good show then they could make Hillary look like the rockstar blowing the roof off the place after the opening act laid an egg. Even a decently-organized convention in Philly could make the Democratic Party look like the only adults in the room.

Unfortunately, adults are a bit thin on the ground in Democrat circles these days. As I’m writing this, they’ve only gotten to Wednesday evening and they’re wheezing like a two-pack-a-day smoker trying to run a marathon in lead shoes. Hell, they fell on their faces before the starting line; dismissing party chair and Hillary surrogate Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz amidst yet another email-hacking scandal hours before they made their big push to make us forget about the last one. Debbie’s departure unfolded like a slow-motion train wreck, with charges, counter-charges and an eventual compromise in which they shifted her to a ceremonial role in Hillary’s campaign.

While the party bigwigs flapped their gums about “unity,” Senator Bernie Sanders’ faithful flapped their gums in the opposite direction. They even staged a walkout. Despite the old boy’s own profession of obedience to all things Hillary, Outraged Bernie Supporters stormed out in a (symbolic) huff; where they ran into another battalion of outraged Bernie supporters who had also clearly missed the “unity” memo. On Wednesday evening, one Sanders fan even scaled the massive fence protecting the Democrats from the rest of humanity, but not irony.

Hollywood, always willing to send a few luminaries to help the Democrats’ cause, outsourced casting to their direct-to-cable department. The inexplicably ubiquitous Lena Dunham talked about her experience with sexual assault, although she was unclear whether she meant the one she lied about enduring, or the one she admitted to forcing on her sister.

They worked their “Trump hates immigrants” material as expected; although it fell flat when they treated viewers to a spectacle of actual Illegal Aliens on the main stage. Apparently, someone at the DNC thought the best way to make us forget about the shocking rise in illegal-alien violence and Islamic terrorism worldwide was to treat the electorate to illegal aliens speaking officially on behalf of their nominee. Perhaps that was the same logistical genius who hid all the American flags, but OK’d attendees waving Palestinian, Soviet and even North Korean (really) banners.

Of course, it couldn’t be a progressive party without the L. Ron Hubbard of the left. Former President Bill Clinton spoke in his wife’s honor while hundreds of Dems swooned like Scientologists at a Tom Cruise movie. The juxtaposition of a sexual predator and likely rapist cheering the self-professed “women’s candidate” loomed, as always, just beyond the audience’s blinders. Bubba behaved himself, perhaps too much. He put America to sleep with a rambling plea on behalf of his wife that came off like the Reader’s Digest edition of her diary. It went on forever, but left out all the icky parts.

The dynamic duo of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden tried to rally the troops Wednesday night by continuing to drop the hammer on Trump, although their remarks confirmed the anti-Trump theme was hiding a deeper issue. Speaker after speaker, tribute after tribute and cheer after cheer warned the assembled about the dangers of “The Donald.” Few had much to say on the many benefits of voting for “The Donald’s” opponent.

While I can’t say the Republicans delivered an award-winning performance, the GOP convention was like the Navy’s Blue Angels compared to the crop duster the Democrats crash-landed in Philly. These people expect us to hand the keys to the nuclear weapons to a woman about whom they can barely muster a kind word. More to the point, they expect us to trust the future of the nation, and even the planet, to a party which just proved, once again, that they couldn’t successfully pull off an elementary school bake sale.

— Ben Crystal

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The Philadelphia follies


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