Let the jokes roll down like rain from Isaac.
The 2012 Republican National Convention has been postponed due to the approach of what will inevitably be Hurricane Isaac. We should note the name Isaac is from Old Testament Hebrew and literally means "laughter." When Yahweh told Abram and Sarai they would produce a child in their old age, well behind child bearing years, Sarai overheard the conversation between her wizened huband and her bountiful Lord, thought of her own very barren womb, and laughed.
So, they named the child Isaac. He was a bit of a disappointment, more like his father than his mother, replete with all the character defects of his father. He certainly lived out his life with a bit of a refugee mentality but he prospered, mostly, and found love with his foreign born but racially compatible wife.
For this Bible history lesson, thank my long years of seminary training.
Now, Hurricane (almost) Isaac is delaying the 2012 Republican National Convention, which I had hoped to DVR from beginning to end and dissect for your edification and amusement. C'est la vie.
Some had thought this might come down to a brokered convention but Ron Paul ran out of money, Rick Santorum's daughter got sick and Newt Gingrich opened his mouth. Thus, their candidacies were eliminated, much to the relief of Republican sympathizers and very much to my personal disappointment.
We have not seen a convention that mattered for decades. The last one that really was brokered, or bought on the spot, was the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco in 1960, where, to the amazement of many, Adlai Stevenson fumbled away his chance at the third (consecutive) nomination of national Democrats. If he had taken it, Richard M. Nixon would have been president eight years earlier, since Adlai was the worst major candidate, ever. Ever.
If Nixon had won the election in 1960, we might have been spared Watergate and we would almost certainly have been spared the debacle in Viet Nam. Nixon's advisers in 1960 were different than the Ehrlichman-Haldeman duo in 1968-1972. Nixon ended the war, opened up Red China and started detente with the Soviets, all in the poisoned atmosphere of the waning Cold War. If Adai had claimed the nomination in 1960 (it was his for the taking but he lacked the stomach to take it), he would have surely proven the same detached, lapsed candidate he had been in 1952 and 1956, Nixon would have won (he barely lost to the very photogenic JFK) and Mount Rushmore might have a fifth president, with a scooped nose for sliding.
Now, we have the sanitized, won in the primaries by heavy spending and heavier mud slinging no names for candidates. I call these patriots no-names because they all have to spend their acceptance speeches telling us about themselves and how they grew up, like we are making s' mores around the old campfire, preparing to sing Kumbiya.
The last substantive acceptance speech at a national convention?
Ronald Reagan, 1980, GOP. Read it. He had a great story to tell, had the ability to tell it, but, instead, the Gipper went straight to the issues, substance, and stayed there. Marvelous stuff.
The last major campaign to start positive and stay that way, never running a negative ad, not one, no matter what?
Ronald Reagan, 1980. Not one negative ad.
Maybe we should make some space on Rushmore.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.