I had a cold and admittedly dipped heavily into the NyQuil when the Democrats were in Boston behaving themselves. I presumed I was hallucinating, the effects of 50-proof cold medicine interfering with my senses. I thought the Democrats were the Amish kids from that UPN reality show, Amish in the City. The DNC was "rumspringa" in reverse. They left their "I had an abortion" t-shirts at home and their androgynous beings off-camera. They even put the PETA folks, ironically, in a cage outside the Fleet Center so that television audiences would see only the Pennsylvania Dutch in them all. Nary a primal scream escaped from PETA or Howard Dean. "No girlie-men allowed," was the temporarily reformed DNC theme.
The Dems were positively bipolar for 4 days, suppressing their Mr. Hydes via substances a might stronger than NyQuil that flowed freely at the many corporate-sponsored events on the side. Why, they were waving flags and their pupils weren't even dilated!
Still, the truth will out. Character flaws and/or political leanings emerge under pressure. Thine own self wants out from behind the façade.
The first crack came before the convention got rolling. Mrs. Teresa Heinz Rodham Kerry let loose on a conservative journalist who questioned her taped and inane use of the term "un-American" to describe the political discourse in our country. After trying to deny she said it, she said, "Shove it!" to the poor fellow. This is the best retort a breathless woman who speaks 5 languages could muster? She could have at least said "¡Usted empuje esta!" For all you libs lying in wait out there, Cheney was wrong too, but I'll get to him in another column.
NyQuil aside, I got the impression from Mrs. Evita Kerry's speech that American women are still wearing burkas and not eating dinner until their husbands have finished. Women's opinions are not valued because they are women. Oh, baby! If you've got a billion bucks and no one's listening to you, there's an underlying problem, and we saw it in that speech. She rambled, she cooed, she lectured, and she crossed her hands over her chest. I felt the pain of my sisters who have made their own money begging Mrs. Kerry, "Please, shove it." Following that bizarre spectacle who could fault a movement for disenfranchising women?
Elizabeth Edwards slipped because Amish women wear dresses!. Only feminists wear pants at national conventions where they are speaking! John Edwards was pure schmaltz. I could have sworn I heard little Gilligan say that he and his big buddy, the Skipper, were going to bring costs down and make health care affordable for the little people. I wonder if his brethren in the medical malpractice field know. They are the largest donors to the Kerry campaign as well as to high health care costs. Edwards made his millions traipsing around court rooms pretending to speak as babies in the womb to convince juries to return punitive verdicts against doctors for the babies' cerebral palsy. Recent medical science shows cerebral palsy exists and then there is distress at birth, not vice versa. Junk science netted him his fortune. Oh, well.
Perhaps it was a function of my problems with the new math or the Vicks fumes, but if Edwards is right about the two Americas and one group can't get ahead, how did he, the son of mill workers, achieve so much? Perhaps it's just 1 ½ Americas.
The Kerry daughters introducing their father were also painful to watch because I feared a "Okay, so I'm like, and my Dad was all . . . whatever" would slip through. Then came that hamster story. I believe the point of the hamster story was to show that Kerry was a good, caring father who spent time with his children and rescued the hamster, "Licorice," with heroism.
Ha! Whom do they think they are fooling? The story reveals the difference between a parent who lands in once in awhile and takes his daughters boating in the name of quality time and a parent who is there through the day-to-day drudgery with the kids. A parent who was doing the grunt work of raising kids would have seen the hamster fall into the water and rejoice! "Yes!" they would shout. "You smelly beast. I'll never have to change that cage again. No more creaking hamster wheel all night long. No more stinky woodchips. No more filling that upside down water bottle. Gone, and I am free at last! Praise the Almighty!"
And the fickle child would say, "Nice, Mom," and live through it. The next week they would spot a lizard at Petco and demand a tank, rocks, and flies for food, "They don't smell, Mom, and you don't need to change them."
Yes, the truth comes out in the most subtle ways even when the Dems put on Amish airs. The DNC and the Dems were scripted and controlled. But, some things, such as malpractice lawyers, billionaire wives, dress code, and children armed with hamster stories, were not controlled because the Dems don't understand facts and reality. Those of us in the red states saw through them with our uncommon perception, even on NyQuil. Beneath the buggies and bonnets of the plain folk at the DNC, we could still see the masked beast whose fire-breathing anger, disingenuousness, and hypocrisy percolated up in the most innocuous but telling ways.
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JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State
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