DNC Night 1: Suspended between meltdown and release

To grasp the full effect of the Democratic National Convention’s first night, you had to sample both the smiley-face warm-and-fuzzy prime-time parts, and the angry, bitter, divisive, unhinged partisanship of the earlier speeches.  Taken together, they form a perfect portrait of a party going off the rails.  The Democrats are a straitjacketed lunatic who rants and screams most of the time, but grows sweet and reasonable when the doctors are checking up on it.

This is a party “suspended between meltdown and release,” to quote an insult once hurled at the great Michelle Malkin, who was sufficiently amused to build it into her masthead for a while.  Many of the Democrat speakers were literally screaming at the audience, such as Newark mayor Cory Booker howling the weary old socialist chestnut that paying your taxes is the height of patriotism.  Funny, the Democrats never seem to treat the small group of people who carry the bulk of the tax burden in this country as super-patriots.  On the contrary, they’re dismissed as borderline treasonous if they resist Democrat demands to pay even more.  And according to Booker’s reasoning, wouldn’t the large numbers of people the Democrats have pushed completely off the tax rolls be un-patriotic?  Have the Democrats got any rational arguments for tax increases that don’t involve calling everyone who disagrees with them unpatriotic?

Booker is a good example of the demands leveled by the shrill, extremist Democrat Party at its formerly “moderate” members.  He’s completed his transformation into an eye-rolling, race-baiting Party hack.  Governor O’Malley of Maryland and former governor Strickland of Ohio also did a lot of shouting.  Numerous Two Minutes Hates of Mitt Romney were offered, but absolutely nothing constructive about the future.  The Party hugs itself in its padded cell, rocking on its haunches and sobbing “Forward,” even as it dwells endlessly on the past.  One of the consistent threads running through the evening is that George W. Bush is, for all intents and purposes, still the incumbent president, and Obama is running against him.

Jimmy Carter, the Ghost of Failures Past, appeared to offer Obama his benediction.  A video tribute to Ted Kennedy became a mockery of the silly “War on Women” rhetoric that pervaded much of the evening, as well as an uncomfortable reminder of liberal totalitarianism, in which politics defines identity.  It doesn’t matter that Ted Kennedy actually killed a woman.  His impeccable leftist pedigree more than absolved him of that sin.  Indeed, at the time of his death, liberals were heard to mutter that a single innocent life was a reasonable price for America to pay, in order to have Kennedy’s decades of left-wing leadership.  But if you oppose massive, compulsive subsidies to Planned Parenthood, you hate women!

Even the “fresh young face” at the Democrat convention was another trip to the past, as San Antonio mayor Julian Castro became a painfully obvious effort to recapture the Obama 2008 “magic.”  He even lifted an anecdote from Republican Marco Rubio’s vastly superior speech.  The Democrats are all about building bridges to the past – last week, the 2008 campaign, the Great Society, the New Deal, and of course Bill Clinton will be along shortly to take us back to an idealized, sanitized, heavily revised memory of the 1990s, in which there were no stained blue dresses or tech bubbles.

Like any other mad creature, today’s Democrat Party is wholly lacking in self-awareness.  Failed governors were trotted out and presented as if they had something useful to offer America in these downgraded times.  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is useful, all right – as a cautionary tale about the catastrophic consequences of the path Obama has put us on.  His bankrupt, tax-crazed state just received its latest credit downgrade, costing taxpayers more millions that they don’t have, in order to finance Illinois’ massive debt.  When that happens to the federal government – and under Barack Obama, it absolutely will – the cost will be measured in billions.  Pat Quinn runs “the Greece next door.”  Obama will make us Greece from coast to coast.

The Party that frets endlessly about Mitt Romney’s tax returns and personal finances also refuses to disclose who is funding its Charlotte extravaganza.  ABC News found one possible suspect: Solyndra crook Steven Spinner, formerly of the Energy Department, spotted enjoying VIP tours and sporting a “Finance Guest” badge.  He literally ran away from ABC’s cameras.

No one should take the words of a madman seriously, and the Democrat Party had enough problems with the truth last night to keep an army of fact checkers busy for weeks.  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius actually peddled the dusty old lie that the Romney-Ryan reform plan for Medicare “would give seniors a voucher that limits what is covered, costing seniors as much as $6,400 more a year.”  Sebelius knows that talking point has been utterly and completely debunked – it’s a reference to a disputed Congressional Budget Office study of a two-year-old version of Paul Ryan’s proposals, not the Romney-Ryan plan.  She felt free to lie about it because the Democrats really need to scare seniors to death, and she’s confident the horde of “fact checkers” who parsed every sentence spoken at the Republican convention will give her a pass.

The Democrats spent the evening alternately threatening and flattering their intended victims, small business owners – who were praised in the abstract, but not nearly as much as the massive government that wants to confiscate more of their income.  The Democrats want jobs, but hate employers.  The only thing approaching a concrete proposal they offered for the future was a burning desire to tax the hell out of anyone who makes a dollar more than you do.  Try to forget that the greedy, unpatriotic SOBs clinging to their $200,000 per year in ill-gotten gains are the very same small business owners Democrats kept patting on the head and praising as the engine of job creation.  There was plenty of red meat offered at the RNC too, but the difference is that Republicans have political adversaries in the Democrat Party, while Democrats have enemies among the disobedient American population.  There are many things they want to force Americans to do, and they believe resistance is both foolish and immoral.

But then the doctors swung by to check up on their straitjacketed patient, and found Michelle Obama smiling sweetly back at them.  We got a touching tale of hard-scrabble youth – why, you’d almost forget that Michelle and Barack were law students graduating from top universities, who currently spend their days living like French royalty at the expense of taxpayers.  Hopefully you enjoyed Mrs. Obama’s hosannas to the dreams of children and grandchildren without thinking about the gigantic amount of debt her husband has piled upon their backs.

Mrs. Obama’s speech was weirdly defensive, an effort to humanize the man who has been President of the United States for four years, during which he has enjoyed the fawning adoration of a sycophantic media.  The Democrats must have some horrifying internal numbers about the hit Obama’s personal popularity has taken, thanks to the ugly and divisive campaign he’s been running.

The First Lady offered a long exposition of the “trying hard makes you a winner” philosophy.  Barack cares so very much, and tried so very hard!  Never mind the results – how can you vote against someone with such a big heart?  How dare you presume that your own selfish needs trump the wisdom of this sensitive and compassionate man?  He deserves a trophy just for showing up to play the game, even though he left America 16 trillion points behind.

We were left with the image of Barack Obama as a faded movie star, trying to recapture the past glory of his previous presidential campaign, reminding his disillusioned former fans that they really loved him once upon a time.  But how can a wispy memory of “hope and change” survive comparison to the nasty, often feral convention that preceded Michelle Obama’s speech, or the memory of Barack Obama’s actual performance in office?  Why should a nation reeling from towering public debt, agonizing unemployment, collapsing Gross Domestic Product, declining median income, and an explosion of food stamp dependency vote the architects of those disasters back into office based on what they look like, or what their leader used to sound like?

I doubt the Democrat strategists think it’s good enough to get Obama re-elected.  It’s telling that they thought it was necessary.