Sunday, August 20, 2000

Democrats' gala no picnic

        LOS ANGELES — Signs you've been to a bad Democratic National Convention:

        • With Al Gore already politically crippled because Bill Clinton couldn't keep his pants zipped, the Democrats spent part of the week embroiled in a controversy over raising money at the Playboy Mansion and taking money from Playboy executives. And they wonder why the GOP gets more mileage out of being the party of “family values.”

        • Cher's voting record makes a New York Times story.

        • The Kentucky delegation's hotel is only a $40 cab ride from the Staples Center, provided there is no traffic. Of course in
L.A. there's always traffic.

        • The lame duck gets more attention, praise, applause and ink than the nominee. Not a good sign heading into the real meat of a cam paign.

        • During the Republican National Convention two weeks before, Democrats beat on the GOP for raising millions from corporations to pay for the convention and for the hundreds of parties, dinners and events delegates attended. So what happened last week in L.A.?

        The Democrats raised millions from corporations to pay for the convention and for the hundreds of parties, dinners and events delegates attended. And on top of that, Democrats actually had the guts to continue to beat on the GOP for catering to special interests. No wonder they call this place Fantasy Land.

        By the way, the Los Angeles Times reported that when Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold of Wisconsin was berating his colleagues during a speech — “I'm sorry to say it, but the big story at the Democratic convention is really influence-buying and -peddling” — for relying too much on so-called soft money, a number of Democratic senators were at a soft-mon ey fund-raiser that raked in $100,000 for the party's Senate candidates.

        Maybe all those protesters weren't so wrong about the influence of corporate money on the American political system.

        • When Al Gore announced that Joe Lieberman was going to be his running mate, liberals and others in the party went goofy over Mr. Lieberman's past support of school vouchers and his opposition to affirmative action, and because he has gone off on Hollywood types — who basically played host to the Democrats last week. But what happened when Joe rolled into town? Everybody kissed and made up at the Club Hypocrite.

        • Actor Jimmy Smits delivers a speech about health care. Was wrestling star The Rock busy?

        • As a matter of fact he was. A large crowd gathered when Sam Donaldson interviewed The Rock during one of the newscaster's hokey Webcasts. Hey, I thought

        The Rock was a Republican. He appeared at the GOP convention, remember? It's a sad day when we aren't sure whether a pro wrestler is being straight.

        • The panel discussion, where Democratic senators played Phil Donahue by interviewing “regular” Americans about gun control, health care and other issues. Booorrrring. An idea hasn't bombed that badly since the Bengals drafted quarterback David Klingler.

        • Bleeding hearts. Watching a Democratic convention is like hanging out in a slaughterhouse.

        • Note to Democrats — a convention is supposed to start slow, gather momentum and then end with a bang. Well, the Dems — imagine this — got it backward. They started strong with Bill Clinton's speech, then bored us to tears with “The Panel Discussion” and slowly dropped like a stone. Better hope the polls don't do the same.

        • Darn, we've got two more of these things in just four short years. I'm going to start lobbying now for Honolulu, so I can go to Hawaii, and Fort Thomas, so I don't have to leave home.


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