Last night I tried something new (for me, at least).
(A) I watched the Republican Convention speeches, and at the same time…
(B) I kept Twitter open, and….
(C) I had MSNBC on, in the background.
Now, I’m admittedly a newbie to Twitter, but that wasn’t my issue. It was the addition of MSNBC that made it…otherworldly. It was flat-out bizarre.
I’m watching the speeches, right? So I obviously could see for myself what was happening. On Twitter, I read in real-time quips and others’ impressions of the event; so far, so good. Yet all the while I had the Ring-wraiths on MSNBC insisting that I most definitely had NOT heard what I thought I’d just heard.
Like I said: bizarre.
And more than a little sad.
If you didn’t stay up late last night, you missed one of the all-time best nights of political speeches you will ever see: Mike Huckabee (I know he’s decent, but he was surprisingly good last night), Condi Rice (polished; uplifting; excellent), Gov. Susana Martinez (she is a wonderfully natural speaker) and finally Paul Ryan. Oration is not one of Ryan’s top skill sets, but you’d never have known it last night.
Ryan also made a play for young voters, which included a gem of a line:
“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you. None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us. Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate. It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself.
That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.”
Ryan described the generational differences between himself and Mitt Romney, including this cheeky jab:
We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.
If you didn’t see the speeches, you really need to (at the least) read all of Guy Benson’s write-up. If you can take the time to watch some of the speeches, too, you won’t regret it.
Remember how I told you I had the MSNBC feed going, too? It was hair-on-fire time, and everyone seemed to need a drink. It’s also possible they’d already drained the bar.
Bitter? Petty? Sure, no question. Manic? Yes, yes. But I think what I saw, more than anything, was rage. Petulance. Fury. It was a bit like watching several fully grown ‘Veruca Salts‘, none of whom can believe that they aren’t being given their Oompa-Loompas right now.
What else can you call this pithy review of Ryan’s exceptional speech from Chris “Make It A Double” Matthews:
Nasty? Negative? Ryan’s speech? Are you kidding me? I wanted to drive to the gym (heck, I could have RAN to the gym), I was so pumped-up afterward. It’s ridiculous mischaracterizations of observable fact such as this which are the reason people poke such fun of MSNBC. They bring it on themselves.
Matthews wasn’t done yet, either. Here’s the transcript, from NewsBusters.com:
MATTHEWS: “…..I think that you can always – the thing I always look for in these speeches is, who’s the person on the podium up there – at the lectern, talking to? And I don’t want to get too sectarian about this, but it’s clear that Paul Ryan was talking to people who think about rights as something that were – produced by Thomas Jefferson, ignoring the people for whom the rights only came in the 1960s; no reference to the fact that a good portion of the country was denied those rights, especially the important right to vote, up until 1965. And it was given to them through a lot of effort and fighting between the two parties, and it became a bipartisan effort led by Lyndon Johnson, and, of course, Everett Dirksen of Illinois. But, for some reason, they never mentioned those things, because they’re talking to people – let’s be honest about this – who didn’t feel – the benefit, at all, from those civil rights, and I think that’s very important to point out.”
Rights that were “produced by Thomas Jefferson“? Huh? You mean, the guy that iterated that all of us had inalienable rights? You know, from God? THAT Thomas Jefferson?
As a critic, Matthews is an exemplary idiot.
‘Course, to some degree, I kinda sympathize with the MSNBC’ers: they’re in a tough spot. They’ve been selling the “GOP-is-racist” meme for sooooo long, it is indelibly associated with them. It’s their brand. So as people actually SEE these nice, friendly, smart, and sincere folks from the right side of the aisle, some will start to wonder, “Hey, maybe the Conservatives actually aren’t dog-whistle-tweeting, racist Satan spawn?”. And as soon as THAT happens, the remaining 4 dozen MSNBC viewers will finally, mercifully change their channel.
However, in the meantime, if you’d like some free Schadenfreude , I suggest you tune into MSNBC soon.
It’s the best comedy programming on right now.
UPDATE — If you’re really pressed for time today, have no fear: the Free Beacon has Ryan’s six best lines of the night for you. We’re full-service, baby!