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It's Party Time!

As the National Conventions begin, perhaps I should write a quick note about what I expect from the next two weeks. I don’t expect that I will have the opportunity to watch, much less write up my Party’s afternoons as I did in 2004—we will see how much gavel-to-gavel my co-workers can stand. And I don’t expect that I will be watching much, if any, of the Other Party’s gathering. I will be in rehearsals in the evenings, so I will miss most of the prime time speeches, and frankly I doubt I will want to watch them the next day. I prefer the afternoon stuff anyway; much more fun and enlightening. And irritating, of course. There is that. I fully expect the person in charge of the music for my Party’s convention will be trying to make me angry the whole time, just as in previous cycles.

Anyway, the reason I am writing a note in advance of the opening is that some people appear to have exaggerated expectations of how disastrous the Other Party’s convention will be (see f’r’ex Trumpapalooza Should Be One Hot Mess of a Convention by Paul Waldman over at The American Prospect) or of how much better and more persuasive Our Party’s convention will be. I wouldn’t count on it. I would expect that this week’s convention will get relatively high ratings, will go smoothly and largely without incident in the hall, and that their candidate will get the usual poll bump afterward. The fact that nobody will drop their trousers on live television, that the candidate gives an entertaining speech that includes a few policy points, and that many hundreds of the other Party’s elites will support the candidate, in Cleveland and on television and radio will be sufficient. No-one whose vote is persuadable will notice that there are prominent people who declined to attend; no-one is going to have their view of the candidate’s stature and seriousness diminished. It will be boring, and it will be good for their Party.

Ours will be similarly dull, for the most part, I expect. I expect our candidate will give a workmanlike and dull speech that will be far, far too long; I expect she will get the usual poll bump anyway. I expect—well, confidently hope, I suppose—that someone will give a very good speech indeed, but I doubt it will be the candidate. Nobody will mention Chaka Fattah.

As for myself, I would be surprised if I am not moved to tears, in the event, by my Party nominating a woman for President of the United States. I will be moved by the pointed inclusion of non-white Party elites, of LGBT Party elites, of something like the full panoply of America—what I think of as my America. I fully expect that I will move towards real excitement about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton administration, of working toward the November elections and all the possibilities that the future may yet hold. I will quote Walt Whitman, at some point during the proceedings, and I will talk to my children about the creation of a democratic self-governing people, of how great it is that all these people come from all over the country in the attempt to make something happen, together, as a Party and as a nation.

In other words: I love this shit. I hope you can, too.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,