Monday, August 25, 2008


Following on the heels of the Olympic Games extravaganza staged in Beijing are the political games of the 2008 Democrat Convention in Denver, Colorado. Both are about breathtaking imagery and mind numbing spectacle. But unlike the Olympic Games, we already know who the winners are at the Dems convention.

There was a time not too long ago when the political conventions held mystery and suspense. No one knew with any large degree of certainty who the party nominee for president or vice president would be. There was always talk of a "dark horse" candidate who just might sneak in somewhere around the sixth ballot. Those days are as dead as VHS. With the recent reforms to the primary election process, the party nominee is decided months prior to the convention. The vote on the floor is a mere formality.

Rather than a nominating process, the Republican and Democrat conventions have become week-long glorified infomercials. It is about presenting an image, pithy soundbites and photo ops. They are as staged and orchestrated as the opening and closing ceremonies in Beijing, except with fewer people. It's a chance for politicians to do a lot of of waving, hugging and pontificating.

To regard these conventions as anything other than harmless fun and self-aggrandizement would be a mistake. It is theatre of the absurd, and in the words of Shakepeare,sound and fury signifying nothing.

For proponents of alternative energy sources, these conventions will be a boon. There will be enough hot wind in those halls to power several medium sized cities.

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