The Philadlphia Story - Final Chapter

 Well, this is it, the final day of the Republican National Convention. Now,
 I'm an atheist, but I'm going to say this anyway: Thank God. I'm tired, and
 I want to go home. I've been doing a lot of walking the past couple of days,
 so I'm going to do the only reasonable thing W said tonight: I'm going to
 take care of my feet. But then I don't need some cotton candy, Howdy Doody,
 empty-headed, C-average Daddy's boy to tell me that. (His speech reeeeaaally
 pissed me off, can you tell?)

 The protesters were out today, but no violence as far as I could see. A bunch
 of them camped out in front of the police station, and there was a protest
 there today, but nobody got Rodney King-ed.

 As you no doubt have heard, the Reverend Al Sharpton was in town today. I
 hear Daddy Bush tossed the Reverend his keys and told him to bring the car
 around. (Actually, I didn't really hear that --it's a rumor I'm trying to get
 started, so tell your friends.)

 Philly police confiscated a bunch of the protesters' puppets again today --
 Oh, I'm sorry, my mistake. Those aren't puppets, they're John McCain and
 Colin Powell. Never mind.

 I've also discovered a very disturbing thing, and it's about OUR side. I
 talked to a lot of protesters today, and guess what? Most of them aren't
 going to vote in November!

 They say the government doesn't care about them, that they're not going to
 take part in a corrupt system. I asked them how they figured the system would
 get fixed if they didn't vote to make their wishes heard, and they started
 ranting about "That's how they did it in '68!" I reminded them that, despite
 the protests, Nixon won in '68. Then one of them launched into a speech about
 the corporate greed that rules this country, yada yada yada.

 To be honest, I began to feel like I was talking to a Republican.

 Since the Republicans are presenting their fluff piece tonight -- that would
 be their Presidential candidate, George W. Bush -- I thought I would keep the
 spirit of shallowness by telling you about our search on Sunday for a Philly
 cheese steak sandwich.

 Now I don't eat meat, but my friend does, and he felt he could not go to
 Philadelphia without sampling their famous Philly cheese steak. It just isn't

 We went down to South Street and parked the car near Penn Landing, which is
 a pier overlooking the river. It's not pretty -- the highway traffic roars by behind
 and the riverside is cloaked with industry -- so we didn't stay there long.

 We found restaurants that had cheese steaks but no air conditioning, or air
 conditioning but no cheese steaks, and some that had neither, but none that
 had both, so we wound up eating stale macaroni and cheese and greasy corned
 beef at a cheap deli.

 And it struck me that this was a fitting metaphor for the Republican Party.

 First they gave us Richard Nixon who had gravitas but no honor, then they gave
 us Gerald Ford, who had honor but no gravitas. Then they gave us Ronald
 Reagan, who had neither, so we wound up watching that cheap excuse for a Chief
 Executive, Daddy Bush, running covert arms deals and giving oh-so-cute press
 conferences in which he said things like, "I'm the President of the United
 States, and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." (Aah, you thought this
 was going to be a pointless story, didn't you? Psyche!)

 And now they want to give us Bush Junior, or Son of Flicka, a cheap imitation
 of the original, when the original had no substance to begin with. As Rob Petrie
 said in his campaign for City Council, "Vote for me -- I'll give you cavities."

 You'd better be right about Gore not being able to lose this election if he
 tried, bc, or I'm gonna need one mothereffer of a Chinaco bender to wash Smirk
 down with. And I want the Anejo, too, not the Blanco.

 The protesters will be at the airport to give the Republicans a proper
 send-off, but I won't be sticking around for that. I've had all I can stand
 of the GOP for awhile. I'm going back to New York where the people, by
 comparison with Republicans, are polite and substantive.

 I wish I could go to L.A. to cover the Democratic Convention, but alas, it's
 not the hour-drive from New York that Philly is. But if that millionaire
 shows up in time, let me know. I'll meet you at LAX.

 I'll be the one wearing the t-shirt that says, "George W went to the White
 House, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."


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