I told myself that I could watch just as much of the Republican Convention as I did for the Democrats. I failed. Hurricane Gustav did me the favor of limiting the time I had to spend on Labor Day. Besides, there was this barn-burner of a college football game on between Tennessee and UCLA that went into overtime. On Tuesday, I peeked in for a few minutes, but I was still on track to meet or best my attention span from the week before.
Wednesday night I sat on the couch with gritty determination. I was going to check out what the other side had to say. I was going to take it all in with an open mind. It was my intent to stay objective as I took it all in. Maybe the mistake I made was starting with Rudy Guliani. Maybe my expectations were too high, or too low. Maybe my mistake was having any expectations at all. About the time that Rudy launched into his bit about how Barack Obama "never had to lead people in crisis" and just before he began his signature refrain of 9/11, I turned the television off. I never made it to the presumptive nominee for vice-president, Sarah Palin.
From the bites of sound that I have witnessed in the wake of her speech, I guess I probably did myself and my digestive tract a favor. I was not up to this task. My wife was much more courageous. She sat through John McCain's video tribute as well as his acceptance. Strong stomach on that one.
She's the one that got to see my sister-in-law carried out of the hall. As a member of Code Pink, she was there with the expressed purpose of making her voice heard, even if it was at the expense of the viewers at home. The crowd in the hall responded to each disruption with loud chants of "USA, USA!" to drown out the single, unamplified voices of the protesters. That didn't keep the cameras from catching her being escorted up the aisle with one hand sticking straight in the air, making a peace sign.
And me? I wonder if I will have to limit my viewing habits strictly to Cartoon Network. That is, until Spongebob Squarepants announces his third-party run.