Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Can Window Dressing Turn Into a Window?

However entertaining it was to hear Clinton's lack of leadership attacked at a convention cribbed straight from his handbook, Wuh's speech included passages that were startling from a GOP presidential candidate. However uncomfortably they bumped against tax breaks for the rich and Star Wars for the rest of us, the reproaches to pure materialism and rejections of divisiveness were more prominent than lip service required. If President Wuh acted on them, I could forgive him a lot—even his horrible mother. But if he's got no intention of trying—that is, if he's really nothing more than the cocky, mean-spirited chucklebrain that Molly Ivins swears and plenty of his supporters hope he is—he'll be viler than Poppy's predecessor. At least Ronald Reagan couldn't be accused of generating false hopes.

If only in the short run, an inclusive GOP would spell hard times for the Democrats. But Huffington and Nader are right to call the two parties all but indistinguishable—pro-life and pro-choice wings of the same corporate shack job. Once both have the identical welcome mat, they'll be compelled to redefine themselves in other ways. If the Republicans revert from being the party of hate to just being the party of business, devoted only to forming a more perfect First Union, the Democrats might have to rediscover a few reservations about unbridled capitalism—and what a wonderful world that would be.

Philadelphia freedom: This was the good old GOP, whose rising generation chills the blood.
photo: Michael Sofronski
Philadelphia freedom: This was the good old GOP, whose rising generation chills the blood.

If it sounds like I'm inspecting a grenade for silver linings, that's because I left Philadelphia convinced that Wuh will be hard to beat. If he wins, it won't be with my help. But if this scion of privilege has any brains or decency, unlikely though his history makes that seem, he'll realize that his convention's brilliantly engineered fakery could change his party for real. I've long believed the GOP should be either transformed or destroyed—and now is no time to get sentimental about which I'd enjoy more.

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