and with that, whatever passes for normalcy in manhattan is once again dominant. a few last notes on the convention:

i attempted a wee social experiment by strolling around midtown on thursday in a big old hillary clinton tee shirt. i was hoping to get heckled, but as is the case in so many situations, apprehension quickly became boredom. the girl in the 'I heart GWB' shirt had nothing to say, there was no sign of the formerly massive police presence in front of the news corporation building, and the few groups of republicans on the sidewalk were more interested in hot dogs than in me.

on to dinner with joe, dad and part of my stepfamily. had an amusing conversation with caroline about the bush daughters' performance; due to my occasional cluelessness and her consistently down-to-earth poise, i briefly forgot that, oh yeah, her father is also a prominent republican who spoke at the convention. though i seriously doubt a stump speech would ever happen - she is in no way a budding conservative - at fifteen she could already teach barbara and jenna a thing or two. a good kid, that one.

on bushie's speech itself, it probably was the performance of his career. i've long argued that we should have a king and a prime minister: it's fine to have a public figure who tears up to satisfy the hoi polloi and cuts ceremonial things with giant scissors (W could, i hope, manage to do that), but it's unbelievable that the public refuses to hold him accountable for his administration's abject failures. we need a president who expects and takes substantive heat for his missteps, and a leader who trades solely on his personality will never have to do that. i'm sure america loved his visible emotion and didn't even notice his failure to mention osama bin laden, and barring a miracle from the kerry camp, that pure suspension of disbelief will win this election for the republicans. our faith, in turn, that voters will do their homework is kicking our asses yet again. god, i hate us.

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