Prodigious Hemming Meets Maximum Hawing

The Democrats have descended on Boston for their 44th National Convention, and the city of Boston is so excited about the prospect of witnessing history firsthand that most of them have left town. And who can blame them? After enduring weeks of official cautions to "don't even bother trying to come downtown, it's going to be wicked ugly," followed by dire warnings of terminal gridlock and shrill threats of massive imminent terrorism, not to mention the widespread shutting down of freeways and mass transit, all the locals who haven't loaded up the Minivan and taken to the hills are hunkering down in boarded-up homes like hurricane path residents with no more ambitious plans than to spend the next four days alternating between watching the Red Sox and Dr. Phil.

And speaking of the Scarlet Hose, John Kerry surprised everyone by detouring from a campaign stop in Florida back to the 617 area code to throw out the first pitch at Sunday Night's nationally televised Sox-Yankees game in prime time on ESPN. All too appropriately, the presumptive nominee threw a knuckleball. Literally and figuratively. Either this guy is a great fan, awfully brave, or is unfamiliar with the longstanding tradition of baseball fans booing politicians. Especially politicians they might blame for closing down Interstate 93 and the Green Line for 9 hours during each of the next 4 days. But give the guy credit for staying 'til the end of the game as the Sox beat the Yanks, 9-6. Boston, site of the Democratic Convention beat New York, ground zero of this year's Republican assembly. A little symbolism never hurts. Then again, the Yankees still lead the Sox by 7 1/2 games.

Questions continually arise as to why they bother to hold these over-staged inflato-events when the bulk of the proceedings could be conducted in a corner booth at Denny's over a Grand Slam Breakfast. "All in favor say 'more sausage please.' Okay, another round of coffee and give George Soros the check." But you know what, a political convention is a lot like a professional wrestling match. Sure, you already know what's going to happen – but once every four years, it's fun to watch.

Besides, the Democrats are eminently more watchable than the Republicans because no matter which high priced Hollywood producer is hired to shrink-wrap the choreography, getting Democrats to follow a party line script is like trying to barbecue squid. No matter how thin the grates, major slippage is bound to occur. A lot like a highway wreck. Of course, no one wants to see actual blood, but its still impossible not to slow down and yell at that stupid SUV for blocking your view just when you had a clear angle.

Even with the unifying presence of measureless Bush-loathing bonding them, the self-destruction possibilities are endless. Will Al Gore channel Sam Kinison again? How will Howard Dean react when he discovers his credentials are bogus? Will Bill Clinton hit on Campbell Brown within camera range? Can Ted Kennedy remain erect for all four days? Be sure to tune in this week for your quadrennial dose of The Democrats: Danger, Intrigue, Disorder.

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