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The Rip Van Winkle approach to the conventions

September 04, 2012|By Paul Whitefield
  • A sea of balloons and confetti remain on the floor after the end of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
A sea of balloons and confetti remain on the floor after the end of the Republican… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Now I know how Rip Van Winkle felt.

I went on vacation for two weeks -- and awoke to find that I'd slept through (well, OK, I missed) the entire Republican National Convention.

And you know what?  I can’t say I missed missing it.

VIDEO: Watch the RNC speeches

Really, this must be the secret to how the French stay content. Vacations just seem to make problems disappear. Overwrought about politics? Anxious about the economy? Troubled by the Middle East? Try several afternoons on a nice beach, munching on fresh lobster ("That one, but wait until I’m not looking to chuck it into the boiling water, please!") and finishing it off with a sweet, crunchy elephant ear (think pastry dough and sugar and cinnamon and salt air). Poof! No worries.

Still, I hear the Republicans said many nasty things about President Obama and the Democrats; and that they actually nominated Mitt Romney; and that Romney’s wife said nice things about him; and Paul Ryan gets to be Mr. Irrelevant, the running mate; and they promised to solve our problems by giving bigger tax breaks to really rich people and by ruining the environment to make the price of gas go down.

There may have been other stuff -- did Chris Christie really mouth off about California and Jerry Brown?  Did Clint Eastwood really speak to an empty chair? -- but I’m going to treat it all as mere rumor.

PHOTOS: Scenes from the RNC

Still, in the spirit of fairness (and because honestly these affairs haven’t been any fun since the Republicans shouted down Nelson Rockefeller in 1964), I’m going to skip the Democratic get-together too. 

After all, the conventions have become reality TV shows -- as carefully scripted as "The Bachelorette," but with far less kissing. (More drinking, I suppose, but the networks don’t cover that part. Sad. Imagine the fun we could’ve had following the California delegate who ended up kicked out after a binge that ended with him claiming to be a member of Congress). 

No, I can’t be on vacation forever, but I can be nonpartisan when it comes to conventions.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: Presidential Election 2012

Now, if I can just find the recipe for those elephant ears.


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