MEGAN: Are you sad you aren't enjoying everything that Minnesota has to offer? SPENCER: My knowledge of MPLS is limited to two things: the bands on Profane Existence and the account of the Hennepin County prison/detox system that I read about in The Night Of The Gun. One thing I wondered, though: did Joe Lieberman look worse on the closed-circuit feed you saw him on? Because he looked surprisingly good in HD. MEGAN: I didn't see him on closed-circuit TV, I saw his ass from the media stands and his face on one of the really big screens. From what I could tell, he looked much less pale and tragic than normal, which I'm going to guess means he either secretly stood in line at Invesco or the GOP has better makeup artists than he normally uses. He sounded exactly the same. Like, he sounded like the imitation they did of him talking on the phone to Ron Klain in Recount. SPENCER: On the drive to the Denver airport, me and some of the FDL dudes were PRAYING for Lieberman to get the VP nod so we could reprise Joe's greatest hits. But this guy defies parody. Do you remember the part where he called Obama an "eloquent young man"? Tell me that isn't racist euphemism. MEGAN: It totally was, but I spent the whole time going, man, What Would Zell Miller Have Said. Zell knew how to bring a brand of GOP-inspiring crazy that Joementum will never be able to touch. And he wouldn't have gone with some mealy-mouthed encoded racial reference either. But that's so like Lieberman, to stick the shank so slowly in your back that you almost don't feel it. SPENCER: I saw Hadassah sitting next to Cindy, and she probably knows something about not feeling it. MEGAN: Please, let us vow here and now to work as many dick jokes as possible into today's Crappy Hour. SPENCER: But did you notice how he used that line about how you'll always know where McCain stands? That was Bush's closing line against Kerry. If ever there was a milemarker on the road to Joe Lieberman's descent into embarrassing crank, it's that right there. Another question: who could possibly be inspired by that speech? Who even watched till the end? Who thought that the only man capable of following spit-hot-fire Fred Thompson was Joe Lieberman? Actually that's three questions, but you get the gist. MEGAN: Why did we have to listen to all the various degrees of torture McCain underwent? To make us empathize more with him once we were tortured ourselves? I did think it really strange that they ended on Lieberman, though less so when I read this morning that Joe was really intended to be the nominee but everyone talked McCain out of it at the last minute. SPENCER: That was the least self-aware moment of the convention. That crowd has spent four years cheering the torture of hundreds-if-not-thousands of detainees in the GWOT and bravely standing up for the constitutional principle that Bush can torture, like, whoever he wants. A convention with a sense of irony — or maybe just shame — would have soft-peddled that. I imagine that the 2020 nominating convention of the Neo-Baath Party will feature something similar
Some of Ahmed's fellow Abu Ghraib inmates are here tonight. Stand up! Stand up! We honor your service! Ya Iraq! While they waterboarded Marwan at an undisclosed prison and asked him for names of the members of a terrorist group he didn't belong to, Marwan just recited the names of the Manchester United midfielders from 1970 on! (...and Bush had them all detained.)MEGAN: Oh, God, yeah, I don't know if you could hear it on TV, but every time the crowd started chanting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" I cringed a little. The shouted it every time the surge came up. I was seated next to a German reporter and I cringed a little and hoped she'd been at the DNC because I didn't want that to be her impression of our jingoistic little nation. SPENCER: It's like how Rick Davis said bluntly that "this election is not about issues." Well fucking obviously when your agenda has been decisively refuted by the cold hand of reality. All that's left is treacly videos about pledging allegiance to the flag and comparing "the angry left" to North Vietnamese torturers. MEGAN: You should've seen the standing ovation that line got, by the way. Also, if you didn't see the Reagan tribute video, you really missed something. It was all about how much he loved his wife and shit. Also, he saved this country! I heard one reporter openly snort at that assertion. I love being in the press box sometimes. In Denver, everyone was super quiet (or maybe it was just the section I was in), but here people are sort of milling around and talking to one another and stuff. Possibly because they released the full texts of all the speeches relatively early. SPENCER: Fucking liberal reporters. I wonder what would happen if the reanimated corpse of Ronald Reagan asked a room full of anti-gay Republicans for a blowjob. Which principle is the controlling one? MEGAN: One blow job doesn't make you gay. Liking it makes you gay... Oh, wait, never mind. SPENCER: OK I need to wrap this up fairly soon so I can go to Glover Park and beg the Afghan consulate for a same-day visa in order to make my flight tomorrow to Afghanistan. MEGAN: I am so excited for you which is only slightly tinged with worry for my friend... SPENCER: I'll be totally fine. Well, presuming my body armor arrives at my office later today. If not, then you can worry. MEGAN: I will be keeping my fingers crossed for that then. I'm guessing it's not something I could pick up here at an Army-Navy story and overnight to you... SPENCER: Yeah, if only. Also, do you know that I can't figure out how to make a satellite modem work? I've emailed some people and am a bit reassured, and I'll talk to the guy at Inmarsat customer service today, but Jesus I'd feel a lot more comfortable if I could make this alchemy happen. This shit is heavy as hell and I'll be at an elevation higher than Denver. And this time without alcohol. MEGAN: Dude, I'll stockpile the bourbon for your triumphant return to Washington... and to Crappy Hour. SPENCER: I now have something to live for.