“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” —Groucho Marx

Yeah, politics. We know it’s boring, but you only have to suffer through a few more months of it. Beside, it’s a much more entertaining year in politics than usual. The Republicans held their convention last week and they didn’t seem completely happy. Usually the convention is where they give a show of having settled their differences and everybody who had been vying for the nomination agrees that all the times they said their primary opponents were low-down treasonous skunks and the greatest threat to the republic since the Third Reich, why, they were just kidding around. Now they insist that the nominee, however much he may have seemed to lie, bluff, cheat and extort his way to the prize, actually won the nomination fair and square and by the way is a pillar of decency, propriety and benevolence. Furthermore, it’s absolutely vital that he/she be elected in November lest the nation fall into the malignant clutches of the low down, treasonous skunk of the other party who should be under armed guard round the clock until such time as he/she can be slapped into a maximum security institution for the criminally insane.

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That’s usually how it works, but not this year. The second place finisher on the Republican side, Ted Cruz, instead of fulsomely endorsing the candidate who bested him, Donald Trump, urged the assembled delegates and the larger viewing audience to “vote your conscience” and support candidates that would “defend the constitution.” This damnable treachery so outraged the crowd that they booed him lustily off the stage.  Meanwhile none of the former party big shots, including several ex-presidents and the 2012 nominee, were able to squeeze a convention appearance into their busy schedules. Those presidential library card catalogs aren’t going to alphabetize themselves, you know.

By comparison, it looked like relatively smooth sailing for the Democrats. The favorite, Hillary Clinton, had amassed enough delegates to corner the nomination. The Sanders people said it was a total gyp how she had all these unaccountable “super” delegates, but there didn’t seem to be much they could do about it. They also complained that the party seemed to always side with the Clinton campaign. Ultimately, though, the candidate, Bernie Sanders, endorsed her candidacy – maybe a week or so ago. Then, on the day before the convention started, it all blew up. Wikileaks released a cache of hacked emails revealing that all the accusations the Sanders camp had made against the Clinton campaign and the supposedly impartial Democratic National Committee were true. It was so bad that the Chairman of the DNC was forced to resign. Sanders loyalists were not mollified by their standard bearer’s concession.They started holding marches and demonstrations. As we go to press it seems increasingly chaotic. On the convention floor, Sanders loyalists were chanting something along the lines of:

“Heck, no, DNC, we won’t vote for Hillary!”

Some even chanted “Lock Her Up”, something the Republicans were chanting a week ago.

Which got us to thinking, Republicans hardly ever chant stuff that is cute or rhymes. Maybe the issues that bother them aren’t susceptible to rhymes, or maybe they just don’t try. We could only think of one or two they might chant.  If they were cheesed off at both the former and the current officials in charge of the Federal Reserve board, they might chant:

“Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, we’re not buying what you’re sellin’!”

No? How about: “Railroads have stations, airports have plane gates; why don’t you lower the capital gains rate?” Okay, last try: “Hey-hey, ho-ho, capital loss carry-over limitations have to go!”

Our M.O. in past years has been to let the politicians and associated gasbags do their thing while we switch over to a ball game. But we always tune in for the finale. After all, it’s the balloon drops at the conclusion of the conventions that usually determine the outcome of the election. At Jimmy Carter’s second convention, the balloon drop failed because of a mechanical malfunction. Look what happened to him. The Republicans got off an impressive balloon drop at their convention. The bar has been set pretty high. As you read this, the balloon drop of destiny may be about to take place. You read it here first.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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