Friday, July 30, 2004

Reporting For Duty Notes

1) I'm John Ellis, reporting for duty. The speech was, as they say, a "missed opportunity." Sullivan accurately describes what went wrong (see his post of this morning, filed shortly after the speech). It was a Mickey Kaus moment, although -- weirdly -- Kaus himself found the speech effective. Go figure.

In general, I guess the Democratic Convention was a net positive for them (because the press described it as such). But the "brain-deadedness" of the party is troubling; with the exception of embryonic stem cell research, it's as if twenty years of breath-taking changes in technology and science were a subject for another day.

These transformational and disruptive technologies are at the heart of the three major issues of American politics. Those issues are the national security, the global economy and the culture we leave to our kids. Democrats talk about technology and science as gadgetry. Listening to (and reading) the major speeches was both depressing and boring. The leading lights appear to have given little thought to what disruptive technology and science imply.

I'm for Bush, of course, so maybe it's just me. But I don't think it's just me. I think a lot of people looked at the Democratic Convention all week and John Kerry last night and said: "they just don't get it."

2) Moving right along, blogging went prime time at the Convention and proved every bit as boring as Tod Purham (or whatever his name is). There are five functions a blog can serve. It can provide reportage, analysis, commentary (based on expertise), an unique point of view and opinion. In general, the best blogs are strong on analysis and commentary and POV.

The blogging from the Fleet Center amounted to "we're here!" Reportage was virtually non-existent. Story identification and creation were uniformly uninspired. All in all, a dreadful performance.

3) The best news from the Convention was that Senators Kerry and Edwards pointedly did not advocate a reversal of the President's national security policy as laid out in his famous West Point speech of 2002. Pre-emptive action in a world of failed states, Islamo-fascists and catastrophic weaponry is essential to the national security interests of the United States.