A couple days into the convention, I’m feeling… okay… about it.  I think that it can probably improve in the next couple days.  I also think that the criticisms of the convention’s lack of anger are unneeded.

Unfortunately, I’m not lucky enough to be in Denver to enjoy the convention in person.  But from what I am gathering through the blogosphere and through MSNBC — the only cable news I will watch — things do seem a bit more unorganized than the 2004 convention, but I suppose that’s what happens when the party has a protracted primary fight that goes into the summer.

The speeches have been decent.  I remember not being too impressed by President Clinton on the first night of the 2004 convention, and so comparatively, Michelle Obama did pretty well.  Some clamored for her to attack McCain and the Republicans, but I actually find that suggestion idiotic.  Why would Michelle Obama, who the Republicans are making out to be a witch, feed them all the material they need?  Her expertise is her knowledge of her husband, which other people need to have.  Last night’s speech by Hillary Clinton was, again, decent.  I thought she did a great job filling it with soundbytes for TV.  The criticism there is that she didn’t validate Obama’s qualifications to fill the commander-in-chief role.  However, 1.) I think that’s probably better coming from a former commander-in-chief like her husband, and 2.) including that in her speech would have obscured her message of unity.  Hillary needed to focus on unifying the party, and she did a pretty good job doing that.

The major criticisms of the convention so far largely focus on the lack of anger.  There’s probably been more anger displayed on the MSNBC set than there has been at the podium.  And actually, I can’t say that I mind.  I think this is what we get when we have Millennials packing this convention.  This is a comment included in a Matt Stoller post on Open Left describing the convention — it sounds like a Boomer upset with the changing of the times:

My take on the convention so far is that we are being WAY too low key. Other than Kuchinich [sic], I haven’t seen anyone get genuinely angry. We’ve been pissed off and pissed on for 8 years and everyone I know is mad as hell. Where’s the passion? How can you incite the people to act up if you won’t remind them WHY they need a change? It’s almost as though the whole party is afraid that Barack will get labelled [sic] “the angry black man.” Sooner or later, they’ll throw that one out…why not seize the label and embrace it first?

I’d respond by noting that Obama is running the largest grassroots operation in history.  Perhaps we Democrats don’t visibly show our anger as much as we channel it into the work we do.  And perhaps those at the convention realize the amount of work already being done on Obama’s and the party’s behalf.  Again, this is the youngest convention in the history of the DNC, which means lots of pragmatic, teambuilding, institution-minded, work-within-the-system Millennials.  Problems are solved not by complaining, demonstrating, or putting pressure on the political system, but working within it.

I actually think that with the three big speeches left to go (Bill’s, Biden’s, and Obama’s) the anger will pick up a bit.  But I think the determination is going to be there more than anger.  I’ve written about this before, but I think that everyone but the political elites know about the latent army Obama has up his sleeve — the mammoth operation he is running that is flying completely under the radar.  This will make more difference than any political convention.  We won’t see this come into play until the climax of the campaign, mid- to late-October, and I think the punditocracy and talking heads on TV have a hard time understanding that.

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