Thursday, August 28, 2008


Some wit coined the term “Barackopolis” for the stage set in Invesco Field where The One will deliver his acceptance speech tonight. Though the venue is not yet open to the public, there are innumerable photos and videos available of the grand stage set, which strongly resembles Hollywood notions of ancient Roman or Greek temples. The McCain campaign has already poked fun at this, by publishing tongue-in-cheek guides for how to dress appropriately to attend the speech – in togas, of course.

I'm more bemused than amused at this. It strikes me as a perfect metaphor for the Democratic party: the party of personalities, rather than of ideas or ability. The party that promotes a rock star, instead of a doer. It makes perfect sense that there would be a grand, high-tech stage for such a candidate. I'll be disappointed if the presentation tonight doesn't include an automated light show, heavily engineered audio, careful attention to video-friendly lighting, foot-thumpin' music, and (of course!) spectacular fireworks.

On the other hand, I'll be very surprised to hear any actual ideas, plans, or commitments...

And doesn't that fit the candidate perfectly?

So now we have one of our major parties producing an entertainment spectacular instead of a public debate on ideas and issues, and in place of any real platform of plans and commitments. Let's hope that the other party can rise above this, even if just a little.

Here's a ponder for you, though. Suppose, for a moment, that The One wins the election – that the rock star campaign wins the popular vote. What do you think that portends for our future?