It may not be possible to avoid talking about the conventions. It’s now clear that the conventions are mainly a public speaking competition. The other part is a delegate-enthusiasm competition. If you’re keeping score, the Democrats are winning both. It was nice that Michele “hit a home run” as the scoring of the speeches goes. In fact, some elevated it to “a grand slam!”

The now-evident-by-comparison lack of enthusiasm on the GOP side doesn’t tell us a lot, but it tells us something. What it says is SPENT FORCE. They really really want to send the lightning into to corpse one more time, but the 20th-century apparatus is showing its age. They know they are not going to be able to roll back the clock on women’s rights, or gay rights, or any of the rest, so it’s just going through the exhausted motions there. What’s left on their agenda? Oh yeah! DEFICITS! Deficits!...deficits....zzzzzzzzz. The GOP remembers, fitfully anyway, that they’ve had many shots at deficits and blew them all. Blaming Democrats for deficits is hard after George W. Bubble. And especially so with with Bill SURPLUS Clinton still prowling the landscape. Anything else in the musty bag?

Oh yeah, tax cuts and deregulation! The magic beans! Anybody want to buy those magic beans one more time? The ones that were supposed to cure everything, except that they turned out to be more like loaded, exploding underwear? Magic beans, the musical fruit that just about brought down the entire economy! You can’t get those through airport security anymore. So all that’s left in the grab bag is grabbing for and twisting out-of-context statements, outright misrepresentation, and doddering old men telling off imaginary enemies. Woot! Republicans may be selfish, but they’re not stupid. They know in their aging bones when the game is nearly over.