Comedy stage is set

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The last political convention that actually had some drama was way back in 1976, when President Gerald Ford fended off a challenge from a governor named Ronald Reagan. Ford would select Bob Dole to be his vice presidential nominee. The posters read “Ford-Dole,” one syllable each. Dull and duller. But had he not pardoned Richard Nixon, Ford may have won in a squeaker. And then maybe HE instead of Jimmy Carter, would suffer through the Iranian hostage crisis, and perhaps might have faced a challenge from Ted Kennedy in 1980. Oh, the twists of fate and history.

There will be no such drama this year, unless someone says something stupid. And that’s not going to happen. Hah!

The warmup to next week’s Republican convention has been a name-calling extravaganza, with each side contributing some beauties.

Where do we begin? Oh, that’s easy. Republican GOP Senate hopeful Todd Akin talked about “legitimate rape” and how biologically women can somehow stop an unwanted pregnancy. Huh? Everyone knew it was immediately time for Akin to go. Except Akin.

And then there is the vice president, making his “y’all in shackles” crack. That elicited a particularly scathing GOP response from Rudy Giuliani, who said that Joe Biden essentially doesn’t have the brains to be president.

We are learning so much in this campaign. Did you know that vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan is a fitness buff who trains with the “P-90X” workout system?

And then we’ll learn even more from the conventions. Not that they are staged. No! Politico reports that Democrats are doing a casting call. A recent memo indicated they wanted to get “an auto worker whose job was saved,” “a student who benefited from college loans” and “a Planned Parenthood husband who talks about how a Pap smear saved his wife’s life.” As Jon Stewart put it on Comedy Central: “Word of advice: you might want to lower the bar to a guy who knows what a Pap smear is!”

The report also says Democrats are looking for a “gay soldier and fellow (straight) soldier who served together in Iraq or Afghanistan (ideally the straight soldier was helped by the gay soldier, i.e., medic, in fire fight)”

So there you have it. You won’t have to watch the convention now that Politico has leaked the cast. No doubt Republicans are carefully planning their show too.

Oh, and you want depth and discussions of the issues that will save America? You might get some of that too, in between the name-calling.