Pop Goes the GOP

Politics and policy.
Aug. 2 2000 11:34 PM

Pop Goes the GOP

So many highlights tonight ... Rep. Bud Shuster's tribute to Ricky Martin ... the cast of the UPN hit Moesha ... the Congressional Cage Match ... Trent Lott's karaoke version of "Friends in Low Places."

Advertisement

OK, I'm kidding. But it wasn't far off. Pro-wrestling celebrity and newly registered voter "The Rock" introduced the speaker of the House. After the Delfonics performed, a rock band led by Rep. Joe Scarborough sang a song titled "Together in America" that was basically "Sweet Jane" set to patriotic lyrics. House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich warmed up the crowd for Latin pop "star" Jon Secada. And Lynne Cheney sang "Oops ... I Did It Again" with Laura Bush.

OK, I'm kidding again--but only about that last part.

In the daily edition of the Weekly Standard distributed at the convention, David Brooks called this year's Republican convention "reparative therapy for Caucasians." Tonight it was more like a hemispheric festival of extremely low-quality pop culture. The best thing about Republicans in the old days was that they hated this stuff. They left Kenny G. and Fleetwood Mac to the Clintons. No more.

For the last half-hour, tonight's show actually did resemble a political convention. When Dick Cheney finally delivered an explicit "screw you" Bill Clinton and Al Gore speech, after three nights of tantric politics, the effect was, well, cathartic.

Most of the jabs were not especially pointed. "That last day is near," Cheney said. "The wheel has turned ... and it is time ... it is time for them to go." The last part of this, the repeated refrain of the speech, was actually a verbatim quotation of the chant led at the 1992 Democratic convention in New York by none other than Al Gore. (No credit was given.)

And: "We are all a little weary of the Clinton-Gore routine."

And: "They came in together. Now let us see them off together."

And: "Does anyone Republican or Democrat seriously believe that under Mr. Gore, the next four years would be any different from the last eight?" (Isn't this an argument for electing Gore?)

And of course, of Bush "... he will restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office."

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.