Some people should not make a habit of smiling. On most people it looks good; some, though, seem not to have the proper face for the task. When John McCain smiles, the look is reminiscent of a skull wrapped tightly in a large wet sock. He smiles so rarely during speeches that it is disconcerting; he does it with such a pained grimace that it is very nearly frightening.
If I were to come up with an overall theme for the Republican National Convention -- and fortunately for both me and them, I am a partisan of the opposite stripe, and therefore unlikely to ever be hired on for such a task -- it would have to be The Grinning Corpse. I picture a happy, stoic stiff, unconcerned with its own demise, unaware that the hands of the clock have kept moving in its absence. It smiles broadly, very nearly daring the world to kill it off once again, just so the bag of bones can laugh it off yet one more time. That is my overall impression of nearly everything involved with this administration, and of the party that has wrapped itself so tightly around them. The remaining Bush days, filled with happy talk of Iraq, and of torture and crime, and drill baby drill. A middle finger to any patsies still concerned for the environment; a halfhearted grunt in response to any plea for an energy policy more substantive than a longer-handled shovel; a vacuous stare towards any of the rest.