It's like a GOP confab, only different

Debra J. Saunders

8/22/2000 12:00:00 AM - Debra J. Saunders
LOS ANGELES -- It's like a GOP convention, only different. It's like a GOP convention because party handlers are trying to put a positive spin on the candidate's youthful years -- only different because the Republicans tried to make George W. Bush's college years seem to be less fun-filled. Team Gore, on the other hand, is so anxious to humanize the vice president that actor Tommy Lee Jones, when he nominated Al Gore, told America how Gore frequently played pool and watched "Star Trek" when he should have been studying for his Harvard classes. It's like a GOP convention in that Joe Lieberman has been thanking God for his placement on the ballot -- only different, because liberals don't howl about the separation of church and state when the devout pol is a Democrat. It's like a GOP convention in that the speakers salute prosperity -- only different because the same folks say "rich" like it's a dirty word. It's like a GOP convention in that party biggies are hitting glitzy events bankrolled by special interests -- only different because the GOP dispenses with any pretense about wanting to reform campaign finance laws. It's like a GOP convention in that elected officials advocate tax cuts -- only different because the Repubs want to give tax breaks to everyone, whereas the parsimonious Democrats think that only people they have "targeted" are truly worthy should get a break. It's like a GOP convention because the nominee is heir to a political dynasty -- only different because the Dems ridicule Bush for being the son of a former president. They seem not to have noticed their many presentations by second generation pols named Gore, Kennedy, Bayh, Cuomo or Jackson. It's like a GOP convention because Gore has come to support private savings accounts, only different because of who would pay for them. Bush wants to let people take part of their payroll check for private accounts. In order to avoid the "risky" Bush "scheme," Gore wants to pay for some people's private accounts by raiding the federal treasury. It's like a GOP convention because the head of the ticket has been bankrolled by oil companies -- only different, because Al Gore feels free to criticize George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for taking money from the same industry that has fueled his career since its beginning. It's like a GOP convention in that Lieberman has opposed affirmative action -- only different, because civil rights leaders don't accuse Lieberman of being a racist. It's like a GOP convention in that you won't hear the I-word from prime time speakers -- only different because Monday night it starred the Impeached President. It's like a GOP convention in that the running mate has called Bill Clinton's behavior "immoral" -- only different because Lieberman seems to have forgotten what he thought was so wrong. It's like the GOP convention in Philadelphia because the convention is expected to change the nominee's standing in the polls -- only different because it actually may cause Gore to lose support. According to a voter.com tracking survey, voters have become, if anything, less likely to vote for Gore since the convention began. It's like the GOP convention in that the speakers call their man "the next President of the United States" -- only different because you can hear in their voices that they don't necessarily think so.