- Turn viciously on your own candidate, renouncing him and shitting all over every mistake he made on the campaign trail.
- Make a snide remark about how horrible the next four years will be. “Hope you like prolonged unemployment, people!”
- Try and remove your candidate’s bumper sticker, only to realize that it’s permanently affixed.
- Vow that your party will come back stronger than ever in the next election. Undermine the winning candidate immediately, at every turn, in hopes that public sentiment will eventually go your way. Because it will. Have you met American voters? All we do is switch majority parties every six years or so. Our discontent is more reliable than a Hanes Beefy-T. Don’t fret. You’re party will get another chance to fuck everything up somewhere down the road, probably sooner rather than later. Oh goody.
Jason Zengerle compares Obama’s thrilling, surprising 2004 keynote to last night’s more realistic DNC acceptance speech:
Obama’s speech tonight could not avoid harkening back to the one from eight years ago. Not only did he repeat some of its same lines—about his grandfather fighting in “Patton’s Army” and his grandmother working on “a bomber assembly line”—he returned to some of its same themes. Just as he did in 2004 and then, as the party’s presidential nominee in 2008, Obama talked about hope triumphing over cynicism and the power of people to effect change. But he also knew that too much optimism would ring hollow after the last four years—and the most striking about the speech was its humility.
When Obama acknowledged that the times had changed since 2004, that back then he was “just a candidate” but now “I’m the president,” the delegates, who spent the several hours before Obama’s speech breaking into arena-rattling chants of “Fired Up Ready to Go,” took the line as a boast and cheered. But Obama’s next line—about how, as president, he now knows “what it means to send young Americans into battle” and holding “in my arms the mothers and fathers who didn’t return”—made it clear that he was trying to say something else. Once, Obama wowed a Democratic convention with the prospect of almost unimaginable possibility. Now, he was talking to them about hard-earned experience.
Paul Ryan, “the first Gen-X candidate,” was 19 when the Berlin Wall came down, draft age during the first Gulf War, 21 when Nevermind dropped. All of which makes him a contemporary of many of us who work on and read GQ. Which got us wondering, what kind of a dude is Paul Ryan? Would we want to go to Coachella with this fella? More precisely: has he ever been stoned to the bejeezus belt?