Dan Gainor: Democrats’ ‘Unhappy Days’ convention shows virtual reality doesn’t equal real energy


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The Republican convention probably won’t be any better, except there’s always the Trump Factor

Fonzie is finally about to jump the shark. Well, not exactly Fonzie. Americans get someone even older and vastly less cool when Democratic presidential nominee JoeBiden speaks on Thursday.

The Fonz was on TV for 11 years. That’s 255 episodes, and it felt like they ended quicker than the Democratic National Convention. Of course, that show was also called “Happy Days,” and that reflects nothing viewers have endured for three mind-numbing nights of anti-Trump TV. Speaker after speaker slammed President Donald Trump. Few put forth any real strategies other than that Trump is bad.

The “Unhappy Days” convention is better dubbed Must-Flee TV. And flee Americans did. Ratings collapsed from 2016 as Democrats and their media sycophants couldn’t deliver real energy with a virtual convention.

It had all the hallmarks of hackneyed television. There were lots of aging stars, overacting, wooden lectures read from teleprompters and enough faux preaching to impress Joel Osteen. And don’t forget the phony patriotism.

Democrats who slam the National Anthem as racist began their convention with it. Speakers layered their presentations with documents written by old, White men. Phrases such as “we the people” dominated the program, as the party tried unconvincingly to sound like it loved America.

The first night began with actress Eva Longoria seemingly auditioning as a replacement host on “Ellen.” Her talk-show delivery was unsurprising. She hasn’t had a major acting gig since “Desperate Housewives,” which ended eight years ago.

Longoria was just a hint of the Hollywood touch. She is sharing hosting duties with stars Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. Other celebs popped up every time it looked like the producer was desperate to pretend energy where none was to be found.

That opening night welcomed former first lady Michelle Obama as the closing act. Her presentation lacked her usual strength. Instead she voiced her pre-recorded speech with such overwrought delivery that she looked like she was doing an ASPCA commercial. To show her commitment to the campaign, she didn’t even bother updating her speech to include vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

Yet the only criticism CNN could muster was they were afraid she’d outshine Biden. Like that’s a challenge.

Even the Clintons did that much. Both of them were there, too. First we had Bill, a walking, talking #MeToo disaster so bad CNN had to face the question. CNN analyst Scott Jennings hilariously embarrassed his network asking, “How is it that Bill Clinton has not been canceled by the Democratic” Party?

Then came Hillary, bashing Trump and continuing to fantasize that she had won in 2016. "Don't forget: Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million more votes and still lose. Take it from me,” she declared. Of course, The Donald did just that — took it from her. Fair and square.

Then there was the musical, um, entertainment. Singer Billie Eilish epitomized the low-energy event when she called the country “a mess” Wednesday night. Eilish told viewers “Donald Trump is destroying our country and everything we care about.” Except her delivery had all the energy of a canceled TV program.

Eilish also delivered her song “My Future” with a similar mellow tone. So much so that host and actress Kerry Washington couldn’t pretend any excitement when it was over.

And let’s not forget the extras. There were plenty of those. The lack of a convention floor seemed to inspire the Democrats to include every single potential voter sometime during the first three nights. Forget 15 minutes of fame. Now, we all get to be convention zoomies.

Like all conventions, this one had a few bonuses the audience never saw. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was still embarrassed when trolls showed up for her appearance at the online Native American Caucus. Noted anti-Semite Linda Sarsour also humiliated Team Biden with her convention involvement.

The first three nights did serve as a reminder that the only actual stars the Democrats have are in the Obama family. Even with her presentation’s flaws, both Michelle and former President Obama gave better speeches than the rest of the convention combined.

Barack’s also gave journalists a chance to remind Americans they still worship the “West Wing” seasons of Obamalot. Politico’s Chief Washington Correspondent Ryan Lizza was reflective of the media adoration: “Barack Obama just delivered the finest convention speech in modern history (again). Spell-binding, chilling, optimistic, beautifully written, and expertly delivered. Incredible moment.”

Democrats and the press can look on the bright side. The Republican convention probably won’t be any better, except there’s always the Trump Factor.