The fact that the second day of the RNC had reports of various members of the KKK, Black Lives Matter, and Westboro Baptists hurling urine at one another and it was still considered better on the whole than Monday night should tell you where we’re at with this thing. While inside, their air-conditioned counterparts attempted to project a sense of cohesion that was lacking during the first night. A little tricky when the official nominating process has scores of delegates in open dissension. While they proved to be the minority, the optics were not helpful.

In addition to host Governor, John Kasich, refusing to step foot in the same arena with Donald Trump, let alone offer his endorsement, the Ohio delegation did not appreciate Paul Manafort’s comments the other night. Manafort, Trump’s main fixer, took Kasich to task early Monday morning, insisting that he was an embarrassment to his state for refusing to attend. While I may have called Kasich a grinning reject from Mayberry in the past, the big dope is our big dope and Cleveland is nothing if not protective of its own. In response, the Ohio delegation awarded Trump no delegates, instead awarding all sixty-six to Kasich while the Trump progeny looked on sourly from the New York pit. While Kasich was entitled to the count having won the state, the delegates could have been offered up to Trump in a sign of good faith since it was a foregone conclusion. Instead, Cleveland continues to admirably remain its own beast.

While many of the speakers performed their sycophantic responsibilities with aplomb, House Speaker Paul Ryan, stuck out as a sore thumb. While not outright dismissing Trump, Ryan was able to only mention him twice in passing, selecting to focus on his misguided Poverty Plan instead. To date, he is the only speaker at the convention to offer the slightest in regards to policy or agenda- born of self-interest and irrelevant to the Trump campaign, but an agenda nonetheless. UFC President, Dana White, and an avocado farmer talked and had as much to do with the candidate as they did with one another. With the night’s theme “make America work again” they attempted to focus on the business world but offered little more than repetition of the slogan. How could they? Trump’s businesses are based off of nepotistic inheritances and forced bankruptcies while the sitting Democratic President has continually grown the economy after recovering from the Bush-era recession while the unemployment continues to remain under 5%.

A meal without much meat on its bones, the night featured padding from family members and former foes turned lapdogs. Tiffany and Donald Junior spoke on their father’s behalf and were considered a success insomuch as they were able not to rip off Sasha and Malia. Chris Christie gave a speech that was a boilerplate delivery of much the same as he served up during the Primaries. The most reviled governor in New Jersey history, Christie’s political career is sink or swim depending on a Trump presidency. And hey, Ben Carson is still around. Whodathunkit? Along with Lincoln Chaffey, Carson was one of the more inscrutable, possibly an escape cartoon gone rogue, ala Roger Rabbit, candidates of the Primary cycle. While the hammer wielding, mother punching, belt-buckle stabbing brain surgeon has been quiet lately, he delivered a laconic prime time speech before the fistful of Ambien he pounded just before taking the stage kicked in.

Somewhere in that meandering lullaby, while the crowd worked towards the doors, Carson explained how Hillary Clinton was unfit to lead. Not through some policy disagreement. Not through a lack of confidence, but because of a book she got autographed half a lifetime ago. Yes, GOP boogeyman, Saul Alinsky wrote a book entitled, Rules for Radicals, and signed a copy for Clinton when the two used to rap politics during their college years. Alinsky dedicated his book to “Lucifer. So… panic? Yes, Carson tattled on Clinton that she hung out with a bad boy in school. Reminding the crowd, “So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?”

Where do you even begin with something like that? There’s supposed to be separation of Church and State and you should know that. And, while we’re at it, whatever happened to that whole Freedom of Religion bill the GOP has had a hard-on for as of late? Apparently, only for religions that vote Red. All that said, it was a tongue-fully-in-cheek dedication in the first place. Anyone with a sense of humor would have picked up on that considering the thematic allusion to the title. Carson’s criticism only further display’s the current GOP’s inability to stay on message with Trump leading the ship because Trump himself lacks any trace of discipline whatsoever. Because of that, the Convention will remain a show of fits and starts, of short, buckshot blasts at Clinton that pepper their opponent but are too scattered and distracted to land any significant damage.

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    Content Strategist, novelist and prolific roustabout who drinks entirely too much coffee. You can find him on Twitter @therealadamdodd