WOODY Allen and Fergie, the Duchess of York, were lucky. The stories of their messy family lives reached Houston too late for God's angry Republicans who had loosed their terrible swift swords upon foes of Bushness and Quaylitude.
Has there ever been such a joyful public bashing of the irrelevant by adults presumed capable of running a large, heavily armed institution? The bashers will doubtless reply, "Where were you when the Democrat Party was dishing it out in New York?"
To which I can only point out that biology is kind. As it prepares the aged to accept death, so it enables us all to forget with life-restoring swiftness life's most blatant idiocies, our own as well as politicians'.
Within a week or two all memory of Houston's squalid summonses to fear and hate will vanish too from memory.
Meantime, however, let us recall those, not so lucky as Woody and Fergie, whom this convention so loved to hate. They included Hillary Clinton, Bart Simpson, Murphy Brown, homosexuals and liberals en masse, the entire Congress, non-Judeo-Christians and the media, but especially the media elite.
Buses also had a bad week. Buses had made the mistake of serving as vehicles of transport for agents of the Democrat Party.
One wanted to sympathize with buses. After all, they are poor people's last hope for getting out of town without committing car theft. Yet they had let themselves be used by the Democrat Party.
The buses were dupes of Democrat-ism, just as clearly as addlepated, pinko, ultra-left-liberal fellow travelers in the old days had been dupes of communism. Victory in the war against
Clintonhood and Goredom will not be won by softness on dupes.
At the convention's end we had been offered so much to fear and hate that buses seemed the easy place to start the job. People of squeamish personality find it easier to kick a bus in its tires than to put the boot into Mrs. Clinton.
And what was a man to do about the terrible Democrat-Congress situation that had caused all the unemployment, bankruptcies, poverty, savings and loan rip-offs and homelessness, not to mention leaving 35 million people without health insurance plus creating unwed mothers and too much sex in movies and television, despite the heroic ingenuity with which Mr. Bush had fought these catastrophes?
I can tell you what one red-blooded American lad wanted to do: He wanted to go right to Washington and mug a congressman. He might have done so too, but he realized it was not what a true Judeo-Christian would do. So he said, "All right, I'll do the civilized thing and vote against Congressman Frank Wolf."
"But the convention doesn't want you to do that," I cautioned. "The convention is down on Democrat congressmen, and Wolf is not a Democrat congressman. He is a Republic congressman."
It was that kind of week. All that hate building up inside a viewer, and no way to let it out. The convention seemed to be suffering the same difficulty on its side of the TV tube. You could sense its pain in the occasional dig at Mario Cuomo.
For years the Republics had been preparing to run against Governor Cuomo, had drawn up all those plans, gathered all that data, were just rearing for a crack at Mario. And he had spoiled it all, undone all that preparation, had deprived them of the opportunity to point with horror at squalid Times Square, had the governor, the rat!
Things and people that escaped Houston unbashed provide brooding material for heavy thinkers. Most notable, of course, was communism. Now flourishing in China with Mr. Bush's indulgent acquiescence, communism became a non-ism. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Hillary, escaped unbashed, as did Willie Horton, rap music and bloody violence in TV and movies.
Why Republicans recoil from sex-as-entertainment but are unruffled by entertainment bloodshed is not logically explicable.
Mr. Bush, of course, is pals not only with the gun lobby but also with Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose mass cop-killings as "The Terminator" made him a star, but the sense that shows about violence are manly while shows dealing with sex are dirty is anchored deep in the national psyche.
The Woody and Fergie stories are sex stories, but pure soap-opera stuff. It would have been interesting to hear Dan Quayle bash the soaps. Too bad the news arrived too late.
Russell Baker is a columnist for the New York Times.