Conventions giving us best political drama in decades
© Getty Images

It won't get any better than this.

It, of course, being the political theatre we've witnessed at the Republican and Democratic conventions over the past seven days.

ADVERTISEMENT

Forget about party lines and what helps and hurts the candidates in Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE. News has been changing so quickly and utterly unpredictably that it's been hard to stop and appreciate just how crazy this all has been, starting in Cleveland last week.

Think back on modern political history and ask yourself: has it ever been more raw, more candid and less homogenized and staged than now?

Melania Trump's plagiarized speech to kick off the Republican National Convention (words taken from — of all people — the sitting First Lady) set the tone for what was to come. The reactions were even more priceless, with RNC strategist Sean Spicer evoking passages from My Little Pony as a defense. The story easily had legs until Wednesday, with many political pundits already declaring the RNC a dumpster fire.

Then came Day 3 and Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceKamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech Bill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' MORE's introduction to the world as Donald Trump's running mate. But that moment somehow got stepped on by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE's speech that featured the longest non-endorsement speech you'll ever see at a convention.

Cruz could have chosen to stay away like other party Trump rivals and critics from Mitt Romney to Jeb Bush to John Kasich, but opted to embarrass Trump with America watching instead in telling them to "vote their conscience." And as he wrapped up under a thunderstorm of boos, Trump appeared on the convention floor to cheers. It was like watching "House of Cards" meets "Veep" meets "The Apprentice".

Thursday meant all eyes were on Trump's big acceptance speech. Would he go the insult route? Would a TelePrompTer keep him from going off on the kind of tangent that — while making him unique and entertaining compared to other politicians — would portray him as anything but presidential?

But even that day featured news that was shocking to many Republicans: Roger Ailes, a friend of Trump's and the catalyst of an alternative-to-liberal media cable news network that has dominated its competition since the turn of the century — was out at Fox News due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Those who loathe conservatives rejoiced at the confluence of events: the RNC was crumbling as the network many GOP'ers turn to loses the only leader it ever had.

Trump's speech — thanks to staying on script — didn't shock or surprise anyone, and that was news in amongst itself. Overall, anyone with the name Trump (Melania notwithstanding) gave highly-praised speeches. If any winners could be declared out of the RNC, it was the Trump adult children, who wowed even the most staunch critics of Trump with poignant, pointed, passionate remarks that led Mike Pence — who was forgotten thanks to Cruz but also solid — to say this about Trump: "You can't fake good kids."

So as Cleveland ended, and the media quickly moved to Philadelphia, the verdict was in: Ratings were down slightly overall across all the networks covering the RNC, the American people either had Trump fatigue or were rejecting him, and the DNC would be a happy, harmonious place in the city of Brotherly Love without the kind of chaos that ensured in Ohio.

And on cue, then came the Wikileaks treasure trove email dump on Friday. That said dump led to the relatively swift resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chairwoman, after it was revealed that she and her staff had exchanged emails that confirmed what many have felt all along: the scales were being tipped for Hillary Clinton and against Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 MORE by his own party committee, which is supposed to be neutral.

Chaos — yup, there's that word again — reigned in Philadelphia on Day 1.

Chants of "lock her up", which were supposed to be only the sentiment of hateful Republicans directed at Hillary Clinton, could be heard by supporters of Sanders against Wasserman Schultz throughout the day. Booing of DNC officials such as Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeCongressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to step down as CBC Foundation chair amid lawsuit Reporter says to expect Capitol Hill to take action on North Carolina's 9th District MORE could be heard in the Wells Fargo Center just by mentioning Clinton. Wasserman Schultz herself was jeered by her own Florida delegates at the DNC breakfast on Monday morning; a scene played over and over again throughout the day on cable news. The Hill's recap headline says it all:

"Dems flirt with disaster on convention's first day".

Conventions used to be completely stage-managed and choreographed from start to finish. They used to be four-day informercials. Yawn.

Division? Unhappiness? Revolt? Please. That hasn't happened since decades and certainly not in the era of 24/7 cable news and cynical social media.

But with five days gone across two conventions — with a Wikileaks weekend to fill in the gap — it doesn't get any better than this if unparalleled political entertainment and drama is something to appreciate.

Three days remain. Maybe things get back on track, back on script. But that's not what the 2015-2016 race has been about for Democrats or Republicans alike.

Chaos has been the theme throughout and it's all coming to an apex now.

If you love political theatre, stop and appreciate what you're seeing for a moment.

Because it may never get any better than this.

Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.


The views expressed by Contributors are their own, and are not the views of The Hill.