George W. Bush looked hale, like he usually does when he’s not working. His comparison of the angry left to the VC was invigorating; indeed they won’t break John McCain’s spirit, because they’re all being thrown in jail. (Anyway, Tucker Eskew beat them to it.) Stephen Colbert had the best line (paraphrasing): “A Republican National Convention without George W. Bush would have been like a USC reunion without O.J. Simpson.”

Fred Thompson, the worst Law & Order DA, ate his Wheaties; accusing Barack Obama of wanting to kill newborns was some advanced double-secret dog-whistle politics. If he’d been this spunky back in the spring, he would have… well, he would have lost anyway, but with more dignity. To quote Chris Rock, “I haven’t seen white people this angry since they canceled M*A*S*H.”

The main course was leftovers: Joe Lieberman, who delivered the keythroatclearing as the sound of one hand not clapping. He was the bright spot for the Republicans, proof that despite their rough week they dodged a bullet when John McCain was forced to leer at pick Sarah Palin. Say what you will but she probably won’t talk over applause to explain her own obvious joke. Twice. There is such a thing as bad press, but it’s better than Joe Lieberman. Take it from someone who cast his first presidential vote for Al Gore.

MSNBC brought on Harold Ford, Jr., who gave the Republicans an A and a B+ but I didn’t catch for what. He’s clearly angling to be the next Joe Lieberman, which tells you all you need to know about his political instincts.

I was doing my fantasy football draft for most of the evening, so I didn’t catch much on policy specifics except for multiple descriptions of John McCain’s torture a much stronger stance against abortion than usual, which is either a sign they really, really mean it this time or they’re extra-worried about the evangelicals turning out.