To the surprise of many, Condi Rice gave the best speech of the convention tonight in Tampa, Florida. To be honest, I have trouble watching conventions because I find it cloying listening to people speak in clipped, choppy lines of dialogue and while Rice’s speech was certainly scripted, it was also impassioned, serious, unafraid and inspiring.
Rice has been popular with the party through the Bush years but recently has carried with her the “taint” of the Bush Administration. Now we heard a lot about the battles among the foreign policy team of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice, but most of that information came from charlatans like Bob Woodward feeding off the gossip of backstabbers. I don’t know for certain how much of a voice she had in the administration but if she meant what she said tonight she qualifies as a Thatcherite, and I don’t use that term loosely.
You can also tell by her passion that she really wants to get back in the game. I thought after the Bush years that she had had her fill. No so.
John Podhoretz asked on Twitter, “When did she get this good?” I strongly suspect she always was, but it’s easier for her to shine now that she doesn’t have Karl Rove buzzing around her hive.
So yesterday there was a big floor battle over the changing of some RNC rules that some say would squelch the grassroots and give more power to the beltway insiders of the party. Many were shocked (shocked!) at this power-grab the establishment wing of the party at a time when unity is needed to defeat Obama. To me, it’s not much of a surprise.
Erick Erickson over at RedState floated an interesting theory.
I’ve been talking to some of the older delegates who have been around for a while. They have a theory that only people who’ve been in politics at this level for a very long time could come up with.
Back in 1992, John Sununu had been pushed out of the White House as Chief of Staff, but was still a committed partisan for George H. W. Bush. Ben Ginsberg was a lawyer with the Republican Party.
In 1992, Pat Buchanan challenged George H. W. Bush, forced his way into the convention as a speaker, and lots of conservatives rallied to him. It was a very bad year for Team George H. W. Bush and to this day social conservatives and Pat Buchanan get blamed.
This year, John Sununu and Ben Ginsberg are with Mitt Romney. They saw an upstart campaign from Rick Santorum, who rallied social conservatives like Pat Buchanan did in 1992. He got himself onto the convention stage with a speech, tonight, on welfare that a number of prominent Republicans are worried about.
The Republican Party has been in a state of civil war for at least 50 years. Back in Goldwater’s day he was fighting a Republican establishment that was “New Deal Light” thus leading to his campaign slogan “A Choice, Not An Echo.” And like those Republicans in the 1960s that weren’t overly concerned about LBJ, many of them today are not as concerned about Obama as they might let on. And why should they be? They are part of the elite and when you’re in that club the rules don’t apply to you. For them, it’s about the game, having a seat at the table. Even if our worst fears are realized with Barack Obama, John Sununu and Ben Ginsberg aren’t going to have to worry about losing their house(s) or standing in an unemployment line. They’re concerned about having a piece of the action and the prestige that comes with it and in some cases, yes, about settling scores. Sununu has been an excellent surrogate in the media for Mitt Romney but many of us will never forget that he is the one responsible for Supreme Court Justice David Souter; a mistake that has had lasting effects. I’m sure Sununu associates the Tea Party with the Pat Buchanan crowd of yesteryear, but the Tea Party isn’t just social-cons; it’s also libertarians like myself who have eyes and know what they’re for.
Bottom line, the GOP civil war is not going to be won or lost by the changing of minds; it’s all about the numbers. Until there’s more of us than there are of them, we don’t have a chance of controlling the party. We’ve made inroads but you see how people like Senator Ron Johnson, who refuse to tow the elitist’s line, get punished with stories planted in the press about “difficulty” and the like. So, to combat this we have to send more Ron Johnsons to Washington. It’s as simple as that. Until we send enough of the right people to Washington, guys like John Boehner will run the party. Don’t get mad, get to work.
I was listening to talk radio the other day and heard Democrat strategist Pat Caddell talking about the latest political news. He made the point that yes the Republicans are probably gonna win big this November but that their victory will be by default and that they’ve done nothing to earn votes except for the fact that they’re not Democrats. While I disagree with some of his reasoning, his overall point is correct.
That is, until today.
The Republicans accepted the invitation to hold a round-table discussion with President Obama and the Democrats on health care, live on television. Many said ‘Don’t do it, it’s a trap!’ And, of course, it was a trap and we had good reason to believe the Republicans weren’t smart enough for this political battle. Well, even the best of us were wrong. The Republicans, like any good NFL team, had a great game-plan and executed it beautifully. In other words, today at long last they earned their forthcoming votes.
And it appears the GOP has a new star in one Paul Ryan:
Tom Osborne, who coached the Nebraska Cornhuskers for 25 seasons before serving three terms in Congress as a Republican, suggested that football coaches probably look at their own lives and careers as testaments to the conservative principle of self-reliance.
“There’s an awful lot of people who want to be in coaching for the number of jobs,” he said. “It’s highly competitive. And many of them have had to spend a fair amount of time as graduate assistants, interns—as much as four, five, six, seven, eight years—making very, very little money to get into the profession. And they will work 70, 80, 90 hours a week during the season.
“I think that background—adherence to discipline, sometimes sacrifice, loyalty to core values—those things tend to have people move in that direction.”
Best part of the article, however:
Ralph Friedgen, the portly University of Maryland coach, good-naturedly called one of his Canadian players a socialist last fall.
And not surprisingly, he’s unhappy with Rush’s CPAC speech. So all you hillbillies, open up a can of Schlitz and dig into this analysis of the sad state of the Republican Party from our man in Newport.
As much as I hate identity politics, it seems to be all the rave at the moment. Michael Steele (who by the way, ran for Senate on a platform of “change” a few years back) is seeking the RNC Chairmanship. It would be a good choice. Yes, he’s black, and with a black president Steele may be the best front man for the loyal opposition. However, Steele is also very conservative and very smart. I would want him on my side no matter what the skin color. He, along with Palin, Jindal and many others are the future of the Republican Party if it is to have any future at all.
Well, it’s the morning after the big election and the sun still came up. Time to pick up the pieces and move forward. Obama wins, the Dems win Congress but don’t get the huge majorities they wanted. Now we have to wait and see just how radical Washington is going to be and whether the Republicans can reinvent themselves with some fresh blood.
Thankfully, this means we can put John McCain out of our lives. Hopefully, he’ll retire at terms end and the Republicans will learn that they have to run as Republicans if they want to win office. The MSM and the Peggy Noonan elitists will try and blame this on Palin even though she was the only thing that kept the race reasonably close.
Turns out Karl Rove was right. Dan McLaughlin at RedState points out that his philosophy that you shore up your base, shore up your Red Staters in order to win works. It worked for Bush twice. McCain tried to appeal to moderates and Democrats and look what it got him. He pandered on Amnesty and yet he got a small percentage of the Hispanic vote. Will these lessons be learned?
In the meantime, closer to home, those of us in the alternative media will have to gird our loins and ready for battle on the Fairness Doctrine and other attempts to silence dissenting voices (yes, we’re the dissenters now). Should be fun.
That the Republican National Convention would be the highest rated political convention ever, bigger than Obama’s convention and that Rush Limbaugh would be calling John McCain, “John McBrilliant,” I probably would have punched you in the face for being so stupid.