Condi Rice Steals The Show

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.

Truth In Comedy On Display In India

Reading stories like this to me makes life worth living. Nothing is funnier than the true ignorance of real people. Nothing made up by a group of writers in a Hollywood studio can compare. Case in point:

The owner of an Indian clothing store said Wednesday that he would only change its name from "Hitler" if he was compensated for re-branding costs, amid a growing row over the new shop.


Shah insisted that until the store opened he did not know who Adolf Hitler was and that Hitler was a nickname given to the grandfather of his store partner because "he was very strict".

"I didn't know how much the name would disturb people," he told AFP by telephone from Ahmedabad. "It was only when the store opened I learnt Hitler had killed six million people."

My sides!

The row evoked memories of a controversy six years ago when a Mumbai restaurant owner called his cafe "Hitler's Cross" and put a swastika on the hoarding, claiming Hitler was a "catchy" name.

Seriously, I can't breath.

And that is what we call "truth in comedy."

RNC Floor Battles And Other Observations

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.


Let's Fact It, Mitt Romney Is Doing Everything Right Reprise (Genius Revisited)

Waaaaaay back on January 2nd of this foul year of our Lord I wrote a blog post entitled "Let's Fact It, Mitt Romney Is Doing Everything Right." I just gave the post another look and even I am astounded by my own prescient genius.

Stick with me kids.


Texas Judge Wants Us To Prepare For Civil War, But There's A Catch

Probably my favorite story this week was about a Texas judge who is convinced that a second-term for Obama means a new civil war:

During his interview Judge Head said that in the event of civil unrest he’s concerned the President would hand over sovereignty of the United States to the U.N. and that the American public would react violently.

“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the U.S. to the United Nations, what’s going to happen when that happens?” Judge Head told FOX 34 in Lubbock.

“I’m thinking worse case scenario,” he explained. “Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe…we’re not just talking a few riots or demonstrations.”

While I certainly see big trouble if there is another Obama term in office, I think he might be jumping the gun a little bit. Certainly one-world government is a goal of the political left but they're easing us into that. We won't be handed over to the U.N. until a few administrations later.

Anywho, you have this crazy Republican judge so naturally the Democrats are outraged and all that jazz, but then the judge throw in this wrinkle:

Lubbock County Judge Tom Head is convinced that Mr. Obama winning a second term would lead to a revolt by the American people and he’s is pushing a tax increase for the district attorney’s office and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office. He says the money is needed to “beef up” its resources in case President Obama wins the November election.

Ahhh...a tax increase? While they'll never admit it, Democrats at that moment we're saying to themselves "Maybe we should hear him out."

Sometimes I just wish I could go into a coma until November 7th.

Neil Armstrong Defines Humility

The first man on the moon died this week. Neil Armstrong was 82 and in the 43 years since he became the first man on the Moon, he lived a quiet dignified life. In doing so, he did his countrymen a great service by allowing us to hold onto that moment in history.

Let's face it, most of us wouldn't have taken such fame with Armstrong's degree of humility. I doubt I would have. But instead of embracing the life of a superstar, dating models, appearing in movies or what have you, Armstrong chose to concentrate on business, academia and community.

Heroes are a complicated lot. These days we mostly have athletes we look up to, but all too often they disappoint in the end. That's why men like Armstrong will endure.


Let Paul Ryan Be Paul Ryan

Alright, I just finished watching the announcement and speeches from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan thanks to the invaluable Right Scoop. I've said a lot of this on Twitter lately, but now I want to go beyond 140 characters.

First off, it's an exciting pick for me as it was my pick for Veep. There were a lot of arguments pro- and con- on whether the pick should be Paul Ryan and both were sound. The main argument against was that wouldn't we be better served with Ryan in the Congress where he eventually become the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee and maybe even Speaker of the House? That's a lot of maybes and I think it's analogous to resting a pitcher for Game 7 of the World Series. This election in November is like Game 6 with us down 3 games to 2. We don't win Game 6, there will be no Game 7. (IFYKWIMAITWD)

Paul Ryan became a household name for conservatives when he ate the President's lunch at the Health Care Summit. I don't think it's a stretch to say he would not be the Vice Presidential nominee were it not for that meeting and President Obama's 6 minutes of hell:

Ironically, when President Obama offered up this summit to the GOP, many of us were saying in our best Admiral Ackbar voices "It's a trap!" We had every reason to believe it so, but were stunned to find out the usually bumbling GOP had a trap of its own in Paul Ryan who displayed his wealth of knowledge on budgetary issues and thus a star was born.

Now that he is the pick, I beg and plead with the Romney campaign to let Paul Ryan be Paul Ryan. Some have joked that with all his charts and graphs he's a like a Ross Perot Jr. You know what, despite the fact that Perot became a staple of Saturday Night Live fodder, a lot of people loved Perot and his charts and graphs. It resonated. Let Paul Ryan debate Joe Biden with a huge stack of papers, let him spout statistic after statistic to the MSM. Let him kill our opponents, not with kindness, but with knowledge.

I'm not so arrogant as to believe I speak for most people in the country or even in the conservative movement, but a pick like Paul Ryan gives a pessimist like me a glimmer of hope that we can turn this around. It's easy to dismiss the MSM, but Romney needed a running mate like who knows how to handle Brian Williams and Chuck Todd and Charlie Gibson and all the others that will pepper Ryan with false premise after false premise. You need a running mate that can look them square in the eye and say "You're premise is wrong. Here's why:"

Ryan gave a pretty good speech today, full of the usual applause lines, but then in about the last 3 minutes he served up some red meat that was most pleasing to the palate:

The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:
We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!
We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!
We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!
We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:
What kind of country do we want to have?
What kind of people do we want to be?
We can turn this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered. But, it will take leadership. And the courage to tell you the truth.
Mitt Romney is this kind of leader. I’m excited for what lies ahead and I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done. Thank you.

This is our last stand. Romney/Ryan have to give it everything they've got. Don't fear the MSM, don't fear the smears. Spread the message and fight.


Gore Vidal's Groundhog Day

Andrew Ferguson at The Weekly Standard has an obit on Gore Vidal that is worthy of Vidal's former student, the late Christopher Hitchens.

From the 1950s, before Ike had even left the White House, Vidal was announcing that the right-wingers had seized the Republican party from the sensible members of a generation before; a generation later, the right-wingers had seized the party from the sensible members of a generation before; and so on, for half a century. In his world “the generals” were always two ticks away from declaring war and imposing martial law; the theocracy would be arranged before the decade was out; he saw the dying embers of capitalism; and the dark curtain of fascism was falling even as you were reading his words. 

Try keeping that up for 50 years! No wonder he was a hero to the Personages. For them too every day is Groundhog Day, bringing fresh news from the day before about what won’t happen tomorrow. His career must stand as a great reassurance.

He ends the piece with one of the greatest sentences I've ever read:

If you’re wrong in the right way, all will be forgiven, until everyone forgets that there was ever anything to forgive.