Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Arnold and the others

I noticed that the networks carried last night’s speeches, while they did not carry McCain and Giuiliani. I don’t understand why they didn’t carry Monday’s speakers and I was irritated at first, thinking that last night couldn’t possibly be as effective as Monday. I was wrong. Mrs. Bush gave a nice speech, somehow appropriate and not silly, nor pseudo-sophisticated, nor one that everyone had to apologize for by calling her an independent woman who speaks her own mind. At first I thought she went on too long, but then I noticed myself comparing her to Mrs. Kerry, and the comparison was entirely to Laura’s advantage. Keep talking, I found myself saying. This wife of the president, and mother of the girls who introduced her, this librarian(!) is a great contrast to Marie Antoinette. The girls were cute, silly, and maybe allowed to overindulge in their youth a bit. Yet, they were speaking to their own crowd--what with the obscure references to pop stars and such--references that only someone their own age might understand. I did like the note about the hamster, "ours didn’t make it." Clever. I didn’t really want to envision the pres giving mouth-to-mouth to a rodent; compassionate conservatism should only go so far. Arnold was the rock star. I would say an almost perfect speech for the occassion. Hard, partisan, full of wit, tying the party to being American. Who else could have made a favorable reference to Nixon, and call Humphrey’s ideas socialist? Calling the Demo convention "true lies" was brilliant, as was the reference to "economic grilie-men." Arnold loves America and the things for which we stand, and he’s not shy about telling people why. He told us. Freedom, opportunity, no one caring who your father was. The chance to do what you can with what you have; economic and social mobility, the thing you don’t get in your tribe. This is not a small thing to remind people of, especially when you are a person known by every human being on the planet. Arnold has special resonance with a part of the citizens that should be Republicans by instinct, and these folks are not only immigrants. These are the people the Demos claim are downtrodden, if not oppressed, but Arnold knows they don’t feel that way. They are not victims. They are only open to that kind of Liberal rhetoric because it is often in their interest; Arnold argued that the principle that allows them to be hopeful and optimistic is the most important thing. The Demo mantra of the victim has no home here. I think Arnold’s speech may have the most political effect: those not necessarily inclined to vote Republican will have listened to him, and they’ll think about it. That’s plenty good. In short, I think he answered Lucas’ post below.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Arnold’s speech was very disciplined and brilliantly aimed to show the disgruntled of various kinds that there’s no real alternative to voting for Bush. All the speeches at the convention so far have been genuine and thoughtful defenses of the president from complementary points of view. It’s orchestration in the good sense, and all that’s still needed is an attack on judicial activism.

The line about the hamsters was perfect. It shows the contrasts between these two men. Mr. Kerry always needs to be seen as Superman -- saving lives, getting hats from CIA men on Christmas in Cambodia, giving mouth to mouth to a rodent, perfect on the snowboard, etc.

The President is willing to allow his human (imperfect) side show. It’s ok that the hamster died.

The line by these daughters showed a unique contrast between the two men, one that is important in the mind of electorate.

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