Face it. The Republican Convention speakers all, by and large stink.
John McCain, the most popular politician in America, gave a lack-luster sing-songy speech. He must of known he wasn’t delivering anything, which would expalin the otherwise unexplainable matter of why he decided to give Michael Moore the attention.
Dick Cheney is scary, and will thus be given the task of delivering a non-scary speech. Arnold Schwarzeggar will have his action-movie catch-phrases handy, but isn’t a paradigm of virtue. I suppose we can start assembling George Bush’s speech from what’s on his stump right now — dust out the old Bush State of the Union drinking game. I have every confidence that Zell Miller will fail torise to the same heights of rhetorical flourishing as his DNC counterpart, Barack Obama did.
Nobody will say interesting at all. Nor will they say something in an impressive manner. I get the sense that Rudy Guiliani was the high-point of rhetoric at this convention.
So, with that mind, we’ll just have to go back in time to when someone said something interesting at an RNC Convention. Here’s Pat Buchannan.
Like many of you last month, I watched that giant masquerade ball at Madison Square Garden–where 20,000 radicals and liberals came dressed up as moderates and centrists–in the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American political history.
One by one, the prophets of doom appeared at the podium. The Reagan decade, they moaned, was a terrible time in America; and the only way to prevent even worse times, they said, is to entrust our nation’s fate and future to the party that gave us McGovern, Mondale, Carter and Michael Dukakis.
No way, my friends. The American people are not going to buy back into the failed liberalism of the 1960s and ’70s–no matter how slick the package in 1992.
The malcontents of Madison Square Garden notwithstanding, the 1980s were not terrible years. They were great years. You know it. I know it. And the only people who don’t know it are the carping critics who sat on the sidelines of history, jeering at ine of the great statesmen of modern time.
Out of Jimmy Carter’s days of malaise, Ronald Reagan crafted the longest peacetime recovery in US history–3 million new businesses created, and 20 million new jobs.
Under the Reagan Doctrine, one by one, the communist dominos began to fall. First, Grenada was liberated, by US troops. Then, the Red Army was run out of Afghanistan, by US weapons. In Nicaragua, the Marxist regime was forced to hold free elections–by Ronald Reagan’s contra army–and the communists were thrown out of power. […]
The presidency is also America’s bully pulpit, what Mr Truman called, “preeminently a place of moral leadership.” George Bush is a defender of right-to-life, and lifelong champion of the Judeo-Christian values and beliefs upon which this nation was built.
Mr Clinton, however, has a different agenda. […]
Yet a militant leader of the homosexual rights movement could rise at that convention and exult: “Bill Clinton and Al Gore represent the most pro-lesbian and pro-gay ticket in history.” And so they do. […]
Elect me, and you get two for the price of one, Mr Clinton says of his lawyer-spouse. And what does Hillary believe? Well, Hillary believes that 12-year-olds should have a right to sue their parents, and she has compared marriage as an institution to slavery–and life on an Indian reservation.
Well, speak for yourself, Hillary.
Friends, this is radical feminism. The agenda Clinton & Clinton would impose on America–abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat–that’s change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America wants. It is not the kind of change America needs. And it is not the kind of change we can tolerate in a nation that we still call God’s country. […]
George Bush was 17 when they bombed Pearl Harbor. He left his high school class, walked down to the recruiting office, and signed up to become the youngest fighter pilot in the Pacific war. And Mr Clinton? When Bill Clinton’s turn came in Vietnam, he sat up in a dormitory in Oxford, England, and figured out how to dodge the draft. […]
In New York, Mr Gore made a startling declaration. Henceforth, he said, the “central organizing principle” of all governments must be: the environment.
The central organizing principle of this republic is freedom. And from the ancient forests of Oregon, to the Inland Empire of California, America’s great middle class has got to start standing up to the environmental extremists who put insects, rats and birds ahead of families, workers and jobs. […]
Yes, we disagreed with President Bush, but we stand with him for freedom to choice religious schools, and we stand with him against the amoral idea that gay and lesbian couples should have the same standing in law as married men and women.
We stand with President Bush for right-to-life, and for voluntary prayer in the public schools, and against putting American women in combat. And we stand with President Bush in favor of the right of small towns and communities to control the raw sewage of pornography that pollutes our popular culture. […]
My friends, this election is about much more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe. It is about what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton & Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side. And so, we have to come home, and stand beside him. […]