August 29th, 2012

Another night with ye olde GOP

8:11: I just turned on the TV, and John McCain is speaking. Remember him? He was the wrong man for the year 2008.

But one thing that occurs to me is that he still seems pretty healthy. Remember all the fuss about how old he was, and how he might not live to serve out his term? If he’s anything like his mother, he’s got at least 20 good years ahead of him (the lady’s 100 years old).

And by the way–Happy 76th Birthday, John! (Yes, it’s today.)

8:30: Now Pam Bondi and Sam Olens address the crowd, and they look and sound like they’re about to present an Academy Award at the Oscars.

10:27: I got busy with something else and missed the next few speakers (including Condi?). Now Paul Ryan steps up to the plate.

Slow start, but he’s really giving it to Obama now: “These past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House.” And “The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?” Ouch, that’s gotta hurt.

And this is a clear bid for the disaffected Obama youth vote:

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.

I’ve said many times that I’m not really into speeches, but that one was stellar. Romney did well in picking Ryan. If I were Obama, I’d be feeling just a little bit shaky now—even if I were a narcissist.

Or maybe especially if I were a narcissist.

I turned to CNN, curious to see what they’d say about Ryan. Wolf Blitzer seems to be quite impressed. The CNN panel agreed (I missed some of their names); “a new Reagan,” “a jolt of optimistic adrenalin.” Even James Carville couldn’t find anything bad to say about Ryan. Hmmm.

Now I’m checking out MSNBC’s commentary, just because I’m a masochist (no, actually, it’s because I want to see what the attack on Ryan will be). Gee, the biggest criticism they have of Ryan is that he isn’t distancing himself enough from the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush administration? Ryan isn’t conservative enough for them??

26 Responses to “Another night with ye olde GOP”

  1. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    ” about to present an Academy Award at the Oscars.”
    And the winner is ….. The American People!

  2. parker Says:

    I can’t wish McCain well, although I do not wish him harm. Set aside the horrors he endured as a POW and all that is left is a RINO wishing to be beloved by the MSM and invited to the best beltway cocktail parties.

    Personally, I thought Rand Paul delivered a well balanced speech; although it will rankle more than a few neocons. Now I wait to listen to Ryan’s speech on the computer because I do not have a TV.

    IMO this says it all in 7 minutes of frustration, defiance, and humor:

    We got to get out of here, we got to find a solution.

  3. Steve Says:

    McCain is a graceful loser. That is what the MSM likes about him. He likes to show his toughness by criticizing Republicans for having the temerity to ask whether Hillary’s assistant Huma Abedin may be a security risk because of her ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only is McCain a gutless wonder politically he is a useful idiot. Seems like a pretty bad choice for the convention.

  4. texexec Says:

    I thought Ryan’s speech was great. Choosing him to be his running mate was the first solid act of good judgement and competence Romney has made on his march to the White House.

  5. Baklava Says:

    God Bless Susana Martinez

  6. texexec Says:

    I was also impressed by Susana Martinez. When I was in my New Mexico summer home recently, all I saw was anti-Martinez ads on local TV from Albuquerque. In northern NM (starting in Albuquerque and going north from there), it was considered a plus to accuse a politician of not supporting Obamacare. But Martinez won anyway.

    Her speech tonight was excellent and she’s gonna be a star in the party.

  7. Baklava Says:

    Paul’s speech was good.

    There was a distracting thing he was doing with his throat but I believe he might have a sore throat or something.

  8. Curtis Says:

    I enjoyed Condi the most with Ryan next and Susana not far behind. Huckabee and Pawlenty with fine performances.

  9. Mac Says:

    I can’t believe I have now watched two nights of this stuff–not all, but 1-3 hours each night. I have never done this before and am not entirely sure why I’m doing it now. Maybe something to do with wanting to grab at some hope that this country is not in terminal decline.

    I thought Ryan’s speech was excellent. I was really really glad he included that about protecting the most vulnerable–Catholic Ethics 101, when he is catching a LOT of criticism from his fellow religionists for his fondness for Ayn Rand.

    Condi Rice was a little nervous in her delivery but at various points her commitment to what she was saying seemed to pull her out of that and she was very powerful. Being a southerner old enough to remember segregation, I teared up a little at the Woolworth story. The desire and potential for correcting injustices like that is one of the very best things about this country.

  10. Don Carlos Says:

    Ryan went back to founding principles: Our rights come from nature and nature’s God, not gov’t.

    We need much more of that in order to achieve Chistie’s Second American Century.

  11. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    I watched all of the speeches. Liked them all. But my standards are not too exacting. (I’m a believer, after all!) I even give McCain a thumbs up. He’s old and he’s not a true conservative, but he was the candidate last time. I voted for him. Giving him a minor speaking role was not going to sink the ticket.

    I loved Martinez’ story about how she and her husband realized they were really Republicans. Laughed a lot at that one.

    I was nervous about Ryan’s speech. He’s making the big leap from a Congressman from Wisconsin to VP. I could tell he was pretty emotional and a bit nervous at the beginning, but he kept it together. The man has character. And cute kids! What wonderful looking children. He and his wife have chosen for her to live in Janesville while Paul commutes to Washington. Together they seem to have done things right. That says a lot to me. Introducing his mother and telling her story was very touching. He also did a sterling job of deconstructing Obama without seeming the least bit nasty. A hearty well done.

    My only thought now is that Mitt is going to have his work cut out to top what has gone before. He’s not one to dodge a challenge. Looking forward to more tomorrow.

  12. T Says:

    So having heard Rice, Martinez and Ryan this evening, I wonder just what next week will look like with Sandra Fluke whining about her birth control for $9/mo and . . . Joe Biden on the podium?


    “Or maybe especially if I were a narcissist,” you took the words right out of my mouth.

    I have repeated the idea that the United States is a nation of the descendants of immigrants. That, as the descendants of people who left “the old country” and took unfathomable risks to better themselves, we have, literally, in our DNA the power to direct this great national experiment, and in one of many moments of brilliance by our founders we were given the ultimate tool to do this (our system of the non-violent transfer of power).

    I suggest that what we heard tonight was the beginning of the outpouring of our unique American narrative that has been subdued by an overwhelming entitlement state. This binds us all, it cuts to the bone; it is in our DNA. It begins with Condolezza Rice’s statement that “America’s narrative has never been one ‘of grievance and entitlement,’” and it is amplified by Ryan’s faded Obama posters. This may well be the catalyst that distills Glenn Reynolds’ preference cascade.

    And irony of ironies, we should thank President Obama. WIthout him at the helm, we would have continued hobbling toward the entitlement cliff. His over-the-top condensation of what Progressivism truly is has allowed many people to understand for the first time the danger that one-hundred years of Progressivism poses. It was brilliantly and succinctly summarized by Eric Bolling today on Fox News’ The Five when he pointed out that Barack Obama’s tenure represents 1.6% of this country’s history, but 33% of this country’s debt.

    This is a statistic that needs to be publicized far and wide.

  13. rickl Says:

    I haven’t watched any convention coverage so far, mainly because I’ve completely gotten out of the habit of watching TV.

    But I’ve been reading some troubling things:

    Not Cool, Mittens, Not Cool At All

    Goodbye, GOP!

    Mark Levin was also railing against this last night.

    I mean, when the Republican Party itself resorts to outright Stalinist tactics, where do we turn?

  14. T Says:

    And this Joel Kotkin essay which distinguishes the new class warfare of the “clerisy” v. the “yeomanry” (H/T Instapundit):

    IMO this really helps udnerstand the dynamics of this election cycle.

  15. NeoConScum Says:

    “..or maybe especially if I were a narcissist.” Bingo. His aside to ‘yoots languishing in their childhood bedrooms looking at fading Obam-Bam posters was plu-perfect. Ryan’s speech hit the right stuff and gave the country a fine look at the(young)man.

    Gov.Martinez was a good touch and a nice addition after Nicky Haley the previous night. Women GOP Governors…Young, conservative, tough and living the American Dream.

    I’m hoping that ‘the mystery speaker’ tonight is Clint. He flew into Tampa last night… Hmmmm…
    “Make my day…Do you feel lucky, Punk..?”

  16. CV Says:

    I think the mystery speaker is Clint. They would never put Palin up there, especially in the closing hours. Some have suggested it might be hologram Reagan! I think that would be more disturbing than cool.

    I tune in to MSNBC more often than I should (I guess that makes me a masochist also) and what I am mostly hearing is that the GOP bench (including Ryan) looks strong which makes Mitt look weak.

    I like seeing Ryan in attack dog mode (#one job for the veep nominee, right?). He manages to do that while still taking the high road. Thought he did a great job last night. Romney made the best possible pick with this guy.

  17. baklava Says:

    Althouse finally DOESN’T say what I’ve been looking for….

    so she sets up the 3 lamest arguments which are about HER and her feelings. Never mind the tremendous suffering and killing going on in the middle east and around the world -she just didn’t like the democrat sniping. SO YOU PUT THE SNIPER IN CHIEF IN THE OFFICE!

    I must remove the bookmark now. The Obama me me me is due to the voter me me me.

    As for economics… I haven’t seen much astute analysis coming from that blog. No voter education really. I see posts about vaginas. Good luck Ann! I’m done.

  18. Lizzy Says:

    Ryan was fabulous! Rice did an excellent job of reiterating what American values are and how far Obama has strayed from them. This is a winning theme as it clarifies the differences between the two candidates, and the two parties, without getting into detailed policy arguments. Politifact can’ “fact check” these things to make Obama look better.

    I had never seen Martinez before and I really enjoyed her speech, especially her recollection of meeting with a few Republicans over dinner and then remarking to her husband, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.” I think this is how a lot of people become Republicans (myself included). It’s not so much a conscious choice as a realization that your values, and your lifestyle, are just not compatible with what the Dems and the Left are espousing.

  19. expat Says:

    What I have noticed about the convention is its building momentum. The speakers have represented the big tent, and they are all enhusiastic. We have had women, men, blacks, hispanics, whites. They have had different lives and convey competence. Maybe Mitt is showing us how a real leader functions–not by constantly stealing the limelight but by seeking other bright competent people and encouraging them to use their wings to fly.

  20. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    expat said, “Maybe Mitt is showing us how a real leader functions–not by constantly stealing the limelight but by seeking other bright competent people and encouraging them to use their wings to fly.”

    An astute observation. The best leaders I served under in the Navy always operated on that principle. Considering the results Romney achieved in business, the Olympics, and as governor, you sense that his leadership style is superior.

  21. OlderandWheezier Says:


    I began visiting her site just this past several months. I do appreciate that she posts numerous times throughout the day (not that I need anything more to distract me from work), but I tend to become put off by so many entries being more in the “me! me! me!” vein instead of the kind of worthwhile discussions with which neo blesses us.

    I also tire of Althouse’s showing off of pix of the latest fancy restaurant she visited, or of her $900.00+ office chair (which she then encourages readers to purchase via her amazon portal).

    Legal Insurrection doesn’t get nearly so many hits, but I think it’s a better blog for the politically conservative reader.

  22. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Better blog by a law prof, that is.

  23. Curtis Says:

    Several conservative pundits are stating their praise of Ryan’s speech. I listened to it again and it does have the quality of being as likeable or even more likeable the second time around. Further, having the knowledge of the speech’es structure and its strategy made the second listening more enjoyable than the first hearing.

    The fact that it is being roundly criticized by Obama’s supporters as factually challenged shows Ryan hit some nerves. Factually, the only mild knock is perhaps some tenuous logic about the Janestown factory that was closed and whether or not Obama actually promised he would keep that specific factory open. It’s a matter of intepretation from one of Obama’s speeches, so, let those chips fall where they may. Back into Obama’s legacy of promising everything and delivering misery, I say.

  24. sheldan Says:

    Here’s an observation:

    McCain being the wrong man in 2008 is far from unusual. There are a number of candidates who first ran for president years ago, and later were nominated when their chances of winning were not as good:


    Bob Dole–ran in 1980 in the crowded field that included Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Ran in 1988 against Bush. Nominated in 1996 and went down to defeat to Clinton.

    John McCain–probably would have been a better nominee had he gotten the 2000 nomination, but was up against George W. Bush. He managed to win the nomination in 2008 despite being far behind others, but probably the events of 2008 doomed him, even against the least-experienced candidate in history. Maybe fatigue with two GOP terms also contributed.

    Newt Gingrich–I remember him as a Georgia U.S. representative in 1980 (when I briefly lived in Georgia). Is he still here?!


    Lloyd Benson–One of the candidates in a very crowded field in 1976. Probably would have been a good president (incidentally, a conservative Democrat), but no doubt overshadowed by Carter, Udall, Jerry Brown, Ted Kennedy. Nominated for Vice President with Dukakis in 1988. (I am sure many of us thought it would have been better if the ticket were reversed. I also remember former President Gerald Ford giving a speech at the 1988 GOP convention in which he said, “Tell them, Lloyd” about what the Democrats should really do given Bentsen’s experience in the Senate.)

    Ted Kennedy–A serious challenger to Carter in 1980 (despite all his baggage), by 1984 he was one of the pack.

    Jesse Jackson–Used to be good, but apparently was not what we thought he was. Had powerful backing throughout the 1980’s, although his baggage became a problem.

    Al Gore–probably at his best in 1988, but too crowded a field for him to win. By 2000, after two terms as Clinton’s vice president, we knew all too well about him and wanted no parts of his liberal plans.

    Joe Biden–another candidate in 1988, he got into trouble over plagiarism. I think he was one of the crowd in 2008. Ended up as Obama’s vice president. Thinks he can get the 2016 nomination. Will have been 28 years since his first serious attempt. We know too much.

    This is not an original thought, but if you are a candidate who has been too much in the public eye over the years, the public isn’t likely to nominate you now, and even if they do you probably won’t be successful.

    Specifically, if Hillary Clinton runs in 2016, she will have to realize that we have seen her in action for 24 years. First, she was First Lady with Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, then she became a U.S. Senator a few years later (not without controversy), and she has served as Obama’s Secretary of State (more controversy).

    Like the candidates I described above, Hillary’s best hope might have been in 2008, when she was the prohibitive favorite until Obama’s candidacy did her in. Isn’t it possible that the reason these candidates were ultimately unsuccessful is due to the fact that they ran into opposition they could not overcome, and by the time they have a clear shot their opportuntity has passed?

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    sheldan: I remember thinking, shortly before the 2008 election, that McCain was nominated back when it was thought that the biggest issue in November of 2008 would be security and terrorism, as well as the Iraq War, but it had turned out to be the economy, one of McCain’s weakest areas. And I also remember thinking that perhaps Romney (who I wasn’t all that keen on at the time) would have been the better choice, in retrospect, because the economy would have been his strong suit.

  26. baklava Says:

    I visit legal insurrection and power line blogs. Both have multiple posts each day.

    Done with the althouse. Done

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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