We've been running around so far this Labor Day weekend, up to Orange County to hang out with family and then back down again to San Diego to enjoy some opening weekend college football with friends. Result being, we have not had time to formulate any long-form thoughts on any of the events or happenings with respect to what went down at the Republican National Convention. A few observations will have to do.
With respect to Clint Eastwood's "empty chair" sketch: If you thought it was a bit rambling, non-sensical and perhaps even inappropriate, this is where you consider the fact that it's not Clint Eastwood that's a heartbeat away from the Presidency.
In fact, instead of a campaign sign in your front lawn, how about an empty chair?
Despite our increasingly libertarian ways, the RNC reminded us of why we are still registered (R)s. There was a message of optimism in the American ideal and that of the individual over the collective. If the previews of the DNC are to be believed, we will be getting healthy doses of cynicism, fear-mongering and victimhood.
But others saw it differently. Here's David Brooks, alleged house righty of the New York Times:
But there is a flaw in the vision the Republicans offered in Tampa. It is contained in its rampant hyperindividualism. Speaker after speaker celebrated the solitary and heroic individual. There was almost no talk of community and compassionate conservatism. There was certainly no conservatism as Edmund Burke understood it, in which individuals are embedded in webs of customs, traditions, habits and governing institutions.
Because the ideology and practical application of "compassionate conservatism" worked so well the last time around. Can we just all admit that Brooks is a double agent. We know it must be tough working for the Times and all, but it's obvious Brooks was not watching and listening to the same stuff we were.
The RNC was nothing but a parade of people giving thanks and paying homage to their their family, their faith... their community who supported their endeavors in both the public and private realms. Those were fantastic stories by credible and accomplished people who drew upon the strength of loved ones to accomplish what they did
Governor Susana Martinez talked of being a teenage security guard for her parents' start-up company there in New Mexico. A Latina talking gun rights and private enterprise all in one sentence. At that moment on Wednesday night, that sound you heard was the heads of liberals exploding.
We think we'll end things with one of the best lines of the convention delivered by, dare we say, the Republican Party's Jimmy Carter, Mike Huckabee:
I want to clear the air about something that has been said. People wonder whether guys like me, an evangelical, would only support a fellow evangelical? Well my friends I want to tell you something, of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama. And he supports changing the definition of marriage. Believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the wound, even beyond the womb. And he tells people of faith that they have to bow their knees to the God of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls, health care. Friends I know we can do better.
Let me say it as clearly as possible, that the attack on my Catholic brothers and sisters is an attack on me.
The Democrats have brought back that old dance, the limbo. To see how low they can go in attempting to limit our ability to practice our faith. But this isn’t a battle about contraceptives and Catholics, but about conscience and the Creator. Let me say to you tonight, I care far less as to where Mitt Romney takes his family to church, than I do about where he takes this country.
Romney made his excellent "Religion in America" speech four years too early. He may need to dust off portions of it as it blew away Obama's odd, pedestrian, yet much-more ballyhooed "Race in America" speech.
Yes, it is about the economy, stupid, but Huck's message cut to the core of our founding ideals that we are an independent people whose right to practice or not practice religion shall not be infringed upon in any way by the government.
The unemployment numbers may dictate the outcome of this election but the overreach of government power that this administration has demonstrated should not be forgotten or overlooked by the electorate come November.