Convention wishes

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There's a teleconference for Republican National Convention delegates on Monday night. It's good timing: Watching this week's Democrat convention has got me thinking about our shindig in a month's time. Here's my wish list:

  1. No lame pop music from the '70s (or any other decade). Aging boomer Democrats look awkward enough boogying on the convention floor -- imagine how goofy Republicans will look. Let's go for traditional upbeat patriotic music instead -- John Philip Sousa is timeless.

  2. Get rid of all the milquetoast moderates they've got lined up for the prime time speeches, and give the podium to eloquent, passionate leaders who can make the case for the Republican platform. The supplemental list included some improvements, like Colorado Governor Bill Owens, but more could be added. Now that he's our Senate nominee, Tom Coburn would be a great choice. So would Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina. Herman Cain would be terrific; even though he didn't win his race, he's got a future in politics. Michelle Malkin offered some suggestions on her blog.

  3. And why not show off our party's deep bench? Put the spotlight on up-and-coming stars now serving in state legislatures, county courthouses, and city halls. I'll bet the state chairmen would have some suggestions. From Oklahoma, I'd suggest Speaker-to-be Todd Hiett and State Rep. Pam Peterson.

  4. Let's have at least one real debate -- a decision for the delegates to make where the outcome isn't predetermined. I suggest a debate about the 2008 nominating process. I believe the process is broken -- not counting incumbents running for reelection, we haven't had a nominee with the enthusiastic support of the grassroots of the party since 1980. (Counting incumbents only takes us up to 1984.) Republicans haven't won a majority of the popular vote in a presidential election since 1988, when we were helped immensely by an incompetent Democrat nominee running on a platform of "competence, not ideology". 1988 happens to be the year that Oklahoma and many other states switched from caucuses to primaries, as part of the push for Super Tuesday. The system we have gives all the delegates to a candidate who can manage the slimmest of margins in the early primaries, and the field is cleared within a week or two as everyone scrambles to jump on the bandwagon of the inevitable winner. I'd like to debate a national rule that would nullify any state rule binding a delegate to vote for a particular candidate. Whether or not there's agreement with my diagnosis, the debate is worth having. What better way to demonstrate that the Republican Party is responsive to the grass roots?

  5. Highlight the War on Terror every night. Remind the delegates and the viewers what is at stake. Give people a vision for the long road ahead and why we must take it. Remind people what happened on September 11th, 2001, and also the terrorist strikes that led up to it -- the '93 WTC bombing, the bombing of the American embassies in Africa, the attack on the USS Cole, all the way back to Iran's seizure of American hostages in 1979. Help people understand that a strong defense is not enough; we must take the fight to the Islamofascists. We also need to emphasize the progress we're making. Maybe someone could arrange for Hopper Smith to speak to the convention via satellite from Afghanistan.

In a time of war, a time when so much is at stake, we don't need a big party choreographed to the music of Kool and the Gang.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 29, 2004 11:29 PM.

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