It’s been almost a week, and therefore the McCain speech is old news, but the well-chronicled posting difficulties have had me somewhat on my heels here. So here we go.
RedState brass seemed surprised that I liked it so much. I suppose my posting history here might give the impression that I was disposed to be skeptical of John McCain’s acceptance speech Thursday night at the convention. And indeed I was. My deep skepticism of John McCain’s interest in conservative governance has changed rather little, and while there’s no need to rehash all that, just fill in the blanks yourself.
I was and remain no McCain fan. But the speech was a huge winner on multiple fronts and I am glad of it and I appreciate it. That is not a typo.
I characterize the speech thusly (and I’ll explain in English, following, for you sad, pitiful types who do not love baseball): 9th inning, 2-out, bases-loaded, down by 1. McCain took the first-pitch high fast-ball away and drove the gap for a bases-clearing, game-winning double.
Jump with me to see where this goes….
How we got to Thursday, Sept 4
We could make this part its own feature-length film, but let’s just quickly recap how we got here.[we could have started at 9/11, the 1994 Contract With America, the Kennedy-Nixon election, Reconstruction, the American Revolution, the Magna Carta, or Moses – but let’s just wind it back to the 2006 elections]
- Nov 2006, the GOP loses big, losing majorities in both Houses- fueled by a combination of things, including big spending (i.e., non-conservative governance), complacency, and several Treason Media-driven scandals, Treason Media- misrepresentation of the Iraq war, and the Bush administration’s utter unwillingness to defend itself and its party against the relentless daily onslaught of Treason Media and Dem lies.
- the enduring post-election narrative both in the Treason Media and in the Republican Party is that conservatism is not a winning electoral and governing philosophy (irony, anybody?), and therefore we should increase that tent size by moving (even more) centerward
- In that environment, McCain thrives and easily sews the GOP nomination after Super Tuesday in early March.
- All spring and summer the Treason Media focus on the made-for-awesome primary fight on the Dem side between Hillary and Obama (no small thanks to Operation Chaos). The GOP and McCain are ignored.
- Obama wins the primaries, tours Europe and Asia, and the swooning Treason Media anoint him Zeus, Moses, and Jesus. The Treason Media and Obama campaigns now focus their guns on McCain — too old, a Bush retread, not hip, swinging, or god-like in appearance or oratory prowess.
- Obama’s VP dilemma – needs gravitas and experience without being obviously more qualified than Obama — which rules out everybody in the universe except Windy Joe Plagiarizer Biden. Experienced, dumb, dull, and a gaffe machine fit to rival Obama himself.
- the Obama camp is so proud of their intentional walk Biden pick that he is announced at 3am on Saturday morning before the Democrat convention.
- McCain wisely held off on his pick (this is called using the home field advantage). After months of speculation that tended to flirt with various squishes, giving the conservative wing much in the way of ulcers and misgivings, he used the Pawlenty head fake to deflate the Thursday night Acropolis Treason Media Obamagasm, then delivered the OMG Palin pick Friday to completely dominate the weekend news and obliterate any significant DNC bounce.
- The Palin pick was multi-dimensional in effect –
- legitimate conservative with full approval of the Fredhead wing, bringing the conservatives, finally, enthusiastically on board.
- She is a woman, and a self-made woman, giving us potential inroads into Hillary girls.
- She is hot and robustly healthy, giving us potential inroads into all sorts of undecided men.
- She is smart, savvy, and manages herself well in front of a hostile media.
- Comes from a premier energy an drilling state, and has significant personal experience in energy issues.
- She was not on the Treason Media’s radar, and they were caught with no appreciable instant ammo.
- Finally, she is the conservative version of McCain, with a history of bucking fat cats, corruption, and overspending — therefore contributing to and enhancing, rather than counterpointing, the McCain maverick narrative.
- Once the Treason Media recovered, they took the lead of the various Soros-owned nutroots and spent the week screeching and ranting, literally leading off every newscast with a reference to Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. The public appears to have grown somewhat skeptical of the Treason Media’s noble intentions.
- Meanwhile Hurricane Gustav disrupted at this point, and shortened the GOP Convention (which many applauded for its own sake). Gustav also provided us the Fowler moment (h/t to our own Caleb/absentee), showing America what cockroaches the Democrat leadership really are.
- We can say this for the Treason Media. They focused attention on Sarah Palin to such a degree that 38 million Americans tuned in to a Vice Presidential convention speech(of all things), compared to 24 million for Biden the previous week, and nearly eclipsing the months-anticipated Obama speech.
- With no particular reputation for being a speechmaker, and given that huge audience, the Treason Media were confident that she would fail. Instead, Governor Sarah Palin delivered a speech that may end up being historic – not that it was that superb, but that it WAS well done and showed that she was big enough to fill the stage. She was engaging, down-to-earth, and funny, a genuine person, a real mom and wife – and let us not underestimate that ‘easy on the eyes’ aspect. It counts. The speech hit on several levels, nuanced in a way that threw red meat to conservatives, that made a very nice case for conservatism to the undecideds and to the Reagan Democrats, and perhaps most importantly of all, signified formally for the first time ever that the Republican Party is finally going to war with the Treason Media, with real teeth and real vigor and giving no quarter. It’s about dad-gum time.[Caleb – do you remember those arguments with me on that very topic? Well, I win, don’t I?]
- The result of the Palin speech, in that 24 hour cycle: a guaranteed audience for McCain on Thursday night that might exceed 40 million (and I believe it did) — I note that this is the 1-day effect — I submit that THIS Palin speech will end up having historic significance.
Thursday, Sept 4
Which brings us to the McCain speech. He knew these things:
- He would have a huge, huge audience.
- Much of that audience is only just now tuning in to the election (at RedState and throughout the chattering class, we might forget this).
- The Treason Media would give him no help and no breaks, so it was all on him to make his case.
- He’s not as gifted an orator as either Obama or Palin.
McCain could have swung for the fence, trying to equal the success of Palin, or he could try to punch a single just beyond the infield – going all safe, all bland, no risk, no reward.
Instead (without reciting the speech here) he calmly reeled off a bunch of policy, with explanations that explain why the man believes what he believes — in large part Fred-like in their basis on fundamentals of conservatism. He described his experience as a US Navy pilot, and described his imprisonment and treatment at the hands of barbarians. This part was MASTERFULLY done – he did not evoke sympathy (vote for me because I’m a victim), but instead used it to describe how that changed him from ‘all about John’ to ‘all about America’. The POW story told why YOU and ME should love America. He ended the speech (h/t c17wife) with a moving reminder that America is the greatest nation that has ever existed, and we remain so — a stark contrast to what the Democratic convention had to say about America.
He necessarily took aim at the status quo in Washington, including the GOP establishment, but I was not offended, because I’m not all that happy with the GOP power grid either. He reminded us that his attitude, in perfect sync with that of Palin, was the RIGHT attitude to bring about real change in governance in America. He told us the threat of terrorism was real and dark, and that he would be ruthless in prosecuting it. No serious person doubts him on that.
In final analysis, he went with his strengths. He came nowhere near urinating on the conservative base, while at the same time giving moderates and Reagan Democrats every reason in the world to come on board.
Like I said : 3-run double to the gap to win the game by 2. McCain-Palin wins by 5% and 60 EVs.
I’m just a regular, [if outspoken] RedState user [with Pinky-and-the-Brain designs on world domination – or at least the occasional guest column at Human Events], and while I’m nothing special in and of myself, I know that I am a bellwether of the Burke/Kirk/Reagan/Fred classical conservative wing, and a bitter opponent of McCain’s for oh, about 10 years now. And if I was won over by this speech, then you can safely assume that the conservative base has finally and fully been brought on board.