There was quite a bit that went on today. I didn't get the chance to read much around the internet, though, so this post will not feature many links.
Unfortunately, today we had chilling reminders of just what we face in the War on Terror. Chechen rebels car-bombed a Moscow subway station, killing 10 people. Palestinian suicide bombers blew up 2 busses in Southern Israel, and terrorists in Iraq beheaded 12 people from Nepal. Just a few days ago, French hostages were taken in Iraq, demanding the French government reverse its law banning headscarves in school in exchange for the lives of its citizens. We still have a long way to go, and George Bush knows what has to be done. If you want to see the John Kerry School of Foreign Policy in action, look at France. Chriac's appeasement has gotten that country so much... It's a reminder that the Islamo-fascists don't just hate us for our foreign policy; they hate us for who we are, what we represent, freedom and capitalism. It's something to keep in mind while the speeches continue this week.
Following on the heels of Rudy Giuliani's great speech last night, Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a fantastic speech. I wanted to get up an applaud at every other line, just like the delegates. Though I may not agree with him on everything, I think he's dead-on about what makes someone a Republican, and how we live in the greatest country in the world. His life is truely a testament to the possibilities and opportunities America brings to the world.
Since our founding in 1776, people have, by a great majority tried to get into this country. I think that is the most powerful counter-argument to the America-haters. If the United States is so awful, why do people risk their lives to come here, by crossing the desert, floating across the Caribbean, or even the Pacific? If American-style capitalism is so horrible, why was the Berlin Wall necessary? Why did people always want OUT of Vietnam, Hungary, East Germany, and still want out of North Korea? For all the noise the stupid protesters are making in the streets of New York, they should count their blessings that they have the right and the freedom to do so. There are still plenty of places in the world where no such rights are recognized, and a large number of them are the oppressive regimes that populate the Middle East. (No, Israel is not one of them.)
I think Arnold's speech would make a great advertisement for America to the world that dislikes us so much. Rather than hanging our heads low and changing to what Europe wishes we were, as the Democrats would have us do, we should show the world this speech. We should say, "Look at this. In America, a poor Austrian immigrant, who spoke no English upon arrival, became a rich movie star and then governor of our most populous state." Can that happen in any other country in the world? I wonder if a success story like his would even be possible in Britain, Canada, or Australia. I'd like to think so, but I have my doubts.
Anyway, I absolutely loved his speech. The requisite movie jokes, which some found tedious, I thought were genuinely funny. And you have to admire a guy who can use self-depreciating humor in the tradition of Ronald Reagan.
I must admit, though, I was really surprised by Arnold's praise of Richard Nixon. What he said about the contrats between Nixon and Humphrey was certainly correct, but my thought at the time is that praising Nixon in a political speech is strategically risky. Powerline makes the point that "no girlie man" could get up there and praise Nixon. Too true. Still, I would have preferred a more explicit Reagan reference.
So, from Arnie's speech, we charged forward to... the Bush twins. Ouch. I could only describe that as a train wreck. And this wasn't even one that you wanted to watch. It was not well-prepared nor was it well thought-out. It sounded like it was written by a group of marketers trying to figure out how to be "hip." Whoever wrote it should be out on the street to be torn apart by the protesters like a pack of hyenas. ... Too much? Yeah, okay. The guy (well, committee; I don't think a single person could have come up with something that awful) should still be fired, though. It was not funny, not flattering, and just not... good. I can't think of anything good in that speech. And really, I think the Bush twins are much more intelligent (and I hope articulate) than that. Just awful.
And then to recover from that? Well, a really flat speech from Laura Bush. I really like Laura, but tonight she just looked like she was sent up there to read a teleprompter. It really didn't add anything and further drained the energy and momentum created by Arnold. She had some good things to say, but she just didn't say them in any way that will be remembered. I think if Laura had spoken from the heart, instead of from a script, she would have wowed everyone. Unfortunately her speech was just there, like the speeches given during the day. (Even George P. Bush looked more natural.)
Since I went to watch the speeches tonight with some friends, I was able to watch them on Fox News, so I thought I'd write a little on the commentary there. I was almost in agreement with Fred Barnes when he suggested that Laura, Jenna, and Barbara had no place there. I think they have a place, but they just didn't add anything and the twins significantly detracted. I was stupefied that the usually rational Chris Wallace liked the Bush twin debacle. Afterward, Greta's segment reminded me why I never liked her show when I could watch Fox News, and I'll watch almost anything on that channel.
Rush called in to the show and talked about his interview with Bush earlier in the day. I heard that, but wasn't impressed. Rush was for some reason. He asked Bush to explain the how Iraq is an integral part of the War on Terror and I was really hoping Bush would hit one out of the park. Instead he sort of meandered along and didn't really give the strong answer I think he can. He did much better in the Lauer interview the other day. Michelle Malkin has a little of it on her site in her post about the media getting carried away with the "I don't think you can win it" line. The Democrats are running with that for all they can, but they're swimming against the flood of Bush's prior statements.
Despite all my griping, I enjoyed the night. Arnold's speech just outshone everything. His, along with Giuliani's, will be remembered as great speeches beyond he convention. I fear the Bush twins' speech will be remembered as a new level of badness. Okay, I've rambled long enough. This hasn't exactly been a high-quality post, and I apologize for that. Therefore, I'm going to bed.
Oh, and "Terminate Terrorism." I want a bumper sitcker that says that. And one saying "Don't be economic girlie men." Brian, there's a good business opportunity.