September 01, 2004

Lt. Gov. Steele

Jay Nordlinger ties up last night pretty well in today's Impromptus although I still think folks are being too hard on the twins. They're 22. They're not patricians like the Kerry girls. I could live without the candidate's kids on the podium, but their performance was fine.

Watching on C-Span, I did catch the Lt. Gov of Maryland's superb speech. One of the greats. Jay saw it too:

Oh, Michael Steele, the lieutenant governor of Maryland, what a marvelous speech! Pity no one heard it. I don't believe that even the cable networks showed it. Steele spoke as an unabashed black Republican, and he both explained and jabbed. He also exhorted and inspired. Here's an interesting line: "[President Bush] knows that too many of our children are headed for the state pen instead of Penn State." And I don't think I had ever heard the following point made in a political speech: ". . . we have come even further since a majority of Republicans in the United States Senate fought off the segregationist Democrats to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

A little more: "[Kerry] . . . recently said that he doesn't want to use the word 'war' to describe our efforts to fight terrorism. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I don't want to use the words 'commander in chief' to describe John Kerry." This sent Dick Cheney rocketing to his feet.

A little more Steele: "A lifelong Democrat, [my mother] once asked me how I could grow up to be such a strong Republican. I simply replied, 'Mom, you raised me well.'"

Jay continues...
We hear constantly, in the press, about the Republicans' "window-dressing" at these conventions. We put black and brown faces onstage, but have few of them in our party. A Republican convention is like a Utah Jazz basketball game the performers are black and the audience is white. All that crap.

But listen: One fine day, journalists are going to have to take these speakers seriously. Michael Steele makes arguments about why he is a Republican and why others should be as well. Shouldn't these arguments matter? Shouldn't our political and journalistic foes be forced to grapple with them?

Posted by jk at September 1, 2004 01:43 PM
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