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Jewish World Review August 7, 2000 / 6 Menachem-Av, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports

GOP convention:
Live or Memorex? -- TO ME, the most interesting thing about the Republican convention is the mainstream media coverage. They are absolutely confounded with this upbeat display of class.

Don't get me wrong, there are networks, such as Fox, outside the monolith, but for the most part, the major players are reacting in lockstep. It is revealing to witness it.

Remember their outrage at Pat Buchanan's culture war speech at the 1992 convention in Houston? When would Republicans ever learn, they wondered in unison, not to showcase their malevolence? When would they ever learn to put Newt and Tom DeLay in the closet and throw away the key -- or at least hide it until the election was over?

Well, here we are in the new millennium with a new candidate and a different kind of convention. Newt is commentating behind the scenes, and Tom DeLay is stuck in that closet with the House managers. So, are the media lauding the GOP for its transformation? You know better.

A typical example was Bernie Shaw's CNN interview with Ronald Reagan's daughter Maureen following the film tribute to her father and the other past GOP presidents. An incredulous Shaw, utterly appalled at the Republicans' audacity at pretending to be anything but ogres, asked Maureen in so many words, "All this is fine, but what about women's rights, abortion, gun control?" Translation: "I'll grant that your father's party is succeeding in looking nicer tonight, but until it renounces its positions on these major issues and others, it will still be the party of hate." Maureen just laughed in disbelief. "So, what's your question, Bernie?"

Columnist E. J. Dionne is having a similar reaction to the convention. He wrote, "If this convention of compassion and empathy reeks of saccharine, it's because
Republicans are wagering that risking artificial sweetness beats meanness." Do you see the common theme here? Both Shaw and Dionne, along with all others imprisoned in the liberal groupthink monolith, believe that any sweetness and light among Republicans is calculated and a hoax.

Like everyone else, they tend to look at things through their own lenses. Since their candidates of choice (Democrats) so often arrange things for the sake of appearances, they assume that Republicans must be doing the same.

Generally, Democrats are not turned on by individual achievement among minorities, for example, but a cabinet that "looks like America." So, they assume that George Bush asked Gen. Powell and Dr. Rice to speak because he wanted to appear minority and women-friendly.

Though cynics will be unable to fathom this possibility, I do not believe Bush chose Powell and Rice because of their race. He picked Powell because of his qualifications, skills, stature and universal popularity. He selected Rice because of her qualifications, skills and expertise. Bush didn't scour the countryside for some token minorities to trot out -- these are seasoned advisers who worked with his father and have already proven their brilliance. If anyone is more qualified to assist Bush in foreign policy, I don't know who it would be.

What the media don't understand is that the tone of this Republican convention has not been choreographed to affect a change in the GOP's image. It is not the result of an organized effort to dispel any negative image the party may have among the elite.

The media are making the same mistake with Bush that they made with Ronald Reagan. They are greatly underestimating him. I hope they continue to do so.

This convention is all about George Bush. Bush, both directly and indirectly, has set the tone for Philadelphia. It is all about being positive and forward thinking, not so much because Bush is trying to change the face of the party, but because Bush himself is positive. This is not posturing; it's the real deal.

In the process, Bush is not eschewing conservatism and his Republican colleagues are not ducking substantive issues, or even partisanship, as has been alleged. You cannot have listened to Dr. Rice or Secretary Cheney without understanding their not-so-subtle indictment of the Clinton-Gore administration.

While the media and their Democratic brethren are obsessing about such things as the gender gap or the race gap, Republicans, without using the "I" word ("impeachment"), are demonstrating the character gap. In the final analysis, that's the only gap that's going to matter in November.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?