Highlights of the GOP convention

I was finally able to stay up to watch one of the conventions. The highlight of last night’s Republican session was the extraordinary spectacle of Joseph Lieberman giving the evening’s climactic speech in favor of John McCain. Lieberman, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000. Lieberman, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. Lieberman, who was abandoned by his party for his support of the war when he ran for re-election to the Senate in Connecticut but who won anyway as an Independent. How the Democrats will try to punish him now, after that speech in which he threw out more red meat to the crowd than Fred Thompson did (though his speech was effective too, dramatically telling the story of McCain’s heroism in captivity). Lieberman called on disaffected Democrats to vote Republican for the first time in their lives.

The most moving part of the evening, to me, had little direct connection to politics:
The introduction of five winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor. They looked like the elderly men you see at the local diner or at church. But what they went through in combat! And what deeds of valor they performed!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bruce

    Ditto on the Congressional Medal of Honor winners.

    I was aware of Lieberman, and something of an admirer, before he ran with Al Gore in 2000. During that campaign, however, I was often astonished at the tone and content of his stump speeches. I can’t give you any particulars–sorry–but remember being impressed–or depressed–by how much negativity he brought to the campaign, something I didn’t associate with him previously.

    Given that experience, I’m not at all sure I respect what he’s doing now. Will the real Joe Lieb please stand up?

    Another observation I would make is that many, many members of the two parties are finding themselves able to interchange the parties. While the radicals in both parties are moving farther apart, the moderates could almost vote either way. Then it comes down to the caliber of the candidates, and McCain is certainly a poster child for this group: he’s not really a Republican, and he’s not a Democrat. One of his best friends is Joe Lieberman. Go figure.

  • Bruce

    Ditto on the Congressional Medal of Honor winners.

    I was aware of Lieberman, and something of an admirer, before he ran with Al Gore in 2000. During that campaign, however, I was often astonished at the tone and content of his stump speeches. I can’t give you any particulars–sorry–but remember being impressed–or depressed–by how much negativity he brought to the campaign, something I didn’t associate with him previously.

    Given that experience, I’m not at all sure I respect what he’s doing now. Will the real Joe Lieb please stand up?

    Another observation I would make is that many, many members of the two parties are finding themselves able to interchange the parties. While the radicals in both parties are moving farther apart, the moderates could almost vote either way. Then it comes down to the caliber of the candidates, and McCain is certainly a poster child for this group: he’s not really a Republican, and he’s not a Democrat. One of his best friends is Joe Lieberman. Go figure.

  • Anon

    Usually when a pro choice Democrat is discussed on this blog, it’s to brand him or her as a baby killer and to impute to him or her the guilt of every abortion that has occurred since Roe v. Wade.
    Is Lieberman’s endorsement of McCain getting him a pass on this treatment?

  • Anon

    Usually when a pro choice Democrat is discussed on this blog, it’s to brand him or her as a baby killer and to impute to him or her the guilt of every abortion that has occurred since Roe v. Wade.
    Is Lieberman’s endorsement of McCain getting him a pass on this treatment?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    If we were discussing his views on abortion, or if we were considering him as a candidate, I would indeed criticize him, though I probably wouldn’t impute to him all the sins of the world.

    I was simply commenting on his speech, his endorsement of John McCain, and his repudiation of the party that once nominated him for vice president. How do his views on abortion relate to these facts?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    If we were discussing his views on abortion, or if we were considering him as a candidate, I would indeed criticize him, though I probably wouldn’t impute to him all the sins of the world.

    I was simply commenting on his speech, his endorsement of John McCain, and his repudiation of the party that once nominated him for vice president. How do his views on abortion relate to these facts?

  • Anon

    That’s my point, Dr. Veith. I don’t think that his pro choice (or as you like to say, pro death) views relate to these facts either.
    But neither do the abortion views of McCain or Obama, since, as Reagan and both Bushes amply demonstrated, a president practically can do nothing about Roe v. Wade. Yet often on this blog some politicians, at the mere mention of their names, are smeared by commentators as baby killers or abortionists for holding precisely the view Lieberman holds. It makes intelligent discussion very hard, and, frankly, I’m glad such slander was avoided here. I would like to think it was not because Lieberman supports McCain.

  • Anon

    That’s my point, Dr. Veith. I don’t think that his pro choice (or as you like to say, pro death) views relate to these facts either.
    But neither do the abortion views of McCain or Obama, since, as Reagan and both Bushes amply demonstrated, a president practically can do nothing about Roe v. Wade. Yet often on this blog some politicians, at the mere mention of their names, are smeared by commentators as baby killers or abortionists for holding precisely the view Lieberman holds. It makes intelligent discussion very hard, and, frankly, I’m glad such slander was avoided here. I would like to think it was not because Lieberman supports McCain.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@4), you said what I was going to say about Lieberman and pro-choice politicians.

    I will add, though: Would that the Republicans had respected combat service four years ago! Ah, but then a different party’s candidate had worn the uniform*.

    *For you Swift-Boater fans out there, I’ll add (in gest) a dramatic “or so he claimed!”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@4), you said what I was going to say about Lieberman and pro-choice politicians.

    I will add, though: Would that the Republicans had respected combat service four years ago! Ah, but then a different party’s candidate had worn the uniform*.

    *For you Swift-Boater fans out there, I’ll add (in gest) a dramatic “or so he claimed!”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding Fred Thompson, Veith said “his speech was effective too, dramatically telling the story of McCain’s heroism in captivity”.

    Yes, a bit too dramatically, to the point of actually getting it wrong.

    Thompson said, “They took him to the Hanoi Hilton, where he lapsed in and out of consciousness for days. He was offered medical care for his injuries if he would give up military information in return. John McCain said ‘No.’”

    But in the pages of Faith of My Fathers, John McCain described his interrogation at the hands of the Vietnamese: “Eventually, I gave them my ship’s name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant.”

    Later, he said, “I should not have given out information about my ship and squadron, and I regret very much having done so. The information was of no real use to the Vietnamese, but the Code of Conduct for American Prisoners of War orders us to refrain from providing any information beyond our name, rank, and serial number.”

    What McCain did was heroic, but there’s no need to venture into the hagiographic.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Regarding Fred Thompson, Veith said “his speech was effective too, dramatically telling the story of McCain’s heroism in captivity”.

    Yes, a bit too dramatically, to the point of actually getting it wrong.

    Thompson said, “They took him to the Hanoi Hilton, where he lapsed in and out of consciousness for days. He was offered medical care for his injuries if he would give up military information in return. John McCain said ‘No.’”

    But in the pages of Faith of My Fathers, John McCain described his interrogation at the hands of the Vietnamese: “Eventually, I gave them my ship’s name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant.”

    Later, he said, “I should not have given out information about my ship and squadron, and I regret very much having done so. The information was of no real use to the Vietnamese, but the Code of Conduct for American Prisoners of War orders us to refrain from providing any information beyond our name, rank, and serial number.”

    What McCain did was heroic, but there’s no need to venture into the hagiographic.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s the text of Sarah Palin’s VP acceptance speech.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s the text of Sarah Palin’s VP acceptance speech.


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