After watching post-speech analysis of the RNC convention last night, I was struck by an observation by Newsweek's Howard Fineman that in the Xcel Center in St. Paul he could find no banner or sign with the word "Republican" on it, but tons with the names of John McCain and Sarah Palin.
The reason why, as was obvious all night, is that the GOP is doing its darndest to pretend the last eight years of Bush-Cheney never existed, and that the last "true" presidents in office were (apparently) Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt.
Also, floor interviews were rife with spin over Sarah Palin's breathtaking resume as a small town mayor, and thus far, brief time as Alaska's governor – so much that in one instance, Newt Gingrich confronted an MSNBC reporter who had the sexist gall to question her qualifications to be VP.
Either way, Palin's keynote speech tonight will be hailed as a titanic success by the GOP (and Fox) tonight, and will be a simple talk on basic American principles like God, mom, apple pie, and John McCain – resulting in Palin being carried triumphantly from the hall on her supporters' shoulders.
Finally, in other comments by Howard Fineman last night, he noted an old saying in American politics: Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line – meaning the latter tend to be very disciplined about supporting their candidates. On the matter of Sarah Palin, I there's no doubt about this; she is being hailed by Republicans as a divine cross between Joan of Arc, Carol Brady, and Nanook of The North (who is never to be questioned on her resume).
But less we forget, before Palin surfaced last Friday in Dayton, OH, McCain's support from his conservative base was not overwhelming.
So I guess Republicans do fall in line, but only under the right circumstances.