Thanks to Bithead for holding down the fort this weekend! My schedule was crazy and having a quality guest like Bit fill in for me is like going to McDonald’s, ordering a Big Mac and getting Prime Rib! Go visit him at BitsBlog .
Needless to say, I’ve got a bit to share. I was a delegate to the Iowa District 3 Republican Convention on Saturday. Overall I was very pleased with the results of the convention… there were a couple of platform amendments that didn’t go the way I would have liked, but nothing horrible. The worst part was the same as the Polk County Convention… voting for committee members was long, multiple ballots on some, and everyone trying to figure out how to short-circuit the process to get it done more quickly. But, we got done, and through all of the planks and adjourned at 5:30.
I was impressed by a few things.
Much of it was at the beginning.
First the prayer. The pastor that offered up the prayer provided a solemn and humble devotion to the Lord our God and sought His Mercy. It’s amazing that the most spiritual place outside of Sunday church is a political convention.
Then, over 450 people stood up, hands on our hearts, and recited the Pledge Of Allegiance together. Proudly. Confidently. With vigor. By the end I was almost in tears. I don’t recall participating in the pledge with so much enthusiasm with such a large group since… honestly, I don’t think ever… closest would probably be in Grade School.
Immediately after that we sang the National Anthem. With the same gusto and enthusiasm. Wow.
Naturally, we had a series of speeches. One that was notable was by Ted Sporer, who was the Polk County Party Chairman, and an outgoing member of the Republican State Central Committee. Ted’ speech was rousing and driven to this point: the Party must stand for something if it is to be successful. He emphasized a need to move the party forward and hold party leaders accountable on these points. His somewhat subtle message seemed to be that the state party leadership is not doing their job and needs more substantive attention by party members. We shall be watching.
The Convention Chairman (never got his name) shared some thoughts about why we are Republicans.
One was Ben Stein.
The story comes from a piece Ben wrote for the American Spectator  in 2006. You can go read the article, but the crux of it was that people like Karl Rove, who though vilified by many is a kind man, are true Republicans in one very deep and meaningful way: a lack of hate. Ben concludes his column:
Real Republicans are not haters. Not ever. It’s just not in them to hate, just as it’s not in any real American to hate any other American who lives within the law.
Anyway, I left the evening just in a state of amazement about Karl. This is the assassin? This is the thug? Wow, do his critics not know him. But you know what? They wouldn’t stop hating him even if they did know him, because that’s who they are, no matter who he is.
I don’t agree with the President about fiscal policy. I don’t agree with him about a happy ending in Iraq. But I sure like being in the same party as Karl Rove, and Julie Eisenhower, and Andy Card, and Senator McCain and Justice Scalia. The party that does not hate.
I’m glad to be part of that Party as well.