It's like a Democratic convention, and it isn't. It's like the Dems in that Newt Gingrich won't be speaking -- but it's different than a Democratic convention because you won't hear Newt's name from the podium every 20 minutes.
It's like the Dems in that the party successfully has stifled dissent on abortion -- but it is different, in that it's an anti-abortion platform. It's like the Dems in that the presidential candidate's wife spoke of funding federal do-good programs, like Head Start -- but it is different, because she actually talked about reforming the programs to make them work. It's like the Dems because there is no talk about cutting big government or big government spending -- but different, because party biggies also want to cut taxes.
It's like the Dems, in that everyone is talking about warm and fuzzy values, about community and family and helping people -- but it is different because the convention also features such events as a Placards and Cheese Whiz pro-death penalty rally. (Really. I didn't make that up.) It's like the Dems in that Colin Powell talked about raising teacher salaries, hardly a federal issue -- but different, because he also talked up school vouchers.
It's like the Democrats in that planners are showcasing minorities, women, gays and people with disabilities -- but different, because the press never questions the Demo party's sincerity for doing the same. It's like the Dems in that delegates are willing to accept unlikable things because they hunger for victory --but different, because people here actually like their candidate.
It's like the Dems in that the nominee is in his 50s -- but different, in that he acts it.
It's like the Dems in that the convention features openly gay politicians and delegates -- but different, as the Log Cabin Republican Club President Rich Tafel noted, because gay Republicans "are not a victim class."
It's like the Dems in that the nominee is a famous politician's eldest son -- but different, because this one didn't grow up planning to be president.
It's like the Dems in that special interests have fueled the nominee's bid for the White House -- but different, because the nominee doesn't brag that he wants to pass laws to prevent him from doing what he chooses to do.
It's like the Dems in that the speakers advocate tax credits -- but different because this party thinks everyone should get them. Even rich people.
It's like the Dems in that a placard on the floor read, "Single Moms 4 Bush" -- but different, in that a man in the audience was waving the sign for a while.
It's like the Dems because there are Hollywood celebrities -- but different because they're Ben Stein, Rick Schroder and Dina Merrill. It's like the Dems in that speakers talked about how the party could help people -- but different, because the help would be to let people keep more of their money, instead of giving them other people's money.
It's like the Dems in that the candidates were interested in the issue of wealth -- but different, as Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Campbell, noted, because the other party wants to find ways to share it, and this party wants to create it.
It's like the Dems in that the delegates talk about wanting to restore a sense of community that nurtures every child in America -- but not because the Grand Old Party thinks that there is a different way to get there.