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5 Things We Learned from the 2012 Republican National Convention

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

1. The GOP has a deep bench.

Proving yet again that its first principles and ideas that drive people to become Republicans, almost in spite of itself the GOP has an emerging generation of leaders that seem dramatically superior to the current one. It seems not even the “surrender now before it’s too late” Republican Party establishment have been able to stifle the development of a cache of rising stars that really make the Bushes, McCains, and Boehners of the world seem like the mammary glands on a bull they’re about as useful as. Speaking of which…

2. Paul Ryan worries the Left more than Mitt Romney does.

The Leftists literally had a cow over Ryan’s dynamite speech, which on a scale of 1-to-10 I would rate a 12.5. However, they were surprisingly muted about Romney’s convention effort one night later. Again, this is the power of ideas. Even though Ryan has voted for too much big government in the U.S. Congress, his budget plan is a substantive threat to the welfare state because it at least starts a long-overdue conversation about the country’s insolvency. Even Ryan dipping a toe in the waters of fiscal sanity is enough to give the statists hissy fits. Romney doesn’t provoke that sort of reaction from them, because they don’t believe he’s really a threat to their long term plans even if he wins.

3. Romney’s Bush-era buddies are worried about a primary in 2016.

The brouhaha at the start of the convention over the Romulans’ Draconian rules changes wasn’t about the militant faction of the Ron Paul contingent. That was a mere ruse used by the Republican Party establishment to justify their attempted power grab. The real motivation was heading off at the pass the recent tidal wave of Tea Party candidates primarying big government incumbent Republicans from reaching a potential Romney White House in 2016. In the 2010 and 2012 primary cycles, almost 90 incumbent Republicans across the country have lost their jobs. Several in Romney’s inner circle are old Bush family loyalists, including John Sununu who chaired the rules committee at the convention. They remember what happened when George H.W. Bush earned the scorn of conservatives by violating his “no new taxes” pledge, which resulted in a damaging primary campaign by Pat Buchanan in 1992. This power grab was an attempt to insulate Romney from similar Tea Party scrutiny in 2016 if he were to govern left-of-center in the White House, similar to how he governed in Massachusetts.

4. Chris Christie is the establishment’s man in 2016 if Romney loses.

The establishment preferred Christie to Romney this time around, but the first term governor elected not to run. However, he was given the prime keynote speaking slot, and took almost 20 minutes in his speech before mentioning Romney by name. The speech was more Christie’s vision for America and the GOP than rah-rah for Romney. If he wins re-election in New Jersey and Romney loses this fall, Christie will be the establishment’s presidential candidate in 2016.

5. The Democrats “War on Women” meme hit the mark.

The convention went out of its way to feature women, and just about every American cliché about mom and apple pie was uttered from the podium. The pandering was so thick even Jen and Rebekah in our show’s “Amen Corner” were starting to get nauseous. Romney wasted precious moments of his convention speech essentially doing the political equivalent of “I didn’t beat my wife last night” be trying to persuade Americans he wasn’t a misogynist. Why accept the phony premise of the Left’s diversity psychobabble in the first place? Why play along with the balkanization of America? Should Nikki Haley be celebrated because she’s a woman, or because she’s an effective governor of South Carolina? Republicans are at their best when urging Americans to rise above cynical identity gutter politics and embrace and defend the values and institutions that made this the greatest country on earth. Don’t try and out-pander the Democrats, because all it demonstrates is your own defensiveness. Romney should have said this instead:

Shame on this president who promised to unite us but instead has polarized this country even more along racial and gender lines. Just another broken promise from a failed president. The American dream is that no matter who you are and where you're from, the opportunity exists for you to maximize your God-given potential and leave a better future ahead for your children. When I’m president, if you want to contribute to American Exceptionalism you’re going to get that opportunity, no matter who you are. As one of the most famous Democrat presidents of all time once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

If Romney wants to win he’ll let Obama pander his Leftist drivel to his own echo chamber while he takes the case for American Exceptionalism directly to the American people. One of my 10 Commandments of Political Warfare: never, ever, accept the premise of your opponent. If this election is a competency hearing, Romney can win. If it’s diversity training you’ll get four more years of Obama.

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