By Dave Andrusko
My family just got back from a great vacation. I had a chance to catch part of last night’s first session of the Republican National Party convention and read all about it today. Here are (you guessed it) five takeaways.
1. The headline from The Hill reads, “First night of GOP convention delivers nearly six times more views than start of Democrats’ event on C-SPAN livestream.” The usual suspects had already downplayed the significance of the miserable numbers for last week’s Democratic National Committee gathering, so naturally the likes of CNN will (a) give no credence to what took place last night; (b) slime every speaker; and (c) interrupt over and over again lest viewers be allowed to form their own opinions.
That doesn’t change the numbers; it just illuminates their full partnership with Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.
2. This is a convention replete with pro-life speakers, including, of course, President Trump who has said he will make remarks all four days. If you remember compare and contrast from your days in school, the differences are sharp, striking, and stark.
3. Mark Halperin will never be confused with someone who is a fan of President Trump. He is author of “How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take.” His column—“ I Think I Know Success When I See It”—is all the more impressive, not just because it comes from a Trump opponent but because Halperin also points out where he thinks the first night was not as successful.
Bottom line? It “was at a minimum a very solid start and perhaps was even a big success.”
The most important paragraph came fairly early. Halperin listed eleven issues—ten plus “opposition to abortion”– and then writes
These are not everyday concerns of most people in Chevy Chase or at Gang of 500 brunches (no longer held at Lauriol Plaza).
They are the concerns of a lot of Trump voters. But not just of Trump voters.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. On Monday night the convention speakers talked about issues that transcend whether or not someone particularly likes President Trump. They were about issues that matter to an overwhelming number of Americans.
Last week, Democrats avoided laying out specific policy positions like the plague. They had to. As with their extremism on abortion, the party is wholly out of step with the American public on all ten of the other issues Halperin cited.
Halperin quotes from the lead story in the New York Times:
At times, the speakers and prerecorded videos appeared to be describing an alternate reality.
However it is the Democrats—who focused their attention for the gabillionth time last week on how horrible they say President Trump is—who live in “alternate reality.” They are confident over-the-top criticism (see: former President Barack Obama) will carry them to victory on November 3. It won’t. The genius of last night was the speakers honed in the kind of issues my family and I back in Minnesota talked about all last week. (Keep an eye on Minnesota. Mr. Trump almost carried the state in 2016.)
4. Elsewhere today, I hope to write about what pro-abortion former Vice President Joe Biden said last week. Bottom line: in virtually every convention, the nominee will get a “bounce”—an increase in popularity, whether it lasts or not.
Oh, we’re told, that doesn’t matter because he is sooooooooo far ahead how could he get a bounce? This, of course, is spin on steroids. But it truly is worth remembering how badly Hillary Clinton campaigned in 2016, largely because she believed she was so far ahead cruise control was the best strategy.
It never is.
5. Halperin quotes a good chunk from a fabulous column, written by John Podhoretz that ran in the New York Post. It is a perfect way to end this post:
The first night of the Republican National Convention was, all in all, sensationally effective — and effective in ways that the mainstream media and its Twitter chatterers clearly found it impossible to understand.
America’s opinion leaders loathe Donald Trump so much that it remains a great puzzlement to them how he can retain the support of even 42 percent of the population, rather than, you know, zero.
The implicit theory they share is the “deplorables” theory — that anyone who wants Trump to be and remain president is, at root, a bad person or someone too easily tempted by false promises and evil lies….
If Trump can turn this election around, it will be because these ideas resonate with the Americans the media have lost the power to hear and to whom they no longer even attempt to speak.