Last night, I listened to the GOP convention on the radi-adi-o, and one thing (besides the bizarre performance on Clint Eastwood's part) struck me... the whole thing seemed to be a cack-handed attempt to recapture that St. Ronnie magic.
I have no doubt that Clint was primarily invited so he could utter the line "Go ahead, make my day", a line which Ronald Reagan employed on at least one occasion. Yeah, there was a long, bizarre prelude, but the crowd sure enjoyed shouting it as they fantasized about the bad things that would happen to the imaginary black man on the stage. Nice, Clint, just make sure that you insist you're not a racist because you're a jazz fan (the line play ethnicky jazz to parade your snazz on your five grand stereo comes to mind).
As far as Mitt's acceptance speech goes, it was Reagan revival redux all the way. We have Mitt talking about the threat of the now-retired Fidel Castro:
When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from Castro's tyranny, these new Americans surely had many questions. But none doubted that here in America they could build a better life, that in America their children would be more blessed than they.
Now, we have Mitt railing against the threat posed by Iran:
Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat. In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.
Now we have a two-fer, as Mitt cautions us about Cuba and Russia:
President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.
In my mind's ear, I can hear Mittens saying, "Mr. Putin, tear down this Pussy Riot!" I'm odd that way.
To continue with this "80's nostalgia" theme, there was even an arcade in which a huge game of SuperPACman was going on. Yeah, it was eighties nostalgia night... if you squint really, really hard, Romney looks a little like the deified Reagan... and, like Reagan, we'll have a even bigger problem if we elect Romney: