Notes from a deranged convention

By Hugh Hewitt

I am writing this from “blogger’s row,” on the 7th level of the Fleet Center, high above the convention floor. This Tuesday afternoon has bagpipes rehearsing and gospel singers shouting out, but it’s all a diversion.

The delegates and their nominee are hard-left – the most left-wing convention in American political history. The talking points all stress happy faces and lowered voices, but Michael Moore is the crown prince of this assembly, even as it prepares to give John Kerry a blessing.

Delegates are far more truthful than the party operatives patrolling the hallways and ferrying prepped guests to the various radio rows. The delegates hate Bush, want out of Iraq, want courts to impose same-sex marriage, and want taxes hiked on all but the poorest Americans. The policy on abortion rights is absolutist; on race-based remedies, the answer hasn’t changed since 1978 – quotas by any other name will do.

I played a game on the radio show yesterday, the convention’s first day. We played a version of Groucho Marx’s “secret word.” We were prepared to declare a winner when the first Democrat I interviewed mentioned al-Qaida. None did. It just isn’t an issue with them. The consensus seems to be that if Bush is beaten, al-Qaida will no longer threaten Americans.

I keep a copy of my new book on the radio table, and many delegates pick it up, thinking that the title refers to Republicans: “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat.” It is only on close inspection that they notice the subtitle: “Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends On It.” They sputter and mutter and fume and then turn on heel and march away. They are unused to blunt declarations of objective truth. It discomfits them. Bush-Cheney ’04 should take note.

I held a book signing at a Borders in Denver on Friday night. I arrived to find hundreds of would be book-buyers in a line that snaked throughout the store. The store stopped counting at 1,200, and I stayed behind the desk until 1:40 a.m., long after the books were gone, just to chat with the folks who wanted to come by.

It is a very good book, but that’s not what accounts for a crowd like that. Rather, the book has arrived when ordinary Americans are beginning to evidence disgust with the left and the Kerry-Moore Democrats. There is a section of the American public usually quietly ensconced in the middle of the political spectrum and on the sidelines of the political wars.

But I think this group has begun to move into the political conflict, convinced that the war needs fighting and winning, and outraged at the Moore gang’s hostility to all that America stands for.

The left wanted another Vietnam, thinking they’d win the domestic battle again. But what they may have brought about is the mobilization of another, stronger, larger silent majority.

In 97 days, we’ll find out.