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Arnold's Speech
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I watched Schwarzenegger's speech on C-SPAN last night.

I thought it was pretty good, though the musical numbers at the RNC are godawful. I guess I didn't watch enough of the live feed of the DNC to compare, but for sheer entertainment I'd rather drink a can of Drano.

Also, the speaker before him brought up the same crap about Kerry "voting for the $87 billion before voting against it". Guliani used the same line the night before. Look, I think it's fine to point out that Kerry is a political opportunist who's about as consistent as the rooster on top of a weather vane. But harping on the supplementary defense spending bill for Iraq is just stupid. Bills change. They get crap added to them, taken away from them, and it's not at all inconsistent to support a bill in one form and oppose it in another. So I wish they'd stop using that.

Thankfully Schwarzenegger didn't use the line. I thought his speech was good. He spent most of the first half of the speech from the immigrant perspective. It was optimistic and idealistic...and maybe a bit naive ("And one thing I learned about America is that if you work hard and if you play by the rules, this country is truly open to you. You can achieve anything.") But a bit of that is actually refreshing as counterpoint to the overwhelming cynical negativity that's the general soup de jour.

He spent the latter part of the speech reiterating Republican ideals. And I thought the ideals espoused in the rhetoric were good:

If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a Republican.

If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican.

If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does, then you are a Republican.

If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children, then you are a Republican.

If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope for democracy, then you are a Republican.

And, ladies and gentlemen, if you believe that we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a Republican.

Now, there's another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people and faith in the U.S. economy.

If only the Republican Party actually abided by those principles and weren't chock full of religiously-motivated social conservatism I might actually consider being a Republican. Alas.

And though the ideals he talked about were admirable, some of the silly pop references were jarringly out of place. In the quote above, he talks about "terminating" terrorism. That one made me cringe. And so did using the line "I'll be back" when referring to a soldier who'd had his leg blown off.

But I did like this one:

And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie-men.

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