Monday, August 25, 2008

The Former Republican

Aimai has a thread for reactions to Michelle Obama's speech (which, again, I thought was amazing), so I'll just hit what I thought were the two highlights of the rest of the evening.

First, obviously: Ted Kennedy. Probably his last really big public speech; certainly, his last convention. The grace note for a lifetime of public service in the cause of basic human decency. If anyone was able to remain dry-eyed watching him, well, you're made of tougher stuff than I am.

Less obviously, I think the second most important speech of the evening was Jim Leach's. He laid out a sweeping historical case for the contributions both parties have made--and meticulously demonstrated that the Republican party of today has nothing in common with that of Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt. His point-by-point demolition of every rationale for Republican governance should be a staple of the campaign from here on out.