While I think it is great that Joe Liebermann has crossed party lines to support John McCain, I was left wondering why the RNC was so quick to embrace him as a speaker and yet rejected Ron Paul. Senator Paul was not given a speaking slot and he was not given the kind of credentials usually given to primary candidates. I’m sure many would say that was a smart move since the Republican Party is afraid of Paul’s supporters and were not sure what kind of a ruckus they might raise. I thought that that kind of stuff was what made these conventions exciting. Now they are more just a “rah rah” fest for the chosen candidate. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a forum for ideas and debates about making the party better? Instead the Republicans chose to let Liebermann speak which only served as a reminder to true conservatives the thought that McCain is not our man. McCain has more than the ability to cross party lines, he actually acts more like a Democrat. Liebermann reminded us of the McCain/Feingold legislation that we detest and when he mentioned “immigration reform” I laughed out loud. More like amnesty, eh Joe?
Despite the fact the Ron Paul would have shined light on the Party’s shortcomings, he also would have pointed out the areas of agreement that we have and why he himself still runs as a Republican. Paul pushes for privatizing social security, opposes abortion rights, wants enhanced border security and pushes for less environmental restrictions which would allow us to supply our own energy. These are all strong issues for the Republican platform. Ron Paul is a strong money raiser as well having raised the most money of any Republican in the last quarter of 2007. This man also got over one million votes during the primary. The choice of Sarah Palin for VP and then allowing Ron Paul to speak would have really shored up the base. Instead, Ron Paul is in a different part of the city conducting his own convention. I don’t agree with everything Paul stands for, but as a party facing a real tough opponent we need to come together not shut people out. This was a missed opportunity.