There was the usual folderol that accompanies all political assemblies
but it seemed to me that there were one or two interesting and important things going on at the Republican State Assembly last Saturday. You're not likely to hear about them from the establishment media or even the party itself.
One of them was the series of speeches by surrogates for presidential candidates.
Stand-ins for the candidates spoke in reverse order of the number of delegates won to date, putting Ron Paul first and Mitt Romney last. Saving the best for last seemed to be the theme. The state party has arranged the process in favor of Romney at every step.
Ron Paul was represented by Matt Holdridge, his Colorado campaign chair. Matt did a credible job for Dr. Paul and he was supported by a number of supporters, many of whom were noticeably young and enthusiastic. Newt was represented by two conservative women, who seemed a bit alone on the stage by comparison. Rick Santorum was represented too but since he had just dropped out of the race his supporters were not much in evidence.
The Romney faction pulled out all the stops. Chairman Call introduced Bob Beauprez who then introduced Sen. Thune who spoke on Romney's behalf. The stage was full of elected officials, mostly, and others from the party establishment. It's easy to see who's in and who's not.
After listening to all these speeches, several things became apparent to me.
First, they all said the same things--and that's good. No matter who you supported in the primary the message that is coming from the GOP this time is going to be about getting the government under control: fiscal responsibility, reigning in and even eliminating rogue departments, and reducing government interference in the private sector. By doing all these things we will unleash the potential of the American people to create jobs and grow the economy.
It is the message of the Tea Party, libertarians and constitutional conservatives. (Note that these are overlapping categories.) The unremarked miracle is that underneath all the talk of budgets, deficits, jobs and the economy our bedrock message of individual rights versus statism, of liberty versus tyranny is going to be the theme of this election.
Second, how enthusiastic you are about Romney depends on whether you believe he will deliver on these promises. His record is mixed but the primary process has been relentlessly pushing him to the right.
Third is the continued appearance of new people in the process. I thought that the Tea Party Revolution of 2010 had brought out all the newly energized activists there were. I was wrong. At every stage from the caucuses forward there have been more new people involved. People of all ages and increasingly of broader demographics.
All this bodes well for November and for the future of the Republic.