Republicans Party on in Philadelphia
by David Trumbull
August 10, 2000
World Wrestling Federation Champion "The Rock" shared the stage at the Republican National Convention last week with Speaker of the House Denny Hastert. Since Hastert himself, prior to his election to Congress, has worked as a wrestling coach, teaming them up made sense to me. Perhaps Jesse Ventura will rejoin the Reform Party and appear at their convention in Long Beach, California this weekend. Editorial Humor readers who recall my February 1999 exposé of the wrestling/politics connection will be eager to see how Vice President Gore responds at the Democratic National Convention later this month. Can you picture Tipper Gore in a leopard print bodysuit and over-sized neon pink feather boa?
Professional wrestlers getting into politics is, at any rate, an improvement over the Hollywood crowd we've had to endure under eight years of Clinton/Gore. The WWF, while not high art, is at least entertaining, while Hollywood's product, increasingly, is neither.
I missed the GOP convention in Philadelphia. Oh, I saw some of it--including The Rock--on television, but unlike 1996, when I was on the floor at the convention in San Diego, I did not attend in person. This was a disappointment. After all, I was elected delegate and the Party rules state that delegates are to be chosen by election at congressional district caucuses. But in Massachusetts the Republican State Committee rejected 24 of the 60 elected delegates.
The rejected delegates fought all the way to the Republican National Convention Committee on Credentials where we lost, 38 votes against to 35 votes for us. Many of the delegates from other states voted against us on the principle that it's Massachusetts's internal problem (after all, this is a "States' Rights" party). But even many of those delegates stated that what the Massachusetts Republican State Committee had done--overturning our elections--was wrong.
I hope we have started a process to mend the rules so this sort of abuse does not happen again. Perhaps we have. After narrowly rejecting our appeal, the Credentials Committee passed the following resolution: "Whereas the Republican National Convention's Committee on Credentials has had to repeatedly answer contests to delegates from Massachusetts because of their peculiar manner of selection that seems to promote cronyism and defeat democratic elections, the Committee on Credentials urges the Massachusetts State Committee to reconsider Rule 4.7 which allows the winning Presidential Candidate's State Committee to certify delegates and alternate delegates pledged to its candidate."
So, I did not go to Philadelphia. Perhaps it is just as well. Philadelphia in the middle of summer is hot and humid, tending to cause irritability. Why, had the Second Continental Congress met in some cool, breezy location--say Gloucester, Mass.--in July of 1776, perhaps we'd still be Her Majesty's subjects. As for me, I headed north to Québec City where I took advantage of the moderate temperatures and the relative strength of the Green Back.
I am now looking at the Republican National Convention website to see what I missed in the City of Brotherly Love. On Monday night Comedy Central's Ben Stein presented a political version of his television quiz show, Win Ben Stein's Money. Thursday night, the big night on which Governor Bush accepted his party's nomination also brought to the podium Bo Derek. Remember Mrs. Derek? She starred in the 1981 film Tarzan the Ape Man, a nude version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs tale. Perhaps this was a symbolic way of saying that, unlike the Clinton/Gore administration, we Republicans have nothing to hide.
By all accounts I have read in the newspapers and heard from friends, the GOP convention was a success. Governor George W. Bush is consistently leading Vice President Gore in the polls. Gore's choice of Senator Joseph Liebermann--among Democrats in the Senate one of the most critical of President Clinton's disgraceful behavior in office--as running mate, is the Democrats reluctant admission that the people are fed up with the corruption and tawdriness that was characterized this Democrat administration.
No, I wasn't in Philadelphia. But it looks like I may be filing a report from Washington, DC in January, at the Inaugural Ball.
[David Trumbull is Chairman of the Cambridge Republican City Committee.]