Republican Convention 2008

All Is Change, Or Maybe All Is Reform

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One theme people have been hitting a lot this week is an attack on the Obamariffic use of the word "change." Most succinctly, one delegate last night said to me: "Not all change is good. People don't want change, they want reform. That's the message we've been sending."

Not too well, as it turns out. The tale of the tape from last night's big speeches:

Mike Huckabee: 7 changes, no reforms

Rudy Giuliani: 4 changes, 2 reforms

Mitt Romney: 2 changes, 1 pornography-free school, 1 Chinese Adam Smith on steroids, no reforms.

Sarah Palin (on message): 2 changes, 7 reforms.

Many of the references to change above were sarcastic or quibbling on Obama's usage. But as Matt Welch noted earlier, reform comes loaded with a bunch of stuff McCain would rather not talk about. Campaign finance reform? A flaming sack. Immigration reform? Don't even say it! Ethics reform? Out where the woodbine twineth.

There are other associations as well. They didn't send bad kids to change school in the old days, the sent them to reform school. And I'd rather hang out with a changed alcoholic than a reformed alcoholic.

NEXT: Britain Has a New Crown Jewel

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  1. If you watched the GOP convention but had been asleep the past eight years, you would never know that this is the party that’s been in power all that time. The Republicans are going to get elected to go clean up Washington. Well, I sure feel a lot better now.

  2. Vote for us! We’re Change Lite!

  3. Reform!

    Brothers! Oh, brothers! We have all gathered here, to preserve our hallowed culture and heritage! We aim to pull evil up by the root, before it chokes out the flower of our culture and heritage! And our women, let’s not forget those ladies, y’all. Looking to us for protection! From darkies, from Jews, from papists, and from all those smart-ass folks say we come descended from monkeys!

  4. I’d probably rather hang out with the alcoholic.

  5. “People don’t want change, they want reform.”

    If change is what Obama’s selling, and reform is what McCain is selling, no, they don’t.

    They want the image of a maverick, but obedient to the party line. Old John McCain said no thanks. New John McCain says “How high?”

  6. Joe-

    The Republicans are doing what the Democrats usually do–trying has hard as possible to be the other guy (but not enough to be the same!) while being totally ashamed of their party label.

  7. Mitt Romney: 2 changes, 1 pornography-free school, 1 Chinese Adam Smith on steroids, no reforms.

    That was good.

  8. How we gonna run on reform when were the damn incumbents? You slump-shorted sack of nuts.

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