There are plenty in the blogosphere offering commentary on the Republican convention, so I don't really have anything to add other than this observation. Many in the press, Democrats, and many Conservative Republicans for that matter, have made much of how the Republican's are throwing up "liberal" or "moderate" party members such as John McCain, Rudy Giulianni, and Arnold Schwarzennegar in an attempt to put a middle-of-the-road face on the party. Conservative detractors feel a bit betrayed and that the Republican Party is abandoning its base, while the media and the Democrats (if the distinction can still be made) simply chalk it up to nothing but an attempted con job. (Notice that when the Democrats attempted the same thing, they were glowingly congratulated by the media for the attempt while the Republicans are being vilified and "called out." )
While the disparity between the policy scorecards of the prime time convention speakers of the first two nights and the said core of the Republican party is easily verified, especially in comparing stances on social issues, most all Republicans are united on the "Big Issue", the War on Terror. (Pat Buchanan and his can't-escape-the-Cold-War-mindset comitatus of American Isolationists excluded). As such, the speeches by by McCain, Giulianni and Schwarzennegar have exhibited what unites the party, not those issues over which members disagree. They have all called on patriotic themes, championed freedom, urged us to stay united and persevere against our common foe, to recognize that the robust American economy has rebounded from a recession exacerbated by the 9/11 attacks, and, finally and most importantly, to have faith in the rightousness of our national ideals. In short, they are following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan by saying it is all right to be proud to be an American and to have faith in our country. They are saying America is still that "shining city on the hill."