Today, Mitt Romney delivered a line that always predictably renders applause in a Republican audience - "there is evil in this world." Putin, Ahmadinejad and the Jihadists (as Giuliani likes to call them) are evil, we are not. There is something about liberal vacillation on this point which particularly irks the Republicans, and rouses them to chant "USA" to drown out the equivocating liberal voices. It is why the Republicans took such offense to Michelle Obama's statement that she was only recently proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. It is why the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth could not forgive John Kerry for taking the side of the enemy because of his involvement in the anti-Vietnam-war crusade.
If Republicans love their country, they hate their government. (And they would say that Democrats love their government and hate their country.) Mike Huckabee continued on Romney's leitmotif, chastising Obama for going abroad and bringing home corrupt "European ideas." This was Huckabee's pitch perfect line: "I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor waiting for government to rescue me."
But the real story tonight was Sarah Palin's rigorous, sometimes cutting attacks at her "opponent" (preferring not to mention Obama by name). Her snide, sarcastic remarks at his self-made presidential seal, his two memoirs, the styrofoam columns at the Democratic convention, and his rousing oratory animated the crowd in a way that no speaker before her did tonight. Democrats are quivering now at the thought of someone who could actually vivify the Republicans when before they were disenchanted and unsure. She would give Biden a run for his money. Recall Palin's line about the difference between a hockey mom and a pittbull - lipstick. This unabashed Republican feminist had no qualms declaring that McCain was her guy. Palin gave a robust defense of all things good in the heart of America tonight, and the Republican base is now on fire.