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Leaving RNC & Tampa With A New Friend

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 1:00 pm - August 31, 2012.
Filed under: Republican National Convention

For those of you not in the Twitter world, you may have missed that I picked up a new companion on Wednesday in Tampa.

Kidney stone. Yeah, wonderful.

Well, I’m on pain meds now and being driven home by the awesome Breeanne, Ben & Caleb Howe.

I apologize to my readers for not being able to cover the RNC as planned.

I hope to do a BlogTalkRadio show from the DNC next week. It all depends on how my new friend behaves.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Franklin Center Symposium’s Transforming the Media Landscape
The Crisis and Opportunity in Journalism

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 3:22 pm - August 27, 2012.
Filed under: New Media,Republican National Convention

At this moment, I’m blogging from the Franklin Center‘s Future of Journalism Symposium. They have three sessions beginning today. The topic today is: “Transforming the Media Landscape: The Crisis and Opportunity in Journalism”.

The speakers are: Jason Stverak, President of the Franklin Center; Steven Greenhut, VP of Journalism for the Franklin Center; Will Swaim, Managing Editor at the Franklin Center.

Will runs the great website Watchdog.org which has non-profit reporters stationed in many of our state capitals.

This is a very informative panel discussing how Franklin Center came to be after many “for-profit” reporters were fired from their state capital “beats” after the 2008 recession. Franklin Center stepped up and through innovation formed a national network of reporters who are dedicated to telling the truth about the people’s government.

Great panel so far….

UPDATE: The symposium is being livestreamed at this link.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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How Conservative Women Confront Media Bias

I’ve arrived in Tampa and am now blogging from an awesome panel featuring some of the most powerful women in the Conservative movement.

This panel features Townhall.com editor and author Katie Pavlich, US Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, US Rep. Renee Ellmers and Breitbart Editor Dana Loesch.

The format is interesting… clips demeaning Republican women are shown (many are from Bill Maher, shockingly…). Then the panelists respond to the clips and the overall insulting way the media treats Conservative women.

It is a great panel to start the convention for me. All of these women are smart and accomplished and many have had to overcome great professional and professional odds.

Kudos to the organizers of this panel. It is an important topic and very empowering to hear our strong Conservative women stand up for their values and our nation.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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Special GayPatriot Podcast Report: On The Road To Tampa

This was mainly an excuse to test out my new audio equipment during tonight’s stopover in Tampa.

Listen to internet radio with GayPatriot on Blog Talk Radio

More blogging and RNC coverage beginning tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

GayPatriot’s America Radio Program – TONIGHT at 9PM ET

Yeah, I’m going to re-re-relaunch the BlogTalkRadio show, GayPatriot’s America, tonight. The topic tonight will be a preview of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

I’m pleased to have a special guest, Zac Moffatt who is the Digital Media Director for the Romney Presidential campaign. Zac will be calling in about 9:05PM ET.

At 9:30PM, my next guest Sarah Rumpf will join me. Sarah blogs at www.sunshinestatesarah.com and can be found on Twitter at @rumpfshaker. Sarah is a Florida native and we will compare notes about Tampa and the RNC.

The GayPatriot’s America radio show begins at 9PM and I’ll talk about my pending trip to Tampa where I’ll be covering the RNC on the ground.

Please tune in tonight!

UPDATE: The show is available on iTunes.  Also, you can listen via the player right below!

Listen to internet radio with GayPatriot on Blog Talk Radio

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The Problem with Joe Solmonese

When I first read Scott Tucker’s post on Dan Savage’s appearance Joe Solmonese’s on XM Satellite Radio show, I took note of the sex columnist’s narrow view of the GOP:

[He] is so filled with animosity against Republicans, he can’t see the world in front of him. And like so many anti-Republican gay activists, he can’t provide facts to justify his (very distorted) view of the GOP.

But, now I wonder why the president of the Human Rights Campaign, which bills itself as an organization which strives “to end discrimination against GLBT citizens,” invite a writer with a record of anti-Republican rhetoric, to comment on the Republican National Convention.

Shouldn’t he have invited a less partisan participant? Or perhaps included a gay Republican, say Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon, along with Savage, to offer his view of the festivities in St. Paul?

Wouldn’t the perspective of the president of a gay Republican organization, one which refused to back the GOP nominee four years ago, be a more credible source for information on his party’s convention?

Scott Tucker does a great job of pointing out Savage’s lies and misrepresentations.  Read his post!  And once you have, ask yourself this: what does it say about Joe Solmonese that he would invite this anti-Republican writer to comment on the Republican convention?

It’s akin to inviting James Dobson to comment on the gathering of a gay group.

Easier to be gay among conservatives . . .

. . . than to be conservative among gays.

The Washington Blade asked me to blog about my experience in St. Paul and published the column today. To whet your appetite, I give you the first three paragraphs:

JUST OVER TWO years ago in the Huffington Post, left-wing journalist and screenwriter Gene Stone asked why “any gay man or woman” would join the GOP, “a party that has stated, over and over, as clearly as can be, without equivocation, that he or she is not welcome.” Stone’s piece was little more than an angry and inaccurate diatribe, attempting to show that it was “worse than self-loathing,” it was “just plain moronic” for gay people to embrace the Republican Party.

His article, like so much of the criticism leveled against gay Republicans, did not reference any specific action by the GOP excluding gays. He didn’t even identify any actual gay or lesbian individuals who had had adverse experiences with the Party of Lincoln.

Familiar with such ill-informed attacks on gay Republicans like myself, I decided last week that when I went to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, I would make a point of referencing my blog, GayPatriot, whenever I introduced myself to a participant. As the blog is part of Pajamas Media, a consortium of mostly right-of-center web sites, I would interact with a great variety of conservative (and libertarian) bloggers covering the convention.

Click here to read the rest.

UPDATE:  Well, to show how much easier it is to be a gay person among conservatives than to be a Republican among gay activists, check out Scott Tucker’s post on blogcabin.net “fisking” Dan Savage’s impression of the convention.  That sex columnist is so filled with animosity against Republicans, he can’t see the world in front of him.  And like so many anti-Republican gay activists, he can’t provide facts to justify his (very distorted) view of the GOP.

Getting My Wish on Gay Issues at GOP Convention

The day before I left for the Republican National Convention, I advised the GOP to avoid gay issues in St. Paul. Once there, my impression was that they heeded my advice. (Maybe folks at the RNC read this blog.  :-) ) Or merely that I had a similar notion to that of some sage political strategist advising the RNC.

Seems I’m not the only one who noticed this. In a column today in the Wall Street Journal, Jamie Kirchick writes that gay-bashing was “absent from last week’s Republican gabfest.” Kudos to Jamie for taking the time to do the research to confirm my observation that “that gays were not part of the agenda this year:”

Indeed, the only speaker to make mention of them was the former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, and he did so only tangentially, stating that Mr. McCain “doesn’t want to change the very definition of marriage from what it has always meant throughout recorded human history.” (The same, of course, could be said of the supposedly gay-friendly Barack Obama, who also opposes marriage equality for gay couples).

I’m delighted that at least four readers e-mailed me alerting me to this excellent article, with one commenting, “Looks like you got your wish…”

I did indeed. :-)

Peg Kaplan linked the article on her own blog, saying, “About time.

My friend Rick Sincere, linking the post on his own blog, attributes the Republican silence to a generational shift:

One would hope, given the polling data cited above and other public opinion surveys of recent years — as well as considerable anecdotal evidence — that as a younger generation of Republicans, who grew up with gay friends and who look toward Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan as the historical figures who best exemplify Republican principles, begin to gain control of the party’s resources and its future platforms, this live-and-let-live philosophy will reassert itself in the Grand Old Party.

Live and let live, exactly. That means Christians should be free to practice their faith and gay people should be free to define our own relationships free of state interference.

I have long believed that the Republican Party is better for gay people than the Democratic provided it stay true to its principles. The Democrats (and others on the left) would have us believe we need the state to promote social change. We believe that the state should just get out of the way so as not to prevent social change from happening organically.

Media Bias & GOP Convention Bounce

As most polls shows John McCain edging into the lead over Barack Obama following the successful GOP Convention in St. Paul, John Hinderaker sums it up:

Obama will have the edge when voters are learning about the campaign from newspapers, magazines or television, and McCain will have the advantage when voters actually see the candidates perform. The debates will therefore be critical, but, this year at least, no more so than the parties’ conventions.

Read the whole thing!

The Amazing Diversity of the Rightosphere

Welcome Instapundit Readers!! Click here for my convention coverage.

In this post as well as several others from St. Paul, I reported how impressed I was with my fellow bloggers some of whom I had met thee for the first time, having theretofore only known them as pixels on my computer screen.

Not only were they an impressive lot, but they were a diverse one as well.  Current “netroots” ideology notwithstanding, none were in the tank for the incumbent Republican president or current Republican presidential nominee.  Yes, most supported the president on a number of issues and defended him (often vigorously) against attacks from the left.  Yet, they did not hesitate to take him on where they thought he erred or otherwise blundered.

As to the man being nominated in St. Paul, some were enthusiastic about his candidacy, others lukewarm, at least one noncommittal, yet warming, with a number supporting him largely because of Sarah Palin, while a handful increasingly skeptical of the nominee because of that choice.

We conservative (and libertarian) bloggers are far from monolithic.  Even the three bloggers at Powerline have different perspectives–and very different personalities.  (John, for example, seems to warming to Palin while Paul remains skeptical.)

This diversity was not limited to the various conservative viewpoints expressed, but also included our geographical, demographic, ethic and religious background.  Here were Jews, evangelical Christians, atheists, agnostics.  There were men and women ranging in age from early 20s (college students) to late middle-age.

To correct the impression of right-leaning bloggers as walking in lockstep with some set right-wing ideology and with the Republican leadership, all you need do is sit down and talk to these various bloggers and listen to what they have say or just read what they write.

Below, I list (to the best of my recollection & in no particular order) the bloggers I met in St.  Paul.  Just click on their name to access their blog and their ideas:

John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff, Glenn Reynolds, Jim (Gateway Pundit), Ed Morrisey, Ed Driscoll, Peter Robinson, James Lileks, Michael Barone, Michael Bates, Hugh Hewitt, Mary Katharine Ham, Scott Ott, Jennifer Rubin, Patrick Ruffini, Jon Henke, Patrick Hynes, Steve Green, Roger Simon, Peg Kaplan, Fausta Wertz, Mickey Kaus (who would balk at being called conservative, but he remains respected in the rightosphere), Jim Geraghty, Ramesh Ponnuru, Mark Hemingway (and a few left out because I’m blogging from a cafe and not from home where I have my cards and notes).

Convention Retrospective of a gay Republican Blogger

It is perhaps ironic that I waited until the last minute to decide to attend an event which could turn out to be one of the most seminal of my life.  Note, I say, “could.”

I met so many good people, spent time with a number of old friends and finally got to experience a national convention something I have wanted to do for decades.

When I wasn’t watching the various speeches on the floor, I spent the week attending gay luncheons and social gatherings as well as hanging out with right-of-center bloggers.  I was delighted to be on the same side as the Log Cabin folks this time and pleased to finally meeting so many bloggers whom, as I noted before, I had only known as pixels on a screen.

One guest at Tuesday’s luncheon where Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon announced the McCain endorsement remarked later how enthusiastically I had applauded.  I replied I wanted to show my support of that decision.  I strive to be honest when evaluating Log Cabin, criticizing them when they are too harsh in criticizing Republicans Republicans or too soft in distancing themselves from the left-leaning gay groups.  Or when they too readily embrace the statist policies of those groups.

I’d rather be praising them, particularly because their new leadership has shown a greater readiness to engage their gay conservative critics.   It’s not just President Patrick Sammon.  Communications Director Scott Tucker, Vice President John Sinovic and Director of Programs & Policy Jimmy la Salvia have all shown a willingness to listen even when we take issue with their statements and policies.

It was not always easy to present myself to others as a gay blogger so that I could better gauge the participants’ reaction to a gay Republican in their midst (as I had hoped to do when I set off for St. Paul).  When I did, no one expressed any open hostility.  But, there were times when it was awkward to try to insert my sexuality into a conversation without seeming like I was advertising my difference.

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How Effective Was the Conclusion of McCain’s Speech?

While I was moved, but not wowed by John McCain’s Acceptance Speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, I wondered why he spoke over the roaring crowd as he concluded his speech.  Way up in the rafters, I could see (and feel) the energy of the crowd, but I couldn’t hear the candidate’s words.  I had to look up to the television monitors to read the close-captioning.

I had thought that stirring rhetoric got lost in the enthusiastic applause and emotional acclaim.

Other who saw it disagreed.  On the plane, I talked with a Spanish national who works for an American media company and leans left politically.  He thought it was a rousing conclusion.*  As did a radio journalist I spoke with at the baggage claim in LA.

Listening again” to the speech, Commentary‘s Jennifer Rubin found it had “a Churchillian quality.”  She linked the last minute or so.  It came across well on Youtube and possibly even better on TV.

*He also thought the GOP Convention was more effective than its Democratic counterpart.

Stars Wars, Legos and the Mall of America

This morning, after sleeping in, I did a bit of blogging, then took my hostess out to lunch with a Twin Cities blogress, Peg Kaplan at a restaurant at the Mall of America before meeting the fetching Carlos to visit the amusement park area in the Mall’s atrium.

No sooner did we ride a roller coaster where that fair Texan treated us to some rather colorful language than I spotted a Lego store with cool Lego dinosaur sculptures. Turns out Carlos was also a fan of those interlocking building blocks, having, just like yours truly, delighted in building Lego houses as a child.

WOW!! WhY didn’t they have stores like this when I was growing up?  Well, another good thing about nieces and nephews.

Anyway, as a Star Wars fan, I took particular note of these sculptures:

Palin: From Nobody to Hero in No Time

While the Alaska Governor wasn’t quite nobody last week (some of our readers had been pushing her for VP as long ago as July 2007), a “week ago,” according to Rasmussen reports, “most Americans had never heard of” her.  Today, she’s more popular than Barack Obama or John McCain.

Obama is no longer “the only ‘rock star’ in presidential politics this year.”  More than forty million people tuned in to hear her speak Wednesday night, a “huge audience [rivaling] that for Obama’s address at the Democratic National Convention six days earlier.”

And the media, trying to destroy her, set her up for success. They, Peggy said, “overstepped: . . . . In the end it made Palin the underdog, and gave her the perfect platform for the perfect dive she made Wednesday night.

Her speech, telling her story, taking on her rival with passion and humor, articulating conservative ideas in a straightforward and energetic way has made her a new hero for Republicans, indeed, if my e-mail is any indication for a good number of non-Republicans as well.

We love her feistiness, we love her humor, we love her sincerity, we love her story, we love her accomplishments.  And the media notwithstanding, we love her family.

She has earned her affection in a matter of moments because John McCain recognized those qualities and plucked her for relative obscurity to join him on our party’s ticket.  As the Arizona Senator himself said, “I’m very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington.”  Let me repeat.  Neither can we.

Even Rush Limbaugh, no fan of John McCain is excited, calling the GOP nominee McBriliant:

This lady has turned it all around.  And I’m here to tell you today that John McCain, from now on, on this program, regarding this choice, will be known as John McBrilliant.  This was a brilliant choice on the part of Senator McCain . . . . he let Sarah Palin fire both barrels. . . .  The Democrats are doing everything they can to discredit Sarah Palin because it was somebody else wrote the speech.  Somebody else from the Bush campaign, somebody named Scully.  Well, I don’t care who wrote the speech.  The speech was about her life.  A speechwriter cannot make that up.  A speechwriter cannot tell that.

And that’s why we love her. All of a sudden she appears on the national stage and delivers a boffo performance.

And the media, eager to destroy her, made it all possible. They got the American people curious and rather than trust the MSM, they trusted their own eyes and ears. We watched, we listened, we loved.

McCain’s Speech & His Sense of Gratitude

Perhaps, I shouldn’t have talked to anyone before I reached my own conclusions about the speech. I have to say I liked it, though not nearly as much as I liked Sarah Palin’s last night. Still, it moved me more than I had expected it to.

Was it the speech, a week of constant blogging or the sadness in realizing today was the last day of a convention where I met and befriended many people whom I had only previously known as pixels on a screen which caused me to pause, sit back (or stand up) as the case may be and focus on the speech and not considering how to formulate a verbal reaction to it.

I watched, I listened, I was moved. I was not wowed as I had been last night, leaving on Cloud Nine, floating out of the Xcel Center, so dazed I headed in the wrong direction at one freeway interchange. Then, I was full of energy, exuberant, ecstatic almost.

Tonight, I was more subdued. It was a much different speech, a much different leader delivering it.

Sarah Palin’s was clearly the best speech of the convention. This was only one of the best, better certainly than Barack Obama’s last week, not as good as Fred Thompson’s or Rudy Giuliani’s this week.

Perhaps, that’s because there was less excitement about this speech. People tuned into Palin’s speech, curious about her because of the stories circulating in the media about that good woman. Americans wanted to see who she was. Not just that, as blogger Josh Trevino put it, “we know McCain, and there is no anticipation of the new” (via Instapundit).

As I left my spot on the rafters and descended to join my friends at the Pajamas TV booth, something struck me about the speech. It may be significant. Or it may mean nothing at all. I was struck by what I will call his “framing device.” He began and ended the speech with acknowledgement, expressions of gratitude.

At the beginning, he acknowledged his rivals for the Republican nomination and expressed his gratitude to the president and his family. He concluded by acknowledging his fellow POW Bob Craner, telling us how that good man “saved” him.

Maybe I read too much into this, but it says a lot of a man that he frames this speech by acknowledging how much he owes to others, showing how grateful he is for their love, their inspiration, their support, their compassion. He knows, more, he recognizes what he owes to others. For no one who has achieved any measure of success in any given endeavor could have accomplished anything without the support of others.

Devoting so much time in a speech of this significance suggests a certain humility, something we don’t see in many politicians, particularly this election cycle.
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Taking Over the Mantle of Change

Now, he’s getting going:  ”I can’t wait until I introduce [Sarah Palin] to Washington.”

Senator, I can’t either.  That introduction can’t come soon enough.

“What you fight for is the real test.”  He may not be as good as speaker as Obama, may lack his mellifluous voice, but so far, this is a far better speech, far better focused, far more gracious than his rivals.  And far more heartfelt. It’s not as if his repeating some mantra or rehashing his party’s ideological creed, this man is speaking from his heart.  He believes what he’s saying.

I am enjoying this speech.  Would rather listen than blog.  Perhaps I should have taken the opportunity to sit in the stands and listen, but I would not have been able to use wireless there.

He’s talking as a confident leader, strong and self-assured.  I’m glad I followed my gut when I voted for him in the California primary.

Postpartisanship indeed:

Again and again, I’ve worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That’s how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.

The new politics Barack Obama talks about is the kind of politics John McCain has practiced throughout his career.

It was a good speech, not quite Palin, but better than Obama.

And cool it is to watch the balloon drop from above. And there’s more to come. I can still see them in the rafters.

Fellow Americans

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:24 pm - September 4, 2008.
Filed under: Patriotism,Republican National Convention

He calls his opponent a “fellow American.”  ”And that’s an association that matters more to me than anything else.”

He begins with gratitude . . .

. . . and acknowledgement.

The crowd chants “USA! USA”

. . . as John McCain enters the auditorium.

Country first, not self.

Everyone goes wild as he accepts the Republican nomination.  And the chant continues.

The video

Once again you can feel the energy in the auditorium, but it’s a different of energy than yesterday.

At 96, John McCain’s Mom looks great, having a tarter tongue and expressing herself more readily and honestly than some men than half her age.

Is this the first image of a Republican presidential nominee with Richard Nixon featured at the RNC convention since Nixon himself was the nominee in 1972?

Even the site staff are watching the speech; we’re transfixed. . . .

Wonder how many left-wing bloggers will fault John McCain for using his biography in this introductory video . . . .