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Grand Older Party

It's early yet, I know, but thus far it seems the overwhelming tone of the Republican Convention is nostalgia. Shot after shot of a room full of white people cheering shout-outs to Theodore Roosevelt, applauding commemorations of aging Medal of Honor winners, misting up at video footage of Ronald Reagan.  Every image up on that giant screen painted in sepia. And the grouchy tone--here's somnolent Fred Thompson lambasting the "Georgetown cocktail party circuit"--evokes Abe Simpson more than Abe Lincoln.

The most telling sign of a party stuck somewhere in the past was likely unintentional. During the Reagan tribute, the familiar litany of the 40th president's triumps concluded with a remark that Reagan had "saved our century." Indeed. But what about this century?

-Michael Schaffer