In his Friday "Political Memo," "Firing Up the Faithful With Echoes of Culture War Rhetoric," the New York Times's conservative-beat reporter David Kirkpatrick, watching the Republican Convention, uniquely managed to hear echoes of the GOP's 1992 convention -- specifically what Kirkpatrick called the "belligerence" of Pat Buchanan's "cultural war" speech, widely cited in the media (though not necessarily at the time) as leading to the downfall of the Bush-Quayle re-election campaign. Yet Kirkpatrick's argument boils down to just one social issue -- abortion:
Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former mayor of New York, said Senator Barack Obama thought a small Alaska suburb was not "flashy enough" or "cosmopolitan enough," linking his campaign to "Hollywood celebrities." Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, denounced the "Eastern elites" that he said dominated the television broadcasts and editorial pages.
Fred D. Thompson, a former Tennessee senator turned actor, mocked Mr. Obama for trying to deflect questions about the science and theology of abortion, promising the Republican convention audience that Senator John McCain would be "a president who doesn't think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade."