Republicans had a bash Wednesday.
They bashed the Democratic platform; they bashed the Democratic policies of the past two decades. And they especially bashed Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis.A long line of high-powered Republicans took turns at the Republican National Convention lectern for a turn at Democrat-bashing and a chance to promote the virtues of the detailed 30,000-word Republican platform adopted Wednesday - which is three times as long as a more general Democratic platform.
Former President Gerald Ford summarized the night's bash saying, "This year's Democratic ticket is a tax increase on its way to happening.
"Under President Reagan we've cut taxes, kept inflation under control and come as close to full employment as we are likely to get in peace time. And we are in peace time. That's performance, not promises. Can we continue this performance? With George Bush in the White House and more Republicans in Congress, you bet we will."
Ford added, "Where was George? For 45 years, George Bush has been at the center of the action in the service of this great Republic. I'll be damned if I will stand by and let anyone with a smirk and a sneer discredit the honor, service, accountability and competence of George Bush."
The convention's keynote speaker, New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, agreed with Ford.
"In 200 years, there has never been a candidate for president whose experience in world affairs and knowledge of foreign nations has exceeded that of George Bush," he said. Then he bashed Democrats for not being true blue.
"You see this flag of red, white and blue. . . . Well, their (Democrat's) media consultants in Atlanta said they didn't think those colors looked so good on television. So they changed red to pink, and they changed the blue to azure and changed the white to egg shell.
"Well, I don't know about you, but I believe Americans, Democrat and Republican alike, have no use for pastel patriotism."
He said Democrats' stands on issues are vague and deceptive but add up to more taxes.
"Look beneath the rhetoric. Add up all the way-out programs of the Democratic Party. What does the name of Dukakis sound like to you? More taxes."
He said the Democrats are also wanting to make government larger, even though all other major nations are trying to cut government back.
"Only in America is the party of the left proposing solutions that time has left behind. Only in Atlanta could the Democrats draft a platform that has `gone with the wind.' "
Of note, a group of anti-abortion protesters chanted in seats up high in the Superdome that Kean was a "baby killer." But most delegates could not hear them and were unaware of the protest.
Former United Nations ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick bashed the Democrats and Dukakis as being weak in foreign affairs.
"Michael Dukakis simply does not take the need for defense seriously. . . . The Soviet Union is too powerful to rely on a president with no experience in foreign affairs," she said.
"We need a president who knows the world. We cannot settle for less. Mistakes in economic policy can cost us jobs and profits. But serious mistakes in foreign policy can cost us jobs, profits - and our freedom.
"George Bush knows those things; he learned them from a lifetime of involvement in foreign affairs."
California Gov. George Deukmejian said Dukakis is weak on crime.
"Michael Dukakis opposes the death penalty, no matter how violent the crime. George Bush supports the death penalty for murderers, and he wants to extend it to big-time drug dealers. Isn't it about time?"
He added, "We can't risk having a president who, as governor, allowed weekend passes to convicted murderers."
New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said Dukakis has done such a bad job in Massachusetts that residents there are fleeing to New Hampshire.
"The governor says he's for good jobs at good wages. But you should know that Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis has one of the nation's worst records for creating jobs."
He added, "Let's look at taxes. After guaranteeing the voters of Massachusetts that he wouldn't raise taxes at all, Dukakis imposed the highest tax increases in the history of the state. Massachusetts became known as `Taxachusetts' the old-fashioned way. Michael Dukakis earned it for them."
Former presidential candidate Pat Robertson, a preacher, blasted Democrats for leaving God out of their platform.
"There is another word that the Democrats did not mention once in their platform and not once in the acceptance speech of their candidate. It is a `G' word. The name of God," he said.
"As an aside, I should mention that Michael Dukakis is a card carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated to removing all public affirmation of religious faith in America," Robertson said.
He also blasted the pro-abortion stance of Democrats and said Republicans will work for a world "where the unborn child is safe in his mother's womb."