My Strange Desire... to Be a GOP Delegate

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I believe in God, but I don't like him.

I like tax cuts, but I'm afraid of budget deficits.

I don't mind Big Business fat cats, but I fear for the environment.

I blanch at isolationism, but Kosovo embarrassed me.

I like smaller government. I believe in cultural laissez-faire. How come the two never seem to go together?

I'm uncomfortable with abortion, but even more so with telling a woman what to do with her insides.

I dug Bill Weld, but I can't stand Jesse Helms.

I would have voted for John McCain. I might have voted for Jesse Ventura. I'm not voting for Ralph Nader. I could only vote for Pat Buchanan if I was in a weird, weird mood.

Clinton disappointed me. But he sure did make me laugh.

Bush makes me a little uneasy, but the idea of a Gore administration makes me a little sick.

A member of the political homeless if there ever was one. And don't get me going about campaign finance reform — I'm too tired to preach tonight.

Which is why the Republicans were not quite up to brainwashing me in Philadelphia this week. I lean to the right on money matters and to the left on social issues, and four days of the W. jive left me slightly more impressed with Bush and slightly less with his new friend McCain. But at 4:30 a.m., dog-tired and slouching home sober from the WaWa with a newspaper-roundup column due at dawn, it hit me.

After some 120 hours in their company, 120 frenetic hours barely interrupted by sleep, I wanted to be a Republican. And not just a pundit Republican either — I don't much go in for bickering with my colleagues.

I wanted to be a Republican delegate.

Republican delegates are happy. Their guy is winning.

Republican delegates are surprised you ran for the presidency, and not your brother. Not that they're complaining.

Republican delegates are nice — and why shouldn't they be? Old ones have lucrative jobs, and young ones don't have to just walk around until one of the old ones sets them up with one.

Republican delegates can start drinking heavily right after the speeches, so they can actually get good and happy by the time Philadelphia cuts the city off at 2:30.

Republican delegates get to sleep whenever they want.

I wanted to choose a side. I wanted to believe. I wanted to be one of them.

It's 7:08 a.m. now. The urge, thankfully, has already passed.