Right-wing tilt disappoints GOP moderates


David Blumberg of Baltimore is the head of the city's Republican Party and a delegate to the Republican National Convention. A librarian at the Baltimore City Detention Center, he is writing each day about his thoughts and experiences.

We all got our credentials this morning and our assigned seating. Maryland has a pretty good location on the Astrodome floor. Our group is directly behind California, to the far left of the podium.

The Astrodome's sound system is tremendous. Elmer Fudd would sound like Larry Olivier on it. The whole arena is beautifully decorated.

Alan Keyes easily gave the most stirring speech of the morning session of the convention's opening day. He was interrupted by applause and even standing ovations during his talk, which had a strong anti-Washington message.

Joyce Terhes, our state chairwoman, also spoke this morning in her role as a platform subcommittee chairwoman. And the crowd went wild!

Any formal discussion of the abortion issue seems to have evaporated. Rep. Henry Hyde, Mr. Pro-Life, has allowed the possibility of a difference of opinion among Republicans on this issue through the resolution he proposed to the platform committee. While the platform remains unchanged, a bone has been thrown to the pro-choice contingent.

This is probably the best that pro-choice delegates like me and the two Carols (Arscott and Hirschburg) can hope for. The far right is insistent on the language of the original platform staying intact. Why George Bush is afraid of these people, who have never totally trusted or supported him, is a big disappointment and mystery to me. Moderate Republicans sense he'd be more comfortable with us. We're certainly with him 100 percent.

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