Lileks apparently live-blogged Arnold's speech last night and didn't appreciate it as much as I did. He's amazed that Arnold actually mentioned that he became a republican because of Richard Nixon:

I finally arrived here in 1968.I had empty pockets, but I was full of dreams. The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon and Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend who spoke German and English, translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism which is what I had just left. But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting government off your back, lowering taxes, and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, "What party is he?" My friend said, "He's a Republican." I said, "Then I am a Republican!"

Now, I realize that Nixon isn't anyone's favorite president, and I'm not a huge fan, but Nixon was who was running for president in 1968 when Arnold came here, so that's who he saw on TV. Fine. Actually, when I heard these paragraphs on the radio as I was driving home I was really impressed with the delivery, and the "Then I am a Republican!" line was pretty powerful.

Lileks has a well-delivered line of his own in his piece:

Now the line about trusting the US more than the UN. Raucous applause. Chants of USA, which will strike Europeans as the modern-day sound of a Nuremberg rally. Well, they’d know.
I need to be more pithy and subtle, but I'm always afraid people won't get the jokes if I don't provide a diagram. Ah well. James Lileks is one of the best writers I've ever come across.



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