The big speeches last night were on the virtues of communitarianism. This was most impressively shaped by Joe Biden, who managed to make ringingly clear a rather subtle point on how a communitarian approach to national policy feeds the soul and satisfies the heart of America. He took his "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" stump speech line and expanded on it by arguing that addressing the nation's underlying emotional needs is an important job of the President, and one which Obama has fulfilled.
And I'd say he's right. Obama speaks like a technocrat (and he did so again tonight, like a technocrat who's had elocution lessons that stuck with him), but he knows where the spirit goes. Others do not, and that was why - to take an example Biden did not use - it was so disconcerting when at one point GWB went all Western-movie sheriff on bin Laden (I'm gonna git him), and then later said he didn't care whether we got the guy or not. It was not only disconcerting, it was disorienting. I'm not about to buy another American car, but if we shrugged the whole U.S. auto industry off, where would that leave us? We must remember that the companies exist for the sake of the people, and not the people for the companies.
Republicans were probably totally allergic to the whole idea, being divided into libertarians (in turn divisible into philosophical libertarians and Craig T. Nelson-style obliviatti) and racists, because nobody determined to declare that anyone who gets government help is a lazy layabout, or who invents stories that the black president is a foreigner, is anything but a racist. But while they're not listening, it was worth saying.
Seen earlier on: Brian Schweitzer, less impressive than four years ago, and Jennifer Granholm, who gave out the "D puts you forward, R is for reverse" line, which ... come on. If Republicans were still conservative, they could point to "Keep Right" signs. (British socialists used to point to "Keep Left" signs.)