So after Trump, we’re all just gonna go back to pretending the Republicans get to be a party again, right?
We’re gonna pretend this didn’t happen?
We’re gonna pretend they didn’t build this?
We’re gonna pretend Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and about a hundred other people didn’t sit silently by while this happened?
Donald J. Trump belittled the parents of a slain Muslim soldier who had strongly denounced Mr. Trump during the Democratic National Convention, saying that the soldier’s father had delivered the entire speech because his mother was not “allowed” to speak.
We’re gonna pretend that every past president, every past presidential candidate, of the Republican party just sat out that convention, like maybe that was gonna give them plausible deniability, like they don’t have to be responsible for it if they’re not physically there?
We’re gonna let them be a party again after this? You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.
They don’t get to do that.
They don’t get a do-over.
They’ve gotten hundreds of do-overs in the past 15 years alone. Nominate an ignoramus who’ll ignore intelligence briefings about terrorism and later use terrorism to declare war on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11? BYGONES! Trash a genuine war hero and mock his service with Purple Heart Band-Aids through a whole convention and in the press day after day after day? ANCIENT HISTORY! Imply that an opposing party’s candidate isn’t a citizen of this country, “pals around with terrorists,” and is whatever the fuck a secret Muslim is? LET’S LOOK FORWARD, NOT BACK! Run a vicious campaign against the coded racism of “government dependence” by the “47 percent” and willfully pretend one of our most pro-corporate presidents hates small business? LET’S GEAR UP FOR THE NEXT ONE, BOYS!
And NOW we’re talking about how Trump is some kind of special case, and letting Republicans differentiate themselves from him and “disavow” his xenophobic, anti-American horseshit by saying man, why does he have to say it OUT LOUD, and writing sympathetic crap about how it puts these noble Abraham Lincoln cosplayers in “such a difficult position.” No. No. No. Just … no. I was not angry before I came to the DNC, motherfuckers.
We can laugh all day long about how Trump makes Republicans squirm, about how he’s the manifestation of their disgusting little id, about how Paul Ryan is up there tugging on his collar trying not to drown in his own flop sweat and Reince “Reindeer Penis” Priebus is America’s whoopee cushion but fuck them all forever, for profaning the names of the Khans, and everyone just like them in this country.
You don’t get to do that and get let back in the door in 2018 or 2020 like it didn’t happen, Paul Ryan. Mitch McConnell. Scott Walker. Chris Christie. Ben Carson. Even Ted Cruz, no matter how gloriously assholic your convention antics were. The Bushes and the McCains and the Romneys don’t get to take the party back after this. You don’t get to run again as a Republican, Marco Rubio, and not get chased out of the room. This should be the end of them.
Every debate in every contest between anything and a Republican should just be the Anything Candidate saying, “Trump” and leaning back, because that’s all you need to say. Any Republican running for office anywhere should be put to the Trump test. Where were you, sir or madam, when Trump was running?
Were you in the crowd, cheering? Were you at the podium, yelling lock her up? Were you cowering in the corner hoping nobody would ask you a HARD KWESTIN about your own fucking nominee? Where were you? What did you do? What did you say? WHERE WERE YOU, dammit? Why won’t you answer us?
There is no After Trump, and you know what? I think most of them know that, and it’s why they’re still on his side, or quiet enough that it’s a distinction without a difference. They’re hedging their bets and hoping for power because once this is over, this is OVER.
So before you read one more Politico/newsmag wankfest piece about #notallRepublicans, or asking Where Do They Go From Here … GAH, it doesn’t fucking matter where they go from here. They shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere. Even to the nearest landfill, because the seagulls and the rats deserve better than that.
Burns headed the NWP’s lobbying in Congress, edited the NWP’s journal The Suffragist, and spent more time in prison than any other American suffragist. Burns led political campaigns in western states, many of which already had woman suffrage, urging women to vote against Democrats as long as the Party refused to pass suffrage. She organized White House demonstrations against Wilson, was arrested, hunger struck, and force-fed.
After women won the right to vote with the 19th Amendment in 1920, Paul devoted herself to working on additional empowerment measures. In 1923, she introduced the first Equal Rights Amendment in Congress and in later decades worked on a civil rights bill and fair employment practices. Although she did not live to see the ERA added to the U.S. Constitution (to date it remains unratified), she did get an equal rights affirmation included in the preamble to the United Nations charter.
After her graduation in 1909, Milholland made her first appearance as a suffrage orator, stopping a New York campaign parade for President William Howard Taft when she began speaking through a megaphone from a window in a building the parade was passing. As she spoke hundreds of men broke ranks to see and hear her, thus beginning her reputation as the one of the most powerful, persuasive, and beautiful orators in the suffrage movement. In the same year, Milholland applied to the law schools at Yale, Harvard, and Columbia only to be rejected on the basis of her sex. Eventually, she entered the New York University School of Law from which she would receive a law degree in 1912. While studying for her degree, Milholland continued her suffrage work as well as other social activism, most notably participating in the shirtwaist and laundry worker strikes in New York City, for which she was arrested.
Look at your daughter.
Look at all your daughters. Cecile Richards. Jennifer Granholm. Tammy Duckworth. Barbara Boxer. Tammy Baldwin. Actresses I’m too old to know without Google and singers I’m too young to have heard in their primes. Katy Perry, for chrissakes. Look at those women.
Look at them.
It’s hard to see the end of something. To work for justice, to work for peace, to work for the betterment of another is to accept that your work will never be completed. There will always be more to do. You will never be able to lay down your burdens and on your deathbed you will wish you could have done more. Every minute you’re not working will feel like something you are stealing from the mouths of the hungry. That will be as true as it is unfair.
This isn’t the end of something.
Hillary’s nomination doesn’t mean sexism is over (GAH, if only) and it doesn’t mean women can all eat and pray and love and it doesn’t mean justice has been achieved for the women who had to suffer for this woman to succeed. There are too many wrongs for one week to right them all, even a week like last week.
It does mean we’ve expanded, just a little bit, what America looks like. From the stage last week we heard voice after voice that at one time or another in my own lifetime would have seemed unlikely if not impossible: black, Hispanic, young, old, Muslim, Sikh, transgender, disabled, disadvantaged, victimized, counted out. And every one was met by the roar of a crowd that knows from dreams denied, and knows that individual victories aren’t everything, that they aren’t anything but another inch forward, and inches are how we move.
What caused the opposition so much angst at their convention two weeks ago was the idea of an America that doesn’t look like them anymore. Not old, not white, not male, not exclusively, and that scares the shit out of them, because they’re not confident they have any qualities to recommend them beyond their race and sex. They look at a lineup like the DNC put on, capped off by a woman’s voice as the ultimate authority, and they think that’s a threat, instead of a promise.
They think it’s a bowl of sugar and there’s only so much, and if we let everybody in we can’t let everybody stay, and it’s because they can’t imagine themselves on the outside of anything. It’s so small and so sad and always has been. There is room for all of us, and nobody has to be less so that someone else can be more.
Look at that, I kept saying to people who were nearby while I was watching. And, look at that. And look at that.
After I wrote my last convention wrap up post with its ode to liberal patriotism, I had Pink Houses in my head for days. Hence this 2004 program from A&E before they devoted their programming to shit like Duck Dynasty. Anyway, here’s John Mellencamp posing the eternal question: “Ain’t that America?” It’s the last numbah.
Liberty Leading The People by Eugene Delacroix, 1830.
Guys, I am worn out after a week of wrapping up the DNC. In short, I just don’t have the oomph for the all-out assault on your senses that is a typical Saturday post. It’s also beastly hot here in New Orleans and my mind is still foggy after watching the Trumpvention. In short, the post has been truncated by Trump or some such shit.
I do, however, have a theme song. Since it’s about tenacity and bouncing back, it’s not unlike my party’s Presidential nominee only without the pants suits. Pick Yourself Up was written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields for the 1936 Astaire-Rogers movie, Swing Time. Since I’m feeling lazy, here’s a whole passel of versions beginning with the original.
Dorothy Fields’ lyrics are also reminiscent in spirit to President Obama’s soaring DNC speech. So, why not post them?
Please teacher, teach me something.
Nice teacher, teach me something.
I’m as awkward as a camel.
That’s not the worst.
My two feet haven’t met yet.
But I’ll be teacher’s pet yet,
‘Cause I’m going to learn to dance or burst.
Nothing’s impossible, I have found.
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off,
Start all over again.
Don’t lose your confidence if you slip.
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up; dust yourself off;
Start all over again.
Work like a soul inspired
‘Til the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son.
Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again.
So take a deep breath;
Pick yourself up;
Dust yourself off;
Start all over again.
I’ll get some self assurance
If your endurance is great.
I’ll learn by easy stages
If you’re courageous and wait.
To feel the strength I want to,
I must hang onto your hand.
Maybe by the time I’m fifty,
I’ll get up and do a nifty.
Pick yourself up; dust yourself off;
Start all over again.
That’s it for this minimalist edition of the Saturday post. We close with a Bat-Meme featuring the Democratic Party ticket enjoying the best balloon drop ever:
I’m old. I’ve watched every DNC since 1976 and this was the best one ever. The themes of the programming came together in a glorious final day. Instead of being dismissive, many Conservative pundits lavished praise on the convention. I actually retweeted something Jonah Goldberg of the NRO wrote. That’s right, William Fucking Buckley’s National Review:
Why this convention is better: It's about loving America. GOP convention was about loving Trump. If you didn't love Trump, it offered nada.
He, of course, reverted to Cartoon Hillary Hate during her speech but Goldberg’s reaction showed how effective the DNC was. It was an attempt to make this election America vs. Trump. The speeches of the President and HRC reinforced this underlying message beautifully.
One thing bugged me about the Conservative praise. They called patriotism and optimism “Republican values.” They’re American values. I love my country despite its manifest flaws. It’s my flag too and if I want to wave it, I will. Since they’re woefully ignorant of history, I’d like to remind them that Ronald Reagan was a Democrat for much of his life. And that Franklin Roosevelt was his hero and political role model. In addition to being the greatest liberal President of all time, FDR was a war President whose speeches were laced with patriotic images. Repeat after me: liberals are patriots too.
I’m going to say one thing about the Busters before moving on. They don’t understand how badly they came off. Their much vaunted purism came off as rudeness. They also seem bound and determined to repeat the mistakes made by the anti-war left in the Sixties:
Berners making Old Left mistake in hating military. Anti-Iraq war movement did not do this. #DemsInPhilly
“Now here’s a warning to those who might be tempted to spend the next four years trying to knock Hillary Clinton down. You better get ready for a woman who won’t stay throwed,” Cleaver said as he grew more and more impassioned. “They threw her down as the first lady, but she didn’t stay throwed! They threw her down as a U.S. senator, but she wouldn’t stay throwed! They threw her down as a secretary of state, but she wouldn’t stay throwed! They threw her down in this very campaign—this campaign—but she won’t stay throwed! No, she ain’t gonna’ stay throwed! She won’t stay throwed! She won’t stay throwed!”
That’s more exclamation points than have ever appeared in one of my posts but Rep. Cleaver was riffing. This remarkable passage was ad-libbed. Let’s throw down some segments about the rest of the finale.
A Reaganite Dissents: Bruce Elmets worked at the Reagan White House as a speechwriter and spokesman. He still reveres the Conservative icon. Mr. Elmets, quite correctly, regards Donald Trump as an affront to human decency. He opened with the Bentsen-Quayle colloquy as applied to the small fingered vulgarian, then delivered a blistering attack on the Insult Comedian:
He contrasted Reagan’s famous demand of Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall with Trump’s plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
“Reagan saw nuance,” he said. “Trump sees the world as us vs. them, where somebody with brown skin or a foreign-sounding name is likely to blame for our troubles. Reagan knew that a leader needs diplomacy to steer a safe, prosperous course forward. Trump is a petulant, dangerously unbalanced reality star who will coddle tyrants and alienate allies.”
As a Californian, Reagan was a moderate on immigration, and would have been appalled by Trump’s proposal to expel Muslims from our country. That brings me to the finale’s most emotional moment.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy — that with hard work and the goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
Our son, Humayun, had dreams of being a military lawyer. But he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son “the best of America.”
If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.
Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law.”
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We can’t solve our problems by building walls and sowing division.
We are Stronger Together.
And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next President.
I may not be a Vulcan but I rarely cry. I completely lost it when Mr. Khan held his pocket constitution aloft and asked, “Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?”
I cheer-wept when he did that. I never cheer-weep. I remained verklempt, which led me to post this on Facebook in the wee, small hours of the morning:
Along with Mr. Khan, Emmanuel Cleaver, and Hillary Clinton, I won’t stay throwed. Donald Trump is a menace and an existential threat to our Democracy. His propensity to wing it and say, then deny, outrageous shit makes him unfit to hold office at any level let alone the highest office in the land. Speaking of which:
Madame President: It’s going to be a long, hard slog but I remain cautiously optimistic that will be her title come January, 2017. She appeared in all white as a tribute to her suffragist/suffragette foremothers. She dressed for comfort in a pants suit as if giving the finger to those who comment endlessly on her appearance. Much of the convention was devoted to making a case for the Real Hillary as opposed to the Cartoon canard created by her enemies.
Well, we heard Donald Trump’s answer last week at his convention. He wants to divide us — from the rest of the world, and from each other. He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise.
He’s taken the Republican Party a long way … from “Morning in America” to “Midnight in America.”
He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.
Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
HRC is not the natural orator that the current Oval One is, but it was a well-written, well-delivered speech that was as substantive as all get out. She’s a policy wonk and proud of it. I saw a woman liberated, and comfortable in her own skin at the podium last night. She has embraced the historic nature of her nomination. I saw Jane Sanders in the gallery during HRC’s speech. She looked moved. She had to be. She knows how far we’ve come as well as how much farther we need to go.
HRC said something that President Obama dared not say in his first acceptance speech:
So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.
That was a remarkable statement in a remarkable speech by a remarkable woman. Perhaps I should find another superlative but that one will have to do for now.
One quote that will endure was a zinger at her opponent followed by a quote from a FLOTUS of the past:
Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.
I can’t put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started — not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men — the ones moved by fear and pride.
I’m proud to be an American and a Democrat this week. Neither my party nor my country are perfect. That’s an aspiration, not an achievable goal. We’re human being thus inherently imperfect. It’s what has bugged me the most about the Dead Enders to my left. We’ve been told, by what my friend Ed Branley calls “non-partisan progressives,” that the party needs to be more inclusive. Did you see the floor at the DNC? I saw America there. The Democratic Party has now nominated a black man and a woman. How is that not inclusive? Children born during the Obama-Clinton era will not think there was anything unusual about having a black or female President. How great is that, y’all?
Are we perfect? Hell no, every party and political leader has a weak spot; for Senator Sanders it’s gun control; for Ms. Clinton it’s her vote on the Iraq War. That’s why you have to judge Presidents by the TOTALITY of their record. After all, Franklin Roosevelt established Social Security, but also signed the order interning Japanese-American citizens. Woodrow Wilson enacted much of the early 20th Century progressive agenda but was a segregationist. Lyndon Johnson was responsible for the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, and Medicare but took the country into a divisive, futile and bloody war in Vietnam. Great virtues and great flaws in one person, party, or country are not uncommon. That’s life in the real world.
I have no illusions that some of the Hillary haters will ever come around. The image created by right-wingers and furthered by some on the left has become what our friends in France call an “IDEE FIXE.”Literally a fixed idea. It’s defined as “an idea that dominates one’s mind especially for a prolonged period.” The synonym is obsession.
It’s hard for people to let go of an obsession and the notion of Hillary as Nurse Ratched is indelible for many. All I know is that people who have never helped anyone in their lives think she’s a horrible person. They’re in the grip of an idee fixe. I pity them and hope they can let go to deny the White House to a man my late Republican father would not have allowed in his house, let alone voted for.
We can do better, y’all. We can do better. I’ll give President Obama the last word:
Look, Hillary’s got her share of critics. She’s been caricatured by the right and by some folks on the left; accused of everything you can imagine – and some things you can’t. But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years. She knows she’s made mistakes, just like I have; just like we all do. That’s what happens when we try. That’s what happens when you’re the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described – not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone “who is actually in the arena…who strives valiantly; who errs…[but] who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.”
Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. She’s been there for us – even if we haven’t always noticed. And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about “yes he will.” It’s about “yes we can.” And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands.
Once again, I fibbed about the whole last word thing. The idea that the Democrats should meet Donald Trump’s challenge with anger is nonsense. We cannot out-anger Trump nor should we try. That’s the road to defeat. Optimism trumps anger even in tough times. We need a President who won’t stay throwed.
It was another good day at the DNC. Buster heckling continues to be more of an annoyance than anything else. The MSM is fixated on them, and MSNBC specializes in finding sour faced Busters since that’s *their* storyline. It’s one reason I’m watching on C-SPAN this year. MSNBC’s coverage is different from past conventions as if its top priority is rebuilding Brian Williams’ image at the expense of reporting what’s going on. People I know at the convention report that the vast majority Sanders delegates are cordial and plan to vote for the nominee. Less dramatic but true.
Since the day belonged to President Obama, let’s start there. He is the best convention speaker of my lifetime and this was his best convention address ever. His focus was on defending his record, passing the baton to his successor, and making Donald Trump look small and petty. Tim Kaine brought the mockery but POTUS made Trumpism sound like what it is: a fever from which the American people will eventually recover. Hopefully, the fever will break by election day.
And most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together — black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love. That’s what I see. That’s the America I know!
And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, has devoted her life to that future; a mother and a grandmother who would do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, and blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American — the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.
Let me tell you, eight years ago, you may remember Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination. We battled for a year and a half. Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary was tough. I was worn out. She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backwards in heels. And every time I thought I might have the race won, Hillary just came back stronger.
But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. And she was a little surprised. Some of my staff was surprised. But ultimately she said yes — because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us. And for four years — for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline. I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise, it wasn’t for attention — that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion. I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for.
The President’s speech was a rousing affirmation of the center-left creed that I believe in as well. Once again, his personal qualities are as important as his policy positions. Time to say something I said a lot at my eponymous blog in 2007 and 2008: Barack Obama is the Sidney Poitier of American politics. I firmly believe that he’s one of the finest human beings ever to serve as President.
President Obama is committed to HRC’s attempt to become our first woman President. Pioneers gotta stick together, y’all. The main reason that Donald Trump may not lose as badly as he deserves to is the change factor. It is difficult for a party to win three consecutive terms in the White House. Plus, while there are fewer people willing to say it in 2016, there are many voters who cannot bring themselves to vote for a woman. Many of them are the same people who cannot abide having a black President. I still foresee victory in the fall but it could be a squeaker. The joker in the deck is the Insult Comedian’s belief that all publicity is good. Hence, his visit to the Russia House yesterday. It still has the potential to blow up his candidacy when the whole world, as opposed to the GOP base, is watching.
I promised a wrap up so let’s get on with it, but first a painfully obvious musical interlude:
If you were hoping for a surprise ending, you were sadly mistaken.
I watched more of the convention yesterday than on previous days. The programming was strong and the best of the early speakers were 2016 also-ran Martin O’Malley, and Nutmeg State US Senator Chris Murphy. On the other hand, Jesse Jackson looked bloated and ill. I hope he’s okay: he ,too, was a pioneer as a candidate who paved the way for Barack Obama. Funny story time: my late Meemaw-in-law was over 90 when the 1984 Democratic primary campaign was raging. She was a Yellow Dog Democrat but not exactly a high information voter. We were watching highlights of the DNC and she saw all the black faces and asked me, “Is that the Republican convention?” I lied and said yes. Hell, I wanted her to vote for Fritz Mondale, after all. I am a bad. bad person, but arguing race with a woman born in the 19th Century was ridiculous. It was literally a white lie…
Harry Reid gave a short and characteristically feisty speech. He got a nice round of applause but not the ovation that the best Senate Democratic leader since Lyndon Johnson deserved. Despite his kind words about Bernie Sanders, some of his supporters judge everybody in relation to him. It’s rather feline, Della Street insists that I judge everyone in relation to her. Fortunately she’s an internet rock star…
It was also great to see civil rights veteran and DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton who inspired this tweet:
Eleanor Holmes Norton personifies the term black don't crack. 79 and going strong.
The gun violence segment was the emotional highlight of the evening. The speech by Christine Leinonen whose son was gunned down at the Orlando massacre was particularly poignant. It’s always good to see Mark Kelly and Gabby Gifford. She’s both a testament to the human spirit and the ravages of gun violence. She inspired this tweet:
If Trump makes fun of Gabby Giffords, I will personally give him a swirly.
That concludes the Twitter inspiration part of the program. Let’s move on to the main event. In addition to President Obama, there were three main speakers. I’ll take them in the order they appeared.
Vice President Biden: Joey the Shark gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen him give. It was alternately emotional, funny, and passionate. As man known for his ability to work across the aisle in Senate, the Veep seemed personally offended that the Republicans nominated Donald Trump. I know the feeling.
As always when Biden appears and I’m on the Tweeter Tube, I had to deal with some Biden related ignorance. Just because he’s an Irishman who looks like a shot and a beer guy doesn’t make him one. The Veep grew up around alcoholic relatives and as a result does not drink. He’s not the Onion Joe. I prefer the real guy.
Michael Bloomberg: The diminutive plutocrat and former New York Mayor is NOT one of my favorite people but he gave one of the most politically effective speeches of the DNC thus far. Here are a few memorable lines:
Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.
I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What’d I miss here?!
Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims.
One of the best lines in Bloomberg’s speech seems to have been ad-libbed:
“Let’s elect a sane, competent person with international experience.”
As opposed to an insane, incompent Insult Comedian with cotton candy piss hair. I think wooing decent Republicans and Independents is important in this election. The Obama/Clinton coalition is expansive enough to encompass everyone who thinks Donald Trump is a menace.
Tim Kaine: I’m on the record as a Tim Kaine fan and he performed well night. He showed off his sense of humor thereby establishing that he’ll be the nicest attack dog ever. He nipped at Trump repeatedly during his speech and drew some blood with his impression of him. I believe Tim may now own the word believe. Like the Monkees, I’m a believer:
Since Twitter must stereotype everyone, Tim Kaine is now a lovably nerdy, pesky dad type to the Twitteratti. What the young ‘uns don’t get is that sort of dad is usually deliberately messing with their kids. They’ll learn. Dylan was wrong: nobody is forever young,
Tim Kaine has the potential to become the latest in a long line of Democratic Happy Warrior Veeps. It’s good company as it includes Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Joe Biden
I was relieved that the Buster heckling was de minimis during Tim’s speech. Heckling someone so manifestly nice is apparently a bridge too far even for them. It’s tweet time. One that neatly sums up his liberal bona fides:
On the other hand, my surprise is coupled with concern: after all, Dick Nixon won…twice…but I’ve gotta hope the voting public is either different enough to keep that from happening again…or that we do have an absolute bottom below which even Nixon voters won’t go…
History or herstory, whatever you want to call it, was made yesterday in Philadelphia as Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman nominated by a major party for the Presidency. In this case, by my party, the Democratic Party. I’ve always loved the roll call but it took on special meaning this year. It was ended with grace by Bernie Sanders who called for the nomination to be made unanimous. There were few nays on the floor as Team Sanders whipped the hell out of its delegates. I will get to the Busters in a few minutes. I’d rather not harsh my buzz right now.
It took far too long for this to happen. There have been strong, tough, and smart women leaders in many countries across the globe, but it took until 2016 for the world’s oldest constitutional democracy to put a woman in a position to become President. And what a woman. Pioneers have to be tough and wary as their lessers shoot at them, trying to bring them down. One thing we know for certain about Hillary Clinton is that she has a remarkable capacity to get knocked down and bounce right back up. In short, she knows how to rope-a-dope and take amazing amounts of punishment. It’s hard being a pioneer.
Is she perfect? Hell no, she’s human. I’m not perfect and neither is anyone else reading this post. She’s been denounced for being ambitious; no one considers that a bad quality in a man. Pioneers have to deal with a pernicous double standard: nothing they do is good enough for some people. Fuck that and them. If we were looking for perfection we’d elect a robot, cylon, or android. Here’s what I said on Twitter in the wee hours as the waves of snark washed across my timeline:
Tired of people who have never helped anyone in their lives talking about how horrible HRC is. Don't believe the cartoon.
I obviously have nothing against snark, sarcasm, or cynicism but there’s a time and a place for everything. Last night was the time a woman was nominated to be our 46th President and the place was Philadelphia.
I thought the do-gooder portion of program was well done. We learned a lot about how HRC has helped people over the course of her life, and it took guts to have the mothers of the movement onstage to tell their stories. Btw, Elizabeth Banks should consider running for office, she was that good as the Emcee.
Another high point was Howard Dean’s self parody. The reaction to his “scream” in 2004 was MSM silliness at its worst as well as one of the earliest viral memes I can recall. I like anyone who can laugh at themself. Good on ya, Dr. Dean. Just one more tweet before I get specific:
In a word: historic. If there’s an afterlife, her friend, the great Molly Ivins, is celebrating with her.
Let’s move on to the inevitable sub-headers:
The Supporting Role Of A Lifetime: There was churlishness and downright derpitude by MSM pundits about Bill Clinton’s speech. I was *almost* gobsmacked by the fact that they didn’t get it: Bill Clinton gave the spouse’s speech. He was there to talk about the woman he’s known and loved as well as infuriated for some 45 years.
It was a terrific spouse’s speech. I love colloquial Bill and he was as folksy as all get out last night. By his standards, at 42 minutes, it was a short speech. I believe his first State of the Union address is still going on in an alternate House chamber in an alternate universe.
How does this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention, what’s the difference between what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can’t. One is real and the other is made up. You just have to decide which is which my fellow Americans, the real one, the real one, has done more positive change-making before she was 30 than many public officials do in a lifetime in office. The real one, if you saw her friends…has friends from childhood from Arkansas where she has not lived in more than 20 years who have gone all across America at their own expense to fight for the person that they know. The real one has earned the loyalty and respect and the fervent support of people who have worked her in every stage of her life, including leaders around the world who know her, respect her, and know her to be completely trustworthy. The real one calls you when you’re sick or when your kid’s in trouble.
The real one repeatedly drew praise from prominent Republicans from when she was a senator and the secretary of state. So what’s up? Well, if you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up a two-car parade, a real change-maker, represents a real threat. So your only option is to create a cartoon, a cartoon alternative. Cartoons are two-dimensional they are easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard and a lot of people even think it’s boring. Good for you, because earlier today, you nominated the Real One.
I think President Obama can identify with that second paragraph. The same thing has happened to him. It’s hard being a pioneer.
Bill Clinton loves the spotlight and has not always been an asset to his wife’s campaigns. He was last night. His speech was a self-effacing act of love much like the spouse’s speeches that didn’t become regular convention features until 1996. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first in 1940 and the speaker in 1996 was then FLOTUS, Hillary Rodham Clinton. To give credit where it’s due, 1996 was the first year both spouses addressed their conventions. It was Elizabeth Dole for the GOP.
One of the few clichés I believe in is “you have to take the bitter with the sweet.” It was in effect last night.
The Busters Go Bust: I’m not sure if the Busters are oblivious to the historic nature of what happened or they’re so caught up in their own butt-hurt to understand how bad the walk-out looked. It was another example of the Busters disregard for women, gays, and people of color. One might call it pyrrhic purism. Either way, it’s not a good look.
I like the term Busters. It applies to all genders and excludes the millions of decent, genuinely progressive Sanders supporters who understand the stakes of this election. Senator Sanders has shown genuine leadership in his willingness to take on the Busters and their nihilism. I wish he had begun the process of talking his supporters down earlier but better late than never.
All the stolen DNC emails prove is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t organize a two-car funeral let alone a vast conspiracy against Bernie Sanders. Repeat after me: the DNC runs neither primaries nor caucuses. The states take care of that. It’s called federalism. If one wants to changes the system, one needs to know how it works. The Busters need to do some reading…
In the end, I’m glad the Busters walked out. They’re a small, noisy group and the vibe in the hall was much better for their absence.
There were a few complaints on the internets that an insufficient amount of anti-Trump red meat was served last night. It’s part of the ebb and flow of the convention. I suspect POTUS will give us an earful about the horrible man the GOP has nominated to replace him.
It’s about time that my party has nominated a woman to be the next President. Now the hard part begins, ensuring that Donald Trump will not be the first Insult Comedian elected President. I have a different first in mind.
I’ve been watching wall-to-wall DNC coverage so I decided to post something simple and classic in this space. One Step Beyondwas the 1979 debut album by the British ska-rockers Madness. It was a huge hit in the UK; hitting number two on the charts but sank without a trace in America.
Speaking of simple, here are the front and back covers in one jpeg. The cover image is bendily striking if there’s such a word. If not, there should be.
Democrats in real disarray at the 1924 DNC aka the Klanbake.
John Phillips was right was he said you “can’t trust that day.” Of course, he was continuously wasted throughout the heyday of the Mamas and the Papas so who knows where it came from. It’s still a great line and it applied to the MSM coverage of DNC Day-1 as well” “can’t trust that coverage.”
The headline until the evening’s speeches was Democrats In Disarray when, in fact, the loudest Busters in the arena are Democrats of conveniencewho will doubtless vote for the Crunchy Granola Machiavelliwho panders to anti-vaxxers. So much for purity or coherence for that matter. I think it was wise to allow the Berners to vent their frustrations and anger instead of keeping it bottled up. Here’s the deal: there was heckling from Jerry Brown supporters throughout Bill Clinton’s highly successful DNC in 1992. As with yesterday, it largely came from the California delegation some of whom were probably repeat offenders.
The Busters are a loud minority even among Sanders supporters and delegates. The heckling diminished as the day went on. I think the social media commentary about the spectacle of white Busters booing African American and female speakers stepped on it as did Senator Sanders’ personal intervention. Remember, the convention is in Philadelphia where booing is part of the culture.
Let’s play the theme song and get on with it after the break:
I am not okay with booing Elijah Cummings and I am not okay with booing Sarah Silverman (GODDESS) and I am not okay with booing MICHELLE GODDAMN OBAMA, and I am also not okay with calling everybody who voted for Bernie and is under the age of 50 a Kardashian-obsessed twit who doesn’t care about abortion rights, either.
If your dude is not getting the nomination, heckling the first black First Lady is not gonna get it for him.
If people are not voting for your candidate, calling them trivial and stupid on the basis of their ages is not going to get them to do it.
It is possible to think both that the Bernie delegates in the hall are behaving badly and should knock it the hell off, and that the Bernie voters who are disappointed have a right to drink and puke and fight and cry about it.
It is possible for everybody involved here to CALM THE FUCK DOWN. Shut up, angry Bernie people bitching about the TPP. And shut up, Clinton voters acting like this is the equivalent of 1968 and some shouting is gonna bring the whole thing down on our heads.
Look at that hall. That hall looks like America. Listen to it. Listen to that roar:
And ask yourself if the hecklers are who we should be concentrating on. Ask yourself, as Dr. Professor Executive Director of the 501c3 Known as Zero Fucks Elizabeth Warren did last night, who benefits when we fight each other?
Not for nothing, but the Bernie people protesting are not being dragged out by security or beaten up by Hillary supporters or arrested for “disorderly conduct” or whatever dippy bullshit was happening in TrumpTown. They’re not even really being shouted down all that decisively.
And the Bernie people protesting are not calling for Muslims to be arrested or Hispanics to be deported or young black men to be summarily executed so they can be “safer,” they’re mad because a man who promised them he could end economic inequality won’t get the chance to do that himself. Is that the most admirable thing in the world? No, but Ted Cruz’s supporters were protesting that he wasn’t going to get to NUKE MECCA, so let’s compare and contrast.
Maybe everybody take a deep breath right now. We’ve got work to do. It continues tonight.
That is the story of this country. The story that has brought me to the stage tonight. The story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, who kept on striving, and hoping, and doing what needed to be done. So that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters —two beautiful intelligent black young women — played with the dog on the White House lawn.
And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country is not great. That somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on Earth.
If the person before you gave up, where would you be?
A lot of Michelle Obama’s excellent speech last night was about her children, her two lovely daughters and the future she is trying to build for them. I don’t think you have to be a parent to want the world to be better for others than it has been for you. You just have to be a human being with some measure of generosity and empathy, and parent to child is just the easiest way for people to make that argument: That you want to ensure the future for someone you care about.
This is the future Jim Robinson ensured by staying alive.
Jim Robinson lived in a Friendfield Plantation slave cabin. His great-great-granddaughter lives in The White House. pic.twitter.com/6sVsDa6eRW
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsIf he had given up, where would Michelle Obama be now? Where would any of us be, without the examples and the endurance of those who came before us? Sometimes we need to look at what we survived, to remind us what we can survive. It’s been such a horrible year.
From four days last week of people telling us we can’t afford to be open, we can’t take the risk of being generous, we can’t love the stranger or lift up the widow and orphan, we can’t we can’t we can’t, it’s all too much, close the blinds and lock the door and yes build the damn wall already, we get here. To people telling us we are better than this every day, because every day we open our eyes and our arms and we throw ourselves back out into the world again.
A war widow, taken in by a con man, rebuilds her life. The daughter of immigrants becomes a shining star. The first Muslim elected to Congress, whose religion is the target of so much hate and fear these days, says retreating from society isn’t a protest, it’s a surrender.
And defeated Bernie Sanders tells his supporters that their heartbreak can only be overcome by risking their hearts again, over and over and over again.
If that is all we can claim, it is enough. I tell myself and others this, a lot: You don’t have to be bigger or faster or smarter or stronger. You do have to get back up one more time than they can knock you down. You do have to stack your life back up again when the storm blows it over. And you have to do it over and over and over and over again, when you’re tired and you’re sick and you hate everything and it seems like finally, finally, you can’t go on like this anymore.
So that your great-great-granddaughter wakes up every morning in a house built by slaves, and her children play on the lawn with their dog.
I pride myself on coming up with unusual post titles such as summoning the spirit of Earl Long this morning. But sometimes, you have to make like Bad Company and Run with the Pack. This is one of those times, especially since the *only* thing Donald Trump and I have in common is a love for Citizen Kane. I wrote about that in a post last March entitled Charles Foster Kane Meets Donald Trump. The Insult Comedian take on Kane is as nutty as he is but I’m not writing about my favorite film, I’m writing about Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Kaine was not my first choice in the Veepstakes BUT almost no one ever votes for the Vice Presidential candidate and they rarely make any difference. It’s why I keep writing posts entitled, Veepstakes, Lowstakes. But Kaine was my second choice and he’s an excellent governing partner for HRC. The rap on him that he’s boring is goofy; in some ways it’s a running joke that Kaine himself started years ago. Kaine has a good sense of humor, which may be a negative to the drearier sorts out there but is important to me. His speaking style is conversational in nature, which is reminiscent of a certain former President and future First Gentleman or First Dude. It’s one reason Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were in his corner as the selection process wound down.
In short, Tim Kaine is a solid choice who hit a home run in his first speech as HRC’s running mate:
I know what some of you are thinking: he’s not progressive enough for me. That snap judgment by some on the left is based on two specific votes and not on the totality of his record. For example, Kaine has an outstanding record on gun safety related issues; much better than Senator Sanders. Does that mean that Sanders isn’t progressive enough? Of course not, you have to judge people by totality of their record and, more importantly, by their people skills and track record of getting things done. Tim Kaine is a member of the party that gets shit done. That’s important to me. You can’t help anyone if you love humanity but hate individuals.
I’m also disconcerted by those who think the *only* issues that define who’s a progressive are economic ones. Tim Kaine was a civil rights lawyer for 17 years and has been a racial healer at all three levels of government: local, state, and federal. He and his wife, Anne Holton, sent their kids to integrated public schools in majority African-American Richmond, VA. I was pleased that Kaine told the story of his father-in-law, Linwood Holton, who was the first Virginia Governor to accept integration. Holton paid a heavy political price for doing the right thing. I was under the impression that Civil Rights were important to people on the Left. I’ve had a bellyful of progressives who denounce “identity politics” and think all focus should be on economics and the class struggle. It’s one reason that the Sanders campaign did not connect with minority voters.
Speaking of “identity politics,” Kaine was given an A by Planned Parenthood. There’s some confusion about Kaine’s position on reproductive rights as he’s evolved over the years. Like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Jimmy Carter, Kaine is *personally* opposed to abortion, but supports a woman’s right to choose. I’d say that puts Senator Kaine in good company.
Tim Kaine’s human qualities are what make him so perfect as a number-two to Hillary Clinton. Kaine is a warm, friendly, and gregarious man who was also willing to fight the NRA as Governor and stand-up to President Obama on the War Powers Act. Kaine was one of a group of Senators who insisted that POTUS comply with the terms of the War Powers Act if there was military action in Syria. Sounds progressive as well as dovish to me.
I am confident that Tim Kaine will wear well with the American people. Remember: it’s the nominee’s views that matter in the end. Kaine does not have as great a distance to travel as, say, Poppy Bush who renounced most of his previous positions. The most humorous switch was on reproductive rights. Bush the elder was so pro-Planned Parenthood that his nickname as a Congressman from Houston was “rubbers.”
One more thing: Tim Kaine is qualified to be President.
One of the biggest stories of the weekend before the convention was the giant document dump taken by Wikileaks on the Democratic party. It was timed to inflict maximum damage and to help the Republicans in the general election. Why? It is widely suspected that the Russians are behind the leak, and President Putin loves him some Donald Trumpand Paul Manafort. The role of the so-called lefties at Wikileaks is the most sinister aspect of the whole flap.
The contents of the emails are what you would expect from a group being sued by another group, the Sanders campaign. Nobody likes being sued and nobody likes Jeff (The Comic Book Guy) Weaver in particular. I’ve long favored doing a reverse Salome-John the Baptist thing and giving the Sanders people Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on a platter in the interest of party unity. People have forgotten how unpopular she was with other Democrats long before her run-ins with Team Sanders. I have not. If she’s willing, I hope they beg Donna Brazile to stay on after the election. That might, however, be a tough Brazile nut to crack…
The Bernie or Busters are not placated by this heady plate, but they’ll never be satisfied by anything short of getting everything they want, when they want it. I’m beginning to think that they’re mostly people whose parents never said no to them. If they believe the email dump is evidence of nefarious “plotting” and “rigging” they’re the sort of people who think that the Firefly administration in Duck Soup was competent:
Now that I think of it, DWS is the Margaret Dumont of the current political scene: humorless and clueless.
Repeat after me: the DNC does not “run” let alone “rig” the primary or caucus processes. Those are run by the state guvmints and state parties. The Dudebro Dead Enders should take it up with them; or better still award themselves a primary participation trophy, and join hands with Cornel West and Jill Stein and walk into the sunset of third party loserdom. I’ve had a bellyful of ideological purity this election cycle and if Trump’s acceptance diatribe didn’t scare them straight, they should STFU and vote Green or Libertarian as I expect brogressives like Ha Ha Goodman to do. I’m glad their candidate isn’t listening to them. I’ve been feeling sorry for Senator Sanders the last few days at having to deal with his overgrown toddler supporters. He should put them to bed without supper and not allow Comic Book Guy to read old issues of the Fantastic Four to them. I figure Weaver likes them since they’re all dicks.
Speaking of shutting the fuck up, you’re probably wonder how Earl K Long fits into this 21st Century scenario. Here’s how: it’s what I call the STFU quote. It’s the advice Uncle Earl would have surely given the DNC:
Melania Trump’s highly anticipated speech at the Republican National Convention Monday night appears to have nearly copied a paragraph from Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
I’m with her, I’m there for her, I’m ready to bake her cupcakes and have her political babies and shred her fuckin’ e-mails, because we have pro-choice, pro-gun-control, pro-goddamn American candidates at the top of the ticket and if what it takes is me quitting my job and following her and Tim Kaine around in a panel van for the next four months then that is what I will do.
Let’s be clear, though: If all we had was two MAMMALS at the top of the Democratic ticket that would be enough to counter the four-day hatefest that was the Trump convention. Adrastos covered that admirably and Doc stuck a stake in its heart so it would not rise again. I watched a lot of it while on chat with some folks and on Twitter, and it was straight-up white supremacy, the 18 black delegates in the room notwithstanding, and I heard every single thing they meant.
Law and order? That’s the dogs and the fire hoses, beating men and women for thinking they are people, demanding they be respected. That’s turning the law from shelter to bludgeon, and cheering it is cheering hate.
Lock her up? That’s the Occoquan workhouse, and being prevented by law from owning property, or being fired from your job for being married or not being married, or having your children taken away because you talked back to your husband, and cheering that is cheering hate.
A photo with only white kids in it. How many of those kids will be glad in later life that that photo exists?
A convention hall that FOUR YEARS AGO called a multi-ethnic CNN crew “animals” and probably this year said much, much worse to people who get up every day and try to show the world what it is, a hard enough job when the earth isn’t actively caving in.
This isn’t “the lesser of two evils” but you know what, Rudy Giuliani, it also isn’t “the last election ever” or whatever apocalyptic shit you were yelling on Night One. It’s just a choice, between a monster who screams at you by torchlight that you are the master race, and an experienced, messed-up, human politician who is telling America to have courage and have faith and have hope. It’s a stark choice. It’s a real one.
So I’m sorry if you’re a Bernie person and you’re mad (I voted for your dude in the primary, guys) and I’m sorry if Hillary is not “exciting” and Tim Kaine is not “exciting” and neither of them is spending enough time tickling your prostate just right. You’ve got to get up and do something you don’t want to do, and that’s hard.
You know what’s probably harder?
Being a non-white, non-straight, non-male person and hearing a crowd of thousands cheering for your subjugation and your imprisonment and maybe even your death. Being poor, and working your ass off every single day, and hearing rich guys joke about how you want “free stuff.”
It starts now, today. So enough with the stupid “Joker vs Two-Face” memes and enough with the “Killary” crap. Enough with the “lesser of two evils.” There weren’t two evils up on that stage. I only heard one.