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:
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:
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.