Oh, We’re Halfway There / (Whoa-oh) Livin’ on a Prayer
It’s hard to keep up with all the news coming out of the conventions. These two weeks seem to go by so quickly, with so much bombast and politicking packed into so little time. Here’s what happened just in the last couple of days:
- Several hours before formally
accepting the Republican Party’s nomination, a draft copy of Donald Trump’s
acceptance speech was leaked to Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton SuperPAC. Both
Correct the Record and Politico, who had received the leaked speech from the
PAC, declined to comment on their sources, except to say that the leak came
from within the Trump campaign itself.
- If you didn’t see the speech
itself – and who could blame you, it’s a rambling, hour-long affair even with the teleprompter, and I can think
of a lot more efficient emetics – you can watch it on Youtube here. The speech contains multitudes, swinging wildly from ‘soporific’ to ‘panic-inducing’
as Trump declares (in all capital letters on the transcript) “I AM YOUR VOICE.”
- The morning after his speech, The
Washington Post published an article from their entire Editorial Board with the
headline “Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy.” From the
What the candidate does offer is a series of prejudices and gut feelings, most of them erroneous. Allies are taking advantage of the United States. Immigrants are committing crimes and stealing jobs. Muslims hate America. In fact, Japan and South Korea are major contributors to an alliance that has preserved a peace of enormous benefit to Americans. Immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans and take jobs that no one else will. Muslims are the primary victims of Islamist terrorism, and Muslim Americans, including thousands who have served in the military, are as patriotic as anyone else.
- That same day, Wikileaks released
some 20,000 emails taken from the Democratic National Committee’s email servers.
The leaks reopened a controversy about
the DNC’s supposed neutrality in the Democratic primaries, as journalists
discovered an email from Brad Marshall, the DNC’s Chief Financial Officer,
which appears to be strategizing with the Clinton campaign against Bernie
Sanders. The email in question asked “can we get someone to ask [Sanders’]
belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish
heritage.” Attempts to “out” Sanders as an atheist would surely have made him
less appealing to religious Democrats in the South.
- Also on Friday, former Grand
Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke announced that he was running for Senate
in Louisiana, citing Trump’s popularity as the reason for his reemergence into
political life. “Thousands of
special-interest groups stand up for African Americans, Mexican Americans,
Jewish Americans, et cetera, et cetera,” Duke said. “The fact is that European
Americans need at least one man in the United States Senate — one man in the
Congress — who will defend their rights and heritage.”
- And finally, last night, Hillary Clinton
announced her nominee for Vice President: Tim Kaine, Democratic Senator from
Virginia. Kaine was the mayor of Richmond from 1998 to 2001, Lieutenant
Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2005, and Governor for four years after that.
As a Virginia Democrat, Kaine’s record is fairly conservative, disappointing
some in the party’s progressive wing who had hoped the Vice Presidential choice
would reflect Bernie Sanders’ popularity and success in the Democratic
primaries. (On a personal note, I grew up and went to high school in Richmond
and saw Tim Kaine speak at least once, and I can confirm that he is both genial
and somewhat dull. But dullness, it turns out, is at a premium in this
The Democratic National Convention starts on Monday. When the inevitable Twitch stream goes live, I’ll link it here. Until then, consider taking a day or two off from news, if you can - it’s been an extremely dense, often emotionally rough week, and there’s nothing you need to know so urgently it can’t wait until Monday.