Democratic Convention 2016

Day 4

Black Cop Lives Matter

The first thing that caught my eye on Day 4 was a sheriff who called for a moment of silence to honor fallen officers. The moment was interrupted by an asshole screaming “black lives matter”. What happened next was a beautiful thing. Two black women in a row spoke to pay tribute to their husbands, policemen killed in the line of duty – and BLACK. A nice retort to the disruptive and misguided BLM contingent. Black lives mattering and police lives mattering is clearly not mutually exclusive.

The Clinton Kid

Just as all of Donald Trump’s adult kids spoke at last week’s GOP convention, on Day 4 of the Dem convention we were treated to the Clinton kid, Chelsea. I come to this with a bit of bias because in my former life in corporate America I became aware of Chelsea’s tenure at McKinsey (a consulting firm) and the scuttlebutt was that she was quite difficult to work with. That said, let’s get back to her address. I had never seen her speak at length before so I was pleased when she started. She had humor. Her delivery was calm and paced. But then I noticed it seemed almost too calm. She almost seemed to be under a spell. She reminded me of animatronic department store dummies, as her head slowly moved back and forth between teleprompters. Then I put my finger on why she seemed so odd. She reminded me of the brainwashed veterans in “The Manchurian Candidate” who were programmed to praise one of their fellow soldiers, a man who was actually a total prick. I couldn’t resist a tweet:

She’s an odd bird. According to Dick Morris, former advisor to Bill, it was Bill who was most involved with her childhood, not Hillary.

Another President Clinton

Hillary’s acceptance speech was met with low expectations because historically the acceptance speech pales in comparison to the ra-ra-sisboomba speeches that come before it in the first three days. That said, OMFG!!! The thing seemed to go on forever! Hillary does not have Obama’s gift of delivery. As the pundits put it, she speaks in prose, not poetry. I hate to admit I literally dosed in the middle of it and woke up in time for the ending. The speech was completely forgettable. I have trouble coming up with a single quote that will stand on its own historically. She tied Trump’s fear mongering to FDR’s “the only thing we have to fear …” quote. That was a nice touch. She reached out to Bernie voters. Not bad. But otherwise, the speech seemed poorly structured. I felt no narrative arc. She repeatedly cleared her throat, just adding to rumors she’s not in the best of shape. In fact, she looked quite tired half way through the address. Protesters, God bless them, tried to disrupt the speech but were drowned out by shouts of “Hill-a-ry” and “USA”.

This was an uninspired speech by an uninspiring candidate. This speech and the entire convention were marred by the cynical view that making history with a woman President is more important than taking into account her checkered past. November will be a coin flip. Donald got lucky to be running against the only American almost as unpopular as he is. There will be no good outcome in November. The President will either be someone who has no business anywhere near the Oval office or someone who brings so much baggage and such questionable judgment that four years of scandal are almost guaranteed.

Day 3

Courage and Kleenex

Every time I see Gabby Giffords I am amazed at her tenacity and courage. Giffords who was shot in the head by a crazed gunman has regained most of her ability to walk and speak. I focus on her grit and ignore her inexplicable support of Hillary Clinton. She was introduced by her husband, a former service member and astronaut. It doesn’t get much more patriotic than that.

It’s been almost 4 years since 20 precious children lost their lives to a lunatic scumbag with a gun-happy mother, who, for God knows what reason, thought it a good idea to take her little monster to the shooting range. Four years later I still cannot see photos of those kids without totally losing it. When Erica Smegielski, the daughter of the murdered Sandy Hook Elementary principal spoke, I fast forwarded through it. I just can’t take it. What Democrats refuse to say and Republicans already know is that the only solution to our gun problem is confiscation. That is never going to happen.

Uncle Joe

Whenever you mention Joe Biden to a conservative you are reminded of his plagiarism scandal that short-circuited his presidential campaign almost 30 years ago. That’s about the best they can do in condemning Uncle Joe. Believe it or don’t believe it, Biden comes across as the guy who lives next door to you. He is warm. He is corny as hell. He is inappropriate (remember Barack being “well spoken”). On Day 3, Joe told the audience to shut up and listen. Then he gave the most simple condemnation of Donald Trump imaginable. Do we really want a leader whose signature catch-phrase is “you’re fired”? Biden ended his speech with what should be the Democratic campaign slogan from now until November: “Come on! We’re America!”

Persuasion from an Independent

Former New York Mayor, former Republican and always billionaire, Mike Bloomberg made a plea to independents and Republicans to reject Trump. What made his speech persuasive was his status as a businessman in Trump’s league (if not richer) who could bust the myth that Donald was somehow self-made and successful by normal business ethical standards. Not the most dynamic speaker, Mike still may have given the fence-sitters some second thoughts about the Donald.

The VEEP

It seems nearly impossible to dislike Tim Kaine as a person. He seems friendly, kind and service-oriented. He does nothing to make Hillary look more progressive. He’s vanilla ice cream which is exactly what Hillary wants since she’s doing enough damage control already. His speech was 50% ripped off from his Miami speech last Saturday when he was first introduced. The last half was devoted to dissing Trump but clearly dissing is not Tim’s strength. He’s just a nice guy. Oh, and he speaks fluent Spanish.

POTUS

Barack Obama is a living breathing Rorschach test. Some see him as an arrogant, narcissistic, not terribly bright, petty bastard propped up by racially obsessed liberals. Others see him as an intelligent, articulate, kind, deliberative leader who has seen the country through tough times. There is no convincing either side of the others perception. I fall somewhere in the middle. Bottom line, if you reside in the first group, there was NOTHING Obama could say last night that would impress. Those that hate the man can barely watch him. If you fall in the latter group, Obama hit the ball out of the park with his Day 3 speech. Without mentioning his name, Obama called out Trump as a “demagogue” to be rejected in the same breath with Communists and Jihadists. He explicitly named Trump as a man devoid of plans or facts. He suggested that Americans will reject Trump because they don’t want a dictator. This made me chuckle since I know most of my readers consider Obama a dictator. Obama further asserted that Trump had hijacked the Republican party – that the GOP convention last week was neither Republican nor conservative.

His attack on Trump was far more effective than his over-the-top endorsement of Hillary. For the most part, while speaking in grand terms, Obama gave a boiler-plate recommendation that we’ve heard time and time again. She has always advocated for children. She worked hard for First Responders in the wake of 9/11 as New York Senator. She helped make the call to take out Bin Laden when she was Secretary of State. We’ve heard it all before. When he referred to her good judgment, I threw up in my mouth a little. Then came the whopper – Hillary Clinton is more qualified to be President than any other candidate in history including Barack and Bill. Well she may be more qualified than Barack and Bill – but Thomas Jefferson? My only response to Barack would be a variation of Biden’s rallying cry, “Come on! We’re America! We are not stupid!”

Day 2

A Moving Moment During Roll Call

Convention roll calls are priceless for their corniness. Each state bragging about itself before announcing the votes they cast for the various candidates. One unlikely delegation brought tears to my eyes. Democrats Abroad had its votes announced by Larry Sanders, Bernie’s brother who resides in the UK. Larry paid tribute to Bernie by reminding him how proud their parents, who died young, would be of him. It was hard to watch the two brothers well up and not get a bit weepy yourself.

The Mixed Message Mothers

Several mothers of black “victims” of shootings appeared on stage together. Apparently Hillary has met with these women and won their support. The problem is that one shooting is not the same as another and this set of mothers presents a very mixed message. Sandra Black mysteriously died in a jail cell, a supposed suicide, but the facts didn’t add up and the incarceration was triggered by a stupid traffic stop gone wrong. Her mother was the first to speak. Then a mother of a boy shot for playing his music too loud was the next to speak. From memory, I don’t recall this being a police-related incident. Then, heaven help us, the mother of Trayvon Martin spoke last. Trayvon is the gangsta-wannabe that pushed the black lives matter movement into high gear. Again, this was not a police related shooting. Worse, the photo of Trayvon shown on stage was the same misleading photo of a 13ish year old boy that we saw when the story broke — not the 17 year old thug who mishandled an encounter with crazy George Zimmerman. The mother of Michael Brown, the classic misrepresentation of a victim of police violence, was also on the stage but did not speak. Perhaps they knew she had best keep her mouth shut since her son never met the standard of “hands up, don’t shoot”. You could see the white-guilt oozing from the liberal audience. A sad affair overall.

The Big Dog, Bubba, Slick Willie

Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, was the main speaker of the night. He spent the first half of his speech trying to humanize his wife Hillary. His choice – to describe how he courted her. Problem is that his courtship sounded more like creepy staring and stalking. He even made a reference to not knowing where starting with Hillary would lead. Impulse control issues? You might as well have had a flashing MONICA LEWINSKY sign behind him during the first half of his address. The second half of the address portrayed Hillary as a tireless defender of the downtrodden. This was very effective if you can overlook the fact she is also a pathological liar.

Clinton, the wannabe First Gentleman, was caught in a bit of a catch-22. Humanizing Hillary can’t be done because it is the very human side of her and her relationship with Bill that stinks to the core. However, the professional side of Hillary doesn’t smell much better. The only marginally redeeming conclusion from Bill’s pitch is that maybe life is complicated for everybody and the Clintons are truly clueless to how bad their complications look in public. I might also add that Bill’s delivery was lackluster. I personally don’t believe he wants his wife to be President and I’m damn sure he doesn’t want her presidency to outshine his own.

Closing the Deal with Shattering Glass

Bill was followed by Alicia Keys, singing and Meryl Streep, of all people, emoting. Then on the video display in quick succession we saw pictures of the 43 MEN who have served as President and then a shattering of glass to reveal Hillary Clinton, live from New York state surrounded by girls of all ages. Say what you like about the racial component of Barack’s election eight years ago but it was never as flagrant in that year’s convention as the gender component this year. On the one hand, I get the historic moment. On the other hand, we are one of the last civilized countries to do this so maybe we oughta be a bit more quiet about our neanderthal past? Great Britain is on its second woman PM while we get all misty eyed over our first in 230 years.

Day 1

The 2020 Audition

Just as in 2004 Barack Obama delivered the speech that would catapult him to the 2008 nomination, so did Cory Booker last night. The soaring rhetoric was, in my opinion, unmatched by anyone else that night despite what the pundits will tell you. I predict he will be the Democratic nominee in 2020 against President Donald Trump.

Two Overrated Performances and an Off-key Legend

Maybe my disgust at the entire affair tainted my judgment. Perhaps I am so drained of energy that I can’t recognize it in anyone else anymore. That said, I simply wasn’t blown away by either the First Lady, Michelle Obama nor the Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. Both seemed low energy to me. Yes, Michelle painted a poignant picture of what it is like to raise two young girls in the White House. Yes, she did tie that to whom she would trust her girl’s safety to – Hillary. But the notion Clinton can be trusted with anything is so absurd as to make the punchline of any pro-Hillary speech utterly ridiculous. I’ve seen Warren do her anti-Trump speech and she has had ten times more energy in previous performances. I don’t think her heart was in it. As for Paul Simon – good God that was almost as bad as 2012 Clint Eastwood. He could barely stay in tune for his iconic song “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. It is also odd he did not sing “America”, the song beautifully used in the best campaign ad of the season by Bernie Sanders.

The Man Who Should be King

The speech of the night was of course given by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who gave Hillary a run for her money. This capped off the only truly progressive campaign of the season. His ultimate defeat proved that Democrats are more interested in identity politics and establishment politics rather than actually changing the status quo. Bernie did what he had to do. Unlike Ted Cruz, he swallowed his pride, accepted Hillary’s boot up his ass, and wholeheartedly endorsed her. At least he did not do so without bragging about his phenomenal campaign. It was a sad day for any Democrat who really wanted change in America.

And the Total Asshole Award Goes to …

Sarah Silverman, a comedienne who prides herself on “look at me, I’m so vulgar” comedy, a former Bernie supporter, decides to lecture Bernie’s devoted followers telling them they are “being ridiculous”. Sarah needs to stick to comedy. She doesn’t understand the whole point of a political movement. She does not understand you can’t just swap one D in for another and get the same result. She doesn’t seem to care, as a Jew, that her fellow Jew was being attacked for his religious views by the political machine she now supports. Sarah is the ridiculous one. She can seriously go screw herself.

More Email Problems

Before the convention even began, emails emerged to bite Hillary Clinton in the ass again. This time the email dump came from Wikileaks and the source was Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails. Understand, the DNC is supposed to be a neutral facilitator of the Democratic primary process. The emails confirmed what so many Bernie Sanders supporters already suspected. The DNC, with the knowledge of its leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz tried to tip the scales toward Hillary Clinton. In one of the more despicable examples, there was a notion to discredit Jew Sanders as an atheist. So the party so vocally rejecting anti-Muslim rhetoric was, behind the scenes, using religion to sway the electorate. By the time the opening gavel came pounding down, Debbie Wasserman Schultz had tendered her resignation (effective Friday) and bowed out of any formal role in the convention. As far as I’m concerned this was the last straw. This scandal rendered whatever happens next this week utterly hypocritical. The party that I thought always had the moral high ground has forfeited that status. I am no longer a Democrat.

The bar is open. What do you think?

Bernie, Watch Your Back – DWS and the DNC

This ain’t rocket science folks. All you need is first grade math and the ability to tell time. The Republican National Committee (RNC) and its leader Reince Priebus have announced a Republican presidential debate schedule of nine debates, the first of which was broadcast to some 20 million viewers last Thursday night. 

In contrast, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced a schedule of six debates to begin in October. 

Why so few debates and why the late start? I believe it is clear as day that the DNC and its chairwoman, DWS want to protect Hillary Clinton from scrutiny. They would prefer a coronation but since Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee have announced their candidacies, that simply won’t happen. Sanders, in particular, has the pro-Clinton bunch worried as he trails her by only seven points in New Hampshire. 

The DNC wants Clinton challenged as little as possible. It’s shameful. It’s Debbie’s job to present fellow Democrats with a diversity of views so the best candidate can emerge. To do otherwise makes a mockery of the process. 

I’m calling on liberal organizations across the spectrum of left ideologies to launch their own debates and invite the candidates. If Debbie Wasserman Schultz is too corrupt to do her job, someone else has to. 

What do you think? The bar is open. 

The GOP Slate and the Week We Lost Our Weiner

The GOP Slate

OK, let’s be honest, the first GOP candidate debate on Fox about a month ago was a joke. It included at least one candidate, Gary Johnson, who we know will never be President of the United States (Gary who?) and it did not include some heavy hitters, namely Romney and Gingrich through no fault of Fox but just bad timing. So let’s ignore that debacle and turn our attention toward the real first GOP candidate debate carried on CNN last Monday. The debate itself was clumsy with “average Americans” asking the questions. We don’t need average Americans who have no TV presence asking questions. I would have preferred a panel of journalists but then let’s not forget, this is the Palin Era where journalists are to be bypassed. The opening statements were also gag-worthy as each candidate tried to one-up the other on how much successful intercourse they’d had: “I’m the father of three”, “I’m the mother of five and foster-mother of 630”. Finally there were the series of “this or that” questions designed to lighten the mood and make the candidates more human. I was fully prepared for the moderator, John King to ask Herman Cain “Tupac or Biggie?”

Here is my quick review of the roster:

Rick Santorum: One word — Google. Really. Can any man whose last name ranks first on Google as the definition of  “The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” expect to one day be President of the United States? Gay activist Dan Savage’s evil bit of brilliance in launching a contest to concoct a gay-oriented definition for Rick’s last name permanently makes him a punchline. I will give Santorum credit, however for consistency. He is against abortion even in the case of rape and incest. As I’ve written before, this is the ONLY pro-life stance that has any integrity. As for Rick’s performance in the debate, nothing newsworthy. Just another “red-blooded American” appealing to the far right base.

Michele Bachmann: It looks like I must abandon my wait for Bachmann’s fall. The Congresswoman from Minnesota just keeps rising and her debate performance, while not brilliant, was hardly the dumb-ass display we might have expected from someone who thinks Lexington-Concord took place in New Hampshire and our founding fathers ended slavery. One could see in this performance a cheer leader for the Tea Party with a degree of gravitas missing from her most closely aligned associate, Sarah Palin. In this sexist world of ours, Palin is almost too pretty. You, and I mean you Rich Lowry, want to bed Palin. But while Bachmann is a reasonably attractive woman, when you look at her you think of a mother, not a lover and you see someone who truly wants to be relevant. You can imagine Bachmann bouncing back from gaffes by doing a bit of study to avoid them in the future. Her best moment was when she referred to Obama as “someone far more eloquent than I” and then hanged him on his own words. I cannot believe I’m saying this but we need to keep our eye on Bachmann.

Newt Gingrich: Fresh from his campaign staff quitting en masse, Newt used the debate to lecture America in his usual nonsensical professorial way. Most telling was his intro where he departed from the pattern of very personal introductions (see reference to successful procreation above) and chose instead to open with a policy statement. This makes sense since Newt Gingrich is a serial adulterer with no moral standing. Like Santorum, but for different reasons, Newt is now a punchline. Time to move on.

Mitt Romney: Making the first debate appearance of his campaign, Romney acquitted himself well. Most pundits gave the night to him with Bachmann a close second. I am probably in the minority on this but I think Romney has made a good distinction between what he did in Massachusetts and what Obama has done on a federal level with health care reform. To me the strongest part of his argument is that dealing with health care should not be a federal responsibility, but should rest with the States. This makes anything he did in Massachusetts his prerogative. I also got a kick out of his assertion that Obama never called him to consult on HCR. If only Obama had called Romney, “Obamacare” might have gone down better! Sadly though, Mitt still looks like Michael Scott from NBC’s “The Office”, that boss who wants so desperately to fit in with his underlings and fails miserably. Pundits have said, he reminds you of the dude who laid you off yesterday.

Tim Pawlenty: Yes there are those who want to give him the rap accolade T-Paw but I simply call him “Punk Ass Beeyotch” (the Notorious P.A.B.). Just a day earlier on Fox News he coined the devastating term “Obamneycare” forever tying Mitt Romney to Barack Obama. When given the opportunity to hammer home his assault with Romney standing next to him, Pawlenty showed us the kind of leadership we can expect in the White House — he punted. I think Romney is a bit taller than Tim and maybe could have kicked his ass. Maybe that was too intimidating? Imagine President Pawlenty talking smack about Ahmadinejad and then entering into negotiations with him where P.A.B. capitulates on everything. The truth is Tim is a wimpy soft-spoken man who does his best to fake tough and fails. The debate only confirmed what I already thought … Pawlenty is a non-starter.

Ron Paul: I’m sorry but despite his racist past, I cannot resist watching Ron Paul in a debate. Whether it’s telling the truth about the war on drugs or on our wars in general, Paul is always a refreshing breath of air. He is the only candidate who actually suggests concrete policy changes that are truly radical, that take us in a new direction. And of course, America being what it is, he will never get elected talking like that.

Herman Cain: Normally I’d launch into a racially charged diatribe about the only black candidate being placed at the far right of the assembled candidates, physically marginalized from the get-go but it does not matter where you place Cain on the stage, the man brings that “I know nothing about the issues” Palin appeal to the masses and it has earned him big points in most recent polls.  Essentially Cain’s performance could have been matched by any one of the folks who regularly comment on this blog. He is a “regular guy” successful business man who, like Palin, uses his ignorance of politics as a badge of honor. (Of course, with Palin it’s a bizarre sort of badge to wear since she has been in politics much of her adult life.) His approach is, what have career politicians done for you lately? He made some murky remarks about not wanting Muslims to serve in his administration but he seemed to step it back a bit to make a distinction about radical Muslims. (Of course, Newt took that opportunity to double down on the Islamaphobia.)  Like Bachmann, Cain seems to be willing to learn and he made attempts at specific policy prescriptions. I would not totally rule out a Cain VP slot.

In the batting cage were three people who could mix things up a bit. The will-she-won’t-she Sarah Palin is still undecided on a Presidential run and her recent SarahPAC funded vacation did nothing to clarify her intentions. I am still hoping she runs just to see her and Bachmann face off on stage! The punditocracy claims that Pawlenty’s stumble last Monday night opens the door for Texas Governor Rick Perry to enter the race. I find the idea of secessionist running for President highly amusing. And besides, look at the last President Texas gave us. Last but not least there is Jon Huntsman who will announce his run in the next few days. Huntsman is what many of my readers call a RINO. He does not pass the far right conservative litmus test. Even more interesting, he must walk that fine line of opposing Obama and defending his own employment under Obama as Chinese Ambassador. On the bright side, the dude speaks fluent Mandarin, so he isn’t a dumb-ass. On the less bright side, he opens his pre-campaign by reminding people that he was in the never-heard-of rock band Wizard while invoking images of “Easy Rider” and being stoned in the 60’s on your motor cycle. While cryptic, it sure is original. I will be watching Huntsman closely as the man who could possibly beat Obama.

weiner with all the fixins

The Week We Lost Our Weiner

If you see the progressives in your neighborhood dressed in black this week it is because they are in mourning. On June 16, after a three-week roller coaster ride of lies, revealing photos and high school worthy word-plays, New York Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner finally gave into mounting pressure and resigned. The circus atmosphere at his resignation speech was entirely consistent with a scandal devoid of any sense of dignity.

What emerges for me from Weinergate is one overriding thing: rank hypocrisy. Everywhere you looked during this scandal you saw a hypocrite:

The Media: The mainstream media said they desperately wanted to get to serious business and Weiner was a distraction but they kept leading their broadcasts with him. A prime suspect was Chris Matthews who declared some relief on Friday that Weiner had resigned so things like the debt ceiling could be discussed, but who with final editorial judgment over his show, decided to lead with Weiner on every show for almost two weeks.

The Democratic Party: From Nancy Pelosi to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Dem’s claimed they wanted Weiner to resign so he could “heal”. We all know that is plain and utter bullcrap. They don’t give one’s rat’s ass if Weiner heals. They want their anti-GOP talking points to take center stage again and not be overshadowed by one Congressman’s proclivity for exhibitionism.

The Republican Party: The party that gave us Larry Craig and David Vitter should do only one thing when a sex scandal emerges. STFU. Enough said.

The man himself: While it is true that Weiner never played the “family values” card like so many of his Republican counterparts, he was an outspoken advocate for moral causes, health care reform most notably. While no one is perfect, it does seem to me rank hypocrisy to talk about honesty and virtue in politics and then betray everyone around you with brazenly stupid behavior that you then try to lie to get out of.  The scandal makes a mockery out of one of Weiner’s finest moments when he talked about political courage.

What a terrible waste.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance