Republican National Convention Begins
August 24, 2020 11:46 PM   Subscribe

The Republic National Convention kicked off tonight

Speakers included Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Ronna McDaniel, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Matt Gaetz, Herschel Walker, Charlie Kirk, and the St. Louis couple (Mark and Patricia McCloskey) who brandished weapons at racial-justice protesters outside their homes. Recaps and responses, by publication:
posted by axiom (246 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
Short review...Zombies want your suburbs.
posted by Freedomboy at 11:48 PM on August 24 [12 favorites]


Only 6 different Trumps speaking? Sad.
posted by Marticus at 11:51 PM on August 24 [14 favorites]


"The cosmopolitan elites"?, why not just come out and say it: "the Jews"
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:53 PM on August 24 [49 favorites]


A Parkland shooting victim's father spoke in support of Trump.

Seeing that and realizing just how insane that is left me so breathless in pain that I am actively trying not to open a window and scream into the night.

How? How could you?
posted by Kitchen Witch at 11:57 PM on August 24 [48 favorites]


I've seen about 5 minutes worth of snippets from speeches that have shown up in my Facebook feed, and all I can say is HOLY FUCK!!! I understand that for the most part they're sociopathic grifters but still; HOLY FUCK!!

I have never seen anything quite like this before, as far as politics in my lifetime goes. It's absolutely off the charts insane and the whole point seems to be that enemies are verywhere, only Trumop can save you, and if he loses the election was a sham.

They are literally priming the pump for an armed insurrection if Biden wins.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:12 AM on August 25 [23 favorites]


Cocaine is a hell of a drug, especially to import it these days. Must be nice to run the DEA during a pandemic
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:24 AM on August 25 [2 favorites]


The BBC has a lot more detail on the McCloskeys, personal injury lawyers charged with "unlawful use of a weapon," a felony, a couple of weeks ago. The pair's own lawyer, in statement: "My clients, as melanin-deficient human beings, are completely respectful of the message Black Lives Matter needs to get out, especially to whites." The BBC on the couple's past: In one of the stranger reported conflicts, [St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jeremy] Kohler found the McCloskeys destroyed beehives along the outside of their northern wall that were placed there by the neighbouring synagogue as a part of their childrens' programming. "The children were crying," the rabbi told Kohler.

Weirdly relieved Trump's there today, though. I'd worried: What if it's just a quick two-liner on Monday, declining the nomination? Followed by an extensive Twitter rant about what a money-losing proposition the Presidency turned out to be, an election delay as the GOP "scrambles" for a new nominee, and he continues to serve out of sheer magnanimousness? (While that anti-protestor fencing around Lafayette Park, with the all the art, came down in June, by the end of last month the WH starting putting up a massive 'anti-climb' wall.)

CNN's Jim Acosta, on Twitter: Trump after chants of “four more years” - “If you really want to drive them crazy say 12 more years.” The crowd obliges.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:45 AM on August 25 [3 favorites]


A reminder here that the stuff you're doing locally is nationally/globally important. Watch this bananas-fest and also keep on taking care of your neighbors and taking over local offices. Build it low and slow. Be kind and true and tune full-out of this if you need to, because the work you're doing locally to take over the Senate or the school board is the actual political work. Making sure isolated people are still okay is the actual for-real life work in a pandemic. Don't get consumed by this chicanery if you can't afford the fury. Love you.
posted by lauranesson at 12:58 AM on August 25 [68 favorites]


Well, it was bat-shit
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:17 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]




If I was Trump brood desperate for any love from my parents, I'd probably do as many drugs as possible to function.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:57 AM on August 25


There's a elephant in the room, Mr. Nixon.
posted by clavdivs at 3:13 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


They are refusing to write a platform, instead promising to blindly support whatever lunacy that Trump goes haring after on any given day.

They have already nominated their candidates.

So....what on EARTH are they going to do with the rest of.their convention???

(I mean, besides infect each other with COVID-19...)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 4:06 AM on August 25 [11 favorites]


There's serious Dwight Schrute energy in some of those RNC speeches, that's for sure. "Blood alone moves the wheels of history!"
posted by Servo5678 at 4:38 AM on August 25 [9 favorites]


Sticky Carpet--sometimes it means the homosexuals, in addition to the jews.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:38 AM on August 25 [9 favorites]


> "The cosmopolitan elites"?, why not just come out and say it: "the Jews"

Well, it was only the first night.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:40 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


When are they going to get to the Wall? On a rare surfing pause on fox POTUS was explaining to Hanity that the wall was a success, almost finished, all 261 miles, "maybe another 50" **I kid you not** wish I'd taped it. He said he'd "given them the option of using concrete, steel or rebar and they chose to use all three."

Do hope that comes out in the convention.
posted by sammyo at 4:43 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


Man the whole thing looks like Leni Riefenstahl produced an episode of HR Puffinstuff.
posted by spitbull at 6:00 AM on August 25 [66 favorites]


The convention comparison kind of reminds me of the impeachment hearings and trial. One side presented logical arguments, witness testimony and evidence of wrongdoing while the other babbled incoherently while they weren't playing with fidget spinners.

The GOP will not present anything coherent and rational here because they do not have to, and in fact their doing so would be to their detriment. They can simply present an image and an idea -- that Trump is in control, that victory is inevitable, and that anything shouted loudly enough is true -- and that will satisfy what remains of the base.
posted by delfin at 6:10 AM on August 25 [12 favorites]


The problem for them is, their base is not enough to win an election.
posted by Gelatin at 6:19 AM on August 25 [4 favorites]


And the Washington Post has learned absolutely nothing about their responsibility for framing when writing headlines... "GOP speakers portray Democrats as a menace to America".
posted by kokaku at 6:20 AM on August 25 [17 favorites]


The problem for them is, their base is not enough to win an election.

Hence the importance of the idea that the only way Trump can lose is if the election is "stolen".
posted by thelonius at 6:21 AM on August 25 [12 favorites]


I watched for 20 minutes and could not take any more. The grievance, the hate, the lies, the propaganda. I thought I could handle it. I could not. The media must define "propaganda" and call it out by name, every time. To define the word "lie" and call it out, every time.

We are in very troubling times friends, very troubling.
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:24 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


Didn't plan to but watched the whole thing, as one does a train wreck. So many lies both about what the Dems want and what Trump has done. The thing that struck me that I don't see yet in the discussion was so many of them talked about School Choice! Is that them trying to make it a defining issue as a distraction?
posted by achrise at 6:39 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


non-rhetorical question: is this whatever-it-is that the trumpists are putting on with this persuading anyone?

like, it doesn't seem like it could possibly persuade anyone, like, i can't even imagine the person it would persuade, but (like the rest of us) i'm so far removed from any hypothetical person who could be persuaded by this that my inability to imagine that person doesn't really matter.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:47 AM on August 25 [4 favorites]


The media must define "propaganda" and call it out by name, every time.

And what's Biden's strategy to deal with this stuff? Have you seen the Youtube ad campaign that Trump bought? I fear the Democrats are wedded to the idea that you shouldn't engage with negative campaigning (with a side of "We go high!" self-congratulation), and think that putting out some optimistic Vision For Tomorrow will carry the day. But Trump's campaign is relentlessly hammering the idea that any such message is only a front for the real plan to set antifa loose to burn the cities, and round up white suburbanites to hoe turnips in the collective farm fields.

Shouldn't there be, at some point, a full-bodied denunciation of fear mongering based on lies?
posted by thelonius at 6:48 AM on August 25 [10 favorites]


School Choice

I think it's one of the usual dogwhistles, on two axes - racist (choose a school with the right kind of kids) and religious (choose a school where you can teach abstinence and post the ten commandments).
posted by trig at 6:48 AM on August 25 [21 favorites]


i'm actually legit spooked by how they're just like "lol yolo we don't need a platform." it reminds me more than a little bit about how when the nazis went full nazi in '33, they started writing super-sloppy laws that didn't really make much sense & that they didn't even really follow. like, everything starting with the enabling act wasn't really a law so much as a display of contempt for law.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:50 AM on August 25 [72 favorites]


'School choice' is a long game, but the endpoint is abolishing public schools--church-affiliated private schools, many of them segregation academies, receive more government money, with for-profit charters soaking up the kids that are left behind. No more teachers' unions, no more state-mandated curricula, more money for the DeVoses and Waltons.
posted by box at 6:51 AM on August 25 [18 favorites]


> Shouldn't there be, at some point, a full-bodied denunciation of fear mongering based on lies?

so back in 1988 international pressure forced chilean fascist augusto pinochet to hold a plebiscite on whether or not his dictatorship should continue. initially the election was widely viewed as a sham; for one thing, the opposition campaign was only given 15 minutes of airtime a day for the month before the election, scheduled from midnight to 12:15.

instead of using their airtime to expose and denounce pinochet's use of murder and torture to suppress dissent, they brought in a soda company adman and ran stuff like this. the opposition won and pinochet was forced from office.

this isn't like a totally happy story: the pinochet administration left behind a constitution that to this day makes undoing much of the damage that pinochet did to the country impossible — the removal of this constitution is what the current chilean uprising is about. but nevertheless, silly upbeat nonsense got the fascist out of office.

as i see it, the job of the democrats is to make voting against trump look happy and fun and all-american. it's our job to denounce fascism, provoke unrest, and establish broad-based societal change.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:02 AM on August 25 [77 favorites]


This is all very intriguing, actually; before the T man came along, there was all sorts of griping about how the Parties were in control of the elections, not the candidates. John McCain wanted to select someone who was not Sarah Palin for his VP, but the Party made him do it because they were trying to appeal to a different group of voters. (And the other Party was so focused on "who was electable" that they pushed out Sanders in favor of Clinton. And I just read that Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently physically shoved a campaign worker...)

Anyway, we've been led to believe that it's the Party that is evil and controlling to push their Conservative Agenda, not the candidates. And yet when T was nominated, they did absolutely nothing. And they're doing nothing now. They really had that much control before? Perhaps at this point they're saying yeah, this'll be over soon, let's just ride it out. I dunno. But what happened to all that control they supposedly had?
posted by Melismata at 7:08 AM on August 25 [3 favorites]


It's become the Ziegfeld Follies of mendacity.
posted by Catblack at 7:09 AM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Anyway, we've been led to believe that it's the Party that is evil and controlling to push their Conservative Agenda, not the candidates. And yet when T was nominated, they did absolutely nothing. And they're doing nothing now. They really had that much control before?

I think it's all about who controls the donor dollars. Right now that's all in the Trump campaign. One thing the Trumps are good at is controlling the money (and funneling it to their corner). During McCain's run it was in the PACs and the party, less with him as the candidate. Those who control the money get to define the race.
posted by bonehead at 7:17 AM on August 25 [3 favorites]


Were the Tutsis this glib with the impending signs of utter insanity?
posted by elkevelvet at 7:39 AM on August 25 [9 favorites]


But what happened to all that control they supposedly had?

An inevitable side effect of the dumbing-down of the American right. The authoritarian wing of the Republican Party has steadily gained influence at the expense of the fiscal wing, a decades-long process. Moderates who frowned at obvious grift and at dispensing of principle were shoved aside in favor of screaming backbenchers who would happily mouth the right platitudes and show loyalty to the ascendant power brokers. The Mirror Universe Media bubble gleefully shepherded it along, reinforcing their populist message and waiting for someone who could grab the machine and make it his own. And, obviously, we see who did exactly that; the Useful Idiots became the Useful Idiots In Charge.

This is not to suggest that the Republicans of the 80s were principled; far from it. Their driving instinct was to loot the world in general and the American working class in particular, for their own personal gain; that hasn't changed. The Jeff Flakes and the John Kasiches and the Jennifer Rubins and the Rick Wilsons of the world decrying Trump don't want a leftist or liberal ascendance; they simply want to return to a more civilized looting process, a quieter grift less reliant on racism and unfettered yahooism.

At some point, it has to reach some sort of breaking point, simply because monied interests will see the writing on the wall that Q*berts and puppets and raving imbeciles running the country will hurt their bottom line more than mindlessly-passed tax cuts will help it. As is usual with such things, the rebellion will be quiet and take place mostly after Trump is out of power; expect many rounds of Trump Was Always Bad once he is ejected. But if you come at the king, you best not miss; so the knife-wielders circle anxiously backstage, wary of the consequences of rebelling openly should Trump somehow prevail this fall.
posted by delfin at 7:59 AM on August 25 [14 favorites]


Thread of Simpsons GIFs that describe the RNC (Twitter)

The first one says it all, but plenty of other gems in there as well.
posted by hangashore at 8:25 AM on August 25 [7 favorites]


Were the Tutsis this glib with the impending signs of utter insanity?

"The RNC really pulled it off, at least in terms of the production values: It was polished, smooth, and really felt like a traditional convention. The multiple calls to shoot your neighbors with an automatic weapon or use whatever blade you have handy is somewhat hackneyed at this point for the incumbent, but was competently done, and had a warm in-person feel, unlike the DNC's sterile Zoom format."
posted by benzenedream at 8:47 AM on August 25 [18 favorites]


I know that cognitive dissonance is part of the headiness of the drug they're pushing, but still, how does it not break people's brains to be told that if Biden is elected there will be riots and cities burning and people dying... when that is literally happening right now on Trump's watch, and he doesn't even pretend he has a plan to fix it?

I mean this seriously -- where do they think the buck even stops, besides inside Trump's pockets?
posted by Mchelly at 8:51 AM on August 25 [16 favorites]


The Republicans’ Love Letter to Rich Culture Warriors - The first night of the GOP convention was the dying gasp of the party’s feeble crack at right-wing populism:
Over the last few years, the Republicans have had a strange run when it comes to styling themselves as champions of the working class. As journalist Christian Parenti has written in 2016, Trump’s particular manner of speaking contained just enough pro-worker flourishes that some listeners disillusioned with Washington elbow-rubbing and a declining standard of living could plausibly backfill a populist agenda into his speeches. Back then, Trump had pledged to safeguard Social Security and Medicare, end costly wars, lower drug prices, and reinvigorate American manufacturing, all measures that more than a few members of the Democratic elite had neglected for years. “Trump took the Bernie-style populism, emptied it of real class politics, reduced it to a jumble of affective associations, and used it to beat-up the smug liberals of the professional managerial class,” Parenti wrote. “It worked.”

With some help, of course, from the (decidedly non-populist) electoral college, it worked well enough to win an election. But four years later, with the country in deeper economic straits than it was even after the Great Recession, the Republican Party’s pitch to workers is thinner than ever. During his first term, Trump passed massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy while assembling a fiercely anti-worker National Labor Relations Board and working to slash the social safety net. More recently, he’s advocated a new payroll tax-deferral plan that would undermine the same Social Security program he once pledged to protect. The Republicans’ bizarre convention lineup—wealthy politicians, mansion-owners, and Trump family members—only further evince the fact that American right-wing populism is completely devoid of any actual legislation that might help workers.
posted by Ouverture at 8:56 AM on August 25 [5 favorites]


The thing that gives me hope is that Trump barely, barely won last time. (I mean, he didn't get the most votes, but no republican president in the 21st century became president by getting the most votes.)

So there are only two ways he can win this (legally.) He either keeps basically every single person who voted for him last time, and/or he gets people who didn't vote for him last time to vote for him this time.

Last time, a lot (most?) of his votes came from people who were so fed up with our political system. He was an unknown, he didn't have a shitty political track record. So while it's nuts, I can sort of see how his outsider status was a turn-on.

This time? We KNOW some republicans are peeling off: we have the Lincoln Project, and republicans stumping for Biden at the Democratic National Convention, for chrissake. And do we think that anyone who didn't vote for him last time can look back at the past four years and say "yes yes, more of this please"?

So like I said, a shred of hope.
posted by nushustu at 8:58 AM on August 25 [12 favorites]


The Trump campaign ad includes pictures of Adolf Hitler speaking. Yes, it's in the context of past American greatness [how the US defeated the menace that was Nazi Germany], but it seems a wildly risky political move from Team Trump. I mean, you could very easily pluck that out and note that Trump brought some of his favorites onboard to help with 2020. [Not to mention it's an obvious dogwhistle for actually still-here-today facists.]
posted by chavenet at 8:59 AM on August 25 [5 favorites]


I watched almost all of it last night (I skipped the final speaker). The most mind blowing speaker of the night was Junior's paramour (since I don't know how they formally define their relationship) Kimberly Guilfoyle. She was something else. Scary and frightening are two words that come to mind--and those aren't terms I use easily for women. She was screaming at the camera. And I have no idea what she was trying to say about her immigrant background, except it sounded like she believes Puerto Ricans aren't citizens and have to immigrate to the U.S. I don't know if she actually believes the Trump/Republican line but she certainly came across as if she swallowed it hook, line, sinker, fisherman and fishing boat. Wow. Just wow.

Tulsi Gabbard was the complete opposite. I can easily see her being tagged as somebody's VP, in a future presidential race (because, let's face it, she would never be allowed to lead the ticket.)

I will say this for the production. If you don't follow the news and have no idea what reality actually looks like, it would be easy to be convinced and swayed by the content and the "arguments" put out last night. The messaging was very effective.
posted by sardonyx at 9:00 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


I'm not really surprised by any of this? Republicans have had a few chances to end Trumpism, and aside from a minor effort in the primaries they haven't really even tried. Trump has been so manifestly unfit for public office from the beginning that I could never understand how anyone who voted for him once would change their minds. I've reviled a lot of elected Republicans in my life, but I could at least think of plausible, positive reasons why people might have voted for them. The only motivations I can come up with for why voters might support Donald Trump are extremely ugly. The wackadoodle RNC is a reflection of the president's narcissism and his administration's amateurism, but it's also a very real showcase of the ugliness of his support. And that's a rock-solid 40% of the electorate! Just...whew. It's bad.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:02 AM on August 25 [6 favorites]


Oh, I can see why people initially voted for him. You're in the midwest somewhere, wondering why all the jobs keep on going to Mexico or China, and literally all the other candidates are just promising more of the same? I can see it. It's very, very unfortunate, but I can see it.
posted by Melismata at 9:07 AM on August 25 [2 favorites]


His opponent was also the target of a decades-long smear campaign that was apparently effective.
posted by LionIndex at 9:12 AM on August 25 [18 favorites]


The Jeff Flakes and the John Kasiches and the Jennifer Rubins and the Rick Wilsons of the world decrying Trump don't want a leftist or liberal ascendance; they simply want to return to a more civilized looting process, a quieter grift less reliant on racism and unfettered yahooism.

This. They want the nutjobs back in the box and the only way to do that is to send the Republican Party into the wilderness for a couple of cycles while it loses support to attenuation as the insanity keeps ramping up.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:14 AM on August 25 [10 favorites]


Oh, I can see why people initially voted for him. You're in the midwest somewhere, wondering why all the jobs keep on going to Mexico or China, and literally all the other candidates are just promising more of the same? I can see it. It's very, very unfortunate, but I can see it.

This is why conservatives still win, honestly. Leftists and liberals want to use their power to raise all boats but conservatives will pay lip service to the grief experienced by the aggrieved, even if they and their policies caused the problem in the first place.

Look at the Appalachians. It’s not “well buddy the world is moving on from coal, let’s find a way to get you a good job or at least benefits to live a dignified existence in the mean time” like a liberal/leftist. They come in with shit like “evil liberals come in with environmental and safety rules that kill your jobs”. They apportion blame and they apportion it to their opponents. You can’t really go against something as intangible as market forces because what are you supposed to do? Conservatives run the play where they give a target (the people who killed the industry) and a concrete step forward (vote for me so I can at least punish the wrongdoers). This is why Trump can win poor and working class areas in droves.

Then there’s the secondary aspects of the manipulation. They highlight the positive aspects of the constituency like the pride, and their work ethic which also makes them more immune to direct assistance plans that Democrats like to float as a either a stopgap or semi-permanent measure.

Conservatives have this shit down to a science and we on the left are going to struggle until we start tailoring messages to people to this type.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:27 AM on August 25 [22 favorites]


In case you need something to give to your cranky uncles or grandpas (as I did):
AP Fact Check: Trump, GOP distort on health care, vote fraud

It's comprehensive, mostly neutral in tone and as convincing as it can be.
posted by martin q blank at 9:37 AM on August 25 [6 favorites]


You're in the midwest somewhere, wondering why all the jobs keep on going to Mexico or China, and literally all the other candidates are just promising more of the same? I can see it. It's very, very unfortunate, but I can see it.

I see it too, and I'm not even in the Midwest and come from one of the groups he likes to target. During 2015, I thought the way he was going to govern was to double down on xenophobia, but be much more flexible on fiscal policy. Meaning being more willing to spend on things like infrastructure and health care (especially in ways that benefit his base and the edges of the base). The xenophobia has definitely happened, but the latter mostly has not.
posted by FJT at 9:41 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


Look at the Appalachians. It’s not “well buddy the world is moving on from coal, let’s find a way to get you a good job or at least benefits to live a dignified existence in the mean time” like a liberal/leftist. They come in with shit like “evil liberals come in with environmental and safety rules that kill your jobs”. They apportion blame and they apportion it to their opponents. You can’t really go against something as intangible as market forces because what are you supposed to do? Conservatives run the play where they give a target (the people who killed the industry) and a concrete step forward (vote for me so I can at least punish the wrongdoers). This is why Trump can win poor and working class areas in droves.

The third problem is that when it comes to coal and oil, liberals are doing conservatives' jobs for them:
Democrats’ ambivalence toward the industry, in addition to being fatal to serious climate efforts, sidesteps a conversation that’s now unavoidable in parts of the country they should be trying to win. Texas alone lost 39,000 direct oil and gas jobs in the first half of 2020. Oilfield services companies—having laid off some 100,000 people amid the pandemic downturn—are now employing fewer people than they have since before the shale boom began, which could decimate local and state tax revenues. Appalachian shale bankruptcies were climbing even before the pandemic, to say nothing of the region’s decade-long nosedive in coal. And now Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico are all facing major fossil fuel job losses. Industry experts don’t predict an easy recovery, a view bolstered by major multinational oil companies selling off their investments in the unconventional high-cost drilling that fueled the last decade’s boom.

Establishment Democrats, but also relative progressives championing a so-called just transition, continue to treat the fossil fuel industry as a reliable source of well-paid union work instead of a rapidly sinking ship. As a result, they’re mostly unprepared to rescue its passengers. The Biden climate platform allows for decades of continued fossil fuel extraction; it doesn’t seem to have a plan for supporting the millions of people whose livelihoods are threatened by the industry’s collapse—a phenomenon only tangentially related to climate measures.
"We" on the left have a clear and popular answer to this. But the left isn't driving the opposition party.
posted by Ouverture at 9:46 AM on August 25 [9 favorites]


Tammy Duckworth's Marshall Plan for Coal Country Act is amazing as well:
“This is the first legislation we have seen that takes aim at the tremendous economic problems that already exist in the coalfields of America,” United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “Coal-producing areas of our nation have taken a pounding, and it is not getting any better. Senator Duckworth’s bill is comprehensive and includes several programs and initiatives that would have strong, positive impacts on economically depressed communities in the coalfields, as well as dislocated workers and their families.”

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the mine workers, who powered our industrial rise, built the arsenal of democracy, and fueled America’s economic prosperity, have good-paying jobs and work reclaiming abandoned mines, restoring wildlife habitat, reducing pollution, and revitalizing coal communities,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Senator Duckworth’s Marshall Plan for Coal Country Act of 2020 keeps faith with these ideas and underscores that we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs reclaiming abandoned mine lands, sequestering carbon through nature and technology, restoring wildlife habitat, and rejuvenating coal communities. The Senate should swiftly take up this commonsense bill and ensure mining communities play a critical role in our efforts to rebuild our economy and act on climate.”
This should be the blueprint for turning the tide in all the places Democrats have formerly dismissed.
posted by Ouverture at 9:52 AM on August 25 [17 favorites]


But four years later, with the country in deeper economic straits than it was even after the Great Recession, the Republican Party’s pitch to workers is thinner than ever.

In the first week of Trump's presidency, his overall approval among likely/registered voters (as measured by 538) was 46%. Today it is 42.5%. That may be enough, if it actually translates into votes in the relevant states. But we're talking about a shift of just 3.5%. That could easily be swamped by voter suppression and the pandemic affecting turnout. Not to mention the pandemic just straight-up killing 177,000+ people, most of whom are in heavily Democratic congressional districts.

His approval among Republicans (as measured by the Gallup tracking poll) was 89%. Today it is 90%, but at the start of Trump's presidency, 31% of Gallup tracking poll respondents identified as Republican compared to 26% today. There's a fair amount of week-to-week variance in party identification, but since the pandemic started the number identifying as Democrats or independents has been on the increase, with a corresponding decrease in the number identifying as Republicans. But again we're talking about a few percentage points at most, not some sea-change in the size of the Republican base.

One figure that I would like to see is how many individual donors Trump has this cycle compared to 2016 and how many Biden has compared to Clinton. Trump is raising a lot of money, but if he's not able to get as many people interested in giving, then that seems like a good sign for Biden.
posted by jedicus at 10:08 AM on August 25 [4 favorites]


During 2015, I thought the way he was going to govern was to double down on xenophobia, but be much more flexible on fiscal policy

Agreed. I neither trusted him nor voted for him, but I figured his legendary extravagance and need for attention would contort the budget to epic proportions.

We got all the xenophobia that could be expected, but I figured he'd work to one-up Obama, not tear it all down. Medicare for All citizens, even as he eroded the path to citizenship, for example.

It was certainly more of a hope than an expectation, but the one real hope I had in a Trump administration was that he'd make people forget "Obamacare" was ever a thing by cementing his legacy with a gold (ha) standard healthcare plan that'd be the envy of the world.

Then again, I was joking about "Trump Border Wall Resort and Casino" where he'd solve "illegal immigration" by hiring them at the border.

I guess I just didn't anticipate how much he revels in being reviled. I thought he had a need to be loved greater than the need to be the villain or to grift at all times.
posted by explosion at 10:21 AM on August 25 [3 favorites]


Were the Tutsis this glib with the impending signs of utter insanity?

I'd like to thank you for your willingness to say this out loud. The far right wing in this country has been radicalized in much the same way as happened in Rwanda, yet rarely is anyone willing to point out that fact despite the ever increasing political violence and active support of such from Trump over the past several years.

People have been brainwashed into completely dehumanizing others and there seems to be little or no historical precedent for people returning to their senses before an orgy of violence.
posted by wierdo at 10:21 AM on August 25 [25 favorites]


"We" on the left have a clear and popular answer to this. But the left isn't driving the opposition party.

Out of work coal miner: “So what’s my job going to be?”

Like not a hand wavey abstract way. How does this person put their next meal on the table?

Conservatives may not have an answer either but they’re at least willing to take revenge on their behalf.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:24 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


Honestly, the media and the Dems need to start talking publicly about the very real possibility -- almost inevitability at this point -- that Trump refuses to leave office no matter the results of the election and what they will do to remove him from office. And every republican politician needs to be grilled on that question as well: what will you do if/when Trump illegally attempts to remain in office? Will you continue to support him in defiance of your oath to serve the US and the Constitution?
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:24 AM on August 25 [6 favorites]


It was certainly more of a hope than an expectation, but the one real hope I had in a Trump administration was that he'd make people forget "Obamacare" was ever a thing by cementing his legacy with a gold (ha) standard healthcare plan that'd be the envy of the world.

The one good campaign promise Trump made back in 2016 was that he wanted to implement universal healthcare. He said repeatedly and consistently that he wanted to do it, that everyone would be taken care of. But I knew that, even if he really genuinely want to keep his word, it would never happen given that he had no fucking clue what he was doing and his party would rather be dragged into the street and shot than vote for -- let alone create -- a policy that would alienate the wealthy and sociopathically greedy corporate backers who put them in office and have it well within their power to remove them from it.
posted by orange swan at 10:35 AM on August 25 [4 favorites]


Like if I was going for Appalachians I would just be going into WV/Eastern Kentucky and saying “We’re putting a solar cell plant here using silicon straight from North Carolina, we’re putting a solar panel plant down the road to assemble them. We will pay for your retraining while the building of the industry takes place, we will pay wages while training is ongoing, we will extend the 35% tax break on solar for American made panels and American made solar cells, all others will only receive 20%. We will mandate all jobs have union wages and benefits in exchange for government fronting a heap of the cash.”

That’s a Green New Deal that people in the Appalachias can get behind and vote you in for. Why the fuck did we spend half a billion dollars putting Solyndra into Fremont again with its 4.5% unemployment rate? We’re so stupid we just give away money without thinking about how we can use it strategically.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:37 AM on August 25 [34 favorites]


Out of work coal miner: “So what’s my job going to be?”

The potential amount of domestic manufacturing jobs and money needed to fight climate change, even beyond renewables generation, is absolutely bonkers. It genuinely makes me excited to think about all the good-paying jobs it creates for people who have been left behind by deindustrialization.

There is so much work to be done, but the government needs to incentivize it as it has incentivized coal and oil jobs for over a century.
posted by Ouverture at 10:52 AM on August 25 [7 favorites]


Exactly, unfortunately the Solar industry runs on razor thin margins that need very low wages, high volume, and the ability to dump chemicals into a nearby river. Just not standing up a mega factory real quick this decade.
posted by sammyo at 10:57 AM on August 25


Pump in enough subsidies, and suddenly those margins get a whole lot wider, don't they?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:01 AM on August 25 [10 favorites]


The DNC did little to assuage my rather strong worries for the next six months; the RNC has just taken them and printed them in all caps, bolded, 68 point Comic Sans and applied a working blink tag to them. It has made it plainly obvious that the Republican party has no plans beyond entrenching themselves into an authoritarian power structure with the Trumps as a dynastic family of public leaders.

These people are fascists. They are not a legitimate political party. This is not a normal election year. DeJoy's testimony to Congress amounted to, "I don't know nothin' about nothin' and anyway what're you gonna do about it?" Rule of law means nothing if it's not enforced. That seems to be one of if not the biggest lessons Republicans have learned from the Trump administration.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:01 AM on August 25 [18 favorites]


> Tulsi Gabbard was the complete opposite. I can easily see her being tagged as somebody's VP, in a future presidential race (because, let's face it, she would never be allowed to lead the ticket.)

gabbard seems kind of dangerous to me, since she's got some bonkers political views and political connections, but she comes off so, so slick and polished. my theory with her is that she's actually a cylon from the 2000s version of battlestar galactica.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:03 AM on August 25 [12 favorites]


Thoughtful article about the state of some rural folks: How Suffering Farmers May Determine Trump's Fate (New Yorker)
posted by Melismata at 11:04 AM on August 25


Rule of law means nothing if it's not enforced.

Meanwhile, police unions are endorsing Trump.
posted by Reyturner at 11:05 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


The scariest thing to me is not so much the repulsion from seeing things like Guilfoyle's or Jr.'s speeches but the knowledge that they're playing to an audience that laps that stuff up. They've been listening to Fox news and Rush for decades and love having people scream terrifying shit about democrats at them.
posted by octothorpe at 11:07 AM on August 25 [9 favorites]


When are they going to get to the Wall? On a rare surfing pause on fox POTUS was explaining to Hanity that the wall was a success, almost finished, all 261 miles, "maybe another 50"

There are only 16 miles of new wall along the border. There's another 178 miles of new walls that replaced walls and fences that were already there. Mexico is not paying for it. The Mexico–United States border is 1,954 miles long.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:24 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


Honestly, the media and the Dems need to start talking publicly about the very real possibility -- almost inevitability at this point -- that Trump refuses to leave office

The media has frequently tried to help normalize a lot of his behaviors, from "both sides" false equivocation to legitimize white supremacy, to the breathless reporting on his "new tone", which was exactly the same as his old tone. The NYTimes is the paper of record, and when he gets caught lying, as he invariably does, their editors somehow find yet a new phrase to describe what he's doing, without taking that last and vital step of calling him a liar.

I wonder if the media's coverage of Trump in this respect would just end up strengthening his case, were he to try to regain and stay in office illegally. When mainstream outlets reported about his statements about delaying the general election, for instance, it took them a couple days to give the addendum that his office does not give him power to do so. It may come to a point where we don't have "a couple days" for the press to correct their reportage.

Relying on the military to defend the Constitution seems an iffy proposition. Most of them voted for him last time around. One of their four-star generals went along on a teargas parade through Washington, marching with Trump to his church photo op. That action, too, took "a couple days" for said general to walk back on.

I don't know what the solution is. Most of the people able to do something about this seem to want to help him stay in power. It's like CBS's Les Moonves admitted: Trump is bad for America, but great for Les' shareholders. To some extent, complicity has been good for business. The rest of us are kind of hoping against hope, or just not competent or in a position of power to confront this behavior head-on. Get out the vote, and cross your fingers that the voting machines aren't again fixed, and that the ballots get counted, I guess.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:32 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


The Trump campaign ad includes pictures of Adolf Hitler speaking. Yes, it's in the context of past American greatness [how the US defeated the menace that was Nazi Germany], but it seems a wildly risky political move from Team Trump.

Trump praised real live American Nazis who murdered a woman in Charlottesville as "very fine people". How is having Hitler in an ad (with the usual plausible deniability) going to be risky for him?
posted by benzenedream at 11:35 AM on August 25 [6 favorites]


When he tossed off the cuff "oh, maybe I won't leave," it would have been nice if Every. Single. News. Outlet. did not actually report it, since that gave him and others more ideas. One can dream, alas.
posted by Melismata at 11:35 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


If he refuses to leave office, the Secret Service will physically remove him it -- you know they have no loyalty to him. I almost look forward to seeing Cheeto frog marched from the White House.
posted by orange swan at 11:41 AM on August 25 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, police unions are endorsing Trump.

That's something that's pretty terrifying to me. The recent protests against police, and the way the GOP and its base dutifully licked the boots of the police unions and empowered them and many local governments to ignore popular outcry sure seems like a useful test for this November.

I think in the lead-up to the election, there will be likely be outbreaks of violence here and there -- against postal workers, elections officials... maybe even a mass shooting or two at an early voting site in a minority neighborhood. There will also likely be violence on and after Election Day as well, again directed at minorities, postal workers, election officials... I wouldn't be surprised if a few neo-nazi groups even try to destroy some voting machines or early voting ballots. If Trump loses and refuses to concede, there will be mass protests which again will be targeted by the neo-nazis. And the cops will likely sit back and let a lot of it happen, even tacitly helping here and there. We saw it in many cities where cops were allowing proud boys and other dipshits to act as vigilantes during the recent protests.

On the other hand, I think a large percentage, if not a minority, of the gun-toting, Trump-loving, gonna-take-back-my-country types are older and/or out-of-shape cowards who do not have the energy or the guts or the brains to wage a civil war. They are very tough when they have a gun that they can point at unarmed 20-somethings, but these armchair generals are not capable of actually "fighting." Then there are the younger ones who imagine themselves to be Mad Max-style War Boys, who are the actually dangerous ones, but again, I think they are probably all pretty stupid and cowardly too when it comes down to it, so they'll eventually fizzle out too. But not before they get their opportunity to blaze their violent resentment for a while. Eventually the cops will either be forced to take action, or the military/natl guard will start being sent in, but it'll be ugly.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:47 AM on August 25 [7 favorites]


The media has frequently tried to help normalize a lot of his behaviors

Yeah, I know... calling for the media to do their job is something of a losing proposition, but one can hope...

the Secret Service will physically remove him it -- you know they have no loyalty to him

Do we? Honestly asking, as I've never heard anything on this subject.

Relying on the military to defend the Constitution seems an iffy proposition.

Yep... I do think some military support for Trump has eroded, though, and I think it was maybe never quite as strong as the Republicans and Trump liked to claim.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:50 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


I saw a statistic somewhere that suggested the police were 80+% Trump voters, so that's not surprising. The police are highly unrepresentative of the population either in voting, gender, or color.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:52 AM on August 25


The Secret Service has loyalty to the current president. Once they report to Biden, their job will be to remove people in Biden's residence.
posted by Melismata at 11:52 AM on August 25 [3 favorites]


gabbard seems kind of dangerous to me, since she's got some bonkers political views and political connections, but she comes off so, so slick and polished.

She's the Democrat version of Sarah Palin: xenophobic, homophobic, racist, just not a total idiot.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:53 AM on August 25 [8 favorites]


benzenedream: "How is having Hitler in an ad (with the usual plausible deniability) going to be risky for him?"

Oh, it's definitely on brand.
posted by chavenet at 11:53 AM on August 25


The Secret Service has loyalty to the current president. Once they report to Biden, their job will be to remove people in Biden's residence.

That's assuming they get the chance to "report" to Biden.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:54 AM on August 25 [4 favorites]


Yep... I do think some military support for Trump has eroded, though, and I think it was maybe never quite as strong as the Republicans and Trump liked to claim.

I wonder how much the Russian bounty scandal has eroded his military support.
posted by ishmael at 11:55 AM on August 25 [5 favorites]


If he refuses to leave office, the Secret Service will physically remove him it -- you know they have no loyalty to him.

It would set a very bad precedent if the president is whoever the Secret Service physically permits to be in the White House.

As we get closer to the election, look for Trump to either start demanding personal loyalty oaths from the Secret Service or to start surrounding himself with more private security and state and local cops.
posted by jedicus at 11:59 AM on August 25 [1 favorite]


Trump is, ultimately, a lazy coward and will leave if he's exhausted every legal trick to overturn a Biden win.

But, ultimately, if the Senate and the Supreme Court end up declaring that Trump won, actually, I really don't see the Democratic Party doing anything beyond complaining about it.
posted by Reyturner at 12:01 PM on August 25 [10 favorites]


Tulsi Gabbard whined online about not being able to speak at the DNC convention. She ended up endorsing Biden back in March. Was she invited by the Republicans at the last second, or had this been planned for a while, due to the lack of a Dem invite?

There are still many open questions about where she gets her campaign funding — only a year ago, the Republican elite were asking if her money was coming from the Kremlin, so it's interesting that they are all now friends.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:07 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Tulsi Gabbard whined online about not being able to speak at the DNC convention. She ended up endorsing Biden back in March. Was she invited by the Republicans at the last second, or had this been planned for a while, due to the lack of a Dem invite?

Well she is a nationalist. Just not a white one. In this era of global co-operation nationalists have to stick together.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:11 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


It would set a very bad precedent if the president is whoever the Secret Service physically permits to be in the White House.

No, if Biden wins he is the democratically and legally elected president, and the Secret Service will simply be enforcing the law. But as someone said above, Trump is a coward. He will walk out of the White House when the Secret Service says, firmly, "Sir, it's time to go."

My dream of seeing Trump utterly humiliated may never come true, sigh....
posted by orange swan at 12:14 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


If he refuses to leave office, the Secret Service will physically remove him it -- you know they have no loyalty to him.

I don't know about this. We have not heard about any Secret Service scandals in the last few years. Is this because the Secret Service got completely cleaned up? Trump attempts to corrupt and make complicit everything he touches, it seems unlikely that he hasn't tried yet. I also haven't heard any thing in the last few years about his private security, after his chief resigned. Secret Service is under DHS and the Trump-hired Randolph Alles was removed last April for nebulous reasons and replaced.
posted by benzenedream at 12:14 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


orange swan: "My dream of seeing Trump utterly humiliated may never come true, sigh...."

I'm kind of looking forward to Trump spinning the Biden/Harris inauguration as the biggliest crowd to ever turn up to say goodbye to an outgoing president.
posted by chavenet at 12:17 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Honestly, the media and the Dems need to start talking publicly about the very real possibility -- almost inevitability at this point -- that Trump refuses to leave office

The more likely scenario is that Trump contests election results in every battleground state right up to the U.S. Supreme Court going well into next January. It will be the 2000 Brooks Brothers riots multiplied by ten.
posted by JackFlash at 12:18 PM on August 25 [6 favorites]


The Secret Service has been in constant daily contact with Donald Trump for the past years. They've protected him and preserved a discreet silence because they are highly trained professionals who are sworn to protect the president, but there is no way they have any illusions about him or aren't dreaming of the day when they are finally rid of that loathsome excuse for a human being.
posted by orange swan at 12:19 PM on August 25 [5 favorites]


The Republican convention, AKA The Goon Show.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:21 PM on August 25


Secret Service agents are already working for Biden and Harris right now. They are also working for Bill and Hilliary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama.
posted by JackFlash at 12:24 PM on August 25 [7 favorites]


She's the Democrat version of Sarah Palin: xenophobic, homophobic, racist, just not a total idiot.

And with the key difference that Gabbard does not represent anything resembling the mainstream opinions of her soon-to-be-former(?)* party. Palin, by contrast, was just sayin' out loud what Republicans were all thinkin' at a time when her party leadership was trying to keep the unspoken-but-commonly-held opinions at least somewhat under wraps (vs. today when they're just saying fuck it and screaming it from a 5000-watt bullhorn). Oh such a genteel and courteous time was 2008.

*Gabbard is not seeking reelection to her congressional seat, so why not ditch the Democrats altogether and hit the right-wing grift circuit?
posted by hangashore at 12:27 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]


A Parkland shooting victim's father spoke in support of Trump
How much was he paid? Srsly, people get so shitty ofr money and the idea of prestige.
posted by theora55 at 12:33 PM on August 25


The Republican convention, AKA The Goon Show.

Do not malign the noble Eccles that way. Eccles would be a far more accomplished POTUS, and if he tweeted "Ying tong covfefe i po," there would be meaning behind it.
posted by delfin at 12:40 PM on August 25 [8 favorites]


The problem with fact checks is that it assumes facts are independent and immutable: you're entitled to your opinion, but you aren't entitled to your own set of facts. The Trump era just completely shattered this concept.

Chris Hayes did a podcast about this with David Roberts (youtube link). Knowledge is a social process based on trust. You don't trust based on facts: facts are based on trust. The right wing has spent a long time been undermining trust in and building flimsy substitutes for institutions like science, academia, and the press. Trump leveraged that into a kind of cult of personality with its own understanding of reality. He's also a true believer, inside the echo chamber.
posted by netowl at 12:42 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]




there is no way they have any illusions about him or aren't dreaming of the day when they are finally rid of that loathsome excuse for a human being.

Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
posted by StarkRoads at 12:51 PM on August 25 [15 favorites]


Out of the space dumpster

#Guilfoylechallenge seems to be having some fun with it.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:51 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


Tulsi Gabbard was the complete opposite. I can easily see her being tagged as somebody's VP, in a future presidential race (because, let's face it, she would never be allowed to lead the ticket.)

Are we talking about Nikki Haley here? Because Gabbard did not speak at the RNC (or the DNC, for that matter).
posted by carrienation at 1:03 PM on August 25 [10 favorites]


It's not like he's done anything for coal miners in the last 3.5 years.
So how many coal miners are there? In the most recent jobs report, the mining industry accounted for 183,300 jobs. But that includes a lot of mining unrelated to coal and a lot of support occupations, too: supervisors, truck drivers and so on. In May 2015, there were 69,460 jobs in coal mining itself — only 15,900 of which were extraction workers or helpers, mining machine operators or earth drillers. That’s 0.019 percent of the American workforce that month. (There Are Fewer Coal Miners Than You Might Realize, Washington Post, March 30, 2017)

The total U.S. average coal mining employment figures fell 4.2% quarter-to-quarter to 50,361 in the most recent period, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of federal data showed. Coal mining employment has oscillated somewhat but held relatively flat in the early days after Trump took office. That trend began slipping downward in 2019 and the industry wrapped up the year reporting the lowest average quarterly coal mining employment figure recorded in modern history. (US coal mining employment hits new low at the end of 2019, may go lower in 2020, S&P Global, Feb. 2020)

TPM supposes that Jerry Falwell Jr. was extorted into bringing evangelicals to Trump, rather than to Ted Cruz, in 2016 [Business partner of Falwells says affair with evangelical power couple spanned seven years (Reuters, Aug. 25, 2020)] -- Trump fixer Michael Cohen was consulted to negotiate with said business partner (former 'pool boy' and hostel co-owner Giancarlo Granta), and saw incriminating pictures.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:10 PM on August 25 [8 favorites]


The effective rate isn’t coal-miners-to-national-population so much as Senators-to-coal-miner, though.
posted by clew at 1:30 PM on August 25 [7 favorites]


I couldn't bring myself to watch any of the convention because I like to sleep at night, but I've been reading a lot of wrap-ups, and the word I keep thinking but never seeing is "tacky." I know it's not a word that the mainstream media generally uses, but I'm sorry. Giving a major platform to people who are only famous because they were outside barefoot pointing guns at Black people is tacky. Putting all your kids onstage as highlight speakers is tacky.

We can't burst this bubble with facts or reason, and it's possible we can't burst it at all. But if anything works, it will be ridicule. Not least because it makes him angry, and he's even harder to take seriously when he's angry.
posted by Mchelly at 1:31 PM on August 25 [16 favorites]


> and the word I keep thinking but never seeing is "tacky."

poshlost
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:33 PM on August 25 [5 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if Gabbard ended up pulling a Lieberman and ditching the Dems, but "Tulsi-mentum" doesn't sound as good as "Joe-mentum"
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:35 PM on August 25


A Parkland shooting victim's father spoke in support of Trump

How much was he paid? Srsly, people get so shitty ofr money and the idea of prestige.


A parent who has faced unimaginable pain. I cannot bring myself to judge any parent who has been through something like this, no matter how much I might disagree with them.
posted by anastasiav at 1:39 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]


TPM supposes that Jerry Falwell Jr. was extorted into bringing evangelicals to Trump, rather than to Ted Cruz, in 2016 [Business partner of Falwells says affair with evangelical power couple spanned seven years (Reuters, Aug. 25, 2020)] -- Trump fixer Michael Cohen was consulted to negotiate with said business partner (former 'pool boy' and hostel co-owner Giancarlo Granta), and saw incriminating pictures.

I'm worried about the writers.
posted by Melismata at 1:46 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]




Andrew Pollack (the father in question) is a big proponent of "law & order" -- more cops in schools, more power for cops, more guns in homes, more security and surveillance everywhere. He frequently blames Obama and Biden for the policies that killed his daughter. He wrote a book excoriating liberals for ruining America and killing his daughter. He's a climate change denier, and has been a Trump supporter since before his daughter's death. I'm sure he suffered a lot when his daughter died, and I'm sure he still suffers, but he's also following that great American tradition of making some big bucks off of his tragedy and using it to advance shitty politics that will do nothing to protect anyone else's kids. He'd be saying the same things if his daughter were still alive, but no one would pay attention to him.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:54 PM on August 25 [21 favorites]


Don Jr really is the first pancake, isn't he.
posted by essexjan at 2:43 PM on August 25 [11 favorites]


Tulsi Gabbard was the complete opposite. I can easily see her being tagged as somebody's VP, in a future presidential race (because, let's face it, she would never be allowed to lead the ticket.)

Are we talking about Nikki Haley here? Because Gabbard did not speak at the RNC (or the DNC, for that matter).
posted by carrienation at 1:03 PM on August 25


Sorry, we are. I just realized now I scrambled the names of the two women. I apologize for any unintended derail. I really must stop posting when I'm actually working and my mind isn't 100 per cent focused on the stuff I'm ranting about.

Oh well, at least I didn't post that I think the Loch Ness Monster lives in a swamp. Then I'd be no better than Junior.
posted by sardonyx at 3:03 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


The weird thing is, at least three other users seemed to be right there with you, talking as if Gabbard spoke at the RNC.

On the same day when a major news outlet failed to distinguish between Kevin Hart and Usain Bolt, it’s hard not to read unfortunate implications into that.
posted by armeowda at 3:18 PM on August 25 [20 favorites]




A prominent anti-abortion activist scheduled to speak on Tuesday at the RNC released a video earlier this year where she said that the police would be smart to racially profile her adopted biracial son as opposed to her white sons because "statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons."

(Note: Link goes to a Vice article, the video is embedded.)

Johnson went on to say "Right now, Jude is an adorable, perpetually tan-looking little brown boy...but one day, he’s going to grow up and he’s going to be a tall, probably sort of large, intimidating-looking-maybe brown man. And my other boys are probably gonna look like nerdy white guys.

"So statistically, when a police officer sees a brown man like my Jude walking down the road — as opposed to my white nerdy kids, my white nerdy men walking down the road — because of the statistics that he knows in his head, that these police officers know in their head, they’re going to know that statistically my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons."

Jesus wept.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:22 PM on August 25 [23 favorites]


Trump fixer Michael Cohen was consulted to negotiate with said business partner (former 'pool boy' and hostel co-owner Giancarlo Granta), and saw incriminating pictures.

That's fixer AND bagman, but I prefer his full formal title, "Donald J. Trump's fixer and bagman, convicted felon Michael Cohen."

I hear he's going to be on Maddow tonight with some explosive something. But frankly they only thing I'm interested in is if Donald J. Trump's fixer and bagman, convicted felon Michael Cohen reveals the details of the settlement with the woman whom Donald J. Trump raped in 1994, when she was 13,
posted by mikelieman at 3:24 PM on August 25 [15 favorites]


In my defence, it's hard to keep track of the clown car of American politicians you've got down there. There's 50 states, and each of those has governors and senators and congress people, and then you've got all the ex- and former politicians (see Haley). I think I've got a pretty good handle on most of them most of the time, but every once in a while, human error creeps in and I make a mistake. I think, in this case, it has more to do with the similarities of their names (both have two-syllable first names ending in an I sound, both have two-syllable last names) than any type of bias about the fact that they are women of colour, but go ahead and think that if you feel like it.
posted by sardonyx at 3:26 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


The weird thing is, at least three other users seemed to be right there with you, talking as if Gabbard spoke at the RNC.

Guilty. Thanks for the correction.
posted by hangashore at 3:52 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


how does it not break people's brains to be told that if Biden is elected there will be riots and cities burning and people dying...

It seems to me a very effective Biden ad would be just a TV playing the Trump ad and a series of onscreen annotations as to when each of these scenes of riots and unrest and death was filmed during the Current Occupant’s term. “Trump wants to scare you into thinking someone else could be as bad at the job as he is.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:09 PM on August 25 [16 favorites]


I didn't confuse Haley with Gabbard, but I was wrong to think that she spoke at the convention, as well — so, fair cop. Given everything it did seem just a bit too plausible, even with the campaign funding issues, and I wouldn't be surprised if she would ultimately be asked to participate.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:12 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


clown car of American politicians

we fit so many by gutting democracy

'He can't be trusted': Michael Cohen denounces Trump in ads airing during Republican National Convention (USA Today, Aug. 25) President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and self-described fixer Michael Cohen denounces his old boss as a liar and fraud in a series of ads set to run this week during the Republican National Convention. "For more than a decade, I was President Trump's right-hand man, fixer and confidant," Cohen says in the opening of an ad that ran Monday night. "I was complicit in helping conceal the real Donald Trump. I was part of creating an illusion." Cohen warns viewers Trump is going to "blatantly lie" to them at the convention.

The ads are produced & paid for by pro-Dem super PAC American Bridge 21st Century. Cohen was released from prison a second time last month because of the pandemic, and is serving out the remainder of his 3-year sentence at home.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:13 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Seriously I feel so bad for that anti-abortion activist's "brown" son . . . To be trapped and dependent on a person who claims to love you yet would hold such ignorant, malignant, unempathetic, white supremacist views . . . And to be so active about announcing them and enacting them in the world . . . it's definitely some form of child abuse.
posted by flamk at 4:24 PM on August 25 [22 favorites]


I mean, I appreciate that some of the rats are willing to denounce their former rat king, but surely, SURELY Cohen has some, like, actual evidence he could provide that could, ya know, cause actual, legal repercussions for Trump. Is he holding out for a pardon? Money? Protection?
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:24 PM on August 25 [8 favorites]


"So statistically, when a police officer sees a brown man like my Jude walking down the road — as opposed to my white nerdy kids, my white nerdy men walking down the road — because of the statistics that he knows in his head, that these police officers know in their head, they’re going to know that statistically my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons."

That is a maternal self-burn on par with the guy who'd never met a heterosexual woman who enjoyed sex.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:29 PM on August 25 [11 favorites]


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday panned Kimberly Guilfoyle, the Republican National Convention speaker who on Monday implied her Puerto Rican mother was an immigrant. "The woman the GOP picked as their 'proud' Latina to tout 'immigrant experience' didn’t seem to know that Puerto Rico is already part of the United States," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.

In her speech Monday, Guilfoyle called herself a first-generation American, referencing her parents' places of origin. "My mother Mercedes was a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. My father, also an immigrant, came to this nation in pursuit of the American dream," said Guilfoyle.
- Ocasio-Cortez slams Kimberly Guilfoyle over immigration claims, The Hill, Aug. 25, 2020
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:36 PM on August 25 [7 favorites]




yeh, i uhhh

haven't been watching the rnc, just reading other people talk about it and pretending i know what's going on

i suppose i should be more careful about only talking about things where i know what i'm talking about, instead of just taking every opportunity to compare tulsi gabbard to a killbot
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:52 PM on August 25 [12 favorites]


Yeah I thought I just missed her not that people were mistaking her for Haley. I honestly thought she would be joining the Trump train simply because she's a Modi fanatic and Trump loves his fawning authoritarian wannabes.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:12 PM on August 25 [6 favorites]


Okay, that's two nights and two "ordinary people" speakers who claimed to have heard the Lord speak directly to them, using English words. I never realized God was so chatty these days or that he delivered such clear direct messages.
posted by sardonyx at 5:43 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


He speaks to me through roadside signs.

ROSES ARE RED
ATHLETES ARE FIT
PLEASE DON'T VOTE FOR
THAT ORANGE SH(that sign was broken off for some reason)
BURMA SHAVE
posted by delfin at 5:47 PM on August 25 [14 favorites]


Are Ivanka and Donald Jr and Erik and Tiffany scheduled to speak right after this Pam Bondi criticism of Biden's family members benefiting in business from Biden's ties, or is that another day?
posted by Theiform at 6:33 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]


Junior spoke yesterday. I think today it's Tiffany and Eric. And Melania. Trumps all the way down.
posted by sardonyx at 6:35 PM on August 25


I've learned from this convention that there is a good possibility that Trumps are going to vote for Trump.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:40 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]


I'm listening to Tiffany. I have no idea why. This is obviously the most stilted, dishonest, and gross speech at the RNC the last few minutes.
posted by JenMarie at 6:42 PM on August 25


Speaking of speakers: Mary Ann Mendoza, an "angel mom," had her appearance cancelled after she left a social media trail including QAnon promotion and anti-Rothschild sentiments.

Still speaking: Abby Johnson, an anti-abortion activist quoted as saying that police would be 'smart' to racially profile her adopted black son over her Irish-looking sons because "statistically, brown men commit more violent offenses."

In case you were wondering which lines still might matter.
posted by delfin at 6:43 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


Tiffany brings up again the "mental enslavement" that Guilfoyle was screaming about yesterday. And transitions immediately from saying that children are feeling afraid to talk about what they believe in -- because of all the people saying that the truth should be taught instead of lies -- to advocating for school choice -- entailing the right of families upset with diverse opinions presented in public schools to put their children in schools espousing adherence to the creed of a single ideology.
posted by Theiform at 6:44 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Whether Tiffany believes what she said or not, it's evident she's planted firmly on Team Trump turf. She's as bad as the rest of his brood.
posted by sardonyx at 6:45 PM on August 25 [8 favorites]


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in Jerusalem on 'official State Department business' taped a segment (possibly on the roof of the King David Hotel) for the convention tonight. He risks running afoul of the Hatch Act, as well as protocols outlined in a State Dept. memo last December. The State Department said Pompeo would address the RNC in his "personal capacity." (USA Today) A spokesperson, who was not authorized to comment on the record, said no official agency resources would be used for Pompeo's remarks, and his staff has not been involved in preparing his speech or in making the arrangements for Pompeo's appearance. But critics said that's a distinction without a difference and note that Pompeo's remarks appear to directly flout a policy that he approved restricting State Department employees from taking part in political activities. The Pompeo-approved December 2019 State Department policy memo, in part:

TO: All Presidential Appointees and All Political Appointees
FROM: Office of the Legal Adviser
RE: Rules on Political Activities

This memorandum outlines the current restrictions on political activities that apply to all presidential and political appointees, including Foreign Service and Civil Service career employees serving in such positions. [...] The combination of Department policy and Hatch Act requirements effectively bars you from engaging in partisan political activities while on duty, and, in many circumstances, even when you are off duty. [...]

Prohibited Political Activities
You may not:
- Engage in any political activity, even while off duty, in government work facilities, using government resources, or using your title or authority. [...]
- Engage in political activity in concert with a partisan candidate, political party, or partisan political group. This restriction covers a range of activities, such as:

• Serve as a delegate, alternate, or proxy to a political party convention. Senate confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event
• Speak for or against a partisan candidate, political party, or partisan political group at a convention, rally, or similar gathering sponsored by such entities, or at any other gathering if the address is given in concert with such entities
• Take any other active role in the political campaign of a partisan candidate or a candidate for political party office
• If you are a Senate-Confirmed Presidential Appointee, you may not attend any partisan political fundraiser, even if hosted by a spouse in your residence.
---
Pompeo was confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2018, in a 57–42 vote and was sworn in the same day. He's an evangelical Christian using Jerusalem as a backdrop to campaign for this president, and the 'virtual appearance, pre-recorded' detail is going to be an excuse for all the Hatch Act and policy violations.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:51 PM on August 25 [12 favorites]


Whatever defence and benefit of the doubt Tiffany might have had from her previous silence is now null and void.

Hope it is worth it, Ms T.
posted by Pouteria at 6:58 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


He risks running afoul of the Hatch Act

Surely, this...
posted by Reyturner at 7:10 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]


Ivanka and Donald Jr and Erik and Tiffany are scheduled to speak

Yglesias makes a strong case that Tiffany will be the 2024 candidate because she spans the Republican middle ground between Ivanka's political pragmatism and Donnie Jr's ideological dogmatism.

I think he was joking.
posted by JackFlash at 7:23 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Tiffany Trump was born in 1993, so you're safe.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:43 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


Erik is being subpoenaed in New York and Steve Bannon has been arrested, among many others.

The RNC Convention theme is "If you're not indicted, you're not invited."
posted by JackFlash at 7:48 PM on August 25 [22 favorites]


Whatever defence and benefit of the doubt Tiffany might have had from her previous silence is now null and void.

Yeah, she had seemingly distanced herself from all of this for the last few years. To rejoin the bandwagon now seems... ill-timed at best.

You know, the Titanic’s last port of call was Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland. 123 people boarded there. Dunno why that fact comes to mind.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:50 PM on August 25 [8 favorites]


David Frum, in The Atlantic, outlines The Platform the GOP Is Too Scared to Publish - What the Republican Party actually stands for, in 13 points
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:50 PM on August 25 [7 favorites]


I think their platform is 14 words, not 13 points.
posted by octothorpe at 7:53 PM on August 25 [26 favorites]


It finally occurred to me that they don't need a platform. They have anti-abortion justices, low taxes (sure, could always be lower), mass deregulation, unions (aside from police) are busted. The only stuff left is the culture-war stuff.
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:55 PM on August 25 [5 favorites]


GOP Platform: "Whatever liberals are for, we're against"
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:57 PM on August 25 [5 favorites]


I could easily see millions of trump's Twitter minions nodding furiously at Frum's 13 points.

Melania's olive banana republic dictator dominatrix outfit put me in mind of a parallel universe where she screams, "VIVA LA REVOLUCION!" sets off a smoke bomb and a bunch of guerrillas rappel into the garden garroting and machine gunning as they execute a televised coup. *sigh*
posted by klanawa at 8:04 PM on August 25 [8 favorites]


For this, she butchered the Rose Garden?

Melania Trump appears to be the first speaker tonight to offer sympathies to Americans suffering through the coronavirus pandemic – a reality that her husband, his administration officials and supporters have denied. “I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically,” Melania Trump said. “My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers with those who are suffering.” The first lady’s speech so far has been very personal, from offering condolences to families affected by coronavirus to recounting her experience becoming a US citizen. [...]

Nearing the end of her speech, the first lady noted she had not spent much of her time criticizing Democrats. “I don’t want to use this precious time attacking the other side, because, as we saw last week, that kind of talk only serves to divide the country further,” Trump said.
(The Guardian coverage neatly point/counterpoints her speech.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:18 PM on August 25


A surprise naturalization ceremony, sure, why not.
Eric Trump:“Dad, let’s make Uncle Robert very proud this week. Let’s go get another four years. I love you very much.” Oh, gosh, that's sad.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:23 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


The saddest thing about this is the non-Ivanka Trump kids trying to get that monster's approval
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:26 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


Speaking of what the women were wearing, I was shocked to see pants tonight, including Tiffany's disco flares. Last night it was pretty much all red dresses, and I was expecting more of the same tonight (with a slight variation on colours) given Donald's rule about no lady pants in the White House.

But yeah, I did have to wonder about the messaging of Melania's military-inspired outfit, but as she said before, when wearing the famous "I don't care..." coat her clothes aren't intended to signal her messages or thoughts. They're just clothes. (And, no, I don't believe that for an instant.)

As bad as things were tonight, the naturalization ceremony was the most blatant and shocking and "I can't believe they had the nerve to include that" bit, at least it was to me. I know there are no norms that apply to the Trump administration, and I keep thinking I'm jaded enough that nothing it does will surprise me, yet ever once in a while it does something so previously inconceivable that I just have to stop and say to myself, "Why are you surprised? You should know better by now
posted by sardonyx at 8:33 PM on August 25 [3 favorites]


I’d really like to see photographic evidence of Hershel Walker’s story that Donald Trump invited himself along on the Walker family Disney World trip and then accompanied the kids on the It’s a Small World ride. I call bullshit.
posted by carmicha at 8:37 PM on August 25 [4 favorites]


The saddest thing about this is the non-Ivanka Trump kids trying to get that monster's approval
I'm not following you? The first Mrs. Trump was Ivana; the kids from that marriage are Jr. Mint, Eric, and Ivana Marie "Ivanka" Trump. Tiff's from Marla Maples and Barron's with current wife Melania. (And there are some Does, possibly/allegedly.) Do you mean the 6 grandkids not from Jared & Ivanka's union are jostling for Donald J. Trump's approval?
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:39 PM on August 25


That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die. (hopefully)
posted by blue_beetle at 8:52 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


He means that Ivanka’s the favorite and Trump’s other children - her adult siblings - have to desperately compete for second best.
posted by Selena777 at 8:52 PM on August 25 [6 favorites]


Yes, they meant any kid who isn't ivanka.

I haven't watched a second of this. So they had a freaking naturalization ceremony at the White House to show at the RNC? Maybe the way we get the immigrant kids and parents back together is to tell Donnie he could make the reunions a reality show.

I am exhausted by these people. I've had a stressful few weeks re: the precarious health of an elderly parent, while also having to deal with a cruel maga sibling on top of it.

I know the bigotry and ignorance, the selfishness and cognitive dissonance of all these right-wing evangelicals won't end with trump. But I just want him & his entire sociopathic regime, and as many Republicans at all levels of government, gone, gone, gone. Now, now, now.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:58 PM on August 25 [12 favorites]




I'm surprised that convention participants spoke about the coronavirus in the past tense. Even some Republicans have family members suffering and dying alone in hospital tonight, people who may not agree that this is all in our collective rear-view mirror. Maybe that disconnect with reality is causing some to tune out.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:56 PM on August 25 [5 favorites]




The people who are going to vote for Trump are giving him a pass on Covid. They believe it's not his fault and any other leader would have responded as he did. The bar is too high too clear for voters who know he mishandled it. Best to ignore it and pretend it's not happening then.
posted by xammerboy at 10:24 PM on August 25 [2 favorites]


I just watched that unbelievable batshit screech from Jr's girlfriend.
Joseph Goebbels couldn't be prouder
posted by growabrain at 3:29 AM on August 26 [4 favorites]


My favorite comment on that clip: "Now Kimberly, remember this is a big country, so you need to make sure the States in the back can hear also."
posted by Mchelly at 6:32 AM on August 26 [3 favorites]


But, ultimately, if the Senate and the Supreme Court end up declaring that Trump won, actually, I really don't see the Democratic Party doing anything beyond complaining about it.

There is precedent for this, after all. In 2000, Bush got fewer votes in Florida than Gore did, once they were all counted. Not that you'd have known that from the way the newspapers reported. They found that had Gore gotten his partial recount he still would have lost, so the retrospective articles said Bush legitimately won despite the fact that a full statewide recount would have gone the other way. That's why he was Resident Bush to me until January 2005.
posted by wierdo at 6:33 AM on August 26 [7 favorites]


I'm surprised that convention participants spoke about the coronavirus in the past tense.

I mean, what is even the point of a national convention if you're not gonna Go Big on your lies to the American public?
posted by soundguy99 at 6:45 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised that convention participants spoke about the coronavirus in the past tense.

Yeah, it’s some dimestore rhetoric to pretend that an ongoing worldwide public health crisis was just The Recent Unpleasantness. Where I am, a local politician just published an op-ed about how we need to slash public transit because ridership is down in the post-COVID world we are living in.

I wondered why she didn’t actually write the piece at 3:00 AM so she could honestly assert that literally no one in the city rides transit anymore (there is no service between roughly (1:30 AM and 4:45 AM).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:46 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]


And then there's: (reddit link capturing a Tweet by Stuartpstephens)

The GOP convention has speakers whose sole qualification is that they waved guns at black people.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:08 AM on August 26 [19 favorites]


In a just world, with the murdered protestors overnight, that kind of stunt would backfire hard with the electorate. But it won’t because RED TEAM BETTER THAN BLUE TEAM!
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:10 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]


The GOP convention has speakers whose sole qualification is that they waved guns at black people.

It's kinda uncanny that their last names are so close to Mclusky, the punk band, and that every single song and album title fits them so well:

My Sadness and Pain is Sadder and More Painful than Yours
To Hell with Good Intentions
Problems Posing as Solutions
When They Come Tell Them No
Clique Application Form
How Can 15 People Be Wrong?
The World Loves Us and is our Bitch
Random Celebrity Insult Generator
Collagen Rock
Your Children Are Waiting for You to Die
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:46 AM on August 26 [9 favorites]


I'm surprised that convention participants spoke about the coronavirus in the past tense. Even some Republicans have family members suffering and dying alone in hospital tonight, people who may not agree that this is all in our collective rear-view mirror. Maybe that disconnect with reality is causing some to tune out.

There is no incentive for them to admit weakness or even recognize reality. Even the supporters who have had friends and family killed by COVID-19 will warp causation to attribute those deaths to other complications or extenuating circumstances.

The party and their voters punish contrition and vulnerability, even as it kills them by the thousands every day.
posted by Ouverture at 8:21 AM on August 26 [7 favorites]


So, if just enough suburbanites esp women figure that they & their children would lose advantages under the Democrats vote Republican, and if college students and minorities who normally lean liberal don't turn up and vote then Trump wins? Well, then I am not sure if Biden is the frontrunner the media shows him as being.
posted by asra at 9:39 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]


There is no incentive for them to admit weakness or even recognize reality. Even the supporters who have had friends and family killed by COVID-19 will warp causation to attribute those deaths to other complications or extenuating circumstances.

Or just plain martyrs whose blood lubricates the gears of capitalism.

So, if just enough suburbanites esp women figure that they & their children would lose advantages under the Democrats vote Republican, and if college students and minorities who normally lean liberal don't turn up and vote then Trump wins? Well, then I am not sure if Biden is the frontrunner the media shows him as being.

Fight like Biden is five points behind.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:17 AM on August 26 [12 favorites]


So I'm guessing they flew Pompeo to Jerusalem ( or kept him there ) just so he could make his little speech in that setting. They're desperate for that Zionist vote.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:02 AM on August 26


So I'm guessing they flew Pompeo to Jerusalem ( or kept him there ) just so he could make his little speech in that setting.

No need to cast Zionist aspersions -- there's a segment of evangelicals that believe Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is necessary for the Second Coming. Pompeo, and evangelical himself, was shoring up the votes of his own religious cohort.
posted by Gelatin at 11:48 AM on August 26 [13 favorites]


I would agree with Gelatin that the optics are mostly for Evangelical Zionists, who are among the most rabid anyway. It's also to pimp their "Middle East Peace" deal with UAE, which also conveniently involves selling the Emirates billions in fighter jets, which Israel opposes and which may end up scuttling the whole thing.
posted by chaz at 11:51 AM on August 26 [3 favorites]


I wish the evangelicals could just hurry up and dispense with the facade of being the religion of Jesus. They've long been the religion of Paul and everyone knows it.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:27 PM on August 26 [8 favorites]


But then they'd have to call themselves Pauline.
posted by Grangousier at 12:38 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


But then they'd have to call themselves Pauline.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our new Messiah!
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:15 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]


She died a political death for the racism of the right and then 3 years later, with the help of Malcolm Turnbull, she rose from the political dead.

It's a perfect metaphor to base a Pauline religion on.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:17 PM on August 26 [2 favorites]


Speaking tonight is Madison Cawthorne, the 24-year-old Republican candidate for North Carolina's 11th district in the US House. Madison was criticized in recent weeks posts on his Instagram account showing him and a buddy having a grand old time at Hitler's Eagle's Nest retreat, where he referred to the dictator as "the Führer" (taking the time to get that umlaut right). Astute Twitter observers noted that he followed 88 others.

Mr. Cawthorne, who dropped out of college after one semester of getting all D grades, has been also criticized for claiming that he was on his way to join the Naval Academy when he got into a car accident that left him paralyzed. In fact, Madison had already been denied admission by the academy.

Madison states that he now works as a "real estate investor", although his company has only ever made a single investment by buying one property. He's named his company "SPQR Holdings", which said astute Twitterites noted is hella racist 'cause the alt-right loves ancient Rome.

NC-11 is an R+11 district, but it did elect conservative Democrat (and former NFL quarterback) Heath Shuler, pre-redistricting that dropped the percentage of registered Democrats by 7 points. Cawthorne's current opponent, Moe Davis, "is a retired Air Force Colonel, Director of the Air Force Judiciary and former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay. He has been a law professor, judge, speaker, writer and national security expert for Congress."

The Cook Political Report has moved the district from "safely Republican" to only "likely Republican" as the district's voters decide if they want a baby-faced talentless non-educated inexperienced Nazi (or Nazi-adjacent) proven liar with a history of stolen valor as its representative, or someone rather different.
posted by Theiform at 6:04 PM on August 26 [14 favorites]


Immigrants in last night's naturalization ceremony didn't know they would appear at the RNC
posted by Mchelly at 6:08 PM on August 26 [5 favorites]


For those of you brave enough to watch. Has any of them brought up Laura? Hell, if they wanted to project a good image (I know, tee-hee) they should have postponed by a day because of Laura.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:39 PM on August 26


Alright... my brain is about to explode. I made it through the first two nights of the RNC on the C-SPAN feed for the full unadulterated effect... and I hit the 10:00 hour tonight... but... I - I just can't. I mean this is such a perverse twist on any sense of reality.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:01 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


I've only caught about ten minutes of it tonight. Pence is speaking now and mentioned Laura. He talked up FEMA, told residents to abide by local authorities and promised the feds would be there to save and rescue and recover (which made me stop because I was thinking "recover bodies" but I realized he meant it in the economic recovery sense).
posted by sardonyx at 7:43 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]


Pence is speaking now and mentioned Laura. He talked up FEMA, told residents to abide by local authorities and promised the feds would be there to save and rescue and recover.

Did he mention the $44 billion Trump is illegally diverting from FEMA to his Rube Goldberg unemployment insurance plan because he refuses to make a deal with the Democrats? Sorry, folks, the FEMA money is gone.
posted by JackFlash at 8:36 PM on August 26 [4 favorites]


Pence: "They put their lives on the line every day. People like Dave Patrick Underwood was an officer of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service, who was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California."

What a lying sack of shit. Underwood was not killed by rioters. He was killed by a radical right-wing Boogaloo Boy who said he was using the protests as cover for his cop assassination plan.
posted by JackFlash at 8:56 PM on August 26 [20 favorites]




"'Dilbert' creator Scott Adams uncover the hidden satanic symbolism in Joe Biden's name."
https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch/status/1298654926399307783

MeFi's own!
posted by Ahmad Khani at 3:59 PM on August 27 [7 favorites]


Any response to that beyond plain ridicule gives his insanity too much brain space. He's either joined the cult or is simply trolling. Given how he's between banging the drum a lot lately, probably the former.
posted by wierdo at 4:18 PM on August 27


He's either joined the cult or is simply trolling.

You forgot grifting
posted by thelonius at 5:09 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]


I just realized Pee upside down looks like 666. And Pence has Pee in his name. And the remaining NC is internet shorthand for Nature Calls. What does it mean?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:21 PM on August 27 [3 favorites]


Okay I'm not actually watching this but I'm surprised there are no comments, since it seems like Ivanka just spoke and Trump is now speaking. No one can stomach it? I know I can't. I'm looking at the Guardian liveblog now.
posted by JenMarie at 7:31 PM on August 27


Remember the old joke about how Trump would turn the White House into one of his gaudy commercial properties.

Welp, here we are. Just click on the two photos.
posted by JackFlash at 7:46 PM on August 27


He's either joined the cult or is simply trolling.

You forgot grifting


I'm guessing he identifies more (or is more open about it) with Dogbert than the title character nowadays.
posted by gtrwolf at 8:26 PM on August 27


Tonight, Mitch taught me that I don't know American geography. Apparently Kentucky is in the middle of the country in what is known as "flyover country." Who knew?
posted by sardonyx at 8:32 PM on August 27


Welp, here we are. Just click on the two photos.

Can you imagine if any other President did that? It's appalling. I hope someone is there taking photos when it's all over, to capture whether the garbage left behind matches that of his rallies.
posted by Mchelly at 8:33 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]


I'm watching (fortified by klonopin). Haven't commented here in ages, and I understand live-blogging is somewhat discouraged these days?

Trump's talking in that strange monotone/sing-song that he uses when speaking off a teleprompter. I've been waiting for him to go offscript and do some damage to himself, but so far he's sticking with the (appalling, dishonest, full of more dogwhistles than you can keep track of) speech as written, it seems.

He did say "I profoundly accept the nomination," which was funny. Just now he just did one of his weird non-correction corrections, "something something ..to protect victim, AND victims, of violent crime."

It is interesting to see the white, white, white crowd (unmasked and not distancing) a crowd IRL that is very, very different from the entirely disingenuous showcasing of POC that characterized the speaker lineup for this convention.

This speech is supposed to run like an hour (who thought that would be good idea??) and it definitely feels like a SOTU, except the laundry list is a bunch of false claims about Biden's positions and even more false claims about his own. I can't imagine it will excite anyone except those already in his camp.
posted by torticat at 8:35 PM on August 27 [4 favorites]


Other short takeaways: Rudy doesn't know his own name (or it takes him a while to remember it), border patrol agents don't know what to do with their hands, and I'm sure it's completely accidental that they wave them in a manner that looks (completely co-incidentally) like a Nazi salute, FEMA tamed the hurricane and lessened its severity, Trump does not know the names of the people (read: terrorists) he took action against (read: had killed) and the U.S. "pioneered fatality" (whatever that means) with regards to COVID-19. Also Ivanka was boring enough that I nodded off.
posted by sardonyx at 8:37 PM on August 27 [4 favorites]


And Ivanka--man I have to examine myself for internalized sexism every time I see her face, I hate her so deeply. Such an awful, cynical, dishonest person.

She told a patently false and pandering "humanizing" story about her father:
"I remember each time he was updated on the progress of the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, he would say 'Don't let down those dairy farmers I met in Wisconsin. ... I don't want them to like this deal, I want them to love it!'"

Oh BULL. SHIT. Stick that in the same category as her repurposed lying LEGO stories.

Oh my god, they are performing "Hallelujah." Isn't there someone in control of Leonard Cohen's legacy/copyrights?
posted by torticat at 8:50 PM on August 27 [6 favorites]


But that song wasn't written by an American, so how can it be used to make America great again? (Darn, I had to tune out before he was finished mumbling at the teleprompter.)
posted by sardonyx at 8:53 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]


FEMA tamed the hurricane and lessened its severity

Oh yeah! Laura was the worst hurricane in 150 years and WE contained it. Covid is the worst pandemic ever and what's a president to do??

UGH
posted by torticat at 8:54 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]


But this time she had new LEGO stories involving her offspring building the White House for gramps to show off to his world leader buddies, so of course they're true.

It's funny how Donald is so enamored of his new home. Didn't he have all kinds of negative things to say when he moved in about how the place was a dump?
posted by sardonyx at 9:01 PM on August 27




But this time she had new LEGO stories involving her offspring

Yeah that's what I meant by "repurposed." :)
posted by torticat at 9:13 PM on August 27 [1 favorite]


That's the great thing about Lego, they can be endlessly repurposed to build any fantastic construction one can imagine (well, unless they are glued together, literally the plot of the evil business man antagonist of The Lego Movie), and are compatible from generation to generation .
posted by St. Oops at 9:27 PM on August 27 [4 favorites]


how can it be used to make America great again

"Make America Great Again" was the 2016 slogan. According to Pence yesterday, the new 2020 hotness is "Make America Great Again Again."

"Keep America Great" was the slogan as of January 2017 (or March 2018; IMPOTUS has rolled it out a couple of times). He switched back and forth between KAG and MAGA in 2019, one time in two tweets 20 seconds apart.

In May of this year IMPOTUS rolled out "Transition to Greatness" as the perfect slogan.
It’s a great term. Just came out at this meeting. That’s right. It came out by accident. It was a statement and it came out and you can’t get a better one. We can go to Madison Avenue and get the best, the greatest geniuses in the world to come up with a slogan but that’s the slogan we’re going to use. Transition to Greatness.
But TTG didn't last long and the campaign's been undecided on a replacement, hence the MAGA/MAGAA confusion.

Despite "Keep America Great" being the slogan for ~2-3 years, the Biden campaign bought the keepamericagreat.com domain this week and made a site that tracks IMPOTUS' legacy of failure.

Ceterum autem censeo Trump delenda est
posted by kirkaracha at 9:33 PM on August 27 [5 favorites]


Ceterum autem censeo Trump delenda est

Omnes right-wingem delenda est
posted by ishmael at 9:58 PM on August 27 [3 favorites]


It pushed Jim Gaffigan over the edge.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:40 PM on August 27 [5 favorites]


I am Here for it!
https://twitter.com/kimscorcher/status/1299228298816360448
Hot Pockets for the win!
posted by ishmael at 12:05 AM on August 28 [3 favorites]




Earlier this summer, the Republican Party released a draft of its official party platform going into the 2020 elections and it was, in its entirety, exactly the same as their 2016 platform. And I do mean exactly, to the extent that by keeping the language the same, much of the content is aimed at criticizing “the current president.” In 2016, that meant Barack Obama but with the new cut and paste, the GOP ended up repeatedly lambasting Donald Trump and his performance in office.
posted by sardonyx at 7:04 AM on August 28 [5 favorites]


From the bottom of the NYTimes' night 4 reaction roundup:
The Republican Party is all-in on the message that rioting, looting and violence have broken out in Democratic cities across the country on Donald Trump’s watch, and he has been unable to do anything to rein it in … which is why Americans won’t be safe if the other guy is elected. This is an incoherent position. But once you dial into Trump’s authoritarian frequency, you grasp that the supposed root of the violent urban disorder of Republican fever dreams is that Democrats are allowed to have political authority at all. If Trump is re-elected, he might put an end to the perils of two-party rule for good.
posted by nobody at 7:56 AM on August 28 [9 favorites]


Watching this unfold from across the Atlantic, I think he might win again. I hate having to type this, but he is so adept at appealing to the most base fears of his supporters that even those who might be wavering will be easily swayed. It doesn't matter if it's all lies.

As for Biden, his greatest enemy is voter complacency, particularly where people might not want to be put at risk by voting in person. He is also a decent human being and Trump voters aren't as interested in hearing the truth if it doesn't result in people they think are "worse" than them being done down.

If Biden wins, Trump will not accept the verdict - he said as much in 2016 - and will litigate it for months.

I have that sense of déjà vu - bigly.
posted by essexjan at 9:13 AM on August 28 [5 favorites]


Tonight, Mitch taught me that I don't know American geography. Apparently Kentucky is in the middle of the country in what is known as "flyover country." Who knew?

He's not wrong. Is it on a coast or do you have to cross a mountain range to get to it? I think a lot of Midwestern states would feel like the "flyover country" pejorative applies to them, including Indiana and Ohio, which border Kentucky to the north.
posted by LionIndex at 9:30 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


I absolutely would have to cross a mountain range to get to Kentucky, then again I'm in Georgia. I don't know what that would have to with a state not being flyover country, though. Maybe you're thinking of something like Colorado? Then again, I don't know that Colorado isn't considered flyover country!
posted by mllm at 10:00 AM on August 28


I have always assumed that "flyover country" extends from just-east-of LA/SF/Seattle to just-west-of NYC/DC/Miami.
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:17 AM on August 28 [9 favorites]


To this Canuck, located where I am, Kentucky counts as driving through country, not flyover country. That wouldn't start until maybe the imaginary line which would cross through Wisconsin and Missouri. Actually, if it's directly south of the Great Lakes, that still seems pretty eastern to me, and not my image of flyover country. On the other side, I'd probably say the flyover line stops at the Rockies (with an exception for parts of Nevada) but again, from my perspective, I've had business reasons to fly to the U.S. west coast (including conferences in Vegas). I've also had lots of business contact with Texas, so that might also earn a flyover exclusion from me.

I think I've got a pretty strong case for saying Kentucky definitely isn't central. Southern? Sure. But it's not the middle of the country. (That's somewhere in Kansas, if I recall correctly.)
posted by sardonyx at 10:45 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I would never think of Ohio as flyover country. Not in the least.
posted by sardonyx at 10:46 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I have always assumed that "flyover country" extends from just-east-of LA/SF/Seattle to just-west-of NYC/DC/Miami.

It's this. Ohio is definitely flyover country.
posted by axiom at 10:59 AM on August 28 [9 favorites]


For the love of Pete, folks - "flyover country" is not in the slightest about how you might actually get to or past these areas, flying or driving or over mountain ranges or whatever. LionIndex and Rat Spatula and axiom are 100% correct, "flyover country" is just a bit of culture war signifier jargon, meant to separate "Real America" from the snobby intellectual elites of the NYC/Boston/LA/SF/Seattle coasts. Friggin' Harrisburg, Pennsylvania counts as "flyover country" in context.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:29 AM on August 28 [17 favorites]


Places like Chicago's Gold Coast, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and Buckhead, Georgia are not usually seen as part of flyover country. Poorer big cities, on the other hand, whether in the middle of the country (St. Louis, as used in e.g. Sarah Kendzior's book 'Dispatches from Flyover Country' or pretty far east (certainly Buffalo and Rochester, maybe even Newark) are.

'Flyover country' started out as geography, spent some time as classism, and, if you hear it today, it's probably culture war signifier jargon.
posted by box at 11:53 AM on August 28 [3 favorites]


I think with the pandemic the entire US is now a flyover country.
posted by FJT at 11:55 AM on August 28 [17 favorites]


I get that flyover isn't all about geography, but location still plays a role. That's why I offered my geographically based perspective. From a business standpoint, the bits around the edges of the US tend to have relevance in some way to us. The bits that come up against our borders do too, even if there's a Great Lake or two between us. When I mentioned driving, I did it with a purpose: because we go through those states and encounter the people living there and are exposed to their culture, they don't feel as "foreign" to us in a way that states we never drive though (say South Dakota, from my perspective) do, especially since I rarely do business with anybody from there or any businesses headquartered there.

I've done enough business with people in Kentucky and have been through it enough times that even if it's not one of the states I'm most familiar with, I do have a decent sense of it, and that somehow precludes it from "flyover" status, for me and for the person who was watching the RNC with me. Also, seriously, it doesn't take very long to drive from Washington, D.C. to Kentucky. It's not like Mitch has to hop a plane to travel from one place to the other (although I'm sure he does).

I realize the term has become a shorthand for "elite" (I hate the way that word is used today) and "real" (LOL!) Americans. It was just a jarring moment to hear it from Mitch the other night, as it so counters my perceptions. I mean pretty much everything that was said at the RNC counters my perceptions, but I was prepared for most of it, and that was just a odd little note that jumped out at me, maybe because it was delivered in the "quiet" parts (i.e. not the parts screaming about the upcoming apocalypse if a certain person isn't elected, even though the apocalypse is actually happening on his watch).
posted by sardonyx at 12:24 PM on August 28


Biden's speech ratings beat Trump's. DNC ratings beat RNC.
posted by Chickenring at 1:18 PM on August 28 [2 favorites]


Remember when the NYT called for an independent counsel into Al Gore making a few fundraising calls from his office?
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:12 PM on August 28 [9 favorites]


Here is a cite for the DNC > RNC ratings.
posted by mmascolino at 2:17 PM on August 28


is there data on how far up digital viewership is? folks on the dnc thread said that total viewership for that convention was up if you sum tv viewership and digital viewership, even though tv viewership is down. i’d like to say that the republicans are less likely to watch online, but we’re learning over time that a whole bunch of the republicans are even more very online than we are.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:51 PM on August 28


I have that sense of déjà vu - bigly.

I'm also getting that 2004/2016 feeling. I don't know if that's legitimate or just PTSD.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:27 PM on August 28 [4 favorites]


he is so adept at appealing to the most base fears of his supporters that even those who might be wavering will be easily swayed

There aren't enough of his supporters. He's never had a positive approval rating and is currently at 42%, the lowest he's been in several years. "...no incumbent with a pre-election job approval below 48% (George W. Bush in 2004) has ever received a second term."
Against this backdrop, President Trump is in big trouble. After peaking in April between 45.8% and 47.4%, his job approval has fallen by 5 points to just 42.6% (Real Clear Politics average) or 41.0% (FiveThirtyEight adjusted average).

There are reasons for this. Although the president continues to receive good ratings for economic management, only 43% of Americans approve of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. His handling of the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd does even worse, with only 35% of Americans registering their approval.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:10 PM on August 28 [2 favorites]


He's never had a positive approval rating and is currently at 42%, the lowest he's been in several years.

Not quite never. 538's tracker says he was above water for the first 13 days of his presidency.

But despite all that 538 gives him a 30% chance of re-election. The Economist prediction is more sanguine about Biden, giving Trump only an 11% chance.

The pandemic and its effect on voting (and its facilitation of voter suppression) is an enormous wildcard, though. 538 vaguely attempts to address this by increasing uncertainty in their model: "we increase national Election Day error, correlated state error and state-specific error by 20 percent relative to their usual values because of how the coronavirus could affect turnout and the process of voting."
posted by jedicus at 8:49 PM on August 28


I have that sense of déjà vu - bigly.

I'm also getting that 2004/2016 feeling. I don't know if that's legitimate or just PTSD.


It's real. One again the Democrats have a far superior candidate (honestly, most professional politicians are probably superior to Trump in the sense I'm using it) but there is very little enthusiasm for that candidate. I know how this goes, I'll be fact-checked by people saying Clinton got the most votes of any candidate, ever, but I stand behind the statement that far too few people were/are enthusiastic about Clinton and Biden.

Recent case in point- Trump's ratings lower than Bidens, but does anyone believe Biden has more fans than Trump?

Biden leads in the polls, but articles like this reinforce my belief that Trump is not accurately measured by ratings or polls. His fans are extremely passionate, and as a group they are as powerful than people would like to believe.

The dirty tricks, voter suppression, COVID, and general feelings of doom may reduce the election to who really really wants to vote. There is a tremendous interest in voting against Trump, but are those people concentrated in the wrong places?
posted by chaz at 9:49 PM on August 28 [9 favorites]


Oh my god, they are performing "Hallelujah." Isn't there someone in control of Leonard Cohen's legacy/copyrights?

RNC asked the estate of Leonard Cohen if they could play "Hallelujah" at the Convention.
The estate of Leonard Cohen said no.
RNC played "Hallelujah" at the Convention.
Leonard Cohen lawyer considers legal action after RNC uses song after Trump acceptance speech
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:28 PM on August 29 [4 favorites]


"considers"?

WTH
posted by Windopaene at 6:43 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Songwriters and performers and their estates often (usually, actually) don't have 100% control over when, where, and how their music gets played in public. It could be legally complicated and not a very strong case - making a public statement that the Cohen estate doesn't support Trump is certainly a good thing to do immediately, but it's certainly understandable that they might want to do some research before diving into a potentially costly lawsuit that might not have any effect.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:04 PM on August 29 [4 favorites]


Did the Stones ever sue Trump for using "You Can't Always Get What You Want" at every event?

EDIT: I think the Cohen Estate might want to not be associated in any way with Trump, regardless of cost...
posted by Windopaene at 8:57 PM on August 29 [2 favorites]


They should sue for devaluing the song. I would testify.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:25 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Some googling suggests the Stones sent a Cease & Desist, but no actual court filings. You'd think they'd have enough cash to pay for some legal action. Sigh. The almighty dollar...
posted by Windopaene at 9:47 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


I've always thought that Hallelujah was a song that sounded profound but was actually about fucking. So it's not off-brand.
posted by Grangousier at 2:04 AM on August 30 [4 favorites]


All the music-rights stories interest me, because I like music-biz intrique, but they're also kind of a very repetitive microcosm of Trumpism in general, where people do things that are just blatantly illegal, then wait for someone to challenge them, then, if someone does, they hire a crooked lawyer to go poison the waters on Fox News and hope the public loses interest before the thing makes it to court.
posted by box at 7:39 AM on August 30 [4 favorites]


Well, you're not wrong about how it's emblematic of Trump/modern conservatives, but tbh, it's more like "Trump does something that may or may not be illegal, is counting on injured parties deciding it's not worth the legal battle to prove it one way or the other."
posted by soundguy99 at 9:11 AM on August 30 [5 favorites]


Daniel Cameron, the Republican Attorney General of Kentucky overseeing the Breanna Taylor case who spoke Thursday night at the RNC, on Face the Nation today:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thanks for joining us. You were at the RNC this week giving a full throated endorsement of President Trump. I want to ask you about something he did this morning when he liked a tweet from a supporter who wrote, "Kyle Rittenhouse is a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump." That's the 17 year old who shot three people, killing two of them in Kenosha this week when he took the law into his own hands. Is that the kind of law and order for America that the president endorses and you support?

DANIEL CAMERON: Well, let me just say that I condone violence in all of its forms. I want to make that clear from the very beginning.
(Sadly, Brennan caught it and interrupted with, "I think perhaps you misspoke when you said you condone violence, you meant you condemn it?")
posted by XMLicious at 12:41 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]




Pretty sure Cameron said the quiet part out loud there... he condones violence when it's done by people he approves of against people he doesn't.
posted by kokaku at 6:52 AM on August 31


he condones violence when it's done by people he approves of against people he doesn't.

I think they are fine with violence on both sides. Trump is hoping that a few more of his supporters/cops will be killed so he can make martyrs out of them and score election points. If anyone reading this is in law enforcement, Trump is not your friend. He wants to send cops in and escalate situations until cops get killed, for his own gain.
posted by benzenedream at 10:37 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


He wants to send cops in and escalate situations until cops get killed, for his own gain.

Mad Max: Fury Road was pretty dead-on assessment of the toxic masculine death cult that is fascism: the War Boys love getting sent out to die for Dear Leader -- it is what gives them meaning and a promise of immortality.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:04 PM on August 31 [8 favorites]


“A Gathering of Wolves,” Blair McClendon, n+1, 31 August 2020
posted by ob1quixote at 3:45 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


The more appropriate Cohen song would have been “Everybody Knows”.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 6:33 PM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Biden should license John Lennon's Just Gimme Some Truth and use it always.
posted by valkane at 9:57 PM on August 31


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