I’ll be honest, guys: I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this all night, much less all four nights. Still, let’s get going. We’ve got Benghazi survivors and people whose children were killed by illegal immigrants, and Scott Baio. It’ll be emotional, since it is the parents of dead people, which is awful. But, in terms of policy, it’s also irrelevant and insulting (people get killed all the time; the only way to prevent it is depopulation).
Already angry. OK, so love blogging is all below the jump.
7:01: A guy forgetting the lyrics to “Happy Together”. This is maybe the 24th-best cover band in Cleveland. And while “Happy Together” is the song of unity apparently, I don’t really think you want to associate Donald Trump with anyone hinting that “I can’t see me loving nobody but you for all my life.” He’s not…well, he’s not been very good at that.
7:05: The Duck Dynasty guy makes up a prayer. Seriously: they decided on a fake-redneckfake-redneck in a barely-buttoned shirt to start their ceremony. He’s not without a certain charm, I suppose, and he’s good at playing to the base. The media got Trump wrong because they never talk to “real Americans” and don’t know how to hunt or fish or pray. This is a blow-dried phony ginning up money for his bullshit products. And hey, it’s working!
7:09: Baio! Gets applause with “greatest country God ever created”. And now he’s telling us what it means to be an American. “It doesn’t mean getting free stuff.” That’s even more applause. Remember: at the RNC, belittling people and poking at imaginary enemies is the best way to appeal to the bloodlust.
7:13: Baio! Hillary thinks she’s entitled to the Presidency, but Donald wants to do it out of the goodness of his heart. Even the crowd wasn’t really able to get behind that sentiment.
7:18: Rick Perry decidedly does not mention Trump.
7:19: Not really much you can say about a veteran, here. Touching speech. Everyone cares about the veterans. Interesting who will actually vote to raise funds.
7:23: Luttrell talking about how the next generation doesn’t have to go out fighting, because the fight is here. Not really sure what the implication. He’s a hell of a compelling speaker, though. He could take the nomination from Trump if he wants. Easily the highlight so far.
7:26: I’m sure her pain is real and overwhelming and intense. But “I blame Hillary Clinton for the death of my son” marks this as incredible garbage. This is insanity. This is roaring, blithering insanity. You think the party won’t unify? All they need to do is say Hillary Clinton time and time again. This woman is clearly suffering, and not totally stable.
7:28: Probably the most grossly exploitative thing I’ve seen in a convention. Maybe overall in politics. They used her, terribly. The crowd was going insane about her not being able to call up Hillary. We’ve talked about how Benghazi is largely a distraction from Iraq, and that’s more or less the apotheosis of it. Do they really think that everyone should have an up-front? Did the people killed in Iraq get that consideration? Does anyone there care?
7:41: After a horrible and pointless Benghazi video, these two guys who were at Benghazi are giving us a blow-by-blow. The crowd applauds when they talk about killing a terrorist, but this seems too polished for them to really get behind. Luttrell had them (and rightfully so), and of course Sean Smith’s mother riled up their hatred of Hillary (because nothing bad ever happened to someone in the Middle East beforehand). Waiting to see where this is going. Crowd is getting a little restless. They haven’t mentioned Hillary in a while.
8:01: Antonio Sabato Jr tells us that our rights have been trampled over the last eight years. Some people can barely get cast anymore! Also, we’re heading down a path toward socialism. Obama and Hillary are communists who trying to destroy America, and also they are divisive.
8:07: Drunk and bad drivers, who happen to be illegal aliens, are to blame for nearly everything. It’s a tragedy, for sure. But this is the sort of thing that happens. People get killed by cars all the time. These people should have been exported, sure. But this is less relevant than the Benghazi stuff. It’s all blood and soil. It’s the enemy without and the enemy within, and the growing confluence between the two. It’s taking grief and turning it into a weapon. It’s the transubstantiation of tears into blood.
8:11: Crowd boos “black politicians in LA”. But says they changed their tune after finding out that the killer was an illegal. When that happened, “the politicians disappeared”, but that seems more like a normal passage of time.
8:12: Yup. This is basic racial divide-and-conquer. This is the darkest convention ever, even worse than the McCain and Sarah 2008 show. This might even be more revolting than the phony and hateful 2004 convention, with its four-day long mockery of John Kerry’s war record.
8:21: “Trump will shake the ground (terrorists) walk on” (Mike McCaul). Where the hell does this come from? I get dumb people thinking so, but a real live Congressman? Do they actually believe that he has some kind of military insight, or genius, or competence, or even knowledge? It’s mind-blowing.
8:27: Milwaukee police chief starts with Blue Lives Matter, praising the exoneration of Freddie Gray’s killers. A black police chief who hates Obama and is harsher than any right-wing activist is their ideal. This is one of the right’s big heroes, a tell-it-like-it-is Cosby sort, only without, you know.
8:32: Wisconsin Rep Sean Duffy comes out to talk about…a reality show? Crowd going crazy about it. It’s the abdication of any and all responsibility. Is this actually happening? Is this what America is? Why haven’t I started drinking yet?
8:39: The guy running for Senate in Colorado is, of course, getting a ton of applause. “Where’s Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?” This is absolute meat, and good one. He also had a “message for President Obama”, which is that there isn’t a “black America or brown America or white America. Just the United States of America.” I feel like I’ve heard that one before, somewhere. He also wanted to say “all lives matter”, and is now lecturing the black community about taking care of children. He’s like a windup talking GOP toy. Still, kinda don’t think he’s going to win.
8:45: Tom Cotton, auditioning for 2020. He says the right things, and says them very well and forcefully, but he doesn’t exactly have a surplus of charisma. It’s interesting: campaign won by Trump has partly been about withdrawal and not jumping into war, but Cotton is the neocon dreamboat. This is where the heart of the GOP really starts beating. When you start to paint a picture of weak and effeminate leader you can get them geared up, blood pumping in mysterious places. It’s gruesome.
8:55: Again, huge applause for this military mom calling to get rid of “ludicrous” rules of engagement. Basically, we should be able to do whatever we want, and not killing everyone is weakness. It’s the guttural roar of the GOP.
9:00: Hey, listen, you want to appeal to a new generation, you call in Jeffery Beauregard Sessions the Third. There’s no way this doesn’t appeal to a diverse group of voters!
9:03: Ah yes, there’s Jeff Sessions. Start out by talking about the economy, then talk all about whose fault it is. Who is coming into the country and ruining things. Taking our jobs. Taking all of everything. Taking what you deserve, what you and yours have fought so hard for. Don’t look at wall street. Look at those walls. Look at thos snakes slithering across the river. Goddamn, Sessions knows his people.
9:25: Sorry, got caught up in the Rudy speech. It was the most effective and terrifying one, and one of the only ones that actually endorsed Trump. That’ll need a whole post tomorrow, it was so mendacious and revolting. And then Trump kind of strolled out in crepescular light and introduced his wife. She’s doing well. Or, at least solid. Ann Romney was better. The Dole tribute is nice, but still. How is this his party? It’s gross.
9:41: Lt. General Michael Flynn up now. He’s actually spouting more cliches than Melania. “I stand here as a citizen. A veteran. A patriot. But more important, as an American.” How is that different than citizen?
9:50. Flynn still going on, but everyone is gone. They came to see Trump, Trump came, he waved and smirked and pointed to his wife for giving an emotionless, bland speech with literally no personal touches about the candidate, and everyone left. This is TV and not real life. It’s a grimy racial shoot-em-up from the 70s about slums and white women walking about being afraid. They got their rabid fill, and now it’s time to leave. I don’t know if I can take three more days of this, either.