Quick Thoughts on Why Hillary Will Choose Kaine


Sure, why not? 


Typing this as we’re waiting on the text announcement, so I’ll probably look like an idiot if something comes through…

I think Hillary will choose Tim Kaine as her Veep, and not out of overcaution, either, or as a sign of which way she’s leaning to govern. I don’t think it is a sellout. I think what is most important to her, sincerely, is ability to step in. Kaine has executive experience, and is uninspiring, but competent, and probably wouldn’t be a disaster. Not to say the other guys would be, but he matches what she looks for.

Electorally…well, he won’t hurt. I don’t think he’ll add too much. Perez, who is my choice, and my favorite among those still in the running, might siphone some votes from white working class uneducated, since he is an amazing Labor Secretary who actually fights for them. He might also keep the Bernie coalition fired up. But I don’t know if it would be enough to make a significant number of them vote for Hillary or against Trump. So the calculation there is probably that he doesn’t add too much, is too unknown, and might face tough questions about ability to handle things outside his area of expertise (fairly or not). That said, the one charge that would normally be levied against him– he’s anti-business and too pro-labor– would ring hollow this year. I still hold out hope, but don’t expect it.

Kaine is a fine pick. There will be stuff we on the left can pick apart, but like Hillary, he governs where the party is. He’ll be more to the left than he would have been otherwise. And I like that the Sherrod-Warren-Sanders-(Feingold???)-et al coalition will be intact to keep their feet to the fire. Kaine isn’t inspiring, but he’s fine, and winning is what matters.

Trump Did Not Defend The LGBTQ Community


Not the roots of a new coalition, ok?


In his excellent and lacerating takedown of the inherent un-Americanness of Trump’s acceptance speech, Franklin Foer strikes a strange note.

Aside from his quite striking defense of the LGBTQ community, there was nothing that hinted at expanding freedom to new quarters of the country.

I’ve seen that in a few places, described as “surprising” or “heartwarming” or some other such terms, that seemed to describe his outreach and inclusion to the one community. That was in response to this.

Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.

(When delivered, Trump added “Q”)

It got applause, and Trump said how glad he was to hear a room full of Republicans applaud that. But come on. It is entirely about pitting that community against the Muslim hordes. To be sure, Islam, especially Wahabbi-influence, are terrible to the LGBTQ community. Murderously so. But this was not a defense of the LGBTQ community at all.

This wasn’t a pledge to overturn the overtly retrograde and dehumanizing GOP platform. He didn’t promise to work to overcome prejudice, hatred, and the staunch opposition to civil rights inherent in the party he took over. He didn’t say that he would fight to make sure that people in the LGBTQ community could lead lives unencumbered by the hatred they face, by the bullying and tormenting. He didn’t call the suicide rate among transgendered people a national tragedy. Remember, he alone can solve all our problems, but these problems are outside his concern.

The tell is obviously “hateful foreign ideology”. That’s all that matters. The yolwing jackals in Cleveland, with their gay conversion therapy fetishes and their emotional inability to recognize any “non-straight” for of love as real don’t have to adjust at all. It was all about recruiting new people in his war against everyone else.

Omar Mateen’s swirl of confused insanity, which surely had multiple sources, manifested itself in a hurricane of violence against a community. To Trump, that means that LGBTQ Americans only have one enemy. His exploitation of that is one of his most cnical and hateful maneuvers. I don’t think it is going to persuade anyone though. They are smart enough, and know the long history of oppression against them, to know that his phony compassion is insincere. I’m not worried about the media convincing them. But in looking for a reed to try to grasp onto, to find some sliver of sanity and decency in an outwardly apocolpytic speech, they inadvertnetly grabbed the thinnest one of all.