9:04 Softball tonight kept me away from some of the convention. I heard Biden bring the house down on the radio, though. He sounds really good on the radio. He’s got that ol’ timey confidentiality, even when he’s shouting. He pulls you in. And there is no one who sounds more sincere than he does when saying he can’t believe that Donald Trump has a shot at being the next President. Man, I love Joe Biden. I’m glad he didn’t run, though. He deserved to go out beloved, not losing to Hillary.
Kaine’s here. More after jump.
9:05: “Get Ready (Here I Come)”. It’s an easy cliche, but that’s fine. He’s the comfortable dad. He’s a cat who seems relaxed in his skin.
9:06: Great job tying the service of his son with the post-WWII security coalition that Trump already dismisses. It’s important to highlight how deeply anti-American a campaign he running is, Putin aside. By the way, there’s a lot to say about that presser, above and beyond the Russia stuff. More on that in the morning.
9:08: Minnesota, Kansas City, union iron-working shop: this is the kind of political biography that you would make up if you were making up a political biography. I’m looking forward to seeing how they tear him down.
9:11: Speaking Spanish as a Jesuit ticks off a lot of boxes, and will also tick a lot of people off. Speaking of that, if you are looking for a good read on Jesuits in the Great Lakes, read Willaim Vollman’s Fathers and Crows. I’m working my way through the Seven Dreams series now, a searing and mythical look at the clash between Europeans and Natives. It’s interesting to look at the harsh cruelty of America’s beginning during what might be our end.
9:13: There’s nothing better than Democrats tying faith and service into our liberal values. It shows the absurdity of “value voters” in the GOP, and their rigid and Calvinistic point of view.
9:15: He’s not the kind of guy who sets the room on fire, but he’s the kind of guy who makes a case for service, and the sort of service that leads to the idea that politics can be a great and good thing, a noble calling. It’s a message that is hard to view in this polarized nonsense, where one party’s whole goal is to make government and evil and alien thing. Tying it into the union shop and the idea that being active is the best way to fight for fairness, and that that’s the heart of America, is a great and honest tactic. Obama does is maybe better than anyone, but Kaine has a sort of simple gut-level way of making it clear.
9:18: “We all should feel the Bern and we all should not wanna get burned by the other guy” isn’t the most perfect joke that’s ever been told.
9:22: I liked the bit where he said that Republicans, in the quiet of their souls, would talk about how great a Senator Hillary Clinton was. And they all did. Part of that was to contrast with Obama: we would have liked her, they lied, having spent years calling her the Bitchchrist. But very few would say anything other than the fact that she was razor-smart, hard-working, and deliberately sincere. And warm! People liked her. She’s just too cautious, having had years spent being called the worst woman in the world.
9:23: Remember how much the GOP made a big deal of Sarah Palin’s son serving in the Marines (?)? I’m pretty sure they won’t honor Tim Kaine’s son as well.
9:25: Kainer doing the Trump “believe me” might be the highlight of the convention. Especially the “we’re going to wipe out ISIS so fast”. Just show what a goddamn giant dummy he is. I like the attack on Trump. It’s pretty corny, but gut-level honest.
9:29: Actually, I think this can be effective, that is, if anything about Donald Trump can be effective. If we’re not totally in cuckoobanannas land. It’s not something we haven’t heard before, but it’s a great way to show just what a dumbass liar he is. That the only thing he says, “believe me”, is the one thing you can never, ever do with such a ridiculous liar.
9:30: “Folks, you can not believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.” That’s really it. He’s been one of the most ridiculous figures in American life for 40 years. The fact that some people, a lot of people, want to have him as President, and do believe him, is enough to drive a man to drink. I mean, for me it isn’t a long road, but every day this stays real the journey gets shorter. We might actually disprove Zeno pretty soon.
9:35: The history of moral progress as the American story can have holes poked in it for sure, but it is a great way to tell the story. I don’t know who is convinced by what, but the speech did no harm, made Kaine seem likable and confident, and someone you could see as Veep. I’m sure that Twitter is alive with various liberal heresies he had committed, but he made a great case for progressivism, I think. It might not be what he has invariably lived, but I think it is pretty clear this was a life of service.
9:37: Hellfire, I know I’m such a partisan. And I am. I wasn’t always a Democrat, but as they moved closer to what I believe, and the Republicans kept getting worse and worse in my lifetime, to the point where they celebrate nothing more than antihuman nihilism and the conversion of human beings into capital assets, there is no choice. I’m actually pretty goddamn proud to be a Democrat.
9:43: This is a perfect Tweet by Mark Cuban.
Trump’s biggest debate fear is that
@HillaryClinton will make up an acronym for a non-existant agency & DJT will respond thinking it’s real
Sweet cracker, I hope that happens. I’d pay literally $18 to see it.
9:44 Don’t forget, Obama endorsed Hillary. Sellout!
9:49: Hey, yeah, remember how we elected the smart, thoughtful, deeply-serious man with a sense of self? Twice. Let’s not elect Trump.
9:58: Very smart to show the Presidency as a difficult job for serious people who have to think clearly and honestly. Because, come on.
10:02: I love the “we’re not done perfecting our union or living up to our founding creed.” It draws the line between who we are, who we want to be, who we pretend to be, who we asprire to be (which is the same as pretending, and that’s fine: we wear the mask, good or bad). And then to tie it into what could come next, when we stop pretending we’re anything but scared bullies.
10:07: “Ginger Rogers in heels” line about Hillary. That’s great. I’m swooning.
10:13: I honestly don’t think there is anyone better at getting to Trump, except maybe Elizabeth Warren. This is: not a coincidence.
10:19: “American’s greatness does not depend on Donald Trump.” I love his little eyeroll when talking about Donald Trump. It’s really effective, and he does a great job pivoting to Hillary every time.
10:23: He’s making the case for Hillary, and for America, but not in a normal way, because this isn’t a normal election. He’s saying that what we have is fragile, and progress can go away. That our systems have been built imperfectly, through stopgaps and teetering towers. It can go away. But if we keep fighting for it, it doesn’t have to. And if we give in to authoritarianism, it can go away right now. The President is making the case for democracy, and it isn’t incidental: it is central to this whole year.
10:25: Great job saying that we have to vote, up and down. The passion of Bernie voters needs to be transformed into the ballot box. Give us liberals if you want liberalism. Don’t just vote for a President due to your feelings.
10:35: “Fasicts, communists, jihadists, or homegrown demagogues, will fail in the end.” Heck yes. That’s our America. Nice job drawing the stakes.
10:40: The most remarkable politician of my lifetime. I admire and respect Hillary Clinton, but that’s it: we’re never going to see anyone like him, with the integrity and intellectual courage and grace. We’ve been lucky. We lived in a stupid time with a pack of ravening Visigoths opposed to him on the basis of small thinking and race hatred and a loathing of progress. But I think history, and near-history, will be very kind.
10:42: Hillary comes out. It would be easy to say she doesn’t compare, and might even look bad, but the way it was painted, as an extension of what we believe is way more powerful. This works. And as a moment, it is a million times more powerful and lasting than the vandalous nonsense we saw last week.
Wrapup coming in the morning. The slight worry is that, as we talked about the other day, they might be too optimistic, but I think it was temepered by the idea that there is still a hell of a lot to do. I think Hillary will be more wonky tomorrow.