DNC Day 4 Liveblogging: Hillary And the Convention’s Best Moment

8:27: Barack and Michelle were transcendent, Biden was magnificent, the apolitical John Allen is right now driving the military into a frenzy, and Bernie brought down the house. But the finest moment of the week was just a few minutes ago, when the parents of Khizer Khan, a Muslim soldier who gave his life to save his comrades, spoke about what America truly was. And what it wasn’t, and what it cannot be. The best and truest moment was when the father offered Trump, who he was calling out by name, a copy of his ragged, dog-eared pocket Constitution.

He finished, though, with a call for anyone who cares about immigrants, who cares about religious plurality, and who cares about the rights of minorities, to vote. That they can’t sit this one out. Who knows the subtlety of his politics, but to me it was an implicit criticism of “Bernie or Bust” types. So what if you didn’t get every single thing you want? If Trump wins, some people will get nothing. They’ll be shut out, castigated, and demonized. The sacrifice of his son will be negated. The message is that you don’t have that right. You don’t have the right to sit this one out because your feelings are hurt. You don’t have the right to sit this out because more people voted for another candidate. If you do, if you arrogate unto yourself that right, then you are not progressive. You represent a party of one. You only represent your feelings.

More after the jump.

8:46: There is a lot all over Twitter and elsewhere about how strange it is that the Democrats are taking a serious national security stance and that the Republicans aren’t. But this isn’t weird. Since at least 1980 the GOP has existed in a partial fantasyland about “strength” instead of competence. GWHB kept them balanced, as did Dole, but the power of sloganeering was growing. After 9/11, “security” topped actual “national security”. The idea of bluster, the Max Power rule, was the dominant thread. The media fell for it, because the narrative since Vietnam was of weak-chinned Democrats, and George Bush’s swagger fit right into it. He was the brave one, and Kerry, the actual veteran, was a wimp. It was security theater.

By 2008, with everyone against Iraq, McCain, who always vacillated between being serious about foreign policy and thinking that words about toughness were more powerful than actual toughness, never had a chance. The party was too far in the “Democrats want to turn us into Muslims”, and McCain was never very good at standing up to the right when actual ambition was on the line. So the security wing was turned into deeply unserious people. Even more unserious than the neocon wing, who were, it must be said, were always wrong about everything.

Now, that rabid pack has won. They nominated someone who knows nothing about the world except for a few dimwitted slogans. And so they’ve “ceded” ground to the Democrats. But this was just a culmination of a long process. Trump just made it painfully obvious to people who were vested in a counter-narrative. They’ve been ceding reality for decades. It’s just now that people have caught on.

9:02: Chelsea comes out to dance! You know, she really went through a hell of a lot. I don’t know her at all, of course, but what the right-wing put her through during her teenage years  could have left her brutalized. The family marital trauma alone would have been brutal, much less having yakking assholes like Rush make jokes about her, let alone knowing the same jokes were being told be people all around this great nation. Good for her.

9:11: Brave, too, because you know there are going to be a lot of jackass memes with her and Ivanka about “which daughter would you rather SLAM” going around. She lets the braying flow off her. It’s really admirable.

9:21: It’s weird. Watching this video makes me remember that a lot of people don’t actually know anything about Hillary Clinton. I think some people are surprised that she’s a real human being. She’s flawed, and her idealism fights with her political instincts a lot (the former win more; in Bill’s case, the latter), but she’s been caricatured for so long I wonder if this is taking them aback.

9:28: Sorry, but I have to do a quick Trump thing. This sums him up: the lying, the fake toughness, the absurdity. And that people actually buy it. Hill’s about to speak, but luxuriate in this nonsense.

Davenport, Iowa (CNN)Donald Trump, after hearing speeches at the Democratic convention this week, said Thursday he wanted to “hit a number of those speakers so hard, their heads would spin.”

“They’d never recover,” he said.
The Republican nominee zoomed in on one speaker especially, though he didn’t mention his name.
“I was going to hit one guy in particular, a very little guy,” Trump said to laughs at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa. “I was going to hit this guy so hard his head would spin, he wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”
Trump said this individual “came out of nowhere” and had done work with Trump in the past. “He made deals with me. ‘Will you help me with this? Would you make this deal and solve the problem?’ I solved the problem,” Trump said.
His campaign did not respond to a request asking to clarify who Trump was talking about.
9:32: She’s still not dynamic, but I don’t really want her to be. Just be steady and competent. She doesn’t have to a politician, just someone who can convince people that she can do the job (which she can).
9:41: I like lumping in the “strongest military” with “innovative (something)” and “enduring values.” That stuff matters.
9:43: A lot of chanting from Bernie people who still don’t realize that democracy means sometimes you lose. A minority of a minority, but still.
9:44: A great job with mocking the “I alone” trope by Trump, although the crescendo with the “what about the troops” seemed forced. But a lot of her stuff really does. I wonder if the “perfect political animal” and “consummate insider” is a little negated by the fact that’s she’s not great at this part. She’s great at the other parts of the job. But not this, and in a weird way, maybe that can help here. Don’t forget, as famous as she is, this is her single-biggest audience ever.
9:51: She’s actually doing very well at the personal part. Her “I’ve never been as good at the ‘public’ part, just the ‘service'”, was extremely well-said. It is a defining sort of thing.
10:06: After a semi-stirring “join us”, gets off one of the best jokes. “Donald Trump spoke for 70-odd minutes– and I do mean odd–” as a way to segue into the fact that he had zero substance. “I like talking about plans”. That was really great stuff.
Also, anecdotal, apparently the YouTube channel swing this has 250,000 viewers right now, to Trump’s 13,000. That’s not like an election indicator, but it is nice to think of it irritating him.
10:12: Hillary is using his character as business conman to show how his campaign is a similar fraud. She’s been reading Shooting Irrelevance! (Update! She hasn’t).
10:19: Hillary is difficult to know in public. She’s kind of weird and wonky and a pendant. And, it must be said, a she. She’s a challenging woman, and she might be the next President. That’s amazing. It’s a testament to her strength and dedication.
That said, I think this speech makes it clear that there are things she cares deeply about, to the point of political distraction. Guns are one of them. The rights of the weak are the others. You can see that old firebrand come out.
10:33: I think she exceeded expectations, and made her story a truly American one. She looks like she’s going to relish going head-to-head with Trump. SHe’s at her best when she can explain things. Trump doesn’t have the skills to keep her off-balance like Obama did (and she’s better than she was 8 years ago). It’s still a terrifying prospect, but I already feel a lot better.

One thought on “DNC Day 4 Liveblogging: Hillary And the Convention’s Best Moment

  1. Pingback: Trump and the Khans: Too Much Madness To Parse Out | Shooting Irrelevance

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