Republican convention: So far, so blah

We have entered day two of the Republican convention and so far things have been peaceful, at least outside the convention hall. Inside the basic message of the first day in the speeches was that we are all going to die horrible deaths unless Donald Trump is elected president, and that Hillary Clinton should be in jail because she is directly responsible for the deaths in Benghazi.

There was quite a bit of controversy about Trump’s wife Melania’s speech which seemed suspiciously similar to Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 convention. Watch.

Robert Mackey has more on the charge of plagiarism.

There was also some controversy when the party leadership that controls the podium used a brute force procedural tactic to deny consideration of a motion by the anti-Trump forces to allow delegates a free vote on whom they wanted as their presidential nominee. This kind of procedural steamrolling is now all too common as parties seek to quell robust debate, the essence of democracy, in favor of fake unity. At the 2012 Democratic convention a similar method was adopted in order to insert references to God and to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel into the party platform. Then the chair wrongly asserted that the voice vote was ‘yes’ even though the ‘no’ vote was clearly louder.

Outside there have been few problems and the air has been mostly festive with just one arrest for obstruction and three arrested for hanging up an anti-Trump banner. Police, as far as I could tell, were not dressed in storm-trooper style riot gear and in armored vehicles but were in shirt sleeves and riding around on bicycles.

There was a group of heavily armed men marching around with their weapons openly displayed in order to ‘protect’ people on the street, presumably in case ISIS launched an invasion of Cleveland. The ubiquitous police followed them around but there were no incidents.

Samantha Bee talked to people in Cleveland about what to expect at the convention, including the head of the Patrolman’s Association Steve Loomis who has been way over-the-top in his alarmist rhetoric.


  1. lorn says

    First, what they do in the convention is a matter for the party. The party is a private organization and is allowed to create, use, misuse, or ignore those rules as they see fit. There is no obligation, legal or otherwise, for them to adhere to democratic principles. Even the lip-service they give to democratic principles is simply a matter of custom and convenience. Anyone who doesn’t like how they operate is free to leave, and/or start their own party, one where the rules are more to their liking and compliance with those rules is up to them.

    A voice vote is, by design, a judgment call. If they think they can misread the voice vote to favor the candidate they like, and get away with it, they generally do. So he made the call and immediately ducked any backlash. If that makes anyone mad they can storm out and create their own party.

    Politics ain’t beanbag.

  2. Holms says

    And the manner by which the number of people voting is determined is… volume.

    Sure they don’t have to be democratic about it, but they’ve said that they will, and so they should do so or stop pretending. They made the claim, and it is reasonable for people to be angry when they discover that they were lied to.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    The Chicago Tribune has an editorial spotlighting how White Privilege plays into the Melania plagiarism story. Cosmo has one as well. Just imagine what the Republicans would be saying if Melania’s and Michelle’s roles had been reversed.

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