The Democrats start getting their act together [Updated with full speeches]

The first day of the Democratic convention got off to a rousing start. As I am still away from home and have had to do a lot of other stuff, I could not watch the speeches but did find time to read about them online. It looked like the proceedings had a somewhat rough early start with some of the Sanders supporters booing Hillary Clinton’s name and some even picking up the Republican chant of “lock her up”.

That was not good but not as unprecedented as the media like to make out. After a hard fought campaign, it takes a while for the supporters of the losing side to wind down and accept the loss. The ‘Bernie or Bust’ group reminds me of Clinton’s PUMAs (which stands for Party Unity My Ass) who were furious when she lost to Barack Obama in 2008 and vowed never to support him. But most of them did when they realized that the alternative was the McCain-Palin combo. I don’t expect much to come out of this protest either because all sections of the Democratic party will eventually end up supporting Clinton, especially now that Bernie Sanders has called for that and once his big name supporters follow his lead, the way that Sarah Silverman did in her speech.

It struck me that Donald Trump reminds me a lot of Sarah Palin, someone who thinks that crying that they are the victims of ‘political correctness’ excuses their rage-filled mixture of fact-free ignorance, jingoism, nativism, xenophobia, misogyny, and bigotry. Those who seize on the few occasions when they make some sort of sense and ignore the fact that most of the time they don’t are taking a dangerous gamble when they suggest that this makes them worth voting for.

The speeches by Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Michelle Obama seemed to have been well-received, with Obama’s in particular getting rave reviews. For those who missed the, you can see all the speeches online. Here are some highlights.

Michelle Obama.

Elizabeth Warren

Bernie Sanders.

Here is Obama’s full speech.

Here is Warren’s full speech.

Here is Sanders’s full speech.

Stephen Colbert reviewed the first day of the Democratic National Convention and had some good jokes.

The bonus was the fall of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz who should have been fired from that position a long time ago but it took the release of damaging emails that showed she was lying to achieve that. She was first removed from a speaking role at the convention, then said that she would resign after the convention but still gavel it in. But when she was roundly booed at a breakfast meeting of delegates from her own state of Florida, she finally read the writing on the wall and withdrew completely.

I really hope that she loses her primary to a progressive candidate in Tim Canova. He has filed a petition with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that the Wikileaks release of emails shows some problems with her use of DNC resources.

In a remarkably obtuse move, Clinton immediately gave Schultz a prominent position as an honorary chair of her campaign, displaying once again the tone-deafness to the current political zeitgeist that has characterized her campaign. She does not seem to realize that the triangulation politics that worked towards Bill Clinton’s electoral success though it led to bad policies for the country, does not have the same power now.


  1. says

    damaging emails that showed she was lying

    Excuse me. It showed that she was coordinating an operation in which pretty much the entire top-tier was lying. She took the fall for it, but she was merely symbolic. The email scandal shows that most of the party brass is corrupt and she was the worst.

  2. says

    She does not seem to realize that the triangulation politics that worked towards Bill Clinton’s electoral success though it led to bad policies for the country, does not have the same power now

    Or maybe she’s realized that the gloves are off and it’s not necessary to bother letting the little people not see the machinery. “After all, there are still republicans,” she thinks, “the electorate will eat any amount of shit we care to serve them, and they’ll smile while they’re doing it.” Cronyism? So what.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    I heard the FLOTUS, Warren and Bernie speeches. Every time Warren said, “The system is rigged against you,” I thought perhaps she was causing reactions she had not intended.

  4. lanir says

    I found the news that Hillary Clinton had immediately and uncritically accepted Debbie Wasserman Schultz into her campaign very alienating. “But the republicans are awful!” is not a blank check with me to do anything less awful and get away with it.

  5. hyphenman says

    So many are raving about our first lady’s speech, and as speeches go, her message wasn’t too bad, but the polish was too bright, the cadence too scripted. Maybe she believed what she was saying, but belief in this election years is rare commodity.

    If for a second I could convince myself that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton were not selling Americans a pig in a poke, I could vote for the Hillary in November.

    But Trump is the Anti-Christ! is not a convincing slogan, and that is all that Hillary really has.

    I’ve been fooled too many times before by pie in the sky and empty promises.

    At some point you just have to say, I’ve been an idiot before and I’m not going to be an idiot again.

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write.


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