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.
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.