Quote of the Day postsSaturday July 23, 2016
Quote of the Day
“A wise old friend once told me that the most basic paradox in American history can be summed up in the question, ”Do you govern or are you governed?“ The answer throughout the week in Cleveland was something beyond even the parameters of that question. These were not people begging to govern. These were not even people begging to be governed. These were people begging to be ruled. For all the palaver about freedom and liberty, and all the appeals to the Founders and the American experiment, this whole convention was shot through with an overwhelming lust for authority.
”This was a gathering of subjects thirsting for a king.“
-- Charles P. Pierce, ”Donald Trump Sold Us Fear; Next Comes the Wrath," on the Esquire site. The FDR quote from 1932 is particularly instructive.
Quote of the Day
“Republicans have used their convention to spew hate toward Hillary Clinton instead of making the case for Donald Trump. I've known Hillary Clinton for 22 years, and she's the hardest working person that I know. She never comes unprepared. Donald Trump, on the other hand, always is unprepared. The trust that you put in the President is that the President will do the job—will put in the work. This guy doesn't know what he's doing. You can't trust him at all.”
-- Al Franken on “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” during the RNC this week.
This is key. People need to know this. Donald Trump wants attention but he has no attention for detail, no attention span. He has the attention span of a 5-year-old, and reads about as much—or less. He doesn't do the work, he just makes promises. He's very good at selling you the line. He's very good at telling you what you want (no crime, no terrorism) and then not giving it to you, and then winding up in court a year later. The promises he's making cannot be kept by anyone, even a dictator.
Elsewhere, my man Jon Stewart returned. Jonny, we hardly knew we missed ye this much.
Trump is 'What America Was Founded to Resist'
“Trump's draft acceptance speech [is] a remarkable piece of oratory, cannily crafted, framed by massive lies and distortions, crammed with incoherence, and yet, I'm afraid to say, scarily potent. It invents a reality—that the U.S. is in a state of chaos, lawlessness and soaring crime; that the world is careening toward catastrophe—and then makes a classic argument for a strongman to set things straight.
”This is a very new departure for politics in a liberal democracy. We've never heard an appeal from a major party platform to junk traditional democratic norms, and cede power to a new tyrant, whose magical powers will somehow cause almost every problem in the country to disappear. In this election, the very basis of liberal democracy is on the ballot. ...
“The speech is entirely about fear, to be somehow vanquished by a single man's will to power. Its core message is what America was founded to resist. ...
”It can happen here. It is happening here. No election has been more important in my lifetime."
-- Andrew Sullivan, live-blogging Day 4 of the Republican National Convention for New York magazine.
Quotes of the Day: Welcome Back Sully Edition
Andrew Sullivan is blogging the GOP convention for New York magazine, and he was on last night:
There's nothing this crowd loves more than calling for Hillary Clinton to be in jail. It's worth noting that this is not normal politics. This is stab-in-the-back neo-fascist rhetoric. Obama refused to prosecute or even threaten to prosecute officials guilty of brutal war crimes – so as not to criminalize politics. This parody of a political party wants to jail their political opponent for extremely careless storage of emails.
The GOP nominee wants to end the Geneva Conventions and authorize war crimes of unimaginable ferocity. No candidate in the history of the United States has ever campaigned on a platform of war crimes as an ideal form of warfare. .. Trump is attacking the core civilizational norms that actually do keep us safe.
Just mulling over the events tonight, there's one obvious stand-out. I didn't hear any specific policy proposals to tackle clearly stated public problems. It is almost as if governing, for the Republican right, is fundamentally about an attitude, rather than about experience or practicality or reasoning. The degeneracy of conservatism – its descent into literally mindless appeals to tribalism and fear and hatred – was on full display. You might also say the same about the religious right, the members of whom have eagerly embraced a racist, a nativist, a believer in war crimes, and a lover of the tyrants that conservatism once defined itself against. Their movement long lost any claim to a serious Christian conscience.
Welcome back, Sully. You've been missed.
Catch 22 at the GOP Convention
From Reuters, specifically Elizabeth Culliford, at the GOP Convention in Cleveland:
Party leaders declared there wasn't enough [anti-Trump] support to allow for a roll-call vote that would record the number of delegates opposed to Trump.
Somewhere Joseph Heller is rolling over in his grave and wistfully musing, “Now why didn't I think of that?”