Tuesday, July 26, 2016

dnc night one: the tone is set ...

“If I could turn the pages
In time?  Then I’d rearrange
Just a day or two.
(Close my, close my, close my) Eyes.

But I couldn’t find a way;
So I’ll settle for one day?
To believe in you.
(Tell me, tell me, tell me) Lies.

Tell me lies!
Tell me sweet little lies!
Tell me lies!
Tell me, tell me lies!

Oh no, no –
You can’t disguise!
You can’t disguise –
No you can’t disguise!

Tell me lies!
Tell me sweet little lies!” …


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I am still working on the recap of “House of Wings”’s acceptance speech.  I hope to have it up by tomorrow.

But in the meantime, since time marches on, no matter what we do …

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There were precisely three solid to almost great speeches last night in Philadelphia.  One of them was totally expected.  One of them I’m guessing maybe one out of every seventeen people who read this, actually caught.  And the third came from a man who I believe Secretary Clinton is going to really regret passing over for the Vice Presidential slot.

But a lack of high-quality speeches in and of itself, isn’t a problem for the DNC and the Democrat candidate this year.  In fact, I’d argue it’s a blessing in disguise.  Let’s face it, Secretary Clinton is just not a good public speaker.  She runs a very real risk of being overshadowed every night at her convention.  The only person who even approached a level of greatness last night was First Lady Michelle Obama, who gave one of …

… (stevo sighing in disgust at even having to say this) …

Look it.  If you cannot take a step back – regardless of your politics – and appreciate a great speech when you see it, then why bother to watch any speech?  I would never vote for Mrs. Obama’s husband.  But that was a tremendous speech she gave last night.  If you cannot take a step back, and realize the power of one paragraph she spoke:

“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done (sk: I’m adding italics for the money shot) so that today?  I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.  I watch my daughters – two beautiful, intelligent, young black women – playing with their dogs on the White House lawn!”

If you cannot appreciate the power of that one statement of truth, then go bury your head back in the sand, or crawl back under whatever rock you’ve been living under.  I noted this eight years ago, and given the incredible and inspiring progress made for true equality in the Obama years, it deserves to be hammered home even more just how much for the better this nation has become in the last fifty years – when Mr. Obama was born?  It was illegal for his parents to marry.  Today?  You are free to marry the legal spouse you love, free and clear from indwelt discrimination from the government, and ideally from any of your fellow citizens.

Mrs. Obama also was seemingly the only person *, out of the sixty one who spoke last night, who actually focused on the enemy the party faces.  The enemy isn’t Bernie Backers; the enemy isn’t Clintonistas like myself.  The enemy isn’t the DNC, it isn’t the incompetent Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, it isn’t the super delegates. 

The enemy, fellow Democrats, is Donald J. Trump “House of Wings”.  Period.  Mr. Lincoln once famously noted that “a house divided against itself, cannot stand”.  It is absolutely ridiculous ** that the First Lady was apparently the only person in the palace once known as “Comcast Country” ***, who gets it.

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(*: I gotta admit, Sarah Silverman actually made me laugh last night.  I have never found her to be funny before, in any role or capacity.  I was laughing out loud during most of her time at the podium.)

(**: second best line of the night, Ms. Silverman to her fellow Bernie backers: “you look ridiculous!”)

(***: now called Wells Fargo Center.  Only the Democrats would hold a convention in an arena named for a major banking institution … when one of the key planks of the platform, is the destruction of the major banking institutions.)

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The most powerful speech of the night, was amongst the first, and came on almost at the same time as I got back to the Casa de Stevo and fired up CSPAN on the screen.  An eleven year old girl from Nevada, a legal United States citizen, who was born here to two illegal immigrants, pleading with the nation to come to its senses and have mercy on her and her family.  She noted the fear, the pure fear, she feels knowing that she might get home from school one day, to find her parents have been deported.

I personally strongly favor a path to permanent status for every illegal immigrant in this country that isn’t wanted by law enforcement for anything other than their illegal status.  I do NOT favor citizenship for that grouping of persons, but I do favor a permanent residency status, to prevent tragedies like needlessly tearing families apart.  On this point, I also loved Eva Longoria’s comment that “My family didn’t cross the border; the border crossed us!”, referencing the fact that Texas and most of the Southwest used to be a part of Mexico.

There has to be a common sense middle ground to the issue of illegal immigration.  You won’t get that common sense middle ground out of “House of Wings”.  You at least have a chance to get it, out of Secretary Clinton.

It figures that in an election in which both sides cannot descend into the sewer fast enough, it takes an eleven year old, to address the Captain Oats in the room.

Because of course an eleven year old, would act like the grown-up, in a 007 slapper fight between “House of Wings” and “Crooked” Hillary.

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The other speech I loved – and I mean loved – last night, was Senator Booker’s, which led into the First Lady’s comments.

Some are arguing against its effectiveness, given that he got pretty, uuh, fired up at times.  To which I say, so what?  What’s wrong with showing a little passion?  God forbid you speak like you believe in what you’re saying!  I know when I get into a discussion about something I’m passionate about – especially if I’m presenting my side of said something, and the person I’m speaking to disagrees with me?  I tend to get animated.  I tend to get loud.  I tend to get agitated.

Cory Booker last night, was agitated.  And it was awesome.

Because like it or not, Mr. Booker NAILED where this idea known as “American Exceptionalism” comes from:

“In this city, our founders put forth a Declaration of Independence, but let me tell you, they also made a historic declaration of interdependence.  They knew that if this country was to survive and thrive, we had to make an unusual and extraordinary commitment to each other.

Look, I respect and value the ideals of individualism and self-reliance.  But rugged individualism didn’t defeat the British!  It didn’t get us to the moon!  It didn’t build our nation’s highways!  Rugged individualism didn’t map the human genome!  We did that together!

(sk: I’m adding italics for the money shot)

And so this?  Is the high call of patriotism.  Patriotism is love of country.  But you can’t love your country, without loving your countrymen and countrywomen.  Now, we don’t always have to agree, but we must be there for each other, we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, and we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good!”

This, readers and readettes, is the one gigantic, fatal mistake “House of Wings” made last week, and I suppose it is to Secretary Clinton’s credit that she’s been hammering on his one letter / one word mistake ever since.

And that mistake?

Is the word “I”.

Nowhere in “House of Wings”’s speech did he reference “us”.  Did he reference “my fellow Americans”.  It was always “I”.  I will do this.  I will do that.  I will fix this.  I will repair that.

Most people above the age of three have figured out, no man is a messiah, and noone can go it alone and succeed.  “House of Wings” thinks he can solve 230 years of national issues by himself.  Good luck with that.  Because you can’t do it, anymore than George Washington could, anymore than Abraham Lincoln could, anymore than FDR or LBJ or Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama could.

I loved Mr. Booker’s speech.  I just really wish it had been given about forty eight hours later, than it actually was.

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What surprised me the most last night, was how utterly ineffective Senator Warren was.  She wasn’t “holy sh*t, Paul Simon is LOADED!!!!!!” **** ineffective, but that was the biggest dud of the night, bar none.  There was no passion, there was no drive.  She was just … there.  I expected better.

I thought we got out of Crazy Drunk Uncle Bernie exactly what we expected – a total sellout and betrayal of his voters.  You don’t mess with the Clinton’s, pal.  Ask Vince Foster.  Ask Ron Brown.  Ask Bob Torticelli.  Ask any of Bill’s “youthful indiscretions”.  If there are two people in this country you don’t f*ck with, it is William Jefferson and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Although there was a hysterical moment, when the camera panned the floor, and it focused in on Susan Sarandon, who looked about as happy to be there as I look when I’m forced to go to Mass once a year for Christmukkah.  (Namely, looking anything other than “just happy to be here”, in the words of Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Color Commentator Emeritus, Dan Dierdorf.)

Overall, for night one, it wasn’t bad.  Just like the Republicans on Night One, the “powers that be” managed to hold the rebellion to a minimum, and to pretty much confine it to the afternoon cession, when nobody is paying attention anyway.

Now comes the real challenge – there’s no more cow-towing to Bernie and his bums.  There’s no more peace offerings being offered.  They were given most of night one.  They’re not getting nights three or four.

And with former President Clinton as your keynote tonight (along with Clintonista loyalist Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia – which is THE state that will decide this election, 104 days out)?  They’re not getting night dos either.

So congrats, you Bernie bums.  Your “revolution” got you exactly one night at a national convention.  It did NOT get you a nomination for either major slot.  It did NOT get you the elimination of “super delegates”, it did NOT get you damned near anything you wanted into the party platform, it got you literally nothing.  You sold your soul, your integrity, your everything, not only to a man who stabbed you in the back when the moment mattered?  But you have literally NOTHING to show for your efforts, save for one semi-coherent speech in which your messiah literally threw you under the bus, for the one thing you professed to hate above all others.

That magical place formerly known as “Dustyland”?  Has never been defined more perfectly – you Bernie bums sold everything, to get nothing in return!  

Other than the loss of everything you swore mattered to you.

“Tell me lies!  Tell me sweet little lies!”

“Oh no, no!  You can’t disguise!  No, you can’t disguise!”

You’d better come home to the base this fall, Bernie bums.  Us PUMA Democrats, for the most part, swallowed hard and choked down the last eight years.  Now it’s your turn.

And if you think failing Secretary Clinton come November isn’t going to be remembered forever, by Secretary Clinton and her supporters (of which I am a die-hard one)?

Then kids? 

Let me tell you about a former Secretary of State by the name of Ron Brown …

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(****: he was beyond sh*t faced drunk last night.  Sorry.  It happens.)

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Three last points:

1. I think tonight is THE biggest mistake either side has made to date.  America does not want to see a bunch of mothers of murdered criminals and thugs on their television screens.  And sorry, Black Lives Murder Matter, but “The Gentle Giant” was shot after robbing a convenience store.  Freddie Gray died because he resisted arrest after a credible crime, and last time I checked, your movement is OH FOR FOUR at getting a conviction (and deservedly so).  Trayvon Martin beat the sh*t out of George Zimmerman, before Mr. Zimmerman did what any person with an IQ above the pavement his head was bouncing off of, would do.

NOBODY wants to hear this, other than the race-baiters and people looking for a reason to loot and/or riot.

(Which reminds me, I need a new TV.  Feel free to riot on South Blue Ridge Boulevard tonight, folks!  In the words of the late Jack Buck: “go crazy folks!  Go crazy!”)

(And which also reminds me, sweet Jesus, do NOT take that previous () seriously.  In the perfect words of Ms. Silverman last night: “stop being ridiculous”!)

2. I also think having Bill go tonight, is a GIGANTIC mistake.  I get wanting Chelsea to introduce Hillary on Thursday, if only because it counters the incredible fellating Ivanka gave her father a week ago.

But let’s be honest here – who do you truly want introducing Hillary Rodham Clinton to the nation, as our potential next President?  Her daughter … or the (at worst) second greatest President of most of us reading this’ lifetimes?

And finally ...

3. 61 speakers last night.  Not ONE mention of "evil in our time", aka ISIS.  I fear this is going to turn into 2004 again -- especially after a solid Night One last night.  You remember 2004?  When for three days and a few hours, my party successfully convinced the country it was still September 10, 2001.  Then Senator Kerry "reported for duty", and spent an hour laying out foreign policy as his major selling point.  I still remember, I turned to "The Voice of Reason" when that speech was over and simply said "he just sh*t all over his convention.  He's going to lose."

(Other than that whole Aaron Rodgers or DJ debate with "Mr. Reason" from Draft Day 2005?  That might be my finest moment in prognosticating.  Also, there's at least a 22.46% chance I remembered that night in August 2004 wrong, and it was "Mr. Reason" who noted Mr. Kerry just took a gigantic squat on his convention.  Either way, we were both right on that one -- Mr. Kerry lost the election because of that speech.  I fear Hillary is going to make the same mistake forty eight hours from now.)


I’ll be back at some point tomorrow to recap Night Dos.  I am dreading this night like few convention nights ever.  This is going to be an utter disaster … at least until the networks resume coverage at 9pm CT, and what passes as "The Voice of Reason" in the modern Democrat Party takes the podium to close the night down … 

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