Surrogating the 2016 American Presidency

Tonight was the opening of the Democratic National Convention. It was a rather stunning difference from the scenes on the street yesterday and today, where there were minimal and well behaved cops in Philly as contrasted with the warrior cop oppressive stormtrooper presence in Cleveland. From my reporter friends from the Arizona Republic, the food is totally better in Philly too. Hey, armies move on food, and cheesesteaks rule.

Is everything coming up roses? Nope. There was the whole Debbie Wasserman Schultz thing. She was well advised by our friend David Dayen to stay away and excommunicate herself from the convention podium. But, crikey, the rest simply looks beautiful. Sanders supporters marching in the streets for change, mostly unfettered and unoppressed, other voices being heard, and all relative delegates meeting and co-existing in the halls. This ain’t the dysfunctional RNC bigoted shit show. That, in and of itself, would be worth this post. There is more.

Don’t let cable coverage and the relentless yammer of their panels of self interested toadies fool you, the few true camera pans at the RNC showed more than a few empty seats and a far smaller crowd (especially in the upper decks) than displayed tonight at the DNC.

The real tell, in difference, was in the quality of the speakers and presentation. The only lasting memory from the RNC’s opening night was the embarrassing plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech. Honestly, my bet is that is not on her, but the understaffed and idiot handlers her narcissistic, yet bumbling, husband provided. That said, it was a res ipsa loquitur deal and, in the end, spoke for itself. What else do you remember from that night other than Tim Tebow did not appear? I got nuthin.

The first night of the DNC in Philly, however, came with a litany of decent and well presented folks presented to a full and energetic hall. Emphasis on full. The dynamics in staging and presentation were stark. As were the quality and mental coherence of the speakers. The first electric moment came when Sarah Silverman, who along with Al Franken, was doing a bit and intro to Paul Simon singing (a geriatric, albeit mesmerizing) Bridge Over Troubled Water. Silverman and Franken had to kill an extra 120 seconds or so and she blurted out some hard, and real, truth that her fellow Bernie Sanders supporters who refuse to help Clinton defeat Trump are flat out “being ridiculous”. Truer words have never been spoken.

But soon came Michelle Obama to the podium. I am not sure I have the words to describe how good Michelle was. As a convention speaker, a surrogate, a leader, a mother and as a First Lady embodying all of the above. Michelle Obama killed it. She blew the joint up. I don’t know how else to describe it, but if you did not witness it live, watch the video up at top. Just do it.

Frankly, at the conclusion of Michelle Obama’s speech, it was hard to see how the last two key speakers, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, could possibly top the moment. Sadly, they could not. Liz Warren gave a great, and often in depth, speech. One that absolutely slayed Donald Trump in nearly every way. On its own, it would have been noteworthy. But sandwiched between the brilliance of Michelle Obama and Sanders, with his acolytes cheering and hers still reeling, it seemed good, but not great.

Bernie Sanders caught a little more fire, but mostly because of his yuuge contingent of supporters. And that is not just a good thing, it is a great thing. Sanders did everything, and more, he should have done in this speech by ginning up the classic points and issues his campaign, and its followers, were built on…and then transferring them to Clinton.

It did not work perfectly, but this will be a process up until the election date on November 8. Bernie went a long way, gracefully and patiently, tonight. And, while the cheering crowd appeared to be much more than just the “Sandernistas”, all of the hall seemed to get on board. That, along with Sarah Siverman telling holdout Bernie Busters to wake up and not be ridiculous, were giant steps in unifying support for Clinton over Trump.

Listen, I have been around the block a few times, and know I am supposed to lead with the headline. Sorry, this one worked up to it, and here it is. The RNC and Trump got their lousy bounce because the media, once again, cravenly portrayed what happened in Cleveland as normal, and tit for tat, with what is happening, and will happen, in Philadelphia. That is simply a ratings and craven click germinated lie. The difference is stark.

Nowhere is it more stark than in the picture painted as to the surrogates who will come out of the respective conventions to campaign for their respective candidate between now and November 8.

Um, let’s see, for the GOP we have Newt, Carson, Melania, Thiel, Flynn, Joe Arpaio and Chachi Baio. I excluded Ivanka because she might actually be competent. Seriously, that is basically it for Trump surrogates. From the whole convention. Even Clint Eastwood’s chair took a pass in this, the year of the Orange Faced Short Fingered Vulgarian Bigot.

Let’s compare that with what came out of the Democratic Convention’s first night. Sarah Silverman, Al Franken, Paul Simon, Eva Longoria, Corey Booker and, then, the big three…Michelle Obama, Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders. That is just the first night folks.

See a bit of a dichotomy in personality and credibility there?

Then picture that Clinton’s road warrior surrogates will include not just the above, but also Joe Biden, President Barack Obama and the Big Dog himself, Bill Clinton.

Elections are won in the trenches. Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, and I will probably join you on many negatives, but the Clintons do have a ground operation. And their surrogates are like the 1927 Yankees compared to the Bad News Bears for Trump and the RNC. How will Trump bolster his bench, by bringing in Roger Ailes to molest the women of America? Is there another ground plan for the Trump Juggalos?

Sure, Clinton can still muck it up and lose. She, and the DNC, have been beyond pathetic in how they have treated nearly half their party, and much of their activist base, during the primaries and aftermath. Not just ugly, but stupid. They deserve any hell they get for that, whether it comes from appropriately enraged Sanders supporters or from press reporting on hacks (THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!!)

Bottom line is this: Which set of surrogates would you think would do a better job spreading out over the country: Crazy Newt, Racist Flynn, Bigot Arpaio and Chachi, …. or Michelle Obama, Liz Warren, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama and Joe Biden?

Think I will go with the latter, and I think they will reach a heck of a lot more voters who will actually engage than will the trite and petty bigots Trump will have on the public offer.

And the Dems have a laundry list of other quality surrogates who will stand up. Trump has apparent Klan worthy members like Jeff Sessions, felons like Don King and Mike Tyson, and people who seek to be them.

Who you gonna call when it comes time to vote?

Seems like an easy decision, especially when you consider that the next 30 to 35 years of ideological control of the Supreme Court hang in the balance.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
74 replies
  1. seedeevee says:

    You seem to hoping that people forget that the Clintons and the Democratic Party have been screwing us over for twenty-five years.

    Most people laugh at your Murderers Row of speechifiers, as they should. The right wing of the Democratic Party is being shown to be as corrupt as expected.

  2. blueba says:

    It is truly a strange world where capitulation to warmongering and continued economic ruin for hoi polloi is some kind of victory. This rosy assessment of the “democratic process” is baffling. I guess Alexis Tsipras is some kind of hero of democracy too.

    Whatever system is at work in the US it has very little to do with democracy. There is NO acceptable candidate for president, and as we see from his capitulation to Neoliberal ideology Sanders was never an alternative to status quo power.

    Many are using Trump as an excuse to vote for Clinton – this thinking is wrongheaded and will lead to more suffering for the US and the broader world.

    Torture is torture and capitulation is capitulation.

    • bmaz says:

      So, you’d have have Trump elected instead? Brilliant plan, especially if you are concerned about torture. Apparently, you really are not though.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    As usual with your posts here, very well written in a short period of time, and a different take on the events of last night. But do you really need to lead with shit-kicking criticism of someone? “where there were minimal and well behaved cops in Philly as contrasted with the warrior cop oppressive stormtrooper presence in Cleveland [I don’t think that’s true, by the way]. From my reporter friends from the Arizona Republic, the food is totally better in Philly too.” So fucking what? You could say something like, “and the food was great”. But, no. Granted, I am originally from Cleveland, so I am a bit sensitive to this. Butt still, this is not Twitter.

  4. Peterr says:

    so don’t let anyone ever tell you
    that this country isn’t great,
    that somehow we need to make it great again.
    Because this right now is the greatest country on earth!
    .
    And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world,
    I want a leader who is worthy of that truth,
    a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise,
    a leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope
    and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.
    .
    So in this election, we cannot sit back and hope
    that everything works out for the best.
    We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical.
    No, hear me.
    .
    Between now and November,
    we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago.
    We need to knock on every door,
    we need to get out every vote,
    we need to pour every last ounce
    of our passion and our strength and our love for this country
    into electing Hillary Clinton as president of the United States of America!

    And what the transcript does not convey is the affect — the visible way in which her body language matched her words. There was strength in those arms when she spoke of challenges ahead, and a smile on that face when she spoke of the hope and the joy and the promise and the big dreams.
    .
    Drop the mic, and walk away.
    .
    (Big props to Joe Kennedy III, who had to come out and introduce Senator Professor Warren. The story of his first day in her class actually fit with Michelle’s speech well — “I never came to her class unprepared again” — and helped move the evening along after that incredible speech by Michelle. Not an easy task at all.)
    .
    I don’t expect we’ll see Michelle hitting the campaign trail all that often to support Hillary. But if I were inside Hillary’s campaign, I’d be looking for two events — two places where Michelle could come and give a powerful speech like that — to act like an exclamation point to the campaign. Pick your spots and pick your times, because you’ve only got one or two, and let Michelle energize things in ways Trump could only dream of.

  5. bloopie2 says:

    Apologies for the criticism; when I go to the time and effort and expense of my own blog, I should feel qualified to criticize others, right? Anyhow, I missed Michelle’s speech, but with your helpful link above, I plan to watch at lunch time.

  6. bmaz says:

    Naw, criticism is fine. And I didn’t mean to harsh on Cleveland so much as salute Philly a little. Honestly, the heavy riot police presence aside, I thought the city of Cleveland acquitted itself quite well. The problem in Cleveland was not the city, but the fascist gathering of fools occupying it last week. The city looked and came off great.
    .
    By the way, do watch Michelle Obama’s speech, it is powerful, whether you agree with all that is in it or not. Well worth the view.

    • bloopie2 says:

      I did watch the speech. It was very well written. She’s not as good an orator as her husband or as Bill Clinton, but the personal/family stuff was as good as anything, and could not have been delivered better by anyone else. And it’s a well-crafted subliminal attack on Trump. Thanks for the pointer.

      • rugger9 says:

        The Russian Trump question has made it to the MSM, George Will (allegedly no longer a Republican, ahem, we’ll see) said that the reason Drumpf won’t release the tax returns is that it would show how far he is in to Putin, and like any good loan shark there will be a price to pay sooner or later. This is still in line with a spook’s playbook.
        *
        Jerryy – the butterfly ballots were the cause of Palm Beach County’s Buchanan support since that heavily Jewish area with I’m sure more than a few Holocaust survivors would not willingly vote for Buchanan knowing what he is.
        *
        Omphaloscepsis – that’s a good reminder of the purge done by Harris in FL, repeated later in FL and other places, using lists that were cross-referenced incorrectly to DOJ records (after the DOJ said don’t use their records that way) to say certain people were not citizens which turned out to be incorrect. The latest example was during one of BatBoy’s elections as Governor of FL. Expect more of this in places like KS or where gerrymandering has a series of 52% GOP districts that might flip, and so the D’s will be purged from the voter rolls with no time to protest or rectify the problem to ensure the GOP keeps the House.
        *
        See BradBlog and Greg Palast among others looking into election theft. It’s pretty sick.

        • Jerryy says:

          No disagreement about the infamous butterfly ballot giving Mr. Buchanan votes he would not normally get, but this was more of an unforced error by the Democratic party, because if you recall, representatives from the major parties had to approve the ballots.

  7. bevin says:

    “Seems like an easy decision, especially when you consider that the next 30 to 35 years of ideological control of the Supreme Court hang in the balance….”

    Except that Robert Kagan, Max Boot and the entire WWIII lobby are backing Hillary. As is Wall Street and the Austerity industry. She promises continuity with policies which have been utterly disastrous. More wars, specifically in Syria. Complete commitment to the Occupation in Palestine becoming an annexation. More globalised economics, more Free Trade agreements, more transfers of sovereign powers from the electorate to the corporations.

    There has to be a better reason for voting for a candidate than the opponent. This is Clintonian triangulation at its lowest point: ‘you hate me, I hate you but better the devil that you know than Trump’.

    As far as torture is concerned Trump talks about it, Hillary orders it to be done. Personally I prefer Trump’s openness and stupidity to the clouds of obfuscation, legal sleight of hand and bullshit behind which Guantanamo and dozens of other black sites have been thriving for decades.

    • bmaz says:

      “There has to be a better reason for voting for a candidate than the opponent.”
      .
      Yeah, I dunno, sometimes it truly does come down to that. What are you going to do, pout because everything is not perfect for you and let a disaster like Trump take over? Because this is exactly what it sounds like, and that is ridiculous. Yeah, if the lesser of two evils actually means LESS EVIL, I’d suggest that is indeed the way to go. You think things suck now, picture the hellscape under Trump. I remember the childish souls who gave this whine in 2000 and voted for Nader or some other twit. Thanks to them, we got eight years of George Bush. This shit matters more than petty fever dreams of personal utopia.

      • jerryy says:

        “I remember the childish souls who gave this whine in 2000 and voted for Nader or some other twit. Thanks to them, we got eight years of George Bush. This shit matters more than petty fever dreams of personal utopia.”
        .
        I am really surprised that you would haul that line out and give it a whirl around the internet, usually your reasons are much stronger. That meme has been thoroughly discredited, beginning back in the year 2000*, but like memes, it refuses to go away … it is a convenient scapegoat. Vice President Gore’s loss came from his own screw-ups (naming JL as his vice president being a really big one), not because Mr. Nader legitimately ran as one of the candidates.
        .
        (*1) http://www.salon.com/2000/11/28/hightower/
        (*2) http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/report/exesum.htm

        We will not escape the cycle of poverty by continuing the same policies that made the poverty inescapable.

        • bmaz says:

          That is a truckload of Nader apologia baloney. The final certified vote total in Florida, which decided the election, was 537 votes between Bush and Gore. Nader narcissistically pulled in 97,488 votes. If you think there weren’t enough there to have put Gore over the top, you are not good at math.

          • jerryy says:

            “Twelve percent of Florida Democrats (over 200,000) voted for Republican George Bush”
            -San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 9, 2000

            Try again.

            • rugger9 says:

              Probably also a butterfly ballot issue, and let’s also be clear that many of these are the “I’ve got mine and to hell with you” type of old folks that can afford to be snowbirds.

              • jerryy says:

                Yeah Pat Buchanan did get a lots of votes in some places he should not have even been a blip.

              • jerryy says:

                All Vice President Gore had to do was convince 600 of the over 200,000 members of his own party to stay in their own party but he did not. Very simple.
                .
                But the worse part of it was that adter all the votes were cast, nine people got another shot at voting, theirs were the only ones that ‘got counted’.

          • rugger9 says:

            Actually, Gore won FL after all of the ballots were counted. Nonetheless, I agree about the nonsense of protest voting for the sake of it, because there are consequences, seen most recently in the UK parliamentary elections where UKIP drew just enough anti-Tory votes to ensure the Tories would have the most votes in the districts (Canadians call them ridings, I don’t know the UK term off the top of my head). A doomed third party effect is seen by the Maine governor’s elections the last two rounds where LePage was elected with 60% of the voters looking for someone else.
            *
            On the point of surrogates, it appears that the Russian hackers modified the emails before releasing them to Wikileaks. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/7/26/1552616/-Russian-Hackers-Altered-Emails-Before-Release-to-Wikileaks
            *
            The key points remain as follows: Assange dislikes HRC because he knows she may try to prosecute him, and he doesn’t know Trump well enough to know Trump would sell him out if the price was right. BTW, the Swedish charges are very suspect, so Assange has some cause to be paranoid. The Russians really don’t have anything in the emails because remember that the GOP witch hunt went very deep indeed, and since this is now also shown to have been edited anything else like this will have the truthiness of a Project Veritas video.
            *
            So, it seems the GOP plan is to get enough downdraft on HRC votes by pumping up Jill Stein (BTW, jo6pac, you should do your research before committing to her, since you didn’t say why you picked her) with the goal of making the election close enough to steal. Look at 2008 and 2012. Obama’s wave in 2008 was so large that the GOP essentially wrote off the WH, but they did try to flip votes in OH in 2012 because the obstruction policy of McConnell and Boehner made it close enough to try. If one believes the internet (take this with a LOT of salt but it is plausible) the Anonymous folks interdicted a planned hack of the OH results which was the real reason why Turdblossom flipped out when Obama beat RMoney there. Rove had planned a fix set up by a late so-called “patch” to the election software by SoS Husted.
            *
            I still see no full accounting of Trump’s finances which tells me that Putin’s target is not HRC but Trump, since as I explained yesterday his financial problems so key to his ego will be leveraged by the KGB. In the response to my post yesterday, the slime factor was covered (Trump certainly has no shame there) but not the financial risks.

        • Peterr says:

          Serious question: How satisfied do you think those Nader voters were by 2007?
          .
          Like it or not, the reality of political life today is that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the president come January 20, 2017. Yes, there are other folks on the ballot, but — and here’s the important part — they will not win. The choice is either Hillary or Donald, and everything else is just posturing.
          .
          Do I wish that Hillary were more like Elizabeth Warren in going after the Big Banks? Absolutely. I could put together a whole list of questions like this, switching out all kinds of names and all kinds of issues. But come November, the only two names on the ballot with a chance of taking the oath of office will be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or anyone else will not change that fact at all. You might “send a message” with such a vote, but the principle message it sends is “I don’t really care about the next four years.”
          .
          And the claims of the “not-a-dimes-worth-of-difference” crowd notwithstanding, the consequences of choosing one of these over the other are massive. Don’t believe me? I suspect the young DREAMer who spoke last night might be willing to explain it to you.

          • jerryy says:

            “Serious question: How satisfied do you think those Nader voters were by 2007”
            .
            Please forgive me Peter, I missed your question from earlier due to how fast the replies were coming in, not because I was ignoring you.
            .
            That said, your question is not a fair assessment of the election. How many voters do you think that voted for George Bush because, as was so often noted in the media, ‘he was the kind guy you could have a beer with’ were later horrified by his actions? Because there was supposed to be a whole lot more of them than voted for Mr. Nader. (as an aside, the 97,000 votes Mr. Nader got in Florida came from across the political spectrum, they were not 97,000 annoyed Democrats that wanted to show Mr. Gore a lesson.)
            .
            I truly admire Vice-President Gore. I did then and still do. In the late 90’s I was doing some research in one of the libraries where the Congressional records are stored and stumbled across minutes from the various meetings he had with committees. He never got credit for his staunch defense of good environmental policies, social policies, etc. etc. He stood firm against people that really wanted to use looting as policy. But that does not mean I will pretend his loss in the election was anyone’s fault but his own.
            .
            To directly answer what you asked me, I do not think many regretted their vote. They did what they thought was the right thing. Choosing the lesser of evils because no else has a chance is not what representative democracy is about. Otherwise just hold a tennis match between the two ‘evils’ and let that decide the election. May I remind you that Abraham Lincoln was thought of as the crackpot candidate that stood no chance of winning? Yet he did.

        • John Casper says:

          “I’d invite you to consider that both parties are controlled by the main-stream-media, who in turn are controlled by the elites. Speaker Paul Ryan can lead on NAFTA on steroids aka T-PP, because the state media in Wisconsin, Gannett, whose stock is controlled by the private equity groups, won’t cover it. Our ally on unfair trade is the thorn in the Speaker’s side, the GOP’s “Freedom Caucus.” They’re just as upset by the lack of coverage as we are.”

              • jerryy says:

                That would be the one you addressed to me…
                .
                “John Casper on July 26, 2016 at 1:51 pm In reply to jerryy
                “I’d invite you to consider that both parties are controlled by the main-stream-media, who in turn are controlled by the elites. Speaker Paul Ryan can lead on NAFTA on steroids aka T-PP, because the state media in Wis…”
                .
                Uness the dopelgangers are out and about today ;-)

              • John Casper says:

                My apologies.
                .
                Who is the, “they,” you refer to? Is it the mainstream media, the private equity groups and other elites who control their stock price, someone else, a combination?

                • jerryy says:

                  I believe you are referring to me. In the context of what you are saying earlier, the ‘they’ is a combination of the media and others*. The media is constantly trying to sway opinion and drive narrative. So they have a financial interest in the outcome.
                  .
                  (I am hesitant to use the term ‘elite’ because lately the term tends to end up referring to anyone better off in some way than the person using it. Chris Rock, the comedian, once remarked that ‘Shaq is rich, the man who signs Shaq’s paycheck is wealthy’. To some kid on the playground, they both are out of reach. Elites.

                  • John Casper says:

                    Apologies again, yes that was to you.
                    .
                    Agree with your hesitation about “elites.” Thank you for mentioning it. I should have made clear that I reserve it for the 0.0001%.
                    .
                    AFAIK, Google/Alphabet has taken away all the advertising, that Facebook hasn’t, from the legacy media, and FB has taken away most of the eyeballs.
                    .
                    When the private equity groups that own Tronc, (Tribune, LA Times,…) Gannett, Disney, three-blind mice, CNN, FOX, ….purchased those corporations, they borrowed billions–more than they put up– to do it. Then, as they have been doing for decades, they paid themselves enormous bonuses out of that debt. Remember Richard Gere’s character in, “Pretty Woman?” All that debt remains on the balance sheets of the companies they bought. They try to squeeze as much cash out, as they can, but afaik, that’s a lot of effort for not too much return.
                    .
                    If they can re-package their holdings and fool retail investors into buying an IPO, they make even more. If they can find a, “greater fool,” with whom to merge, they can load even more debt onto balance sheet and pay themselves even more out of that expanded debt.
                    .
                    The challenge they face with these two options is that they lose control over the base messaging, the repetition of topics that they want in front-page headlines, which I suspect they control tightly through elite PR firms, such as Sard Verbinnen http://www.sardverb.com/ . They also lose control of the ability to keep their names and the names of their private equity group, Carlyle Group,… out of the news.
                    .
                    OT, state Democratic parties have web sites. Rhetorical unless you want to take a stab at it, since progressives can’t get traction in the corporate media, why can’t state Democratic party’s append their talking points to what gets published, or broadcast in their state?

                    • lefty665 says:

                      @12:37 “why can’t state Democratic party’s append their talking points to what gets published, or broadcast in their state?”
                      .
                      It’s not a question of can’t. They don’t want to. Think about that overwhelming load of superdelegates who declared for Hillary before the first primary vote. The majority of them were state and local party officials and office holders. State parties are in the bag right along with the national party.

                    • John Casper says:

                      The question wasn’t directed to you. I’ll keep an open-mind, but you lost credibility with your Zika comments. You lost more credibility when you taunted Rayne about being, “touchy.” Apologize and donate $200 to show you mean it. In the issue oriented comments I’ve tried to read, you don’t make whatever your point is. When it comes to repeating Trump talking points, you don’t have that problem.
                      .
                      At 4:24 you claimed to be working for green candidates. You claim your from. I asked you to name them. I asked if you knew of Joel Salatin. He’s really from Virginia. Where’s your response to either? Are you working for Trump?
                      .
                      WRT your, “they don’t want to;” no, too simplistic.
                      .
                      In Wisconsin, the GOP controls all three-branches of state government, both houses of the legislature. If DPW can’t win elections, they lose their jobs.

                    • John Casper says:

                      My 1:52 reply, “You claim your from,” was an error.
                      .
                      Was supposed to read, “you claimed at 5:14 you’re from Virginia.”

      • Bill Michtom says:

        Nader is NOT why W won in 2000. First, Jeb and FL SOS. Katherine Harris made it their business to disenfranchise thousands of voters who were unlikely to vote for W. Two, the national press loathed Gore, who they all considered boring and too full of himself, and favored W because, among other things, he had better and more copious refreshments on the campaign plane, and, as we all were told, he was “the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with.” The press trashed Gore throughout the campaign. That had significant effect. Three, on election day, Florida law enforcement members interfered with (especially) black voters’ access to the polls. Four, during the vote count, the GOP brought operatives to Florida to literally terrorize the vote counters. Five, in addition to the legal case brought by the Florida and national Republicans to help them steal the election, Six, Gore did very little to defend his own voters. He didn’t demand a statewide recount, merely the few counties that were heavily Democratic, ignoring the widespread illegalities that the FL GOP had committed. Seven, and, of course, most important, the final election count was five voters to four: the criminal rightwing Supreme Court justices vs the rest of the court.

        So, stop believing and spreading the mythology that Nader gave the election to W. That is an insult to democracy.

    • Splashoil says:

      If we elect HRC, she will nominate judges to take corporate money out of politics, to end warrant less surveillance…. Barack Obama Supreme Court Justice? Time to put on some O’jays while looking for the fishing gear.

  8. Helen says:

    Yes, FLOTUS speech was well written and very well delivered. My only thought is who was she praising b/c her words do not square with Hillary’s resume. That speech, those words, her body language were written and delivered for a Mother Theresa type not for a woman who was just caught using her peeps to weight DNC resources to her advantage.

    And the children crap. For heavenssake not even Marion Wright Edelmdan of the Children’s Defense Fund can speak favorably of her friends politics/policy – http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/how-hillary-clinton-betrayed-the-childrens-defense-fund-for-political-gain

    Maybe Michelle’s speech was intended to heap praise on a truly devoted children’s advocate – Marion Wright Edelman b/c it surely had nothing to do with Hillary.

    • John Casper says:

      In 2012 I trusted Nate Silver’s projection that the Badger state would give its ten-electoral votes to Obama. I held my breath and voted for Jill Stein. The rest of my ticket was for Dems. The hope is that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin notices when they review precinct results.
      .
      If you’re not in a swing state, your vote for POTUS doesn’t carry as much weight as the rest of the ballot.
      .
      I’d invite you to consider that both parties are controlled by the main-stream-media, who in turn are controlled by the elites. Speaker Paul Ryan can lead on NAFTA on steroids aka T-PP, because the state media in Wisconsin, Gannett, whose stock is controlled by the private equity groups, won’t cover it. Our ally on unfair trade is the thorn in the Speaker’s side, the GOP’s “Freedom Caucus.” They’re just as upset by the lack of coverage as we are.

  9. What Constitution? says:

    Well said, bmaz. The most impressive thing I saw come out of last night’s DNC was that the speakers took on the kool-aid using this thing called “reason” — instead of just yelling or repeating platitudinous sound bites, the speakers actually undertook to actually describe, explain and place into context the frankly impressive progressive modifications to the party platform that were, without doubt, achieved by Sanders and his supporters (including by continuing to push for those changes well after the outcome of the delegate count was settled, notwithstanding the pressure to capitulate). They actually made that case from the podium. And to the immense credit of the delegates, the message seemed to be significantly and almost perceptibly absorbed over the course of a single evening. By the time Bernie finished his speech, the room seemed less than petulantly outraged about the idea that defeating Donald Trump made sense. It was like watching “thought” take place on TV. A little bit like that, anyway.

  10. Peterr says:

    Would love to see media folks approach the GOP elected officials who bailed on attending the RNC in Cleveland and ask them to compare Trump’s vision of the US with Michelle’s vision.
    .
    Yes, I am talking about MO Sen. Roy Blunt. Why do you ask?

  11. scribe says:

    Just wondering: with all the yahoos practicing open carry of all manner of firearms at the RNC last week, any idea how many incidents took place involving them? Accidental discharges, improper handling, anything? I’m sure someone reported on them.
    .
    The only thing I’ve read about that got “out of hand” in Cleveland was that flag-burning guy getting busted after his stunt went sideways.

    • John Casper says:

      AFAIK, David Waldman, aka @KagroX, is Daily Kos’ point man on gun violence. I checked his Twitter timeline and did a quick google search on RNC gun violence–with and without his name. Didn’t find anything, which suggests they were able to keep it out of the media.

      • bmaz says:

        And to Scribe: I am not aware of any in Cleveland during the DNC. There were clearly a few walking around with them, because their dicks are too small I guess, but no problems emanated that I am aware of.

  12. Rayne says:

    Couple of things:
    1) I don’t think white Americans, especially males, realize how conservative African American women are. Michelle Obama’s speech resonates with that kind of conservatism– somewhere just left of center to just right of center. Many young African American women have been Sanders’ supporters, but older women (read: mothers) trend strongly toward Clinton. This speech was for them, to preach the message they wanted to hear, because they are a key percentage of the vote required for Clinton to win. Bang spot-on with mothers as a whole, but it’s a swing vote percentage this piece really reached successfully. Michelle closed the deal with them.

    What I don’t think this speech hit squarely was the target demographic most at risk for not voting: youth who were 10-11 years old or older in 2008. Many have really looked up to her all along; I remember one of her 2008 speeches I covered which my son also attended, and how enthusiastically all the kids present were with her appearance. But they don’t have the prospects now that their parents had no matter how hard their parents tried to help them, and they know it. This segment remains iffy.

    2) I see a lot of skepticism and moaning because neoconservatives support Clinton. Again, I don’t think a certain percentage of Americans make a key connection, assuming Clinton is in their pocket. These same skeptics haven’t looked closely at how many neocons are Jewish; why would any of them support a barely-closeted American Nazi who openly espouses ethnic cleansing even if some of that Nazi’s targets might be diametrically opposed to neoconservative aims?

    What would Niemöller write today?

    “When the Nazis came for the journalists and bloggers,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a journalist or blogger.

    When they locked up the social democrats like Sanders,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the Mexicans,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Mexican. …

    When they came for the Muslims,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Muslim. …”

  13. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    Sorry, no. For at least 95 percent of the country, Hillary Clinton will make our lives even worse. She’s probably more likely than the orange buffoon Trump to get us in a war with Iran. Corey Booker is a crook (one of many at the convention), and Sarah Silverman is an apologist for apartheid (again, one of many). I could give a flying fuck about anyone’s speech — speeches are just words, and they mean less than nothing coming from the DNC.

    Congrats on your comfortable lawyerly life, bmaz. But you don’t get it. People are desperate and they are suffering. If Trump wins it ain’t on us, it’s on the fact that the mandated alternative is a vile human being who started out as a Goldwater Girl and has continued to be on the wrong side of everything since. There’s nothing to celebrate this week.

    • rugger9 says:

      I bet you voted for Shrub too, so you’d be able to have a beer with the guy. Your hyperbolic math is way off in lalaland, and I’d bet you’re one of the ones who’d be out there shouting to get your government hands off my Medicare (a government program, btw).
      *
      At least HRC has plans and was in fact the originator of the healthcare for all program (which got her on the hate-HRC GOP radar), and as Bernie pointed out last night, his campaign definitely moved HRC to the left (see how Kaine pivoted on the TPP, which would not have happened without Bernie). You want to support Trump who HAS SHIPPED YOUR JOBS OVERSEAS (and, where are Trump’s Make America Great hats made? Not the USA) and routinely doesn’t pay off the little guys who worked for him (3000+ lawsuits for non-payment)? You’re just fine with stiffing your fellow citizens to line Trump’s pockets? You’re a moronic stooge with that sort of policy.
      *
      Or you’re just another low-budget troll that watches Faux in the vain hope that Murdoch will let you date one of the anchors. How are the Cheetos?

  14. rugger9 says:

    The Russian discussion is also an indicator of how pernicious the Citizen’s United ruling is, because there is nothing stopping Trump from accepting money from Putin or Prince Bandar or the Kochs, decently laundered of course through something like a Make America Great PAC.
    *
    So, even though Justice Kennedy seemed to think there is no expectation of quid pro quo corruption arising from campaign finance (to be fair, Pam Bondi’s dropping of her Trump University fraud investigation occurred after the ruling), my experience regarding our expectations of the KGB says that Trump will become a reliable puppet to sell off whatever Putin or the PRC wants to get.

  15. bloopie2 says:

    Per Medscape.com: ““New Checklist Tests Behavior Change as First Sign of Dementia” TORONTO ― Mild behavioral impairment (MBI), not memory woes, may be the first sign of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, researchers from Canada propose. MBI is defined as a syndrome of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) that start later in life and are sustained for at least 6 months. The symptoms of MBI, which are included in a proposed MBI checklist (MBI-C), focus on changes in apathy/drive/motivation; mood/affect/anxiety; impulse control/agitation/reward; social appropriateness; and thoughts/perception.
    .
    Oh, crap. We’re in trouble now.

  16. John Casper says:

    bmaz,
    .
    Can’t thank you enough for the quality of your message and the clarity and readability of your writing.

  17. John Casper says:

    seedevee, blueba, bevin, BAD,
    .
    I sent Sen. Sanders $550. If more people had sent him more money, we wouldn’t be discussing this. Either Sen. Sanders would have won the nomination, or Sec. Clinton would have had to move more convincingly to the left.

  18. omphaloscepsis says:

    Blaming Ralph Nader for Al Gore’s 2000 loss is like pinning the loss of a ball game on a single play, when so many other plays also affected the outcome.

    On election night in 2000, a network announced Florida for Gore, followed by a view of the Bush family hotel suite in Austin. GHWB and Barbara murmured, “That can’t be right”, and the whole family got up and went somewhere else. Leaving the question, where did they go, and what did they do?

    We’ll probably never know.

    Another major contributor — the purge of “felons” from the voter rolls before the 2000 election, denying the franchise to thousands of legitimate voters:

    http://www.salon.com/2000/12/04/voter_file/

    http://billmoyers.com/2015/07/31/how-the-2000-election-in-florida-new-wave-voter-disenfranchisement/

    And blocking home plate, the eminent mathematician Antonin Scalia:

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-949.ZSTAY.html

    “It suffices to say that the issuance of the stay suggests that a majority of the Court, while not deciding the issues presented, believe that the petitioner has a substantial probability of success.”

  19. lefty665 says:

    Hope you’re right bmaz. My fear is you’re not.
    .
    Both Clinton and Trump are evil, but in such different ways that it’s impossible to tell which is “lesser”. Dunno that we’re in any greater danger from ad hoc screw-ups than those backed by reams of malignant policy (We came, we saw, he died. Gaddafi in the ditch sodomized by a bayonet – maniacal laughter).
    .
    Amazingly current polling shows that more than 60% of the country does not want either Clinton or Trump anywhere near the presidency. The country usually gets it right eventually.
    .
    Dems have been getting played for chumps by the Clintons and neolib, right wing, DLC, Repub wannabes since ’92. It is not going to stop until people refuse to be stampeded. Sanders did a decent job expressing the need for change. Now that he’s rolled over for more same the movement moves on from him. The need for change was not resolved by a 55/45 vote.
    .
    Jill Stein and the Greens have a good platform and place on the ballot. They are a vehicle to develop a New Deal revival. As with FDR they can become a party for people that crosses current Repub/Dem lines. The times they are a changing, and we’re not too old to be part of that. It’s something positive to leave to our children and grandchildren.
    .
    FWIW, Timmy Kaine has been a decent guy since his days in Richmond as an equal housing lawyer. He’s been straight up, reasonably transparent, and generally on the left end of things – at least as that’s expressed in Virginia. So’s his wife. Guess everyone has a price, it is disappointing that we have seen his.
    .
    Kaine’s lurch to the right seems to stem from Mark Warner’s near death experience in ’14. Warner (wrongly) decided that electoral close call meant Virginians wanted him to be more Republican. Kaine seems to have bought that nonsense. It seems more likely 49.5% of the state was fed up with Warner being a rich twit who stood for nothing.
    .
    Again, hope you’re right on the Dems, but I’m going to be working for and voting for change this year. The old Bern is dead long live the new Green.

    • bmaz says:

      Listen, Clinton sucks. But she is a HELL of a lot better than Trump. And, at there worst, she will appoint judges to both SCOTUS and lower federal courts that will move them further left than they have been in half a century. That is something worth fighting for. And voting for. And it will set the liberal arc of the courts for the next three to four decades. That is something that positively affects any liberal, no matter how left, dissatisfied and disillusioned they are. Federal court impinge on the panoply of American human existence, in many ways, far more than a presidency does at any one time.

      • lefty665 says:

        @8:38 I’m listening to you bmaz. What would make me think triangulating, neolib Hillary will set the courts on a leftward path more than Obama, Bill, Carter or especially LBJ if we’re talking the last 50 years? Do you really think she will give us the equivalent of Thurgood Marshall or this list of Federal judges? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_judges_appointed_by_Lyndon_B._Johnson Seems she’s more likely, at best, to give us more moderate Repubs like Garland.

        Yes the judiciary is profoundly worth fighting for, but there’s nothing I have seen in Hillary’s record that makes me think she will fight for it. She looks unchanged from the Goldwater Girl she was when Bernie was a couple of miles away getting busted by Chicago cops for integrating the UofC dorms.
        ,
        Please educate me. Where I am right now is where Bernie was getting booed by the Democratic caucus a month ago for saying the the issue is that change and revolution are more important than a particular election cycle. What don’t I understand?

  20. pdaly says:

    I missed the opening last night to the DNC Convetion.
    .
    When I turned on my tv, I passed by FOX (on my way to CBS and ABC) and thought I had missed Warren’s speech, because a Fox anchor was talking over Warren’s speech and said something like ‘and that is Elizabeth Warren speaking at the DNC Convention tonight.’ Fox then changed the subject to a prepared piece about women in jail for drug use and the ways these women can enroll in detox instead of doing prison time.

    I quickly flipped to ABC and realized Warren was still speaking live!
    Warren had barely started her speech it turned out. And I checked the stations: ABC, CBS, and NBC all had live uninterrupted coverage of Warren and the rest of the Democratic National Convention last night, just as they had done for the Republican National Convention. FOX, by contrast, couldn’t be bothered.
    .
    Not having heard Michelle Obama’s speech for comparison, I thought Warren did an amazing job. It felt as if the adults finally had the mics and cameras.

      • pdaly says:

        Thanks. I watched Michelle Obama’s speech after posting. Well written and powerfully delivered. Optimism is empowering.

      • Bill Michtom says:

        I have read some of what she said and I’m reminded of her husband. That would be the very well-spoken international assassin who elwctrified the ’04 convention and went on to sucker the ’08 electorate with vague promises even while he falsely promised to filibuster the FISA Amendments Act, but actually voted for giving immunity to all the telcomm companies that helped W spy on millions without warrants.

        Like Obama, Michelle is smart, articulate, convincing, and corrupt.

  21. P J Evans says:

    The Big Dog hit it out of the park, across the Delaware, and into Jersey tonight. 40 minutes of love for Hillary and all the work she’s done – most of which wasn’t well-known at all.

  22. lefty665 says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/eric-holder-dnc-speech_us_5797f4a8e4b0d3568f850fac?section=
    ,
    Eric Holder says Hillary is the right person to reform the criminal justice system. Silly me for having been so skeptical. After Holder’s courageous record as AG of bringing the mofos who crashed the world financial system to justice, jail and breaking up the too big to fail banks along with his patriotic refusal to prosecute more people than all other admins combined under the Espionage Act, how could we doubt his endorsement of his long time buddy Hillary as the champion of all that is right?
    .
    Think we’ll get Holder for the SC if Hillary’s elected? It’s hard to see him as a move left. He might be a “lesser evil” than Scalia, but that’s a distinction without much difference. Evil takes what you give it then comes back for more.
    .
    The old king is dead, long live the new Green.

    • John Casper says:

      You wrote, “The old king is dead, long live the new Green.”
      .
      Please prioritize and describe the green initiatives you favor.
      .
      Why did you capitalize, “green?”

    • John Casper says:

      Agree that Holder for the Supreme Court is a very bad idea.
      .
      Who are Trump’s choices for Supreme Court?
      .
      Do you support Trump’s white supremacy?

  23. lefty665 says:

    Hey John, Don’t think I’ve seen anyone get so much wrong so quickly in a long time. That’s quite an accomplishment. You go to Trump U?
    .
    Trump and Hillary are both horrible, but in such different ways it’s not possible to tell which is worse. Between them they pretty much cover the horrible waterfront. They do overlap in areas like pathological lying.
    .
    It is past time to build a responsive political movement. Bernie did what he could, now that he’s endorsed Hillary it’s time to back another candidate and organization. I repeat, The old king is dead, long live the new Green.

    • John Casper says:

      Trumpsterposingaslefty,

      Having a tough time remembering which, “green” candidates you’re working for?

      You wrote, “Trump and Hillary are both horrible, but in such different ways it’s not possible to tell which is worse.”

      Thanks for confirming you’re male and not Mexican or Muslim.

      You wrote, “It is past time to build a responsive political movement.”

      Thanks for confirming you didn’t read the thread.

      How do you build a, “political movement,” without media?

      You capitalize, “green,” to greenwash your handle?

      Who is the, “old king?”

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