Saturday, July 23, 2016

Convention Intermission

I didn't blog on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this past week because I didn't want to give the Trumpster any publicity or attention.  But I guess I ought to offer some comment about it . . ..
A lot of folks made a big deal of Melania Trump's speech plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech before the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver, but that was mostly a tempest in a teapot. Mrs. Trump's speechwriter wanted to touch on the same points that Mrs. Obama had done, and she apparently didn't know that some of her notes were verbatim quotes rothe earlier speech.  So what?  We don't vote for First Lady, we vote for President, and Donald Trump's acceptance speech, with its delusional call to bring back an America that never was, should worry more people than anything his wife said.  
I should also note that Hillary Clinton supporters making fun of Melania Trump for lifting Michelle Obama's earlier address should remember that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama got in trouble (again, it was a tempest in a teapot) for basing a speech on comments made by then-governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick . . . ironically, comments about the power of words.  And of course, who can forget Joe Biden's lifting of comments from a speech by British Labour Party politician Neil Kinnock when Biden was running for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination?  And Hillary?  If you think her comment about how she considers herself a progressive but believes in getting things done sounds familiar, that's because Martin O'Malley said it first.    
And it took a lot of guts for Ted Cruz to refuse to endorse Trump out of principle.  This may be the only time I ever say something nice about the dude.
Tim Kaine, Hillary's running mate?  Let's see, Roman Catholic, former mayor, former governor of a Middle Atlantic state . . . he seems like an O'Malley clone without the rock-star pizzazz.  Marty had progressive bona fides and an amateur musical career in his favor; Kaine has neither. He's been a loyal Democrat, but his support for the Trans Pacific Partnership works against him. Even his stand on abortion - he's pro-choice but he personally opposes abortion as a Catholic - isn't good enough for some voters.  Well, I'm certainly more comfortable with him a heartbeat away from the Presidency than with Mike Pence.  It's too bad people don't vote for Vice President any more than they vote for First Lady.  He's a nice guy and all that, but if he wants to help the ticket in the fall, he may have his work cut out for him. 
But no, he's not a bad choice.  He may be the only major-party candidate for national office I actually like.
Meanwhile, the Republicans demonstrated how much rock and roll is in trouble by playing so many classic rock songs at their convention, much to the dismay of the artists (or their survivors) and rock fans.  The GOP only reminded people that they, like rock fans themselves, are, mostly, aging white people who don't realize their time is up. 
It'll be interesting to see how the Democratic convention plays out in Philadelphia . . . particularly with all of the progressives and Greens who will be protesting in the middle of the worst East Coast heat wave in years.  But you can expect the party's choice of background music in the arena to be hip and up to date, with plenty of Katy and Kanye, but no rock and roll, not even current rock.  Sorry, Wilco.

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