End of Republican National Convention 🙏

As I’ve noted before, I did not waste so much as a single minute watching the ludicrous circus that was called the Republican National Convention.  I read a few news stories about the cast of clowns who spoke, nothing really surprised me, and I chose to largely ignore it, for I really do have better things to do with my time than listen to a pack of ugly clowns telling lies and screeching like banshees.  Frank Bruni, writing for the New York Times, however, gives us his take on the “grand finale” last night with his usual clear insight and tongue-in-cheek humour.


Is There Nothing Trump Won’t Say?

Shamelessness meets illogic in a memorable (and endless) speech.

bruni-2By Frank Bruni

Opinion Columnist

I’m so relieved that the pandemic is over! I’d somehow missed that news, but then I watched the Republican National Convention, culminating in President Trump’s big speech on Thursday night, and learned that with his swift, muscular action, he’d pretty much vanquished the “China virus” and other countries wish they were so lucky. I learned that the economic toll of it was fast receding and would be a blurry memory soon.

I learned that it’s now perfectly safe for hundreds of people to sit cheek by jowl without masks, because that’s what they did in order to bathe the president in applause and chants of “four more years.” I learned that anyone who says different is just being a hater. But Trump is a lover. I learned that, too.

How to reconcile that with the vicious tone and vitriolic content of much of his remarks, which were as grounded in reality as a Tolkien novel and about as long? I’m stumped.

But I’m impressed: that he claimed such big-heartedness while showing such small-mindedness; that he twisted facts with such abandon and in such abundance; that he again trotted out that nonsense about having done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln; that he disparaged Joe Biden for not “following the science” about Covid-19 when he, Trump, mused about injections of bleach and vouched recklessly for hydroxychloroquine; that he characterized Biden’s positions as a “death sentence for the U.S. auto industry” when the Obama administration helped to save American carmakers.

It was an astonishing performance.

When Joe Biden spoke a week earlier, he never uttered Trump’s name. Trump sure as hell uttered Biden’s, over and over, in order to call him a latent leftist or an enemy of cops or a friend of terrorists or a baby killer or the bridge to economic Armageddon or any other awful thing that popped into Trump’s and his speechwriters’ minds.

A few of Trump’s attacks in particular demonstrated one of his superpowers, which is smearing opponents along the very lines where he’s most flawed and vulnerable. It’s a crafty form of denial and a potent kind of diversion — you just have to be amoral enough to avail yourself of it.

Trump availed and availed. There was the science bit, and then there was the suggestion that he had special intelligence that China was rooting and possibly working for a Biden victory because, in Trump’s words, “China would own our country if Joe Biden got elected.” If ever a hostile foreign power connived for a certain result and seemed to own an American president in the aftermath, it’s Russia in the case of Trump. But that didn’t give him pause.

He also accused Biden of betraying blue-collar workers as he “gave them hugs — and even kisses.” The “kisses” prompted laughter from people in the audience, who clearly heard what Trump surely intended: an allusion to some women’s stories about Biden. But those accounts pale, in number and severity, beside the accusations of sexual assault by Trump and his “Access Hollywood” confession of grabbing women “by the pussy.”

Still, Trump went there. He’ll go anywhere. And a shockingly large number of Americans will follow him.

On Thursday night he didn’t just give a middle finger to norms by delivering his convention speech at the White House. He reveled in that naughtiness. He milked the magisterial setting for all it was worth, appearing first with Melania on a balcony, then taking an eternity to descend a curved staircase with her, then musing aloud on the history of the residence, complete with a roll call of many of its most beloved denizens before him.

He later taunted Democrats by gesturing at it and saying, “We’re here and they’re not.”

This wasn’t patriotism. It was puerility. He was rubbing his rebellion against tradition and presidential etiquette in his critics’ faces.

He also insisted that he had kept all his promises. Really? How’s that wall coming, Mr. President? And will Mexico’s payments for it come in installments or one lump sum?

He said precious little about the pandemic, except to blame it all on China, and he most certainly didn’t mention that we’re No. 1 in the world in recorded deaths (more than 180,000) and in reported infections, which are quickly nearing 6 million. He had different figures, ones that painted us as the envy of other countries. Gee, then why aren’t they letting Americans visit? Is that just sour grapes?

Given how thoroughly the convention had reinvented Trump, I half expected him to show up at the lectern on Thursday night with the physique of a man half his age and the hair of a man in less follicular distress. If he’s going to fabricate his character and record, inserting a saint in his place, why not do the same with his appearance, inserting a stud?

I wrote in a previous column that this convention was defined by its shamelessness, which President Trump’s speech certainly exemplified. I gave short shrift to its illogic.

Why would we need to make America great again again — an actual pledge that Mike Pence made on Wednesday night — if Trump had made America great again already? This isn’t a re-election campaign. It’s a tape loop. I’m surprised Trump on Thursday night didn’t crow that he alone can fix what he alone didn’t fix despite more than three and a half years so far to do so.

He did tell Americans to look long, hard and fearfully at recent scenes of lawlessness and violence in some cities for a glimpse of Biden’s America. But, wait, isn’t this Trump’s America? The unrest is happening on his watch, so how does keeping him in office protect America from it?

It takes a vacuum of integrity to sell such bunk with such righteousness. It takes a Trump.

Like Ivanka! Introducing her father, she bragged that he, unlike those icky career politicians, didn’t “kick the can until it was someone else’s problem.” Did she mean a can like the national debt, which he promised to curb but which ballooned monstrously during his first term, even before the pandemic came along?

Ivanka achieved a norm-busting double whammy by not only shilling at the White House but deciding that it was OK as a federal employee to make a nakedly partisan speech at an expressly partisan event, much as Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pompeo and Ben Carson before her had done. It was another trailblazing moment for America’s princess, who can put a picture of it in her photo album alongside portraits of her and the president with Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarized Zone.

Will this mix of pageantry and prevarication work? My stomach is in knots, maybe just because the stakes are so high, maybe because Trump offers the kind of simple answers and jingoism that are often most seductive to voters, maybe because, in the midst of all the malarkey, there was a cunning recognition of where Biden and Democrats are weak.

“How,” Trump said, “can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country?”

That’s a misrepresentation, of course, but one that will have resonance for many voters. Biden should beware of it and shut it down, lest Trump’s barely endurable speech presage a wholly unendurable second term.

32 thoughts on “End of Republican National Convention 🙏

  1. Thanks for sharing!!… Donald is Donald since he were born and always will be, it is always about him… he lives off of the attention he get and will do and say anything to get that attention… he gathers his minions around him to protect him… the convention was nothing more that a stage so Donald could perform for his fan base fueling his ego… and, of course, his fan base were quick to respond because they know all they have to do is fuel his ego and get what they want… neither Donald or his fan base will change… 🙂

    But we will continue to work with others and not raise the white flag because we have high hopes…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Tis true that he has always been this way and will never change, at least not for the better. And yes, we all knew the RNC would be naught but a giant circus show to applaud and laud da trumpeter. And at the moment, I do still have hope, but if he wins in November, then I think I will find it difficult to find any shred of hope, at least within my remaining lifetime. I do love that song, though! From “A Hole in the Head”, yes? Thanks, Dutch!

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  2. Trump keeps on yelling about chaos that will come with Biden without ever acknowledging that the present chaos has occurred during his own administration …. and to make matters worse, the Trump has lately been suggesting that he is “The King of Israel” and that he is loved as much as if he were “The Second Coming of God” and he has already declared himself publicly to be “The chosen one.” None of this bodes well for America if that narcissist gets re-elected.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a joke because his entire administration has been defined by chaos! I somewhat blame the evangelical leaders like Franklin Graham and Falwell, for they have put the notion that he was “chosen by god” into his head, and he already had enough egomania without that suggestion. No, if he is re-elected, I very much fear this nation will be completely unrecognizable by 2024 … I am pretty sure I don’t even want to survive under that regime.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am pretty sure you will get your wish if that regime comes in for another 4 years …And Falwell? What can I say about Falwell? The first mega churcher to get Ten million dollars for a pornographic encounter. That’s todays right wing religious Trumptards, for you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • John, the Falwell thing is just bazaar. If there ever was a reason to fire a CEO for cause, this would be it. Yet, Boards are too sheepish to do that (think Roger Ailes leaving Fox with $37 million), so they just give him $10 million to walk away. But, it is not just embarrassing, recurring trysts, I have seen CEOs wreck companies and walk away with severance pay. Keith

          Liked by 2 people

        • Agreed. I was sickened to read that he is being paid a $10 million severance package, and then I looked up his net worth and was even more sickened. How does a man who purports to be a religious leader, a Christian, come to have a net worth of $100 million while people are starving? Same is true of all the other evangelical leaders … they own mansions, private jets, yachts, and have millions stashed away, money they took from people who can barely feed their families.

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  3. Of all he wrote, this line stood out to me … But, wait, isn’t this Trump’s America?

    Some people never seem to “get it.” The blame game rarely works out the way we think it will …

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m almost totally speechless here. Had heard a few of the remarks but some are so far out in space my fear of flying kicks in and makes me even more afraid. The sad part is that too many people will take it as gospel because we all know you just can’t write a lie on the internet! Everything written on the ‘net is gospel truth.
    Now I think I’ll go and vomit some of the vitriol the Turd gives me!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is jaw-dropping … it’s almost as if he is living in some entirely different universe from the rest of us! But what’s most disturbing is the level of support he still has … around 40% pretty consistently, and they are die-hard supporters, will jump to his defense on any issue, even his lying. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. That makes me wonder about the intelligence level of these people. Or maybe they are the ones in the upper income bracket who are hoping one of their own will continue forever. It’s more than I can stomach but the only hope we have is for common sense to take over and slam that 40% into sensible humans. And as much as I hate to say this I’m afraid the only thing that might do this is for several of them to experience CV-19 first hand just to see that it really is a problem, to be caught inside that wall he is still trying to finish, to be told they can no longer be welcomed in one of the foreign countries they love to visit, to be quarantined in one of those countries for at least a month in a prison if necessary to keep them there — so many possibilities but not a single probability with the exception of the virus and I really wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Unless things get even worse which is a very real probability. Some of the schools that were opened too early are now shutting down again in this area because the teachers are getting sick. And the kids under 18 are the fastest growing numbers of new cases per capita now. How many of them will have to live the rest of their lives with the complications that apparently only the young ones are having. Heavy sigh!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think it’s a combination of both. The majority of the most avid Trump supporters are not college educated. Now, mind you I’m not equating a college degree to intelligence, but the education does help you learn to think in a broader sense, to consider the lessons of history, to question authority and seek facts before rushing to judgment. Most Trump supporters don’t know how to look for truth and facts, so it’s simpler to just take his word, or that of the Fox News pundits. And the other element, of course, is that of the wealthy, the fossil fuel industry barons, and others who have much to gain by keeping Trump in office. The 40% that is his base is not going to budge … they would support him no matter what. Our main goal has to be to convince everyone else to get out and vote! In 2016, only 57% of eligible voters voted … we cannot afford that this year! Yes, I hear your sigh all the way up here, and I imagine you can hear mine all the way down there. Sigh. Love ya, my friend! ❤

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  5. Jill, unfortunately, the people that need to read Frank Bruni and all other credible journalists, will not. Two comments.

    – There is a march on Washington today as people are fed up with nothing being done about racial injustice. Donald Trump says vote for me to fix water down these racial fires, when he is holding a gasoline can.

    – as for COVID-19, 180,000 deaths and climbing and we are just the opposite of the envy of the world on this – they are aghast. Right now, it is predicted that we will be at 207,000 at the end of September – I wonder if those 27,000 people will think it is over.

    As Michael Cohen, Trump attorney/ fixer said under oath, “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con artist and he is a cheat.” Taking the president at his word is a fool’s errand. It is also deadly.

    Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jill, my wife read to me a factcheck piece that said Trump average an untruthful remark every three minutes in his speech. As I told Holly, a new phrase to define how hard someone is working is, “He works harder than a factchecker at a Trump speech.” Keith

      Liked by 4 people

    • You are right, of course, and they also won’t read my blog or yours … but, we keep trying anyway. Sigh.

      Yes, today’s march was partly to mark the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963. Sadly, not much has really changed, has it? At least, not nearly enough. Half a century and African Americans are STILL fighting to be treated equally, to be treated with dignity, with fairness. Yes, Donald Trump is holding a big gasoline can and has poured so much fuel on the embers that we now have a raging fire and he doesn’t even know how to call the fire department.

      I eagerly await Cohen’s book which is due out in just over a week. We cannot afford another 4 years (or more) of Trump or his minions or his family, none of whom can be trusted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, it did not take Donald Trump long to condemn the Washington protestors as thugs.Conservative David Brooks said it was one of the most beautiful protests, very peaceful. And, of course, he has lit into NBA basketball players for damaging the game.

        Trump who has long been a racist, by words and actions, has taking a huge wedge between the races and driven it home with a heavy hammer. Americans must stand up to this and say this is not right. General James Mattis, who was Trump’s Sec of Defense said Trump does not even try to unite us. It is worse than that, I am afraid, he tries to divide us. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

        • But of course. I heard him claim that he would not watch any game where the players took a knee during the anthem … guess he won’t be watching any sports this year, then, for that is becoming more and more widespread … and rightly so. Colin Kaepernick is more deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize than Donald Trump will ever be.

          He is having, it seems, a great deal of success in dividing this nation. We were already quite divided before he came along … I think in part, at least, because some took umbrage at a Black man in the White House. Then along came Trump and fanned the flames, poured fuel on the fires, and now I’m not sure if the people of this nation will ever come together again.

          Liked by 1 person

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