RNC 2016: The Audacity of A Dope

I’m with Stupid.

I didn’t watch the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and I don’t plan on watching any other nights either. I did hear something about Melania Trump, Donald’s mail order bride engaging in an absurd act of plagiarism and from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention, no less.

The audacity of such dopiness deserves breaking my blog silence. For those wanting the relevant passages to compare, read ’em and draw your own conclusions:

Mrs. Trump, Monday night:
“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Mrs. Obama, in her 2008 speech:
“Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them onto the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

Mrs. Trump:
“I was born in Slovenia, a small, beautiful and then-communist country in Central Europe. My sister, Ines, who is an incredible woman and a friend, and I were raised by my wonderful parents. My elegant and hardworking mother, Amalija, introduced me to fashion and beauty. My father, Viktor, instilled in me a passion for business and travel. Their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflects to this day on me and for my love of family and America.”

Mrs. Obama in 2008:
“And I come here as a daughter — raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue-collar city worker and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother’s love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.”

What say you, gentle readers? Is Mrs. Trump an innocent conveyor of words coincidentally complied as a previous presidential aspirant’s spouse once did or is she guilty as hell of deliberately and purposefully ripping off Michelle Obama?

Set aside the sadistic schadenfreude of Melania Trump’s face-plant before a national audience, it can be reasonably argued her shitty speech was no better or worse than all the other shitty speeches I ignored in Day #1 of the Republican National We Hate Barry and Hillary Convention. However, not being important is not the same as not mattering.

When your best argument against the other candidate is they are dishonest and crooked and gets away with lying and then you lift entire sections from a speech made in public eight years ago, that goes past arrogance and headlong into stupid. Every word Melania Trump uttered was going to be recorded, fact-checked and stress tested. How long did campaign manager Paul Manifort think it would take before somebody stirred in their chair and said, “Say…that sure sounds familiar…?

For nobody on Team Trump to have caught this isn’t incompetence. It’s knowing their base won’t give a fuck.

This is how the Trump “campaign” does it. They lie and they lie loud and long and when they’re caught in the lie, they deny they lied in the first place, but if they did, it’s Clinton’s fault! Only groupies. blind partisans, and idiots let Trump get away with this shit and don’t believe the truth matters when they’re being lied to right in their face. David Frum lists ten reasons why Melania’s howler feeds into the narrative that the Trump “campaign” is like Indiana Jones making it up as they go along.

1) Melania Trump’s speech was the first and best opportunity to humanize Donald Trump. That opportunity was not only wasted, but the whole project of humanizing Trump has become a farce that will haunt the later attempts by Trump’s children to undo Monday night’s debacle.

Trump Family Values

3) Since Sunday, every journalist at this convention has been collecting examples of the Trump campaign’s failures and incompetence: the quarrel with Ohio Governor John Kasich, the absent senators and governors, the no-show donors, the convention’s financial embarrassments, the floor fight over rules, the lack of a proper schedule, and the defective apps and other technology. Suddenly, there is one easy-to-understand incident that encapsulates in one grim joke all this convention’s cavalcade of derp.

5) Trump has just vividly demonstrated that his campaign—never mind the campaign, he himself—have zero skill at crisis management. Confronted with this comically absurd failure, their instinct is not only to lie, shift blame, and refuse responsibility, but to do so in laughably unbelievable ways. It’s all a big joke when the crisis in question is a plagiarized speech by a would-be first lady. It won’t be so funny when a President Trump tries to manage a truly life-and-death crisis in the same blundering, dopey, and cowardly way.

9) Plagiarism draws attention to content of the passage plagiarized. In 2008, Michelle Obama summed up the values that she had learned from her parents and that she and Barack Obama now tried to instill in their children: work hard; tell the truth; keep your promises; treat others with dignity and respect. Donald Trump epically does not tell the truth, does not keep his promises, and does not treat others with dignity and respect. A plagiarized speech (and the failure to detect the plagiarism) pretty strongly confirms that the Trumps do not much care about hard work, either. “Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.”

Plagiarism MATTERS. Or at least it should, unless we accept when we’re talking Trump, the rules do not apply. I do not accept. The first night of the Republican convention is a bit early for a Clint Eastwood’s Chair moment but whoomp there it is.

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Artur Davis: Obama’s Personal Judas

They smile in your face…

“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”

~ Suzanne Collins/The Hunger Games

Politics is a game of strange bedfellows, shifting allegiances, and trusted allies today that will be blood enemies tomorrow.

And prostitutes.  Lots and lots of prostitutes.   Not the kind that have sex for money.  The kind that screw over anyone if they think they can profit from it.

Davis a political prostitute.  In 2008, he was a Democratic congressman who seconded Barack Obama’s nomination for President of the United States.   Four years later he was no longer a Democrat, no longer a Congressman and no longer supporting Obama.   Now he has become a Republican who not only supports Mitt Romney, he wears his betrayal of the man he literally embraced as a badge of honor.

A new anti-Obama website, Why I Changed My Vote, features former supporters who say they will now vote against the president.   There  are testimonials from “Lucas W.”,  “ Jodi C.” and “Lynne B.” all testifying how the scales have fallen from their eyes and they’re ready to switch to Mitt.

Then there’s this one guy.  The only one with a first and last name.  Barack Obama’s old pal.  Artur Davis.

You may recall Davis from his appearance as Judas at the Republican National Convention making a pubic spectacle of himself.   He wasn’t content to simply throw Obama under the bus.  He had to drive it too and back it up a few times just to remove any doubt how big of a backstabber he really was.

I don’t have much use for most high-profile Black Republicans, but I have more respect for Herman Cain,  Mia Love, Michael Steele, or Allen West than I do for Davis.   They have been consistent in opposing the president.   They never sat next to Obama with laughing and joking.   They never pretended to support him.   They never smiled in his face and stabbed him in the back.

Artur Davis did.    Who would you find it harder to forgive?   A committed enemy or a disloyal friend?

The mystery is how does Davis think he can parlay his duplicitous double-dealing into political gains.  The Republicans enjoy  how he tweaks Obama, but what other use does he have to them?   Davis isn’t the man to lead a mass defection of Blacks out of the Democratic Party.   He proved he was a delusional loser when he ran for governor of Alabama thinking  he could woo conservative votes by spouting conservative positions, only to find he couldn’t even win the Democratic nomination.   Now he’s thinking of running  for Congress again, but this time as a Republican in Virginia .

But who would ever trust Davis?   The thing about a rat is nobody trusts them.   If Davis  played Obama cheap, why should Republicans believe he will be loyal to them?   A politician without ambition is rare, but a politician without principle is common and Artur Davis is quite  common.   Davis now speaks at Tea Party functions and has come out in support of  voter I.D. laws that would disenfranchise and suppress the Black vote.   That’s no surprise.  If you’re willing to stick it to one Black man you know, sticking it to 36 million Blacks you don’t shouldn’t be a problem.   After all, it was Black voters in Alabama that supported his White Democratic opponent over Davis, in part due to his pandering for  White support by opposing the president’s  health care reforms.

“Wait Mr. Eastwood! I’m not Barack Obama”

Davis gambled he could oppose Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative despite it’s popularity with his Black constituents.   He lost that bet and the nomination by a whopping 25 points.   Not long after an embittered Davis left his state,  party and president behind.

Unscrupulous.  Unprincipled.   Unfaithful.   If that’s the guy the G.O.P. wants on their side, Artur Davis is happy to accommodate them.   They might want to keep one eye looking out to make sure he’s at their side.  It could be hazardous to have Davis anywhere close to your back.

Welcome to the Republican National Convention: “This Is How We Feed Animals”

Yep, the mood in this joint is electric. Sure is…

Every four years when the Republicans hold their convention and trot out their handful of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other people of color, what is the message they are seeking to convey to America?  “Look!  We have a few.   But not too many.”

And they know their place.   When they forget there are ways to remind them where and what it is.

Why do Republicans get rapped as being a party that accommodates bigots?

This is why: An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed animals” before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed to Talking Points Memo.

RNC officials ejected the two attendees and confiscated their credentials and issued an apology to the camerawoman, but didn’t identify who they were and which state delegation they were with.

Don’t fall for the okie-doke. A bigot attending a Republican National Convention? That’s about as usual as fleas at a dog show.

 Patricia Carroll, the CNN camerawoman who was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by two attendees at the Republican National Convention, told Journal-isms on Thursday that “I hate that it happened, but I’m not surprised at all.”

CNN’s Patricia Carroll became the story instead of filming it.

 Carroll, who agreed to be named for the first time, said she does not want her situation to be used for political advantage. “This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue,” she said by telephone from Tampa.

Carroll said no one took the names of the attendees who threw peanuts at her Tuesday on the convention floor and told her, “This is what we feed animals.” She alerted fellow camera operators, producers and CNN security. The head of the delegation — she was not certain of the state — told her the perpetrators must have been alternates, not delegates.

 But Carroll, 34, said that as an Alabama native, she was not surprised. “This is Florida, and I’m from the Deep South,” she said. “You come to places like this, you can count the black people on your hand. They see us doing things they don’t think I should do.

 Carroll noted of the Republican convention, “There are not that many black women there.”

 “I can’t change these people’s hearts and minds,” Carroll added. “No, it doesn’t feel good. But I know who I am. I’m a proud black woman. A lot of black people are upset. This should be a wake-up call to black people. . . . People were living in euphoria for a while. People think we’re gone further than we have.”

 The person(s) was an invited attendee. If you invite a guest to a party you’re holding and they exhibit boorish behavior such as urinating on your neighbor’s roses, vomiting on their sidewalk or defecating in their driveway, you’re kind of responsible.

Party conventions are staged and scripted events designed to put the party in the best possible light. Some racist jerkwad (who hopefully was liquored up) throwing peanuts at a Black camerawoman and screaming, “THIS IS HOW WE FEED ANIMALS” doesn’t exactly conform to that hoped for goal.

That’s why the lame attempts to wave away the ugliness of this incident by  Republicans falls flat.  I wonder if those two troglodytes know how lucky they are?  Do they know how close they came to having both of their bitch asses beat to death?   Maybe because Black folk have taken it for so long some White men feel free to let their redneck flag fly and just say and do whatever the hell they want to any Black  person that wanders into range.   Maybe because we’ve been so peaceful and tolerant and forgiving they believe we will always be that way.

Catch the wrong brother or sister at the wrong time in the wrong mood at the right time and that might be your butt.   Next thing you know you’re waking up in the emergency room.   If you wake up at all.

I don’t know Patricia Carroll, but I feel like I want to defend and fight for her.

What About Your Friends?

No good deed goes unpunished, right Barack?

No good deed goes unpunished, right Barack?

When a newly elected Senator joins the club, they are assigned a mentor.

Barack Obama’s mentor was Joe Lieberman.  The same Joe Lieberman whom gleefully ripped Barack Obama this week to the delight of thousands of Republicans gathered in Minneapolis.

The same Joe Lieberman whose sorry ass Barack Obama helped rescue in 2006.

Lieberman, a unabashed supporter of the Iraqi war was on the verge of losing his seat to Ned Lamont, a liberal  anti-war activist who was challenging him for the party’s nomination in the Connecticut Democratic primary.

In desperation,  Lieberman reached out to one U.S. Senator to help him.

And it wasn’t John McCain.

It was Barack Obama.

“The fact of the matter is, I know some in the party have differences with Joe. I’m going to go ahead and say it,” Obama told the 1,700-plus party members who gathered in a ballroom at the Connecticut Convention Center for the $175-per-head fundraiser.

“I am absolutely certain Connecticut is going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the U.S. Senate so he can continue to serve on our behalf,” he said.

Obama received widespread attention for his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, delivered while he was still a state senator.

Lieberman became Obama’s mentor when Obama was sworn into the Senate in 2005. They stayed close at Thursday night’s event, too, entering the room together and working the crowd in tandem. link

Proving yet again, no good deed goes unpunished.

Lamont went on to win the primary, but lost in the general election to Lieberman who bucked the party and ran as a “independent Democrat.”  Obama endorsed Lamont, but did not campaign for him.  Apparently, Lieberman didn’t forgive Obama for not backing him all the way.

How much do you wanna bet Obama feels like he backed the wrong horse (and is getting kicked in the butt for it now)?

Hopefully, Obama learned a bitter lesson from Traitor Joe: in politics your “friends” will drop you like a bad habit after you can’t do them any more good.

Who’s going to tell John McCain?