Dems in Array*

For me, watching the first night of the Democratic National Convention in some ways mirrored the experience of participating on beloved yet flawed internet hangouts, including this here blog: There were some incredibly thoughtful, fun and inspiring discussions and a handful of asshole trolls trying to ruin everything.

I’m still pissed off about the classless jackholes who chanted during Elijah Cummings’ speech. At times I wished the adjacent delegates had risen up against the jerkwads who heckled Elizabeth Warren, rolled them up in the handiest carpet and bounced them down the venue steps and out into traffic. I briefly wished I were in charge of floor security so I could disperse archers throughout the venue with plunger-tipped arrows ready to silence anyone cretinous enough to interrupt Michelle Obama’s amazing speech.

But one reason we’re so lucky to have a woman like FLOTUS in public life is that she inspires us to be better people. “When they go low, we go high.” Words to live by, and if she and her family can endure the abuse of hateful gasbags like Trump with poise and grace — creating in the process a contrast that shows just how small their detractors are — surely our party can put up with a handful of sanctimonious twits for a few more nights and show the nation by contrast what grace, fortitude and leadership look like.

*Shamelessly stolen from this tweet featured in the morning thread.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: YES SHE DID!

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Open Thread: Goddess Bless the Guardian

They’ve pinned the YouTube livestream. From their liveblog:

Franken says that work by people to register voters in Minnesota is “the reason I am giving this speech here and not into my bathroom mirror.”

He continues:

This week is about passion. Starting Friday morning, it’s all about work. Hard work.

Many of you have jobs. Many of you have families. Ignore them.

Let me tell you something. Kids love it when their parents aren’t home. They love it!

An eight-year-old kid knows how to use a microwave oven. And let me tell you something else. And 8-year-old kid can teach a 4-year-old kid how to use a microwave oven.

It’s a chucklefest…

Right this minute, proud Bernie supporter Sarah Silverman is making a strong pitch for Hillary. I’m hearing lots of cheers, not many boos. (Could just be my ears/speakers.) Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry!

Next up: Paul Simon…

Monday Morning Open Thread

samwise possessed by spirits major x4

Samwise, via commentor Major Major Major Major, expresses how we all feel right now…

Gail Collins, who’s been covering Clinton for some time, in the NYTimes:

When Clinton is nominated for president later this week in Philadelphia, we’ll be talking about her as the first woman to get a crack at running the country. But she’d also be one of the most famous people ever to get the honor. In America, she’s been part of the backdrop of our lives for nearly a quarter of a century. We’re watching a very familiar face making a brand-new mark on history.

In 2000, when she first ran for the Senate, the fact that New York had never sent a woman to the Senate was an afterthought, given all the other stuff there was to consider. “It was the first time I’d been a candidate and the first time I’d lived in New York,” she recalled in a phone interview. The very idea of that race was incredible — maybe outrageous. And it didn’t begin well. She had trouble with the carpetbagging issue…

Then she turned everything around. Went on an endless “listening tour” of such anti-glamorous, earnest wonkiness that reporters who trailed after her from town to town began to develop nervous tics and drinking issues. But it was the perfect strategy. By the end, she had worn down her aura of outsiderdom. And she seemed to be enjoying herself. While all politicians at her level have stupendously sturdy egos, Clinton does appear to get a certain relief being in venues where the focus is on somebody else.

The thing I remember most about those trips from Oneonta to Cooperstown to Horseheads — besides the tedium — was the intense reaction she got from middle-aged women, who yelled and waved and begged for autographs. They were the ones who remembered what it was like when the newspapers had separate “help wanted” columns for men and women, who needed a male co-signer when they got their first car loans. I suspected that a lot of them, like me, still had credit cards in their husbands’ names because that was just the way things worked when they first began to charge stuff at Macy’s or use American Express.

And there was something else. Hillary Clinton represented the possibility of a second act. The country was full of women who had come of age with the women’s revolution, who had tried to have it all, raising children while having good — but maybe not spectacular — careers. Now there was the about-to-retire first lady, in her new persona, suggesting they might be able to start a whole new episode in life. Driving around through upstate New York, Clinton was in the home territory of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who had broken the old rules about staying home, rearing the kids and then retiring to a rocking chair…

… Young women are not universally crazy about the first-woman thing. Some just see her as an imperfect candidate. For others, it’s because the whole gender thing seems like yesterday’s news. “There aren’t as many overt questions about ‘Can a woman do it? Is it something the country is ready for?’ ” Clinton acknowledged.

That’s probably true, and if it is, she deserves a lot of the credit. You can argue the pros and cons of Hillary Clinton’s character, or her potential to change the nation, or her position on trade policy. But you can never take away the fact that she was the one who made the idea of a woman becoming president so normal that many young women are bored by it…

Whatever her defects, she is a candidate with a very long and event-filled history of toughing things out, who finds solace in stupendously hard work and in doing her homework. She’s one of the best-known people on the planet, but she can happily spend a day listening to complaints about watershed pollution or flying halfway around the world to sit through a conference on sustainable development.

When she was still secretary of state, I asked Clinton about another presidential campaign and she waved the idea aside. Her future plans, she said, involved sleeping and exercising and traveling for fun. “It sounds so ordinary, but I haven’t done it for 20 years. I would like to see whether I can get untired,” she said.

She may never find out.

Open Thread: #EvenTheLiberal Politifacts*

* (/snark)

Meanwhile, I still {heart} Barney Frank…

Open Thread: Notes on Tim Kaine, from A Professional


… and one Republican analyst:

Be just, and fear not

Good question, Bernie. I didn’t watch Trump’s speech live, but from viewing the highlights and reading the transcript, Trump’s Mussolini-class confidence in himself as the only cure to the country’s ills struck me too. This isn’t the way a believer in small “d” democracy thinks or behaves.

Of the many stupid and frankly crazy reactions Republicans have had toward President Obama’s public pronouncements, one of my least favorite has been their ransacking of speech transcripts to count the number of times the president said “I” or “me” — to demonstrate how uppity he is, I guess.

Think they’ll parse speeches for “I” and “me” now that they’ve nominated a clinically diagnosable narcissist as their standard-bearer? Nope. Trump is the arsonist selling fire protection. He sows chaos and anger to sell “law and order.”

But as clownish as the GOP convention was, and as dark, dystopian and distorted as Trump’s vision of America is, the Republicans will almost certainly get a bump in the polls from being the focus of a week’s worth of media coverage, much of it undeservedly positive.

Let’s try not to pee down our legs when that happens, okay? Instead, let’s work our asses off to keep Trump, his pack of parasitic kin and his legion of goons and henchmen away from the White House. Let’s keep in mind that we have a much better story to tell — and far better people to tell it.

I happen to think Hillary Clinton will be a great president. In the 25 years or so I’ve followed her career, our views on every issue haven’t always aligned. But she’s running a truly inclusive campaign that will build on the progress the Democratic Party has made under President Obama’s leadership.

And when Clinton speaks on policy, it’s readily apparent there’s a keen mind at work there — even if you don’t agree with a specific proposal. Contrast that with Trump, who possesses only the will to power and the cunning to advance his personal glorification in the handiest manner.

The Republicans told many lies during their convention, but one thing they said was true: This is now a binary choice — Trump or Clinton. After considering the four-day hate-fest in Cleveland, now more than ever, I’m with her.