Wednesday, August 26, 2020


Wow, the Republican convention is a rip-roaring success, and that Melania Trump speech really took America by storm. Let's look at the front pages of some right-wing sites and see how well Night 2 went over on right-wing media:

I know, I know -- "If it bleeds, it leads." But this was a key night for their party, and they don't care. They clearly see Melania's attempt to soften her husband's image as a sop to throw out to swing voters, whom they perceive as idiots or dupes for needing to be persuaded of Donald Trump's greatness. The question shouldn't even be up for discussion: Black people are angry! How can you even consider not voting for Trump?

Over at The New York Times, there's a roundup of pundit reactions to the convention. Asked what the best moment of Night 2 was, Jamelle Bouie responds:
I am not the target audience for this event, so I’m trying to approach it as a neutral observer. From that perspective, the testimonials from ordinary people — emceed by Vice President Mike Pence — were the best produced and most effective moments of the night. The people in question felt genuine, and Pence is a talented performer of political empathy. That segment was also something of a paean to Abraham Lincoln, and I can’t help but appreciate that.
But Daniel McCarthy -- editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Quarterly, which on quick glance seems to be proomoting "respectable" conservatism -- is having none of that. When he's asked about Night 2's worst moments, he replies:
Too many schmaltzy videos, like the one starring Mike Pence. The night as a whole seemed like a flashback to the Democratic convention or a pre-Trump Republican convention — feel-good emoting in consultant-crafted packaging.
What did McCarthy like? Not Melania either. Here was his choice for best moment:
Abby Johnson testified powerfully to the horrific realities of abortion and the ugly eugenicist history of Planned Parenthood, including the toll it takes on Black lives to this day.
That would be the same Abby Johnson who said it would be "smart" for police to racial profile her black son; who has advocated giving the vote only to the (presumably male) head of every household; and who appears to have lied about the circumstances that reportedly converted her from pro-choice Planned Parenthood worker to anti-abortion celebrity and subject of a right-wing agitprop biopic. She was McCarthy's star.

Melania dutifully and soullessly labored through the reading of her speech, which was dull but able to suggest an acceptable level of humanity and empathy. But the speech was out of place. The Republican electorate has learned to live, at least in the political sphere, entirely without empathy. Maybe these folks are nice to their neighbors, or love their children. But they don't want the greater good. They want to win. They want to crush us. Republicans didn't want to hear what Melania's speechwriters gave her to say, and they didn't want to hear the people in the Pence video. Those segments were there just to pull a few squishy, soft-centered centrists into the Trump camp so the GOP base can have the triumph it believes the world owes it.

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