Also: 7% Plagiarism is Okay
By Doug Porter
I was impressed by the first day of the 2016 GOP Convention. It had everything you could want from a collection of shysters and more.
America is a dangerous place, we learned, and so is the world. It’s all Hillary Clinton’s fault. The Democratic nominee for president belongs, if you listened to the speakers and read the tee shirts being hawked outside, in jail.
The last gasp of dissent within the Republican party was crushed as Trump supporters chanted “USA! USA!” as the microphones to suspect delegations were turned off.
The current President is a Muslim, said a former underwear model for Calvin Klein who was somehow treated by the press as a serious person.
Plenty of Hating to Go Around
A Republican Congressman appeared on MSNBC’s convention coverage to call minorities “subgroups,” who had minimal impact in the rise of Western / ‘Christian’ civilization. I’d give him a big zero for this claim, but that would involve acknowledging Leonardo of Pisa’s “discovery” of Arabic numerals in his North African travels.
According to Raw Story, convention officials were forced to disable the chat feature on a live steam of former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle speaking about promoting inroads that Republicans have made with Jewish voters because “alt-right followers flooded the page with anti-Semitic vitriol.”
Among other things, the Trump fans wrote “Press H for Hitler,” “JOOS,” “BAN JEWS,” “OY GEVALT,” and “KIKE.”
The Trump campaign’s desire to improve his image with undecided female voters got off to a poor start with Monday’s “Women Vote Trump” event held Monday in Cleveland is any indication.
— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) July 18, 2016
Meanwhile, outside the convention, vendors told the Huffinggton Post they were doing a brisk business selling buttons with unflattering pictures of Hillary Clinton proclaiming “Life’s A Bitch ― Don’t Vote For One.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani preached the gospel of fear from the podium, arguing that liberal politicians divide the country into white and black America instead of uniting as “one America.”
Undocumented drunk driving murderers, undercover ISIS operatives, and Hillary Clinton personally murdering American servicemen were all featured during the course the evening in testimonials from grieving parents and loved ones.
The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland said “it felt like an appalling abuse of their suffering:”
One has to go back to Richard Nixon’s deployment of the families of prisoners of war and US soldiers missing in action in Vietnam to find a similar act of exploitation. But Trump’s move felt cruder.
Will it be effective? Polls suggest Benghazi, though a perennial Fox News obsession, does not animate too many voters. And there’s something else too that might dampen the impact.
While Smith was addressing the hall in Cleveland, Trump was elsewhere. He was on Fox News, in fact. Giving an interview at exactly the same time, thereby treading all over the story the convention was trying to build.
It was a reminder that a shameless willingness to exploit suffering is hardly Trump’s only vice. When it comes to the presumptive Republican nominee, narcissism always trumps the rest.
On Fox News, the candidate was making sure the message and the anger was being heard:
“You see them [Black Lives Matter protesters] marching and you see them on occasion, at least — I’ve seen it — where they’re essentially calling, ‘Death to police.’ And that’s not acceptable.”
—Donald Trump, interview on Fox News during the convention
The icing on the cake for the day was supposed to be an appearance by the generally reclusive Melania Trump.
A chaotic first day at the Republican National Convention gave way to an emotional evening centered on national security and capped off by a rousing speech by Donald Trump’s wife, Melania.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee broke tradition and took to the convention stage Monday night to introduce his wife. The hall darkened as Queen’s “We Are The Champions” played as Trump took the stage in a dramatic fashion and was greeted with a hero’s welcome.
Melania praised Trump as a wonderful father and husband who “gets things done” and is “intensely loyal to family, friends, employees, country.”
Alas, the impact of the words meant to humanize her husband got lost as reporter Jarrett Hill realized he’d heard them somewhere before.
Several passages from Melania’s speech were taken word-for-word from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention address.
— Crowdpac (@Crowdpac) July 19, 2016
Watching the Trump faithful try to talk their way out of this boo-boo was highly entertaining.
Former Presidential candidate Ben Carson tried to make the best of it, saying similarities in Melania-Michelle speeches show “we share the same values”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie choked down his bitterness at not being named as Trump’s running mate long enough to tell the Today Show it was no big deal:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former prosecutor, brushed off the controversy surrounding Melania Trump’s convention speech, saying he wouldn’t be able to make the case for plagiarism, “not when 93 percent of the speech is completely different.”
“I know Melania. I think she worked very hard on that speech. A lot of what I heard last night sitting on the floor sounded very much like her and the way she speaks about Donald all the time,” Christie told TODAY in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade said because the lifted passages applied to Melania’s life there was no foul.
Here’s the capper, via Think Progress:
Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort went even further. He not only denied the speech was plagiarized, but accused Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton of spreading the story because she hates other women.
“This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton she seeks out to demean her and take her down,” he said. “It’s not going to work.”
While we’re on the subjects of lies and Melania Trump, I should point out the Politico story pointing out the education inflation in the would-be first lady’s RNC biography:
“She dropped out after a year,” reports Ioffe, who delved into the potential first lady’s background earlier this year. Melania’s college tenure ended when she moved to Milan, Italy to pursue her successful modeling career.
Elsewhere in Cleveland
Demonstrations outside the convention center were peaceful, despite the presence of open-carry militia members parading their assault-type weapons around.
Ohio is an open-carry state, but that didn’t stop a police official from demanding that the law be suspended when word circulated about potential Black open-carry advocates making an appearance.
A pro-Trump rally addressed by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that was anticip[ated to draw 10,000 people drew 400, including the 200 journalists sent to cover it.
Al Jazeera covered some of anti-Trump protests going on in Cleveland:
Under the watchful eye of police officers on horseback and bicycles, groups with different interests, united in their message against the celebrity tycoon, marched on Monday in the Cleveland area outside the security parameter where the convention was being held under tight guard.
“People have already begun arriving from as far as Florida, and we expect to have a large family friendly protest that is truly national in scope,” said protester Mick Kelly, as demonstrators nearby chanted “Dump Trump”.
“There is a lot of anger at the bigot,” Kelly added.
Approximately a third of Cleveland’s police officers are assigned to man the convention area, and approximately 2,500 others from other areas were brought in to help, as the city expects 50,000 visitors.
— James Queally (@JamesQueallyLAT) July 18, 2016
From Common Dreams:
Among the over 40 organizations that took part in Monday’s demonstration, activists with CODEPINK dressed like “GOP billionaires” to call attention “to the millions who live in poverty while others, like weapons manufacturers, are making a killing off of killing in America’s endless wars,” the anti-militarization group said in a press statement.
The group also took part in the End Poverty Now! demonstration Monday afternoon, which sought to highlight the fact that the convention is being held in one of the nation’s poorest cities.
“Cleveland will be holding a celebration for a political party that has distinguished itself over the past generation by rolling back the gains of the Civil Rights and anti-poverty movements of the past, and has done everything in its power to defund and disempower residents of Cleveland and residents across the United States,” protest organizers declared.
“It’s Not Enough to Yell at Your TV Screen”
The Hillary Clinton campaign has decided against keeping a low profile during the GOP convention, anticipating that Donald Trump will be keeping a high profile during next week’s Democratic convention.
On the same day Trump’s convention was scheduled to address the question of how to “Make America Safe Again,” Clinton told the audience at the NAACP conference — a group whose invitation to speak Trump declined — that “we have difficult, painful, essential work ahead of us to repair the bonds between our police and our communities, and between and among each other.” Of the violence against police officers that has ripped the country apart over the past two weeks, as well as the latest two incidents of black men killed while in police custody, she said: “This madness has to stop.”
On Monday, campaigning across Ohio, Clinton showed she was not content to play the traditionally low-key role of the party nominee whose rival is holding his convention. “It is not enough to yell at your TV screen,” she said at an organizing event she attended with Sen. Sherrod Brown, kicking off a nationwide voter registration drive. “It is not enough to send a nasty tweet. That is not enough. You have to get registered and get out to vote in November.”
On This Day: 1848 – A Women’s Rights Convention opens in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Delegates adopt a Declaration of Women’s Rights and call for women’s suffrage. 1949 – Harry Belafonte began recording his first sessions for Capitol Records. They included the songs “They Didn’t Believe Me” and “Close Your Eyes.” 1984 – Geraldine Ferraro was nominated by the Democratic Party to become the first woman from a major political party to run for the office of U.S. Vice-President.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.