By Doug Porter
The Republican National Convention continued yesterday, giving official approval to the Trump/Pence ticket and promising to jail Hillary Clinton at the first opportunity.
The question to answered now is whether we’re watching the implosion of a political party past its prime or the formal dissolution of the democratic process in the United States. Like watching a train wreck, it’s hard to look away.
The concept of a day at the GOP convention focused on jobs and progress–officially titled Putting America to Work Again–was left by the wayside on Tuesday as speaker after speaker sought to gain recognition as being the best at demonizing Hillary Clinton.
Former GOP candidate Ben Carson actually went there, linking the presumptive Democratic nominee to Lucifer. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did a call-and-response routine with the audience, urging the assembled faithful to find Clinton guilty of crimes conjured up by the GOP’s tin foil hatted tribunals.
At a closed-door meeting in Cleveland, Gov. Christie in his capacity as leader of the Trump White House transition team promised donors that campaign was drawing up a list of federal government employees to fire should the GOP win the Nov. 8 presidential election. The purges are coming. And don’t forget the mass arrests and deportations being promised, along with the opportunity for the rich to get richer.
The upside of this is that, if the Democrats are smart, they’ll let the record of this debacle speak for itself and focus on a path forward. Speakers should just skip the denunciations of The Donald, as video clips of the GOP Convention run constantly in the background at Donkey Con in Philadelphia.
The Republican White Peoples Party
In a nutshell…
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) July 20, 2016
Troubles for the GOP Media Machine
What we’re witnessing at this convention is the culmination of years of effort by GOP-leaning media. Yesterday’s fringe story passed around on Facebook becomes today’s Truth for party orators. Delusion becomes reality. It’s worked better than anyone could have imaged.
Here’s a handy-dandy chart from Media Matters showing their influence on the 2012 elections:
Roger the Hut
The Fox News network’s leadership has run smack dab into a wall of the political correctness they love to loathe.
From the New York Times:
Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News appears to be over.
Mr. Ailes and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, are in the advanced stages of discussions that would lead to his departure as chairman, Susan Estrich, one of Mr. Ailes’s lawyers, said in an interview on Tuesday.
The development follows a sexual harassment suit filed July 6 against Mr. Ailes by a former anchor, Gretchen Carlson. The suit prompted 21st Century Fox to conduct an internal review.
Since then, Mr. Ailes’s future at Fox News has been the subject of intense speculation, which increased on Monday with a report from New York magazine that the executives leading 21st Century Fox — Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan — had determined that Mr. Ailes must go.
Reports this morning say the discussions over Ailes departure have stalled over language admitted the possibility that ‘mistakes were made.’
Another wrinkle on this story is news of anchor Megyn Kelly joining those accusing Ailes of misconduct.
From New York Magazine:
Ailes has responded by launching a counteroffensive against Kelly. Earlier today, Fox spokesperson Irena Briganti emailed reporters a list of glowing remarks Kelly has made about Ailes through the years. Meanwhile, Ailes’s lawyer, Susan Estrich, denied the allegations, telling The HollywoodReporter: “Roger has spent the last 10 years helping Megyn Kelly become the star that she is.” And tonight, Breitbart News reported that more than 50 Fox on-air personalities will walk if Ailes is forced out. One Fox source says the article is spin, and that there’s no talk of mass exodus among anchors. “This is being made up,” the person said.
The problem for Ailes is that the Murdochs, who control 21st Century Fox, are siding with Kelly. Tomorrow’s New York Post — a Murdoch-owned paper — features Ailes on the cover:
Breitbart’s Internet Troll is Gone
While Fox News has been the fountain of knowledge for the GOP’s angry old white men demographic, Breitbart News has been busy stirring up the GOP’s angry younger white men demographic.
Yiannopoulos, who used the handle @nero, was infamous for egging on his more than 380,000 followers to harass and disparage a variety of humans deemed to be too politically correct or otherwise unworthy.
Yesterday’s banishment came after Leslie Jones, star of the recent remake of the Ghostbusters movie, started retweeting some of the racist and misogynistic abuse she has been receiving in recent days. The remake of the film has been a cause celeb for internet misogynists because of its all-female leads.
Seattle-based author Ijeoma Oluo, whose writings on feminism and social justice have made her a frequent target for harassment, puts this bad behavior in context for the Guardian:
I am certainly not alone. Every day, black women like Feminista Jones, Franchesca Ramsey, Melissa Harris-Perry, Imani Gandy, Jamilah Lemieux and countless others – women whose very presence helps make social media profitable for corporations like Facebook and Twitter, women who’s insightful social commentary draw millions of people to these platforms – face regular, coordinated campaigns of abuse aimed at forcing them off of the internet.
So when Leslie Jones was receiving a deluge of racist and misogynistic tweets, it was no surprise to me or any other woman of color on the internet to see professional abusers like Milo Yiannopoulos and the rest of the staff at Brietbartgleefully doing their best to encourage abuse from their millions of followers who also see loud black women as a threat and a source of what they view as their denied birthright of power and respect as white men.
This woman, this dark-skinned black woman – who didn’t even have the courtesy to be “conventionally” attractive by their standards – had the audacity to star in an all-female remake of a beloved white-dude film? Of course she must pay by being forced off of the internet – a platform essential to those in public life today.
Is It Plagiarism? Or Just Garbage?
There was another allegation of copy-catting aimed at Donald, Jr’s convention speech last night.
The Daily Show noticed language that also appeared in a recent American Conservative article by George Mason University law professor F.H. Buckley.
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 20, 2016
Buckley responded to this claim, saying he’d been the speechwriter for Trump Son Number One, and that it wasn’t an issue.
Okay… But it amazes me that the content–recycled or not– isn’t getting the attention it deserves.
How this spoiled son of a billionaire can talk about public schools as the equivalent of Soviet-era department stores and have otherwise intelligent people in the media not comment on the intent is beyond me. The guy wouldn’t know a public school teacher from a potted plant.
The intent on the right, as anybody with access to search engine can document, is to destroy the institution of public education. In Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback’s taxed-less utopia is wreaking havoc, defenders of the trickle-down faith coined the term “government schools” after courts struck down debilitating funding cuts.
Watch for this term to be popularized as the fall GOP campaigns gear up.
I’m having a blast writing about the GOP convention thus far….So much material, so little time…
Regretfully, I’m taking a couple of weeks off to tend to some (very good) personal business that can’t wait.
I’ll be back August 1st, and promise to regale readers with tales of the Donkey-Con as well as commenting on what’s left of the GOP.
I suppose if the end of the world or something equally significant is announced, I’ll find a computer and write something up. Otherwise, you’re on your own.
On This Day: 1965 – Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” was released. 1969 – Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon. 1971 – Postal unions & the Postal Service signed the first labor contract in the history of the federal government—the year following an unauthorized strike by 200,000 postal workers.
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