Candidate/election-runner Brian Kemp’s hacking accusation is a new, absurd low (Cory Doctorow/Boing Boing)
E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post:
The urgent task of progressives in this election is to defeat Donald Trump. But even if we succeed, we have a long-term responsibility: to understand why Trump happened and to face up to how failures on the left and center-left have contributed to the flourishing of a new far right, not only in the United States but also across Europe.
The left, you might fairly protest, has enough problems without being blamed for the rise of a dangerous figure who is, first and foremost, a creation of the conservative movement’s radicalization and the Republican leadership’s pandering to extreme views over many years. When I watch GOP leaders bemoaning their party’s fate under Trump (or belatedly jumping off his ship), I am reminded of John F. Kennedy’s warning that “those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”
The left’s first instincts with regard to Trump is correct: Economic fears — realistic economic fears — are the engine driving his support. Bigotry is the fuel. But when economic times are good, bigotry is content to sit on the barstool and spout nonsense.
All sorts of good insights in this article about how the left has failed the white working class.
From a friend.
Terry Gross, Fresh Air podcast:
As a reporter for The New York Times, Amy Chozick’s beat is Hillary Clinton. But, Chozick says, it’s hard to get to know a candidate who “has been so scarred” by her decades in the public eye.
Hillary Clinton hides from the spotlight, Donald Trump bathes in it.
Luke Leitch, 1843 Magazine:
Trump’s suits really do suit him. They are cartoonishly plutocratic, historically accurate Eighties power suits. They are lumpily rendered emblems of success (also the name of Trump’s fragrance) that absolutely add to an aura so many seem bewitched by. Clothes maketh the man, and all that.
Yet while Trump’s suits are great for Trump, they are terrible for businesses that depend on the world’s executive classes wearing them too. For his emergence as the most rolling-news, front-page prominent avatar of the two-piece couldn’t come at a worse time for a business that is already suffering.
Suits are my standard apparel for business travel. They’re reasonably comfortable, and I don’t have to decide what to wear. We’re a dwindling breed, we suit-wearers. I don’t see a lot of suits at conferences, and most of the suits I do see are well-tailored and dapper. “Dapper” is not a word people would use to describe me in a suit. “Rumpled” is a more apt word.
Jeremy Stahl, Slate:
Rudy Giuliani got a lot of grief on Monday for having supposedly forgotten about the Sept. 11 attacks that took place when he was mayor of New York City and formed a not insignificant portion of the basis for his national political career.
During a speech introducing Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Youngstown, Ohio, Giuliani said: “Under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when [Hillary] Clinton and Obama got into office.”
This led to some hyperventilating on Twitter from outlets saying that Giuliani was ignoring 9/11 (something Giuliani is normally not accused of doing).
This whole story has been a series of embarrassments. Several media outlets, including CNN, inaccurately reported that Giuliani said the US had never been attacked by Islamic fanatics before Obama, which would be an absurd thing to say. But Giuliani doesn’t seem to have said that.
What Giuliani seems to have actually said was that the US wasn’t successfully attacked in eight years prior to Obama taking office. Which is technically untrue — 9/11 was about eight months short of eight years.
But the real problem is that Giuliani is promulgating the bullshit Republican narrative, also promoted by Jeb Bush during the primary, that somehow 9/11 doesn’t count against Bush or the Republicans, while the attacks on American soil since 9/11 completely discredit Obama and the Democrats.
Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott, Buzzfeed:
Donald Trump has said repeatedly during the campaign that President Obama “founded ISIS,” a remark that has come under scrutiny in recent days.
“He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS,” Trump said at a Wednesday rally.
Trump has cited the conservative critique of President Obama’s Iraq policy — that the withdrawal of troops in 2011 led to a power vacuum that allowed ISIS to flourish — in making the claim.
“He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely,” Trump said on CNBC on Thursday. “The way he removed our troops — you shouldn’t have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq. Totally against it.” (Trump was not against the war as he has repeatedly claimed.) “The way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, OK?” Trump later said.
But lost in Trump’s immediate comments is that, for years, he pushed passionately and forcefully for the same immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. In interview after interview in the later 2000s, Trump said American forces should be removed from Iraq.
“First, I’d get out of Iraq right now,” Trump said to British GQ in a 2008 interview. “And by the way, I am the greatest hawk who ever lived, a far greater hawk even than Bush. I am the most militant military human being who ever lived. I’d rebuild our military arsenal, and make sure we had the finest weapons in the world. Because countries such as Russia have no respect for us, they laugh at us. Look at what happened in Georgia, a place we were supposed to be protecting.”
The “greatest hawk [and] most militant military human being” got multiple draft deferments when it was his time to serve.
Amie Parnes, The Hill:
Just as Reagan Democrats emerged three decades ago to catapult Ronald Reagan to the White House, a crop of unexpected cross-party supporters has surfaced during this election cycle.
And they are helping Democratic nominee
The steady trickle of Republicans coming out for Clinton have boosted her campaign and drawn attention to a divided GOP….
Republicans for Clinton include top GOP fundraiser and former tech company executive Meg Whitman, former Michigan governor William Milliken, former MGM CEO and GOP donor Harry Sloan along with retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (N.Y.).
A Clinton aide said each defection could cause a domino effect of sorts, allowing for other rank and file Republicans to endorse Clinton.
And one Clinton ally noted that the GOP diaspora has less to do with an affecting among GOP voters for Clinton, and more about distaste for Trump.
“We don’t have to do much,” the ally said. “Donald Trump is doing all the work for us.”
But what will those Clinton Republicans do when they no longer have Trump driving them to the Democrats? Reagan Democrats stayed Republican for a generation; that won’t be the case with the Clinton Republicans. But neither will Trump simply disappear and the Clinton Democrats return to the Republican party just as it was before.
Jenna Johnson, The Washington Post:
At a rally in Portland, Maine, on Thursday afternoon, Trump provided a lengthy explanation of why he thinks the United States needs to be skeptical of immigrants from many countries, even if they follow the legal process.
He has a point. If there had been better immigration controls 100 years ago when Trump’s grandparents came to the US, we wouldn’t be stuck with the Orange Man-Baby now.
Build a wall and make Slovenia pay for it!
Nude photographs published this week are raising fresh questions about the accuracy of a key aspect of Melania Trump’s biography: her immigration status when she first came to the United States to work as a model.
The racy photos of the would-be first lady, published in the New York Post on Sunday and Monday, inadvertently highlight inconsistencies in the various accounts she has provided over the years. And, immigration experts say, there’s even a slim chance that any years-old misrepresentations to immigration authorities could pose legal problems for her today.
While Trump and her husband, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have said she came to the United States legally, her own statements suggest she first came to the country on a short-term visa that would not have authorized her to work as a model. Trump has also said she came to New York in 1996, but the nude photo shoot places her in the United States in 1995, as does a biography published in February by Slovenian journalists.
(Ben Schreckinger and Gabriel Debenedetti/Politico)
Actually, Khan does have that right. It’s in the Constitution.
Irony isn’t Trump’s strong suit.
Trump: Muslim soldier was a hero but his father ‘has no right’ to criticize me – Evelyn Rupert, The Hill
Ezra Klein, Vox:
If you would like to see Ghazala Khan speak, you can do so in this interview she gave to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. As Fallows writes, she breaks down sobbing while speaking of her son. It suggests she let her husband give the DNC speech for a simple reason: she remains overwhelmed by grief.
This is the woman Trump decided to slander. This is the gauge of his cruelty….
Trump also wanted the Khans to know that, like them, he had sacrificed for this country.
“I’ve made a lot of sacrifices,” Trump said. “I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
I honestly do not understand how a human being can respond to a family that lost their son for this country by saying that he has sacrificed too, he’s worked really hard, he’s built “great structures.”
Donald Trump responds to the Khan family: ‘Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say’ – Philip Bump, The Washington Post.
Donald Trump has spoken out about Khizr Khan, the father of a soldier killed in Iraq who issued a devastating critique of Trump at the Democratic convention.
Khan, his wife, Ghazala, at his side, demanded that Trump read the Constitution when considering his proposal to bar Muslims from the country, pulling a copy of the document of his pocket and offering to lend it to the Republican nominee. Had Trump’s policies been in place, he said, his family wouldn’t have been in the country, and his son Humayun Khan would not have served in Iraq, giving his life to save his men. “You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” Khan said to Trump.
Trump’s response to the New York Times’s Maureen Dowd was brief: “I’d like to hear his wife say something.”
If your assumption was that Trump was suggesting that, as a Muslim woman, Ghazala Khan may have been forced into a position of subservience, Trump made that point explicitly in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.
“I saw him,” Trump said of the speech. “He was very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me. His wife … if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say.”
“She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump continued.
Trump the coward also says he sacrificed plenty, creating thousands of jobs and donating to veterans’ causes. Because that’s totally the same as dying for your country.
Always, Donald says “maybe… you tell me.” The big orange baby can’t just state his bigotry outright.
Scalzi weighs in: Clinton and the Convention and Where We Go From Here
Great points, and my title for this post is a paraphrase from him. Trump and the Republicans were unable to “even handle a four-day self-advertisement,” Scalzi notes. All the GOP had to do was put a parade of luminaries on stage who would all praise and endorse Trump and attack the Democrats. Instead, they had a line-up of reality TV freaks, D-list celebrities, and has-beens (Scott Baio? Chachi Loves Donnie?). One of their headliners — Ted Cruz — pointedly failed to endorse Trump, which Trump’s campaign was shocked, shocked to discover, even though they had approved his speech in advance.
By contrast, the Democratic convention got off to a pratfall, but then operated like clockwork. As Scalzi notes: That doesn’t prove Clinton will make a good president, but at least she and her team could run a successful convention.
Scalzi errs by labeling Trump supporters as crazies, bigots and haters. They’re not. They’re desperate — and rightly so. Hillary Clinton is the culmination of 30 years of American leaders’ failure to serve the American people. I’ll vote for her — and do it hopefully — because the alternative is crazy incompetence. Or maybe I’ll just vote for the Libertarian ticket, not because I’m a libertarian, but because they’ve got two guys there who seem to have done a good job of running their states pretty well.
A person who is dying of cancer, and who has been failed by Western medicine may turn to alternative medicine not because they’re a believer, but because they don’t think they’ve got anything to lose.
Journalist Laurie Penny joins Yiannopoulos’s entourage at the Republican National Convention, the night he was banned from Twitter. “I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles,” she says. “He thinks that’s funny and invites me to his parties.”
Penny describes the entourage:
There is Daryush Valizadeh, also known as Roosh V, self-styled leader in the “neo-masculinity” movement, author of a suspicious stack of sex travel guides and headline-hunting nano-celebrity in the world of ritualised internet misogyny. Roosh hates feminists for a living. He asks me what I’m doing here. I ask him the same question.
The interaction that follows is the most surreal episode in a deeply surreal evening. Roosh is tall and well-built and actually rather good-looking for, you know, a monster. I have opportunity to observe this because he puts himself right up in my personal space, blocking my view of the room with his T-shirt, and proceeds, messily and at length, to tell me what my problem is.
Number one: my haircut, and he’s telling me this as a man, makes my face look round. This is absolutely true. Number two: I seek to destroy the nuclear family, and disturb traditional relationships between men and women. This is also true, although I remind him that the nuclear family as it is currently conceived is actually a fairly recent social format. He insists that it’s thousands of years old, and asks me if I truly believe that it’s right for gay men to be able to adopt children. I tell him that I do. He appears as flummoxed by this as I do by his presence at what is supposed to be a party to celebrate Gay republicans. He’s here for the same reason I am: Milo invited him.
What surprises me about Roosh is that he seems to be a true believer. Unlike Milo, he appears to be—at least to some extent—convinced of the truth of what he’s saying. He is bitter and vindictive, convinced of his own victimhood as a self-made blogger who was never given his due by the mainstream media. He tells me that the reason I have a column is that I’m a useful idiot and all my readers have low IQs. I ask him if he’s negging me.
Ted Cruz is an “oleaginous lump of hungering self-interest,” and more!
The parallels to current events are disturbing.
One particular point stands out, as Jason Kottke notes: Businessmen and intellectuals, wanting to be on the right side of power, endorsed Hitler. They assured themselves his more extreme positions were just for show.
It’s an uncomfortable, unnatural attraction, like being 100% hetero and seeing photos of shirtless Matthew McConaughey.
Calls for the opposition to be jailed or shot by a firing squad are un-American. They’re how dictatorships behave.
Journalist McKay Coppins is often blamed for the Trump candidacy following a blistering 2014 profile. Now he looks at what makes Trump tick.
Trump is still the young man whose father and grandfather made it big in the outer boroughs, desperately trying — and failing — to get taken seriously in Manhattan. An episode later in Trump’s life in Palm Beach, when he bought an estate called Mar a Lago and tried to get accepted by high society, shows what’s like being Trump:
“You know, in Palm Beach there’s an in-crowd and an out-crowd and no matter how much money he has, he will never be a part of Palm Beach’s inner circle,” socialite Marlene Rathgeb told the Miami Herald in 1986, adding, “The fact that Trump is Jewish and because he’s nouveau riche turns a lot of people off.” When a rumor circulated that he’d been denied membership to the exclusive Bath & Tennis Club, Trump furiously disputed the claim, insisting even decades later, “I can get in if I wanted to. If I wanted to, I can get anything. I’m the king of Palm Beach.”
When the whole nasty ordeal was finally over and Mar-a-Lago was his, Trump looked endlessly for ways to take revenge on his stuck-up neighbors. He had DJs blast music loud enough for all the “stuffy cocksuckers” in town to hear. In 2006, he installed an 80-foot flagpole in brazen defiance of local zoning ordinances, and then left it up for six months — a towering middle finger to the Palm Beach pooh-bahs who were heaping fines on him.
Anti-Trump delegates sought to force a change to convention rules, write Tal Kopan and Tom LoBianco at CNN.
It’s not about Donald Trump, Utah Sen. Mike Lee told CNN. It’s about fairness in game journalism — um, “the future of the party.”
Rick Santorum said pregnancy from rape is a “gift from God” and compared gay relationships to “man-on-dog” sex — and he signed a pledge saying that African-Americans had it better during slavery.
He’s not an aberration, either. The whole cadre of GOP presidential nomination hopefuls were a bumper-crop of absolute terribleness: Rick Perry’s summer hunting camp is called “Niggerhead” and he pledged to eliminate three cabinet-level government agencies, but couldn’t remember which ones. He is a young-Earth Creationist, an anonymous GOP governor once said that Perry was “like George W Bush, but without the brains.”
Bobby Jindal named himself after a character on the Brady Bunch and bankrupted Louisiana by cutting taxes on the wealthy. Carly Fiorina is a climate-change denier who tanked HP and thinks Planned Parenthood sells foetal organs. Rand Paul wants to eliminate environmental and civil rights legislation and eliminate welfare. Scott Walker said he could be trusted to fight Isis because he’d defeated Wisconsin’s teachers’ unions. Chris Christie is basically a mafia don, but not a competent one. Jeb Bush thinks that health insurance can be eliminated by giving people Apple watches and that poverty can be solved by everyone “working longer hours.”