Saturday, August 22, 2020

Another Opening, Another Show

Benjamin Bar & Lounge at Trump International, via OpenTable.

Now that the 2020 Democratic Convention is out of the way, providing Republican planners with some valuable ideas on how to run a virtual convention which they can attempt to copy following the defeat of the party's plans to hold a more conventional convention in Charlotte, or Jacksonville after Charlotte turned them down, torched by the unwillingness of both cities and most people in general to go along with what would certainly condemn some   attendees to death or the obloquy of helping with the spread of pandemic in their own communities, in spite of the president's assurances that the pandemic would go away very soon and leave them alone—now that there's only the weekend left to figure out what they're going to do, they're buckling down to the very real work of preparing eight hours of television communicating to voters why they should feel fired up and ready to vote, possibly by mail, for the Trump-Pence ticket.

Which should be plenty of time for the professionals who have been behind this crackerjack political operation for the past four or five years.

I'm not in a position to tell you exactly what's going to happen, but there's a fine Wikipedia page on the subject, and combining that with my own deep knowledge of how the party works, I can offer some educated guesses.

First, the basic facts:

All the convention's formal work will be finished by the time the television coverage starts on Monday night, expedited by the party's decision not to have a platform this year but go with a continuing resolution instead, following the administration's legislative style, recycling the 2016 platform, in spite of the fact that it contains language like

All international executive agreements and political arrangements entered into by the current Administration must be deemed null and void as mere expressions of the current president’s preferences. 


The President has refused to defend or enforce laws he does not like, used executive orders to enact national policies in areas constitutionally reserved solely to Congress, made unconstitutional “recess” appointments to Senate-confirmed positions, directed regulatory agencies to overstep their statutory authority, and failed to consult Congress regarding military action overseas. 


The federal fiscal burden threatens the security, liberty, and independence of our nation. The current Administration’s refusal to work with Republicans took our national debt from $10 trillion to nearly $19 trillion today. Left unchecked, it will hit $30 trillion by 2026. At the same time, the Administration’s policies systematically crippled economic growth and job creation, driving up government costs and driving down revenues. 

Though the figures should of course, using the kind of somewhat deceptive calculations the Republicans used, read $26.5 trillion for the current national debt and something approaching $78 trillion by 2028 at current rates of increase.

Accordingly all that will be left of the traditional convention by Monday night will be the roll call of the delegates in Charlotte, so that will in principle be the whole of the convention, while the other nights will be devoted to a "three-day entertainment event" (politicians and celebrities, including the vice president's and president's acceptance speeches, which seem to have been reclassified from business to pleasure) at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, just a short block from the Trump International Hotel, where bartenders will be serving $11 drafts and cocktails ranging from $18 to $35, helping the president recover some of the expenses he has incurred in the course of his service to the country.

Monday 24 August, "Land of Heroes"

I'm expecting the national anthem to be performed by Wayne Newton, followed by a live reading on video feed by President Trump of the Pledge of Allegiance:

One nation, under God, really very under God, frankly like nobody's ever seen that far under, invisible, and indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

And an invocation by Dr. Franklin Graham formally inviting God to the proceedings (unlike the Marxist atheist Democrats, who formally banned Him from theirs, according to Dr. Graham).

Since the state delegation chiefs will all be in Charlotte, instead of holding the roll call in a Zoom collection of on-location shots of all the states and territories, they will deliver the vote counts posed in front of Zoom backgrounds showing some important locations and their website URLs, for a small fee, waived for those states that have Trump properties, including New York, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Florida, and California. "California, land of the Trump National Rancho Palos Verdes, proudly casts its 172 votes for our favorite golf course tummler and your favorite President, Donald J. Trump!"

No keynote speaker is scheduled for Monday night, but maybe this will be a good time for some of the more heroic non-political speakers. 

In emulation of the Democrats' stutterer Brayden Harrington, for instance, they could use this moment to bring on Nick Sandmann, the brave boy who singlehandedly confronted a sullen radical leftist Native American in spite of his pathological shyness, who can tell audiences how he overcame the handicap of a congenital Backpfeifengesicht thanks to the shining example of President Trump, and give hope to arrogant prep-school snots everywhere.

Or Patricia and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who used their Second Amendment rights to scatter a violent mob of Black Lives Matter agitators threatening to walk near their lawn on land that they sort of thought of themselves as owning, waving their weapons at each other and generally showing the world what a well-regulated militia looks like.

Via Business Insider, reporting how McCloskey called himself "a person scared for my life, protecting my wife, my home, my hearth, my livelihood. I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate." He also said that he "was assaulted" and that he "really thought it was storming the Bastille." (Although what exactly he meant by "assaulted" or with the Bastille analogy are unclear.) I guess Business Insider didn't consider the possibility that the McCloskeys were probably holding some political prisoners in their basement on behalf of the Trump regime.

Or Andrew Pollack, the enthusiast whose love for his AR-15s couldn't be dampened even when one of them was used to murder his daughter in the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. He's on the guest list too.

Tuesday 25 August, "Land of Promise"

"Promise her anything, but giver her a speaking slot." 

In this soft and feminine night, national anthem by Britney Spears, invocation by Reverend Paula White, comedy by Rosanne Barr and musical appearance by rap stars Diamond & Silk in the preliminary proceedings, and political messaging from Ambassador Nikki Haley, Senator Joni Ernst, and Governor Kristi Noem, who together will demonstrate the depth of the female Republican bench.

The climax, though, is keynote speaker First Lady Melania Trump, reading a speech by her personal assistant with a few choice passages lifted from Dr. Jill Biden:

And so, we figured it out together — in those big moments that would go by too fast — Thanksgivings and state championships, birthdays and weddings. In the mundane ones that we didn’t even know were shaping our lives: reading stories, piled on the couch. Rowdy Sunday dinners and silly arguments. Listening to the faint sounds of laughter that would float downstairs as Donald put the kids to bed every night — while I studied my prenuptial agreement under the pale yellow kitchen lamp — the dinner dishes waiting in the sink.

We found that love holds a family together. Love makes us flexible and resilient. It allows us to become more than ourselves — together. And though it can’t protect us from the sorrows of life, it gives us refuge — a home.

Wednesday 25 August, "Land of Opportunity"

Minorities night featuring country and western, African and American, and the Hollywood elite, not necessarily in that order. National anthem by Hank Williams, Jr., invocation by Pastor Darrell Scott, speeches by Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and Senator Tim Scott, or "that black guy" as he is called in the White House. Baseball great Curt Schilling was scheduled to speak, but had to cancel, since he's currently charged along with Stephen Bannon with fraud for his part in a scheme that bilked $25 million out of Trump supporters who thought they were contributing to the construction of a wall on the Mexican border.

There will be warmup comedy by the brothers Randy and Dennis Quaid, and by Vice President Pence, who is billed as the keynote speaker, but that role will be filled by the brilliant Hollywood star Scott Baio, speaking on a subject yet to be determined. 

Thursday 26 August, "Land of Greatness"

Gene Simmons will sing the national anthem, but otherwise the entire two hours will be taken up by the only greatness for which there is really going to be room, President Trump's acceptance of his nomination in the hopefully Covid-free outdoor setting of the South Lawn, where he will offer some of his great Teleprompter reading and freestyle improv, and with any luck a little poetry. He's shown some extraordinary imagination in some of his recent appearances, as in the following, where he tries to imagine what the "QAnon" conspiracy theory is on the basis of a reporter's hints:

If I Can Help Save the World

by Donald J. Trump

The cause of the theory is this belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Does that sound like something you are behind or— Unidentified reporter, 19 August 2020

Well, I haven’t heard that. 
But is that supposed to be 
a bad thing or a good thing? 
I mean, if I can help save the 
world from problems, I’m willing 
to do it. I’m willing to put myself 
out there. And we are actually. 

We’re saving the world from a 
radical left philosophy that will 
destroy this country. And when 
this country is gone, the rest 
of the world would follow. 
The rest of the world would follow. 

That’s the importance of this country. 
And when you look at some of the things 
that these people are saying with defund 
the police and no borders, open borders, 
everybody just pour right into our country, 
no testing, no nothing. You talk about testing, 
no testing. Mexico as you know has a very
high rate of infection. The wall is now 
going to be, next week, 300 miles long.

He isn't actually sure whether he's saving the world from a conspiracy of pedophiles and cannibals (you'd think a person would know a thing like that!), but if he is, he expects to be praised for it.

The idea that Mexico's Covid-19 infection rate is a danger to the United States is pretty funny (though not in its consequences, which have been used by Miller and Barr as a pretext for a new and really vile violation of asylum law, where contract workers  illegally seize unaccompanied minors and imprison them in hotels to illegally prevent them from asking a CBP officer for asylum, and eventually deport them, on the bogus pretext that they might be bring the virus into the country). 

Via Our World in Data.

Oh, and there are two hurricanes heading up towards Louisiana (Monday and Wednesday respectively according to current projections, thanks, Bradley) and I'm sure Trump will demand a balloon drop engineered somehow out of the White House and it will go spectacularly wrong!

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