Melania Trump Speaks Without Michelle Obama Moving Her Lips, Everyone’s So Impressed.

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Melania Trump successfully opened her mouth and made words last night at the Republican National Convention. David Brooks was so proud and wants you to stop criticizing the first lady of birtherism.

Was it, though? This is the speech I watched, Clockwork Orange style.

Good evening, it seems like just yesterday that we were at our first convention, where my husband accepted the Republican nomination and then became our 45th president of the United States.

No, it only seems like yesterday because the 2016 convention was the last time she actually did anything first lady-related. For most of us, it seems like 84 years ago.

Trump did actually mention COVID-19 as an ongoing threat rather than a vanquished enemy, but she lied to our faces when she claimed her husband "will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone." We know Trump was only moved to the most meager response when his advisers explained that a highly infectious disease doesn't distinguish between “blue" and “red" states.


It was “humane," I guess, for Melania Trump to express her "deepest sympathy" for everyone who's lost a loved one because of the president's criminal negligence. What wasn't “humane" was giving a speech in the White House Rose Garden with a 70-person audience that didn't take any real precautions against the spread of the virus.

A person who attended the speech told CNN that there were no coronavirus tests or temperature checks before admission. Melania Trump's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, insisted that anyone "in the rows near the President and vice president" were tested, but most of the guests weren't, especially those "in the last five or six rows," who were far away from the people whose lives matter to this administration (their own).

The Melania in the Park event ignored guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Few people wore masks and the attendees weren't seated six feet apart. DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has required that “persons leaving their residences shall wear a mask when they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time."

Back to Melanie's “relatively decent" speech. After an extended version of her Horatio Alger as trophy wife story, she reflected on "the racial unrest in our country." She suggested we "focus on our future while still learning from our past," as though people are protesting because they just saw Roots. She didn't bother to say the names George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or Jacob Blake — so far, only Tim Scott, the sole Black Republican senator, has acknowledged their humanity — but she did demand Black folks #BeBest.

I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice, and never make assumptions based on the color of a person's skin. Instead of tearing things down, let's reflect on our mistakes.

Gee, I was gonna burn a CVS tonight but I also don't want to disappoint Melania. This is such a stupid statement. None of the desperate people — certainly not the few outright criminals — rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are watching her speech. Black kids in Baltimore booed her sorry ass, so I doubt any Black person who isn't Candace Owens is going to listen to her lecture.

Also, when she asks that we “reflect on our mistakes" instead of “tearing things down," this again implies that looters and even peaceful protesters have done something wrong that warrants the police shooting Black men in the back. Maybe we didn't send thank-you cards promptly enough all the times they didn't shoot us in the back.

She's obviously not asking anything of the “suburban housewife" demo. Mark and Patricia McCloskey assumed protesters were going to purge them so they waved guns at them. They were invited to speak at the RNC Monday night.

So, Melanie's speech sucked raggedy ass, but the reaction to her bare minimum performance was even worse. Vanessa Friedman, fashion director at the New York Times, delivered the following crime against prose.

On the second night of the Republican National Convention, Melania Trump came dressed for battle.

She strode alone down the white-pillared colonnade of the White House on the long walk to the podium in an olive green skirt suit with broad shoulders and a military edge, exactingly tailored, caught at the waist with a wide belt and brass buttons. It was a far cry from the usual first lady convention garb, most often a dress or more lunchable suit, chosen with purpose to soften the image of the candidate and, by extension, help frame his — or her — more domestic side.

WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST READ?

Over in the non-glue-sniffing section of the Times offices, Maggie Haberman and co. framed Melania Trump's speech as a Cinderella story, where Cinderella steals Michelle Obama's gown but returns for the next ball with one her servants made all by themselves. We're all choked up.

The article also states how Trump “rarely makes public speeches," like she's an interview-shy Bobby De Niro instead of a first lady who has little interest in the role. Michelle Obama and certainly Hillary Clinton would never have gotten away with such a half-assed effort.

Striking a moderate tone Tuesday night, Mrs. Trump said she was not going to criticize the Democrats. Instead, she said she was calling "on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives."

Oh shut up. Nothing connected to this horror show administration is “moderate" and Melania's dead-eyed speech was garbage. Stop trying to make Melania fetch.

[CNN / Washington Post / The New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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