RNC Night Four: Let's Watch the Trumpendämmerung Together! A Livebloog.
I *AM SO* PRESIDENTIAL!
It's Donald's big night, his chance to reunite the party, whip up the base, win over the women and the minorities, and overcome the three-night shitshow that has been the Republican National Convention so far. In other words, another goddamn Donald Trump speech. An alleged draft of Trump's big-deal speech has leaked, so you can follow along and see where Trump goes off-script. There will be all sorts of excitement, like the balloon drop and the moment when the crowd starts chanting "lock her up!" somewhere about 30 seconds into the first speech of the night. The theme tonight is "Make America One Again," and we aren't even able to come up with a joke about that.
Who's on tap to speak tonight? Peter Thiel, the first openly gay speaker at the RNC -- or really the second, since back in 2000 the convention included Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, one of those extinct moderates and one of the few Republicans Yr Dok Zoom ever voted for -- will say wonderful things about capitalism. Ivanka Trump will finally let the world know whether she'd date her dad if he weren't her dad, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will make everyone eat moldy baloney. Or listen to it.
It's nearly showtime, so let's get this livebloog rolling!
7:52 Jerry Falwell Jr. is speaking already. We hope he feels safe being onstage without a gun in his pocket. We are not all that happy to see him.
7:55 Does anyone else think it's weird to hear a pastor saying "a vote for Trump is a vote to uphold the Second Amendment"? Just us? OK.
7:57 Sheriff Joe Arpaio gets _thunderous_ applause. Meet your next attorney general, America! Or maybe he'll be FBI Director. Or head of the S.A.
8:00 Sheriff Joe not like illegal immigrants. Or teleprompters. We bet he won't get through this thing without calling himself "America's Toughest Sheriff"™
8:04 They are moving them through like a car wash tonight! Pastor Mark Burns is here to Jesus up the room some. Also, he does not approve of "race-baiting Democrats."
He is against divisiveness, but also against troublemaking Black Lives Matters protesters.
8:09 Oh, he also says Republicans will come together to hear the cries of the disenfranchised. Except of course for the people they've actually taken the franchise away from.
8:15 NFL Dude Fran Tarkenton is here! Go Vikings! How 'bout those Giants? Go Dogs! There will be no barking, however. Also, something about Vince Lombardi. Hey, is there a Cleveland sportsball team he could pander to? Anyone?
8:17 So now it is the transition to the Good News of small businesses, which are dying, crushed by the strangling regulations of the government, and that must explain why we've been burdened with 76 straight months of economic growth.
8:20 Motivational Speaker Brock Mealer is here to speak motivationally. We are trying so hard to resist the "van down by the river" joke, but we cannot. Also, Jesus is good.
8:22 Mealer says he was given only a 1 percent chance of walking again. And Donald Trump was given only a one percent chance of winning the nomination! It's pretty much a night for the One-Percenters! Also, almost 30 seconds of Bobby Knight on video. Inspirational!
8:25 We are informed that we missed Fran Tarkenton saying, "Lets go, you people out there in teevee land." It really IS the sixties all over again! And the RNC is live and in beautiful color!
8:26 Marsha Blackburn is here to tell us why Planned Parenthood is not popular at all, not at all. Maybe. She says she's sick and tired of our 401(k)s getting smaller. Has she really not seen how the stock market has done under Barack Obama?
8:31 Email joke. Nailed it! Also, she's talking to a bunch of secession fans about Lincoln. Sure, why not?
8:34 Oh, the last eight years have been such a challenge to our household budgets, what with all the jobs and stuff.
8:35 Blackburn is about 30 seconds away from saying "Leadership is defined by Webster's Dictionary as..."
8:37 Donald Trump has lived in the real world! Here is the real world he lives in:
8:39 Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is here to plunk down a 4-ton Ten Commandments statue on the stage. Her smile is eerily reminiscent of Caesar Romero on the old "Batman."
8:41 Doubleplusgood duckspeaker! RadicalIslamicTerrorism! ProtectOurBorders! BeaconOfFreedomAndDemocracy! RespectAndHonorOurMilitary!
8:42 Oh, yes, the military, like the Oklahoma National Guard, for whom she cut ALL spousal services rather than let gays go to the PX.
8:45 Lisa Shin has one of the loneliest job titles ever: head of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. But she's in favor of legal immigration, and prosperity. Also, Hillary Clinton will destroy America forever. "She represents everything that is wrong with the System!" Yeah, Republicans, DOWN WITH THE SYSTEM!
8:47 Discussion question from the chatcave: Why are optometrists always the wingnuttiest medical professionals?
8:48 Montage ad. We think it's going to tell us to stay off drugs and go to school. At Trump University.
8:50 OH! It is the Republican Leadership Initiative, which does good things, of some unspecified sort. Leadership things!
8:52 And now it's time for a country song about beer and Jesus. Tonight isn't quite as nutso as Wednesday, is it? The speakers are coming faster and furiouser, but somehow more boring. Hardened C-SPAN viewers are saying, "This is really dull."
8:56 A LONG musical interlude. We can only assume this is where the "Ted Cruz And Donald Trump Reconciliation" video was supposed to go.
9:00 A video by "RNC Filmes," which is an actual production company. Let that sink in for a moment.
9:02 Just realize I've been typing all times in Mountain Daylight time, which isn't even REAL. Wonkette regrets the error!
9:05 Reince Priebus just mentioned "Selma" and "Fallujah" in the same breath. Barf.
9:07 Democrats want government bureaucrats to make healthcare decisions. Republicans know those important decisions must be left to insurance company bureaucrats.
9:08 Wow, most R's aren't quite that open when it comes to lying about the Iran nuclear deal, which unfroze Iran's own assets, and did not give any of "your money" to Iran. Whatever. Now he needs to call Hillary Clinton a liar who got rich off being Secretary of States.
9:10 Major Major Major Major in the chatcave: "Reince Priebus has the rhetorical skills of a subsitute middle-school teacher."
9:12 This whole evening, with the exception of crazy pastor Burns, has been like attending an accounting seminar for the Midwestern branch of a cardboard box company. A FAILING cardboard box company.
9:15 We are being treated to the story of William Knudsen, who led General Motors in the production of tanks and planes and stuff during WW II. Which were all bought on the free market, we guess.
9:17 During this musical interlude, let's see who dropped by the convention... why, it's Dutch anti-immigrant fascist Geert Wilders!
9:20 Speaking of which:
As Tom and Ray used to say, doesn't anyone screen these calls?
9:22 Peter Thiel is totally coked out. Or just looks like it. And the economy is TERRIBLE!
9:25 Okay, he has a point about the government doing tech badly. Maybe Congress could fund infrastructure upgrades? Hahahahaha.
9:26 First time a Republican crowd has applauded "I am proud to be a gay Republican" -- and yeah, he's read the RNC platform.
9:30 A loving tribute to Donald Trump's real estate fuckery, without any mention of how he destroyed the art-deco frescoes on the Bonwit Teller building. Pfft. It was only art.
9:32 Tom Barrack is an anchovy. My mother was a fish.
9:33 And gosh darn it, people LIKE him! Except they don't.
9:35 "Those of us who are married, or have a partner"... More defiance of the platform!
9:37 If anything fires up a crowd, it's stories about real estate deals. DONALD TRUMP IS PUNCTUAL. "He pushes everybody around him" -- could have left the last pronoun off.
TOM, YOU'RE THE BEST MAN, JUST GET TO THE TOAST, ALREADY, IT'S NOT YOUR BIG DAY!
9:47 All across America, DJs tremble at the prospect of Trumpers calling to request this song.
9:48 Major Major Major Major: This song sounds like the intro music for a third-tier cable sports show, on Fox Digital Soccer or something.
9:49 Kid Zoom, from the couch: "You know what I'm hoping for from the DNC? Better crowd dancing shots."
9:51 Major Major Major Major: Is there anything sadder than people dancing just to look enthusiastic for the cameras? You know there are Trump whips circulating among them, hissing, "Dance! Dance HARDER!"
9:53 A THREE-SONG interlude? Ivanka could have gotten through her speech by now and we could all be closer to sleep. Uneasy, troubled sleep after whatever Trump goes on about, but...Oh, Jon Voight!
9:57 Donald will tell you the secret of his success is a strong team? Then why did he charge tens of thousands for those Trump University classes?
9:59 The film skipped over the failed Atlantic City casinos. Huh. How about that?
10:01 Just who are these politicians who say America's best days are in the past? Maybe the ones who say it needs to be made great again?
10:03 IVANKA!!! Also, no way in the world they got the rights to "Here Comes the Sun."
10:06 Tell us how you invented Post-It Notes, Romy!
10:08 This empathetic, kind-hearted, generous person she's talking about sounds wonderful. Pity her real dad keeps showing up.
10:10 At every one of my father's jobsites, you'll see him talking to everyone on the job. And telling them they won't get paid.
10:12 Republicans are cheering affordable childcare. Huh.
10:14 Undertold story: Trump has created thousands of jobs for lawyers and paralegals, what with all the lawsuits.
10:15 "You're going to be thinking anyway, so why not think big" -- that is the worst inspirational slogan ever.
10:16 Judge him by the results of his work? We'll have to wait for the outcome of the Trump University fraud lawsuits, won't we?
10:17 Oh, Internet. We love you.
10:19 American national treasure, John Dingell:
10:20 Break out the Smirk!
10:22 Oh. My. God.
BIGGER! MORE GOLD!
10:24 Beginning his first day in office, Donald Trump will impose iron rule of law. Death penalty for parking tickets.
10:26 Donald promises the truth and nothing else. Guess that's the cue for the fact-checkers to start sweating.
10:30 "One more child sacrificed on the altar of open borders." That's a pretty good line that he just completely stepped on. Also, the borders aren't open.
10:32 This is a veritable torrent of bafflegab and cherry-picked stats.
10:33 Benghazi! "Lock Her Up!" DRINK! And Trump actually steals a strategy from Barry Bamz -- instead of "Don't boo, vote!" it's "Let's defeat her in November."
10:36 The second Donald Trump takes office, the whole world will stop fighting. Bigly. America First!
10:38 The world will respect us. Because they will fear the maniac in the White House.
10:40 Lots of new wealth. Because he'll fix things. And law and order. No more rigged system. Have you heard a real policy proposal yet? Funny, we haven't.
10:42 Trump's big line: I AM YOUR VOICE. Doesn't sound fascist at all.
He's talking about how much everything sucks, and they're chanting USA! OK.
10:45 We guess they just kicked out a protester? Excellent restraint in not dreaming of sending them out on a stretcher.
10:47 Nobody knows how the system is rigged like me. Fox for Henhouse Guardian 2016! Also, token call-out to disaffected Berners. Uh, no thanks.
10:48 He's seriously saying he's such a crook that only he can catch the crooks.
10:50 Now it's time to wave the bloody blue uniform. And as everyone knows, Democrats just LOVE them some police killings.
10:55 Equal protection for all our kids -- from the guy who wanted to execute the Central Park Five, who were coerced to confess. After they were exonerated, Trump figured they had to be guilty of SOMETHING.
10:56 And once again, whenever he says "LGBTQ," Trump sounds like he's ordering a sandwich.
10:57 We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change Hillary pursued in Iraq? Huh. We remember something different in 2003.
11:00 Donald Trump takes credit for a NATO Counter-terrorism effort that had been in the works for years. Also, off script, audience confused. And now the revised Muslim ban. And the hate against Syrian refugees. Who face a tough, two-year screening process. He knows he's lying, but it feels so good.
11:02 Trump will also hire precogs to ensure that no immigrants' children will ever commit crimes.
11:03 Major Major Major Major: We're going to have an immigration system that ends immigration. Dominic the Intern: Our immigrants will be AMERICAN immigrants. The best immigrants!
11:05 As long as our citizens are only being murdered by fellow Americans, things will be fine.
11:06 So there's a policy proposal: A Wall. The Wall will fix everything. Let us just remind you, the walls failed in Lord of the Rings, sir.
11:07 He's going to do everything on Day One. After that, he can coast.
11:08 He keeps talking about a plan. What the hell plan is that? A wall. Ah, but Hillary will flood your children's schools with filthy foreigners. Maybe diseased, who knows?
11:10 Donald Trump will make us all rich! And we're all gonna get laid!
11:15 Oh boy, now we're on to hating Chiyina. Few things get people worked up like currency manipulation. Also, a huge tax cut. Which Trump will personally benefit from bigly...if he pays taxes, which we don't really know about.
11:18 YOU get a coal fired power plant! YOU get a coal fired power plant! EVERYBODY gets a coal fired power plant!
11:19 As if facts matter, we could point out that Trump's lying about the US having the highest taxes.
11:20 School choice, end Obamacare, TSA, and rebuilding our "depleted" military, which is anything but. Also, let's fuck over the teachers a little more. And let's privatize the V.A. while we're at it.
11:22 Oh goody, the old "eliminate wasteful spending" chestnut shows up, just like an old friend.
11:25 Trump will turn the churches into local branches of the GOP. Seems like a great idea.
11:26 I wonder what Fred Trump would say if he were here today? Probably he'd bitch about letting blacks into the building.
11:30 Major Major Major Major's reading ahead in the prepared text: Hey, he's going to end on a lie: that Hillary has her supporters "pledge" I'm with her. The guy who actually asked people to pledge their support by raising their hands.
11:32 Donald Trump is now railing against those who will "say anything" for the sake of power. If we weren't exhausted, we'd giggle.
11:33 Donald Trump is not my voice. My voice is downright melodious compared to his braying. I am motherfucking Lou Rawls compared to this dick.
11:35 Seven dead in balloon drop as cheap Trump-branded balloons found to contain lead.
11:39 Mike Pence does not appear to have met most of these people on stage.
11:40 Somebody REALLY needs to tell Donald Trump that "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is not a great anthem for a politician. On the upside, it makes us think of the opening of The Big Chill, and that's a fond memory.
11:45 Alert Wonkette Commenter Msgr_Moment: Why not "Sympathy for the Devil?"
11:46 For that matter, if this guy's elected, we'll head north singing "Gimme Shelter"
11:50 Paul Ryan is here to bury this thing. Here, have a bishop.
11:51 Major Major again: "The auxiliary bishop emeritus of Cleveland. Saddest clerical title this side of Vicar of East Orange."
11:55 You know what? That was the best TrumpePrompter speech he's given. It was bullshit, but it was well-delivered bullshit. Happily, there's going to be a long stretch of Trump being insane between now and November. Plus debates. We're not worried. Say, it's safe to take two of these things if I think I'm gonna have trouble sleeping, right?
12:05 So here's a thought to leave you with:
Right. Two capsules it is.
12:20 Big thanks to Dominic the Intern, Alex, Robyn, and especially Major Major Major Major, from whom I stoled relentlessly tonight. GO TO BED, YOU!
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.