I don’t always agree with Andrew Sullivan, sometimes think he’s wildly over-the-top, even hysterical. At his best, though, Sullivan is absolutely brilliant, incisive, and spot-on. Last night was one of those nights, as he live blogged night 3 of the Democratic National Convention. Here are a few highlights (bolding added by me for emphasis), with my comments added in italics.
- “Today, it seems to me, we reached peak insanity – when an actual nominee of a major party called on a foreign government to use the fruits of its espionage to help defeat his opponent. And this was not any foreign government. It was the government of Russia, a kleptocracy sustained by permanent war...One candidate in this election is unhinged, treasonous, contemptuous of American liberties, and at war with the core interests of the Western democracies. And an entire political party is refusing to call this out. They are cowards and quislings and pathetic appeasers. Their party deserves to be eviscerated in this election. If it isn’t, if their nominee wins, it will be America that will be eviscerated.” I really have nothing to add to this, other than that I can’t even imagine any sane American supporting Trump.
- “I can’t tell you how glad I am they are taking on Trump’s endorsement of war crimes, mass murder of civilians and torture. Trump is a profound threat to the U.S. military, its laws, its discipline, its future.” Agreed 100%; if Trump wins, America as the Founding Fathers envisioned it is (burnt) toast.
- “Panetta says what needs to be said. And the Bernie freaks are trying to drown him out…The hard left is objectively pro-Trump, isn’t it?…And the Democrats start chanting USA to shut down the far left disrupters. Yes, this is actually happening.” That heckling just reminded me why I despise Code Pink and the hard left more broadly. Personally, if I had been there, I would have been loudly chanting “USA! USA! USA!” to drown out those nihilists and political imbeciles and to express pride in the country I love.
- “Thank God Biden is able to take it straight to the fascist buffoon, to insist that this election really is about the soul of this country, and the survival of the West. Biden is on fire with a moral – yes a moral – repudiation of the un-American poison of Donald Trump.” Have I mentioned recently how much I love Joe Biden? Oh yeah, I guess I have, last night on social media.
- “I have a feeling that Bloomberg managed to move more actual undecided votes to Clinton than any other speaker so far. A brilliant move by the DNC.” I saw some on the (far?) left last night on Twitter angry that Bloomberg was allowed to speak, and totally not understanding the brilliance of the move. As James Fallows correctly tweeted, “The whole point of Bloomberg’s talk, which he’s completely fulfilling, is to *mock* Trump as a much richer NY billionaire.” And as I tweeted last night, “This Bloomberg speech is going to drive
@realDonaldTrump even more insane than he already is! LOL.”
- “Kaine seems a bit of a lightweight after so many heavy-hitters, but he’s an engaging and sympathetic figure. And now that he’s taking on Trump, he’s gaining traction. Great to hear him going after the tax returns scam.” I think Kaine did fine, although clearly it’s a tough – impossible? – assignment to speak between Joe Biden and Barack Obama. Loved Kaine’s spot-on mockery of Donald Trump’s “believe me” bullshit. And no, Kaine is anything but a lightweight – intellectually or in any other way. That’s just ridiculous.
- It’s been a long and entirely unexpected journey with this extraordinary figure [Barack Obama]. I’ve doubted and panicked, I’ve hyper-ventilated and wept, I’ve worried and persevered. We did a lot of that together, you and me. But I have one thing to say: he never let us down. He kept his cool, he kept his eyes on the prize, he never embarrassed and almost always lifted us up. He is a living, walking example of American exceptionalism, of why this amazing country can still keep surprising the world. Barack Obama has been a great president, saving us from Great Depression Part II, bringing health care to tens of millions of Americans, spurring a clean energy revolution and taking strong action on the greatest threat humanity knows – climate change – among many other things. Obama is also one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever had the chance to meet – back in 2005, at a rally for Tim Kaine, when I had the chance to ask him a question (about Jerry Kilgore’s “Hitler ads” and negative campaigning in general) at the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington). Obama’s been vilified by the right and the racists, but he’s come through it all greater than ever, with his dignity, soaring oratory and sense of humor very much intact. Love love love this guy, maybe even more than I love love love Michelle Obama and Joe Biden.
- “Readers know how I feel about the Clintons. But this is not about them or me. It’s about an idea of America that is under siege and under attack from a foul, divisive, dangerous demagogue. If you backed Obama, there is no choice in this election but Clinton. This is not a election to seek refuge in a third party or to preen in purist disdain from the messy, often unsatisfying duties of politics. It is an election to keep the America that Obama has helped bring into being, and the core democratic values that have defined this experiment from the very beginning: self-government, not rule by a strongman; pluralism and compassion rather than nativism and fear; an open embrace of the world, and not a terrified flight from it.” Bingo, Sullivan said it perfectly, I have nothing to add.
- “But you know what Obama gave us tonight? He gave some of us hope. Again. That’s what he does. And we will never see his like again.” I agree we won’t see Obama’s exact “like again,” but I am hopeful that other great leaders will come to the fore in the post-Obama era. As for Hillary Clinton, I agree with Obama that she is superbly prepared to be president, and that in her own wonkey and hard-working way, could turn out to be a superb president. There’s no chance of that with Trump; to the contrary, it would be amazing if America survived four years of that corrupt demagogic buffoon, bigot, loser, etc.