The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Ramona's picture

    Burning Hillary at the Stake: A Race Like No Other

    On Tuesday, July 19, the second day of the 2016 GOP convention, Donald Trump, the inexperienced, inarticulate, potty-mouthed, dubiously reputable business man turned anti-government carnival barker officially became the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. 


    Surreal as that nomination appears, even in the topsy-turvy world of 21st Century Republicanism, it came about because the Party hardliners were helpless to stop it. The people--their people--had spoken. Unwittingly, unintentionally, they had managed to churn up their portion of the masses so effectively they made it easy for a fast-talking charlatan like Trump to pounce on this most golden of opportunities, winning vast numbers of hardened hearts and brainwashed minds.

    Trump's early showing in the polls, hard as those rising numbers were to believe, gave the party regulars plenty of time to go through the seven stages of grief (disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance), put on their happy masks, bite the bullet, and rehearse their lines. ("It could be worse!  It could be Hillary!")  From the beginning, Trump made it clear he wouldn't be needing them to win.  He had a history of smashing people who got in his way.  These guys would not be immune.

    Fast-forward to the convention:  It would be a Trump family affair, make no mistake. Trump would be the decider and it would be a show like nothing the world has ever seen outside of Hollywood or maybe Siam. Party platform, that boring old thing, would have to take a back seat to the main event--the coronation of The Man.

     What to do, what to do? Talking up Trump is hard, especially when he wasn't their first, second, third, or even seventeenth choice.  

    Aha!  Hillary! Of course!

    Both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, the titular heads of the Republican Party, gave speeches that barely mentioned Donald Trump.  Celebrities like Willie Robertson, the "Duck Dynasty" star, and Chachi (Scott Baio) took up the slack, praising Trump to the highest skies, knowing for an absolute fact that Donald Trump will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    But the award for Best Preview About How It's Going to Be had to go to Chris Christie, Donald's chief-enforcer-apparent, who took to the stage and whipped the crowd into a frenzy with a speech that had nothing to do with Donald Trump (mentioned only four times by name, once in a sentence that went like this: "But this election is not just about Donald Trump."), and even less with fixing the state of the nation, focusing instead on a bizarre, cringe-worthy mock trial of the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, one Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    "As to Hillary Clinton, putting herself ahead of America guilty or not guilty? [Chorus: Guilty!]

    Hillary Clinton, lying to the American people about her selfish, awful judgment guilty or not guilty? [Guilty!]

    Time after time the facts, and just the facts, lead you to the same verdict both around the world and at home.

    In Libya and Nigeria. guilty! [Guilty!]

    In China and Syria, guilty! [Guilty!]

    In Iran and Russia and Cuba, guilty! [Guilty!]

    And here at home on risking America's secrets to keep her own and lying to cover it all up, guilty! [Ditto!]"
    Throughout Christie's speech the crowd never let up. The cameras caught their snarling mob-faces, their raised fists, their calls for Hillary's head: "She's guilty! Get her! Lock her up!"

    It shook me to my core. In my mind's eye I saw Gestapo tactics, jackboots, the rise of a police state.

      I thought about Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible", ostensibly about the Salem Witch Trials but in reality an allegory reflecting the mood of the times--the Red Scare, the McCarthy hearings, the many lives and careers ruined by one man on a mission to make a name for himself by creating fear where there was none. (Three years after his play was produced, Miller himself was brought before the committee and ordered to name names of communists he might know.  He refused and paid the price.)

    So how did Christie's speech strike the press, the ever-vigilant press, the press so ready to protect our freedoms they're still reporting on the controversy over Melania Trump's plagiarized speech?  Barely a nudge. They reported it as if it were a typical speech at any old political convention.

    So it wasn't just the speech that horrified me, it was the reaction--or the non-reaction--of both the public and the press. We've been here before. Once the McCarthy era fires burned out and the ashes cooled we vowed "never again".

    As a country, we vowed never again.


    (Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices and Crooks & Liars)



    OMG! Ted Cruz just got boo'd off the stage as he talked way too long and Donald showed up unannounced.  Ivanka and Donald are obviously pissed.

    What an absolute DIASTER!  God, what a mess!

    OK, now Eric is giving his speech.  He is very strange.  

    Well, I am going to open another bottle of wine.  

    And where or where is Melania?  Trouble a'brewing, I betcha!

    It's okay, she can be replaced by Trophy Wife #4. She's probably been shuffled off to a Bahamas gulag already. Failure is not tolerated on the Trump plantation.

    Wait one sec Peracles.

    Are you saying that T-Rump has no respect for a female Rump?

    My God man, .....

    I forgot what I wished to say.


    I have to say that Eric's speech was very effective.  He delivered it well, and it was very well crafted.  I give it a 10.    I just cannot unsee the pictures of these brothers holding the wild animals that they killed on "safari."  I just can't stomach it.

    It looks like Cruz is currently toast.  If/when Trump loses he will likely try to ride this into 2020!  Good luck with that!

    Cruz got booed off the stage for saying, "vote your conscience" which is code for republicans to not vote for Trump. There were also many signs in the crowd that said, "Country First" which is also code for republicans to not vote for Trump. There is a very clear and committed group of republicans that claim they cannot vote for Trump. We don't know how big this group is are what they will actually do in Nov. But they are significant.

    This was a big deal.

    And I hate Cruz even more than T-Rump. hahhahahaah

    Hopefully Satan wins over Lucifer.

    Of course, neither of these devils will win the day. hahahah

    Policy wise Cruz is about the same as Pence, far right, evangelical. I disagree with virtually ever policy position they hold. I suppose I could say I hate them and all the far right republicans but I don't think in those terms. Cruz is survivable, just as we survived Cheney/Bush, just as we survived Scalia and a far right Supreme Court. Trump is a wild card. He makes his appeal to the lowest impulses of the most hate filled portion of the electorate. There's no telling what he will do and that's what makes him so dangerous.

    The MSM is all about rating$. Even PBS. In the Great Media Temple it is forbidden to call out the GOP for any outrageous lies, obscene threats or disinformation without saying the High Holy Words "Both Sides Do It"

    Not to disparage anyone here, and of course I appreciate the comments, but I can't help but note that no one even mentioned Christie's speech. Kinda proving my point that people either didn't notice or didn't care.

    I read about it and I care. But I couldn't force myself to watch the video. Every time I watched a couple of minutes of the convention the anger and hate was more than I could stand. I had to turn it off. That's unusual for me. I usually watch the republican debates and the convention all the way through. This year it was so bad I just couldn't do it. I will make myself watch Trump's speech tomorrow though.

    If you listen to Brian Williams during MSNBCs convention coverage, both parties do this stuff.

    It's a lynch mob. It's shocking.

    And it's clearly moving the country closer to the danger of political violence. Completely unacceptable.

    Josh Marshall's comment was ominous: "This has the feeling of the crazy talk that was circulating about President Kennedy before November 1963."

    This is something else he posted re the Ted Cruz diaster.  I thought it was so funny I wanted to pass it on:

    Years from today we will still wrestle with the meaning of Cruz for once leveraging the awesome power of his assholery in a righteous cause.


    The hand wringing here is getting a bit pathetic but it seems to be the only tool left for the true believers to use in their feeble assault on the coming Trumpaggedon.

    The whacky Trump folks called loudly for justice and the legal prosecution of HRC, for her crimes, leading to 'lock her up' and that is spun to mean they are out to burn the Maid of Orleans who was not an old crooked grifter but a real heroine.

    There are probably some people who would like to see HRC's head on a pike but it appears most of Trump's supporters would be satisfied to see her in chains wearing an orange jumpsuit being perp-walked off to prison. The Clintons are untouchable legally so the Hillary haters will have to be satisfied with inflicting the public disgrace of defeat on her and her slimy mate.

    Yeah, Peter, no harm done.  It's not like anyone's calling for her to be shot for treason or anything.

    You'll have to do better than one individual calling for the legal punishment for treason, to spread the dread and doom you're projecting, and he wasn't sure if it was execution by firing squad or hanging.

    This is all overheated election year rhetoric signifying nothing but it seems many Clintonites are terrified probably because they know that HRC is guilty of some of these crimes.

    She shot the sheriff - but she swears it was in self-defense.

    Oh brother...

    " seems many Clintonites are terrified probably because they know that HRC is guilty of some of these crimes. "


    That remark underlies the fact, as my departed grandpa use to say, "He's as full of crap as a fat goose at Christmas time."




    Hillary's supporters aren't terrified about what's in her background, we're terrified about what's in Trump's long history of scams and shams and doing in the little guy.  Don't try to distract by pretending that mock trial by Chris Christie was okay.  It was outrageous, but exactly what we should have expected when all they've got is an orange-haired package of shallow nothingness and childish narcissism.  No presidential candidate in modern history has been as poorly equipped for the job as Donald Trump.  So what choice do his minions have but to go on the attack against his opponent? A HUGE attack.  A COLOSSAL attack.

    The Trump machine is an attack machine. It's all they've got. But don't expect they'll frighten any of us off.  This sort of shit just energizes us.


    This is just peter's version of click-bait. He constantly makes outrageous statements about how Hillary supporters feel, they're terrified, they're panicked. Then we respond to deny the insulting allegations.

    I am a bit frightened by the fact that you are not terrified by what HRC is and has done but it is a relief to see most people see her for what she has repeatedly proven herself to be, an untrustworthy liar and opportunist war monger.

    Trump's attacks on HRC seem to be working because they ring true to a public that has seen enough of Crooked Hillary, probably the most effective political branding in our history, and Bill over the last decades and she seems to be mostly hiding lately because every time she opens her lying mouth more people see the truth.

    I'm not interested in what Clintonites are feeling i'm just reflecting on the hysterical displays I see here and the desperate failing attempts to gain some political traction with their pathetic and often dishonest attacks on Trump at sites such as HP.





    I'm a bit frightened by the fact that you are.  Pay no attention to the fearmongers. There are many fine Democrats who are genuinely looking forward to another Clinton presidency.  They can't all be wrong.  She's been around long enough for them to know pretty well what we'll get.  

    Getting a little tired of hearing about the "hysterical displays" here on Dag, when you seem to have a problem with hysteria, yourself.  I guess when it's about Hillary, it's okay?

    BTW, "crooked Hillary" is pretty rich coming from Donald Trump.  Have you read the stories about him?  Pretty sickening, huh?


    Peter should have been there in Cleveland. He could have brought the iron shackles and orange suit to wave around in the arena.  Maybe even thrown in an appropriate medieval torture instrument. It might have served as a therapeutic emotional release from his constant carping about the evil liberals have done to him and the world.

    You're projecting a bit, NCD I'm used to grifters and parasites such as the Clintons being untouchable but it would be sweet to watch her and her sycophants melt down after losing to The Donald. Sending her to the slammer would make her a cause celeb for Clintonites while the public humiliation of losing to 'Donald Trump' will finish the Clintons and relegate them to the dustbin of history.

    Not to mention how much better our lives would be under Herr Trumpf.  That above is astonishing in its recklessness.  I'm floored.

    Did you get your unicorn yet Michael?

    Actually, I've been pleasantly surprised with how dagbloggers have stepped up their game, and I will be delighted if we continue to have more discussions like we've had today. Peter's typically nasty comments have been the exception, but they fail to make a dent in the overall quality of the posts and the discourse. 

    PS I'm a little distracted by my good friend Donald, however, who is going in the opposite direction. 

    What frustrates some (okay me) here, I can't speak for Peter, Wattree, Lulu, et al., is that Clinton's staunchest supporters frequently play the victim card but lash out against those of us who note Clinton herself has been a victimizer and demonstrated dubious ethics on more than a few occasions.  While I agree wholeheartedly that Trump is fundamentally a demagogue, a charlatan, and signifies a terrifying neo-fascist trend, these facts do not make Clinton untouchable or undeserving of criticism.  In fact, as I have argued on a number of occasions, some of the policies that Clinton supported in the past have led to a much wealthier 1% and concomitantly a weakened, relatively less affluent, and therefore angry working and middle-class in America.  Many of the people to whom Trump is appealing come from these classes.

    If we are going to progress as a nation, we do have to elect Clinton but we also have to acknowledge that neo-liberal and neo-con policies supported by Hillary Clinton have directly harmed many millions in America and abroad.

    Hal, how many times do I have to say it? I don't give a damn if you feel frustrated. My job as moderator is not make you or anyone else happy; it's to keep the discussion from descending into pathetic flame wars. And the more people air their grievances, as you have just done here, the more quickly our political discussion forum collapses into a high school chat room. How would you like it if your radio guests started complaining on air about the behavior of the other radio guests?

    As for Clinton, you are obviously allowed to criticize her, but most of us here are sick of the nasty repetitive pointless debates that have been going for months now. That is why I've asked everyone involved to cool off and focus on raising the discussion level around here.

    Hal, do you have any criticism of Hillary that we haven't debated a dozen times already? How many more times do you want to debate Glass/Steagall, the Authorization for force in Iraq, emails, etc? Is there anything you haven't said on any of these topics the previous dozen times they've been discussed? I have nothing more to say on these issues that I haven't said a dozen times already. Do  you think that saying the same things you've said a dozen times already will somehow make those arguments better? Do you think saying the same thing a 13th, 14th, or 15th time will convince us?


    No matter how satisfying and accurate it may be to rip Trump from end to end, his wholly unexpected success cannot be understood without some reference to the current political and environmental climate which Hillary Clinton is somewhat responsible for creating.

    Fine, you said it - "it's Hillary's fault" as always, entiendo - next topic?

    unresponsive non sequitur

    Creation is a pretty big thing.

    I get the argument that Clinton is a part of the status quo and will replicate what has been established. I hope it doesn't go down as badly as you are expecting but I am in no position to assure you that it won't.

    But this creation of events narrative that you put forward runs up against other factors that leads me to think that all of what is happening now is not directly related to what Hillary Clinton has decided to do or not.

    In the end, we are not talking about this particular candidate in a particular contest but the nature of our world and what we should be doing in it.

    There's no "narrative" - he's just tossing out a balloon. Move on, there's no here here.

    In the end, we are not talking about this particular candidate in a particular contest but the nature of our world and what we should be doing in it.

    I think that is right but the "what we should be doing about it" part circles us back to where we are now which is presumably includes wanting the country/world to go in a better direction and a personal decision pertinent to that is which particular candidate we now want to become President and why we want that and the "why" part brings us back, today, to Hillary Clinton. 

    Yes, that circle brings one to making a decision about who to vote for. But it doesn't assign causality of events to candidates at the expense of understanding the environment within which their decisions were made.

    Once adherence to the "status quo" is brought into the discussion, the causality for events necessarily becomes a matter of all the forces and conditions that brought us to this moment. The appeal of revolutionary thought and agents is the idea that they can more directly influence outcomes and profoundly change our environment. In that sense, a Lenin is more of a "cause" for what happened after he acted than a Reagan.

    I am inclined to agree with Tolstoy that this difference of "originality" is ultimately an illusion. But I don't see a way to talk about politics without it.


    If we are being honest, the question is why white voters are flocking to Trump. Blacks and Latinos have worse employment and economic numbers but they are not supporting Trump. This is more about white voters than it is about Hillary.

    Yes, we have some real factors that white groups arent used to suffering (see similar in the UK, etc) combined with some cultivated victimhood (war on Christianity, etc).  Minorities are more picked on and more resilient with lowered expectations.

    You know, Peter, I am starting to get it.  You say a bunch of outrageous, crazy things about Hillary in the hopes that we will all get distracted and waste our time on you.  BTW, it is "cause celebre". 

    As others have mentioned, you have yet to cite one single reference for all of your BS.  But keep it up.  You do manage to get responses.  I even bit myself just now.

    [Comment removed by moderator]

    Peter, as Michael noted, move on. Whether true or not, you've repeated a gazillion times. New topic. Thanks.

    Peter sees no hope. If Sanders had won the nomination, he would be criticizing Sanders. Peter thinks the Apocalypse is upon us. 

    Respectfully suggest we dont engage in this level of criticism and simply request we move on to greener fields of discussion. Our responses become repetitive as well, true or not.

    Peter, ToS warning for ad hominem attack

    Michael. I know you have a tough job here but i worded my comment carefully and while it contained  a sharp rebuke of CV's petty attack I only offered an opinion about what i see as a possible Cult of Personality that her's and other's behavior  represent..

    Yes, that is the definition of an ad hominem attack. Please address the comment, not the character or mindset of the person making the comment.

    More generally, I've been calling for a cease-fire on character attacks against Hillary and Bernie so that we can escape this rut of attack and retaliation that we've been trapped in lately. Unlike ad hominems, this is not a ToS rule, just a request to help tamp down the personal animosity and repetitive arguments around here, which aren't doing anyone any good.

    If you are requesting a cease-fire on attacks against Bernie and Hillary wouldn't it be equitable to include Trump in that plea.

    This is largely a Democratic/left-leaning site, and besides Mr. Trump's whole schtick is ad hominem unhinged attacks devoid of actual policy or sane discernible principles. We'll be fine leaving thapart of the equation as-is.

    What does equity have to do with it? It's not like these politicians "deserve" to be spared the terrible wrath of dagbloggers. It's about breaking the repetitive all-consuming discussion cycle. Not a lot trump supporters here, fortunately, which is why we don't get fights whenever someone puts down the Donald. 

    I should have put a snark tag after that comment. The problem is that their isn't much good to discuss about either of these candidates and there is about three months more of  this hysteria, look at HP and what I see as political cannibalism  to endure before the election and then about another three months before the real fireworks begin. Living in interesting times, indeed.

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