The Editorial Board of The New York Times concludes—This Is What Democracy Looks Like:
The Republican convention in Cleveland left many Americans with an unsettling awareness that these conventions are, for once, deeply consequential. They are not just midsummer pageants, the rallies before the homecoming game, where control of the White House involves a periodic governing adjustment a few degrees to the left, right or center. The bleak extremism of the Trump campaign seems to have put the fate of some basic democratic values in play — a tolerance of dissenting views, a willingness to compromise, the eternal search for common ground.
“It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues,” Mr. Sanders said on Monday night. “That is what this campaign has been about. That is what democracy is about,” he roared, underlining the word in a way that made clear the nature of the stakes. Big, not small. High, not low.
David Dayen at The New Republic writes—The Democrats Aren’t in Disarray. They’re Practicing Democracy:
To be clear, a media chasing the familiar storyline of “Democrats in disarray” decided to overinflate the level of tension. The defining image for me on Monday was a Bernie Sanders supporter and Hillary Clinton supporter in heated discussion, while 30 reporters and cameramen huddled around them. I must have seen that 10 times. Conventions are a target-rich environment for activists seeking attention, and the endless repetition of news reports of particularly angry dissenters on social media expands the distortion like a balloon. Picking out the loudest and angriest person in a room full of thousands is not journalism, it’s a card trick. [...]
Referring to Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama said, “When she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned. Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires or disappointments.”
The Sanders delegates—so many of them new to politics—are working through that process, in piercing ways that can make the rest of us wince. But who knows? One of them might grow up to become speaker of the House, and will one day tell the press about being a 2016 delegate for Bernie Sanders, who was going to change the world. Disappointment can either breed resentment or determination. On Monday, we began to see the former transform into the latter.
John Nichols at The Nation writes—Hillary Clinton Just Made History:
Bill Clinton gave a carefully crafted speech that was rich in detail and personal insight—along with a few choice jabs at Republican president nominee Donald Trump.
But it was a speech by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar that got to the heart of the matter.
“I’m here to make the case for a leader who, as you just saw, is focused on security: security for our country, our economy, and our democracy. A leader who knows we are all more secure when women have the opportunity to lead with their heads high and their strides strong. That leader is Hillary Clinton,”said Klobuchar. “She sees a world where girls are not captured and sold but are fearless and bold; where they lead, not follow. And where when someone tells a young woman, ‘You fight like a girl,’ her answer is, ‘Yes, I do. And I’m proud to be that girl!’”
Doyle MacManus at the Los Angeles Times writes—Did Bernie Sanders help Hillary Clinton win over his voters?
Rarely has a vanquished opponent offered such full-throated support for a rival as Bernie Sanders did for Hillary Clinton on Monday night. At a convention whose first hours were marked by incipient rebellion among die-hard Sanders delegates, the democratic socialist from Vermont did far more than merely utter an endorsement; he delivered a long and passionate speech that was designed expressly to move his supporters to Clinton’s side. [...]
Notably, he didn’t cast the choice as the lesser of two evils. He praised Clinton at length on issues from raising the minimum wage and expanding Social Security to health, education and the Supreme Court.
And he said, accurately, that Clinton had moved in his direction over the course of the campaign – including in the last few weeks when she allowed convention delegates to adopt a platform that includes such Sanders policies as breaking up the biggest financial institutions and opposition to President Obama’s trade deal with Asia, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Bryce Covert at The New York Times writes—Hillary Clinton’s Radical Promise:
A lot of these items are a tough sell in Congress. Republicans have blocked the paycheck fairness bill multiple times. They haven’t budged on the minimum wage since 2009. And forget about any appetite for new programs like family leave or universal preschool, which the Republican Party is now calling government intrusion into the family. None of that has stopped Mrs. Clinton from talking about ending the wage gap.
But if the wage gap is instead thought of as a disease infecting all corners of our economy, then calling for its cure is no small act. What to many sounds like empty campaign rhetoric is, in fact, radical.
So why is her promise to close that gap, a promise so utopian and so broad, one that would significantly affect half of the country’s population, being ignored by her critics? Perhaps it might have something to do with the gender of that half. The wage gap is rarely seen as a pressing economic problem, but rather as a “women’s issue,” the interest of a special-interest group.
Normally, I wouldn’t be including anything from the execrable Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post in this round-up, but she is even more wack than usual with her false equivalencies in Historic, but not such a big deal:
Some of the “wow” factor is diminished by the lack of suspense. Clinton has been running for president forever (well, about 10 years), and despite a mild scare from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was always going to be the nominee. A surprise, this was not. [...]
We can hope this lowers the heat on the “war against women” rhetoric, but do not count on it. Americans, after nearly eight years of President Obama, are signaling record levels of pessimism about race relations. Let’s hope that if she wins, Clinton does not do for gender relations what Obama did for race relations.
Mary Dejevsky at The Guardian writes—Russia may well be meddling in the US election. Why wouldn't it?
Now, I have an inbuilt resistance to blaming Putin for everything. But, as Joseph Heller so rightly said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” And there are reasons why a Russian hand, if not actually Putin’s, might reasonably be discerned behind the DNC leaks.
Russians are good at hacking – which derives perhaps from the clandestine nature of all things computer in late Soviet times and the continuing need to get around restrictions. Russian hackers don’t have to be state-sponsored – plenty in today’s Russia happens outside the umbrella of the state – but the powers that be doubtless take an interest and capitalise on the curiosity of amateurs for the purposes of mischief-making, as they surely do elsewhere. [...]
If the entrenched belief in the Kremlin is that western interests are meddling in Russia’s domestic politics, then it is barely a hop, skip and a jump to the assumption that Russia has similar designs of its own.
Peter Moskowitz at The Nation writes—This Group of Politicians Just Put Forward a Platform Progressives Can Embrace:
The platform presented by the Democrats is undoubtedly more progressive than it’s been in years past, but absent from the speeches are many issues that affect cities like the one where thousands of delegates are currently gathered: nuts and bolts urban policies like housing affordability, transportation funding, and access to good public schools. Those issues are addressed in the official platform of the Democratic National Committee, but at a time when inequality is at an all-time high in many urban areas, when gentrification and housing prices are pushing poor people out of cities, and environmental injustices are sickening city residents (see: Flint), neither party seems particularly interested in addressing the most pressing needs of US cities.[...]
Enter Local Progress, a nonprofit that links together hundreds of progressive local elected leaders in cities across the country in an effort to push for local policy change, from minimum-wage increases and anti–wage theft enforcement, to housing-discrimination laws and renewable-energy strategies. On Tuesday, the organization’s members met at the Ethical Society, just a few blocks from the DNC, to release their first national policy platform. The platform, its leaders say, is an effort to highlight the reality that, to a notable degree, the nation’s progress hinges on local urban change—and this change is nearly impossible without increased federal help.
June Eric Udorie at The Guardian writes—Ghostbusters needed to show that black women can be scientists too:
When the Ghostbusters reboot was announced, it was hailed as a victory for feminism. The film stars Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy as four women who save the world from an onslaught of ghosts, and I enjoyed it when I saw it. But it bothered me that while all the white women are cast as scientists, the only black actor, Jones, instead portrays a subway worker.
As a young black woman, it was powerful for me to see a tall, dark-skinned, black woman on screen, who was portrayed as warm, funny, genuine and smart – darker-skinned black women are often dehumanised and degraded as a result of racism, sexism and colourism.
But for all the character’s great qualities, this felt like a missed opportunity. Representation really matters, and often, black women and girls are stereotyped on screen as the sassy, angry loudmouth, and never as the intellectual, professional or scientist.
William Hartung at TomDispatch writes—There’s No Business Like the Arms Business Weapons “R” Us (But You’d Never Know It:
When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it. Not so with the global arms trade. It’s good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.
It’s not that no one writes about aspects of the arms trade. There are occasional pieces that, for example, take note of the impact of U.S. weapons transfers, including cluster bombs, to Saudi Arabia, or of the disastrous dispensation of weaponry to U.S. allies in Syria, or of foreign sales of the costly, controversial F-35 combat aircraft. And once in a while, if a foreign leader meets with the president, U.S. arms sales to his or her country might generate an article or two. But the sheer size of the American arms trade, the politics that drive it, the companies that profit from it, and its devastating global impacts are rarely discussed, much less analyzed in any depth.
Gideon Yaffe at The Washington Post writes—Give felons and prisoners the right to vote:
This week, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) vowed to sign individual orders restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons living in the state. His pledge followed the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling that the mass clemency McAuliffe issued in April overstepped his power under the commonwealth’s constitution. Republicans complained bitterly — think of all those Democratic votes from the many African Americans who stand to benefit! — and promised to scrutinize every order for errors.
But the GOP has it wrong. Not only is McAuliffe doing the right thing, but also he should push further. Prisoners, too, should be allowed to vote, no matter their crimes. While only Vermont and Maine currently grant prisoners the vote, felon disenfranchisement fundamentally undermines the democratic rationale of our criminal laws. We cannot hold citizens to account for violating our laws while denying them a say over those laws.
Chris Hedges was against Bernie Sanders (or anyone to the left of Hillary Clinton) running for the Democratic nomination in 2016, and he writes exactly what anyone could have been predicted he would write at TruthDig in The 1 Percent’s Useful Idiots, arguing for building a third party just as one cohort of armchair leftists has argued for 50 years without doing the gritty, often tedious work of actually building such a party from the ground up:
The parade of useful idiots, the bankrupt liberal class that long ago sold its soul to corporate power, is now led by Sen. Bernie Sanders. His final capitulation, symbolized by his pathetic motion to suspend the roll call, giving Hillary Clinton the Democratic nomination by acclamation, is an abject betrayal of millions of his supporters and his call for a political revolution. [...]
Sanders squandered his most important historical moment. He had a chance, one chance, to take the energy, anger and momentum, walk out the doors of the Wells Fargo Center and into the streets to help build a third-party movement. His call to his delegates to face “reality” and support Clinton was an insulting repudiation of the reality his supporters, mostly young men and young women, had overcome by lifting him from an obscure candidate polling at 12 percent into a serious contender for the nomination. Sanders not only sold out his base, he mocked it. This was a spiritual wound, not a political one. For this he must ask forgiveness.
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