We begin today’s roundup at Damon Linker at The Week who provides an overview of the first night of the RNC’s opening night:
If last week’s DNC resembled an earnest and slightly inelegant telethon designed to sell America on the Democratic Party and its presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the RNC on its opening night quickly became a one-note commercial conveying a single, relentless message: Thank you, Donald J. Trump for being the greatest, best, most wonderful, accomplished president a human being could possibly imagine. [...]
It wasn't just a message. It was a benediction. A mantra repeated in segment after segment by everyone who stood or sat before a camera. Each of them was eager — nay, zealous — to express their love for their dear leader.
At The New Yorker, Eric Lach reviews one of the most attention-grabbing speeches of the night:
At the podium, she delivered a short speech whose tone might be described as high-key dystopian. Going into the Convention, the Trump campaign had suggested that it was looking to strike a note of sunny optimism. Guilfoyle’s speech wasn’t it. “They want to destroy this country, and everything that we have fought for and hold dear,” she said. “They want to steal your liberty, your freedom. They want to control what you see and think, and believe, so that they can control how you live! They want to enslave you to the weak, dependent, liberal, victim ideology, to the point that you will not recognize this country or yourself.” Howard Dean’s Presidential aspirations are popularly remembered as falling apart after one misdeployed yelp. On Monday, Guilfoyle went on for six minutes.
Here’s analysis from Jonathan Martin, Alexander Burns and Annie Karni at The New York Times:
President Trump and his political allies mounted a fierce and misleading defense of his political record on the first night of the Republican convention on Monday, while unleashing a barrage of attacks on Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the Democratic Party that were unrelenting in their bleakness.
Hours after Republican delegates formally nominated Mr. Trump for a second term, the president and his party made plain that they intended to engage in sweeping revisionism about Mr. Trump’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, his record on race relations and much else. And they laid out a dystopian picture of what the United States would look like under a Biden administration, warning of a “vengeful mob” that would lay waste to suburban communities and turn quiet neighborhoods into war zones.
At times, the speakers and prerecorded videos appeared to be describing an alternate reality: one in which the nation was not nearing 180,000 deaths from the coronavirus; in which Mr. Trump had not consistently ignored serious warnings about the disease; in which the president had not spent much of his term appealing openly to xenophobia and racial animus; and in which someone other than Mr. Trump had presided over an economy that began crumbling in the spring.
For the Republican Party, the situation now isn’t too different from what it was in 2016. Trump lacked a serious agenda then just as he lacks one now. Rather than bring a new program to bear on the party, he has made the equivalent of a trade: total support for his personal and political concerns in exchange for almost total pursuit of conservative ideological interests.
The last three and a half years have only shown the wisdom of this pact. Republican indifference to the president’s corruption, criminality (yet another former campaign adviser was arrestedlast week) and prejudice — which freed him to profit from the office and turn the bureaucracy into an instrument of his will — has been rewarded with deregulation, cuts to the social safety net and the installation in the federal judiciary of a large new cohort of reliably conservative judges.
In which case, why fix what isn’t broken? If there’s no platform for the Republican National Convention, if the party has agreed to simply support the president’s second-term agenda, it is because the basic arrangement between Trump and the Republican Party is still intact.
And here’s CNN’s factcheck of the first night, which they write “features more dishonesty than four nights of the DNC”.
On a final note, don’t miss Elizabeth Yuko’s piece at Rolling Stone on why Joe Biden’s campaign is resonating with so many:
In a culture preoccupied with sparking joy and following bliss, expressing feelings of sadness is discouraged. The bereaved are granted a brief mourning period, and then expected to return to regular lives as if nothing had happened. Despite all of this, Biden has been remarkably open about his grief and how it has shaped his personal and political life. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, this idea that Biden’s experiences with grief could make him a strong candidate for president were being discussed, including in a January 2019 article from Politico, which described it as his “superpower.” [...]
With the death toll continuing to rise, having a president and administration that understands grief could change the trajectory of our post-pandemic society. Each of the deceased have families, friends and communities who are mourning these unexpected losses. But regardless of whether people have been personally affected by COVID-19, we’ve all been living through a collective trauma that will likely take years for us to fully process. Beyond the virus and the economic impact of the pandemic, and it has been the latest in hundreds of years of traumas experienced by people of color, who continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID and its aftermath. We need a president who will acknowledge our losses and actively help us heal and move forward. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he is not up for the job.