Odds and ends from the final night of the Republican convention (with updates)
”I profoundly accept this nomination” *
We have a new champion in the “Worst Use of a Popular Song at a Political Convention” category
Since 1984, I believe the clear leader has been the Ronald Reagan re-election committee’s use of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as background for a group of on-stage dancing Republicans at that year's Republican convention. Last night,Trump’s convention topped it by using Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to end the convention. For me, one of the song’s strengths lies in the ambiguity of the lyrics. Try as I might, however, I could not create any interpretation of Cohen's song that justifies a man who wants to be proclaimed king or dictator.
The White House as a Republican political prop
From Senator Joe Manchin:
Let me be clear, last night's display was a flagrant violation of the law. We must return to a place of decency in American politics and never see a display like that again.— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) August 28, 2020
From Senator Shelley Moore Capito via WV MetroNews:
Capito admitted the choice was unprecedented and doesn’t know if it will ever be repeated.
“I’m imagining the legalities of this were fully vetted at the White House and that’s why they decided to go forward,” Capito said.
(Yes, Senator, and I'm sure that Trump has learned his lesson!)
From an editor at the conservative National Review:
Trust me, my friends: If a Democratic president did this, all of us conservatives would explode in rage -- this usurpation, this defilement of the people's house -- and we'd be right. https://t.co/hjsuKzd14P— Jay Nordlinger (@jaynordlinger) August 28, 2020
I liked the response from Senator Amy Klobuchar: “Get off our lawn.”
And yes, be careful what you make jokes about:
Joke from 2016. Reality from tonight. pic.twitter.com/UhIUrSv8r4— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) August 28, 2020
If you saw any footage of the crowd, you probably saw a mostly-maskless audience sitting very close together. Here is a Trump official's explanation:
On the lack of social distancing or face masks at Trump’s #RNC2020 acceptance speech in the middle of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, a senior White House official tells @Acosta: “Everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.” 🤯 pic.twitter.com/0T5e6r3BSx— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) August 28, 2020
Again, from the West Virginia senator up for re-election:
Capito said she and her husband had their masks on the entire time but were probably in the minority.
“We had our’s on because we are respectful of the mask mandate. We believe in it,” Capito said.
She said she was not fearful of being there.
(There are some things you can't fix.)
*Yes, Trump did "profoundly accept" the nomination.
Yes, another lesson learned
The New York Times on Trump's decision to hold the event at the White House:
Mr. Trump’s aides said he enjoyed the frustration and anger he caused by holding a political event on the South Lawn of the White House, shattering conventional norms and raising questions about ethics law violations. He relished the fact that no one could do anything to stop him, said the aides, who spoke anonymously to discuss internal conversations.
Cohen's estate on the use of music
Leonard Cohen’s estate says the RNC asked for permission to use “Hallelujah” and were rebuffed. So they just used it anyway.— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) August 29, 2020
🎵 It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah... pic.twitter.com/Y8Sjin5m8G
Of course, they did.