Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Grab Bag: DNC v RNC; Congratulations Hillary!

It's a Friday which means it's Grab Bag Day. And there's so much in the Grab Bag this week.

It's incongruous to walk into a Harvard Law School quad at 6:30 on a hot, muggy July morning and hear a construction worker whistling "Silent Night" from inside a dorm. July is many things, but it is not Christmas time. Of that I am certain.

Now, for some politics. Joe Biden, Tim Kaine, Michelle Obama ... they're all good, and they were very good at the Democratic National Convention. But really, compared to the Republicans, Antonio Sabato Jr., Scott Baio and what's his name from Duck Dynasty - who was better? Well, it's a tough one to call. Maybe if we had photos of the two factions, that might help.

First, the Democrats ...

Joe Biden

Tim Kaine

Michelle Obama

Now, the Republicans ...

Antonio Sabato, Jr. says "Let me tell you my most recent policy proposal ..."

Scott Baio: the true mark of a world leader

The Duck Dynasty guy: "What, me, American Taliban? Are you crazy!"

While I'm on the subject of conventions, one thing the Democrats showed is how deep their bench is. Their line-up of speakers revealed sophisticated, mature leaders committed to public service, diverse, educated, thoughtful, and capable. And numerous. It feels nice to be on the right side of history.

The Democrats had almost twice as many people at their podium as the Republicans and they were a much more diverse crowd, as this nifty graphic from the LA Times points out. At the DNC, 45 percent of the speakers were non-white. At the RNC, 20 percent of the speakers were non-white. The male/female split was less dramatic. At the DNC, 42 percent of the speakers were female, whereas at the RNC, 35 percent were female. The LAT graphic does all this data better justice, so I include it below.

The Democrats
2016 Democratic National Convention speakers

The Republicans
2016 Republican National Convention speakers

Staying with politics for a tick more, although I was a Bernie person in the Massachusetts primary (see "Bernie or Hillary?") and still think he was the person of the hour for raising the right issues at the right time, I could not help but feel a deep happiness for Hillary Clinton and all that her historic nomination represents for this country and for the world. As I wrote a friend, you could just feel the emotions of the women in the hall, and in living rooms across the land, exhaling with relief, "Finally, finally." I agree, finally. And in the odd twists of history, while this moment is a mantle that every woman can wear with great pride - the elevation of a woman to major party presidential candidate - it was nevertheless Hillary alone who climbed that final rung of the ladder. Of course she had help along the way. Lots of help. We all do. But the history books will record that it was her. And they will be correct. It was her. We live in historic times. I am very proud of my party, the Democratic Party. Eight years ago, the Democrats produced the first African-American president, a man who turned out to be one of our best presidents ... ever. And now we've produced the first female candidate to be president, undoubtedly the most qualified candidate for the office ... ever. It feels nice to be on the right side of history.

She wore blue, he wore charcoal grey

Postscript: Since this is a Friday and a Grab Bag day, I want to add these two random and deeply inconsquentional notes:

  1. Let us sing the praises of whoever coined the phrase "tweet storm" as in this Washington Post headline from today's paper: "Trump tears into Clinton during morning tweet storm." Tah dah. 
  2. Sometimes in life even the baby has to push his own pram.