Day 1 of the DNC: recap with vids and my thoughts.
Well, that was...quite something, wasn't it?
I started the day (well, evening in my case, 4:00pm there is 9:00pm here) quite optimistic. The AME church choir, the beautiful film about Philadelphia (my hometown), and Boyz II Men, Philly natives and all around good guys from everything I know. They rocked the house!
We then had our first moment of disunity and disrespect. The Rev. Dr Cynthia Hale, an AA woman pastor, was giving an uplifting invocation, and people chanted "BERNIE BERNIE BERNIE" all over the prayer, drowning her out and actually forcing her to stop speaking for a moment. Uh oh.
The National Anthem sung by the young Bobby Hill gave me chills.
Barney Frank got some scattered boos, but spoke well.
Marcia Fudge seems very much like the kind of woman you do NOT want to mess with. I like that in a woman.
Then came what I hope we can all agree was the nadir of the night. Rep Elijah Cummings, a hero of the civil rights movement, gave a moving, wonderful speech about his father, a sharecropper who picked cotton in South Carolina, his heritage, his pride, the BLM movement, and women's rights. For no discernible or acceptable reason, people screamed "NO TPP" over the top of nearly the entirety of it. A civil rights icon screamed at, booed, and chanted over by DEMOCRATS. That was when I really lost it. I cried for a long time. All I could think was how the media would spin this, how the Republicans will use this in attack ad after attack ad, and how this disunity could and still might lose us the election.
Fortunately, things started to improve the tiniest bit after that. Three of the Labor leaders who spoke really knocked it out of the park. Very rousing. It's clear they address (rowdy?) crowds regularly and with success.
I was incredibly moved by the strong emphasis placed on substance abuse recovery and mental health, and I will always be grateful Hillary is talking about these things very publicly and with passion. It was one of the issues listed on her website that really surprised me when I first read it. I am so grateful.
Bless little Karla Ortiz, who might have been the most uplifting speaker there last night. I think an entire nation held its breath thinking "If they boo this little girl, I am coming through my TV/computer screen". But fortunately they managed to find some measure of self-control and it was a really nice moment. For ANY fence sitters that might remain, I suggest sitting and watching this video on repeat until you maybe start to recognise what's at stake in this election:
Astrid Silva was also wonderful in this section. What a great speaker she is.
Al Franken killed it for the first of TWO times of the evening. We'll get back to him.
Anastasia Somoza, the disability rights advocate, I don't think is getting her dues for what was a really wonderful speech. Watch it again here if you missed it:
Then it was Al Franken and Sarah Silverman, up to kill time, make jokes as well as some extremely insightful remarks, before introducing Paul Simon. I really started to feel the crowd pushing back against the protestors now. I really started to feel the mood change. Paul Simon might be a little wavery, but his soul still shines through his voice like it always has. Couldn't find a vid but if i find one later today I'll insert it.
Eva Longoria was smart and fiery. I've always liked her. She, and the Latino speakers of the evening in general, probably did the best to skewer Trump's bigotry and the direct impact of this election. Short but impactful speech:
Then came one of the huge highlights of the evening, at least for me. Cory Booker gave a soaring, wonderful, inspirational speech that reached the heights of oratory last seen at the DNC by Barack Obama. His inclusion of the Maya Angelou poem "I Rise" just made it even more beautiful. He was on my VP shortlist and I still think he would have made a fantastic candidate, although I really adore Tim Kaine. This is not the last of Cory Booker we'll see on the national stage, I can bet you that. Chants of "WAR HAWK" over his speech, but drowned out quickly by applause and cheers.
I expected Michelle Obama's speech to be good. I did not expect to spend the entire speech with tears running down my face, hands clasped, saying "Bless her" and "YES GIRL" over and over again. I did not expect to stand up in my empty living room alone at the end of it and clap for her. I did not expect to think at one point, "This might be better than whatever Barack pulls out". I did not expect her to, through her sheer force of beauty, grace, poise, class and brilliance inside and out, turn the whole evening around. People knew better than to boo Michelle Obama. She is beloved by everyone. She showed why tonight. Speech of the evening by a country mile. I watched it again this morning and cried again just as passionately as I did the first time. This is why I am a Democrat:
The cute redheaded young Kennedy had to follow that up, bless him. Luckily he only had to introduce Elizabeth Warren, who basically took a giant pair of scissors to Donald Trump and proceeded to snip little pieces off him until he was left as a pile of Cheeto-colored confetti on the floor. She also gave an impassioned and heartfelt defense of Hillary. Chants of "WE TRUSTED YOU" marred the moment, but were drowned out by cheers.
After all that, it was sad to see Keith Ellison got hammered by chants of "NO TRUST NO UNITY" which took a while to subside. He gave a great endorsement of Hillary and introduced the final speaker, Bernie Sanders.
I'm not sure why they put Bernie last. It was originally supposed to be Michelle Obama last, and I certainly think that would have ended the evening on a more purely uplifting note, but I think your mileage of whether you felt Bernie's speech was uplifting or not very much depends on whether you were/are a supporter of his. I freely admit that I found it difficult to "feel" him and really get into his message because of the behavior of a MINORITY of his supporters up to that point in the evening. I think he could have done MUCH more to communicate to his supporters that this behavior was unacceptable BEFORE his speech, for the past several days and weeks (and really throughout the campaign), but as for the speech itself, he probably did everything he could to try to bring people together. He certainly said the magic words, "Hillary Clinton MUST be the next president of the United States", and for that I thank him very much.
So. That was the night. I got my first two hides on DU EVER, can't really tell if they were deserved or not, because I was so angry and sad and frightened and appalled at different points in the evening that I may have crossed the line. I cried in sadness and in happiness. I thought at different points "Oh my god, we are going to lose this election" and "We are DEFINITELY going to win this election". I have never been more passionate about being a true-blue, lifelong Democrat.
I'd like to finish by giving a special thank you to the VAST MAJORITY of Bernie supporters who COMPLETELY get it, understand what's at stake in this election and are generous, intelligent, and selfless enough to find common cause and promote unity. That's here on DU, in that convention center, and out in the world. THANK YOU. You are SO appreciated by me and I think I can speak for every other DUer. I know my remarks last night may not have been as careful to specify "SOME Bernie supporters/delegates" as I should have been, and for that I deeply apologise. I was more emotional than I've ever been on DU last night watching that. So please, if I made you feel unwelcome in any way, I apologise and I hope you can forgive me. You are more appreciated than you know.
Thanks for reading. What did you guys think?
I think I thank you for your thoughts here as they are very close to my own. Thank you for putting this together.
"Eva Longoria was smart and fiery. I've always liked her. "
I think Eva was big. Her actual words were extremely direct, painful to hear, yet she did it with grace. Her words painted a very brutal and accurate depiction of who Trump is to her and millions of others.
The Latino speakers in general were probably the best at describing clearly what's at stake in this election.
I'm going to add her speech to the OP. Thanks for your reply!
I only watched the final four main speakers, so thanks for including some other ones.
Michelle was the highlight of the night for me too.
Warning: the booing/chanting/yelling was much worse earlier in the evening, so those speeches are more marred by it. It got better in small increments as it went on.
Michelle was just...no words. Amazing.
I don't know how the roll call vote is going to go, but I suspect it might be a shit show. I am hoping not.
That's in part because my own involvement always seems to be more clinical. I surprised myself by getting all enthusiastic about Clinton and Warren together and thought, gee, this must be sort of how some feel. But it passed.
I spent most of the night on CSPAN with very good sound for the speakers on stage, so most of the disruptions were rather indecipherable background noise. Highly recommend it for those who get upset. I went there immediately because the talking heads on MSNBC wouldn't stop hogging the screen and show the convention beginning.
Btw, I was really struck by Marcia Fudge also. She very much looked like a strong person accustomed to giving and receiving respect, a lot like like my stern but favorite teacher in high school might have as she realized she wasn't going to be able to order this group of rowdies to sit quietly. Definitely offended at the behavior. Loved it and her.
and the boos etc were still very audible. I'm not sure if I can stream C-Span well from here - I'll have to try tonight.
Marcia Fudge clearly does not suffer fools gladly. Wish she could have smacked a ruler down on the podium and sent some people to detention!
Can you imagine how frustrating that must have been for delegates trying to listen and be part of a great event they believed in?
Senator Claire McCaskill had a pleasantly calm and even respectful (whatever she thought privately!) attitude in interview about the disrupting delegates themselves, if not about their behavior. Positive about their involvement, but this was a first time for a lot of them and of course, etc. Wish I remembered it better.
Seriously, if the angry delegates stayed, the press left, and their place was taken by people like McCaskill, we'd all be proud of how the Democrats exemplify commitment to the right of free speech. So much for fantasyland. But IMO the big troublemakers are the MSM. Those tiresome weenies aren't even on the radar compared to them.
Apparently, you have not been following the development of the platform where Cummings wouldn't support opposition to TPP for the mere purpose of not undermining President Obama.
The chants of NO TPP came when he mentioned the platform. The platform he was in charge of developing.
This was about issues.
Which was the whole topic of his speech. They chanted it THROUGHOUT his speech and it is indefensible. Disgusting behavior.
I hear more Black Lives Matter and cheers before that point than "No TPP".
for anyone to watch and know the truth.
about the terrible behavior during Rep Cummings' speech. He was drowned out for the vast majority of his speech by a chant that wasn't even about what he was speaking of. They drowned out a civil rights leader. You don't have a problem with that?
I watched this in real time, and it was awful. At the end he was talking about his dad, choking up, and those jerks (sorry, but they were) just couldn't stop to show respect for a man and the love he had for his dad. I was crying because of his touching story, and for the disrespect this wonderful man was, again, getting from a bunch of ugly white people.
They will never understand that there is more in life that we all need to do better at. That's their privileged coming thru.
Darrell Issa did to him.
It's just very disconcerting to again see the disrespect Bernie supporters have for another Democrat and another person of color.
Talk about tone-deaf -- this has been an ongoing issue since Sanders announced his campaign in Burlington!
I'm very confident that if Cummings had supported the opposition to the TPP many would have followed.
You have your reason for being disrespectful and tiresome.
We have our reasons to be irritated and tired of the disrespect.
Go ahead - pitch your meaningless little fits and fade off into history. This is exactly how you kill "a movement." Appeal to fewer and fewer.
The behavior was thoroughly and utterly tone deaf, and flat out RUDE.
Disagreement is one thing, this petulant temper tantrum was quite another.
No wonder these people aren't taken seriously.
What a disgrace.
I agree that it played very badly with many people who admire Cummings.
Thanks for posting. The TPP angle is spot on, we have to sink this nasty 1%er perk...really.
What a story he has to tell. It is too bad the idiots did not listen. They may have learned something. It was so disrespectful and completely tone deaf.
I think his speech was one of the best of the night.
I think that's when a lot of people watching stopped having sympathy for the disruptors. Re Cummings is admired and respected by many, many people.
He fought so hard to get where he is today. He is an inspiration.
I think you are right about the turning tide. The disruptors showed themselves for who they are.
I want to write him a letter to thank him.
I would have liked if everyone had floated out of there on a cloud after she brought the house down.
But it is what it is.
I believe this will be the most authentic night of the entire convention. I understand all the roiling expressions of Bernie Sanders' 45% of the delegates, and don't think I'll be nearly as excited over the establishment speeches of the next three days.
Looking ahead... After the primary GOTV problems will be the general election GOTV problems at individual, county and state levels.
If these state governments don't stop their "irregularity" tactics, this election will have the appearance of sham democracy.
So, my biggest issue is that armies of lawyers had better be ready to monitor the general election process and the computerized vote counts. Hacker democracy isn't my idea of how a great country should be run.
- Speakers were amazing, Cory, Elizabeth, Michelle, and (for a Hillary guy going back to her senate days) Bernie
- The guy shouting for Bernie should be exited from the convention, he has every right to his opinion, he dosn't have the right to block other peoples opinion
- If someone is openly supporting another candidate and not the Democratic Nominee, they don't belong in the DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION
- The Corporate media (to include unfortunately NPR) is unwatchable. Either they are creating issues or babbling over the speakers, My answer is to download the Convention App to my home theater system and watch the convention live. Much better and no interruption for cutting to commercial or Trumps latest stupidly
- Actually Morning Joe is relatively informative the rest of MSNBC is garbage
- We need to let our brothers and sisters who supported Bernie go through the stages of Grief:
- Denial - As it became apparent that Bernie will not be the nominee
- Anger - Concern over unfairness (California, DNC, Open/Closed Primaries)
- Bargaining - Getting their points made on the Platform
- Depression - Watching speakers and even Bernie praise and support Hillary
- Acceptance - Hopefully by the end of the convention (Just like some people never accept a death, some of the Bernie supporters will never accept Hillary)
I watched Elijah Cummings speech in real time (like you, overseas, and I was getting blinky after a few more of them...also just plain disgusted...so I went to sleep )
I've watched Cory Booker's and Michelle Obama's this morning...I cried watching Michelle's, she can bring it (and I will soooooo miss her) and wow, Cory was 2004 Obama!!!!!!! Totally blown away.
Thanks again, love you and all you do....you are awesome!!!!!
Won't be able to do that tonight - I've been wiped out today. I'll have to watch the speeches Wed morning.
Thanks for your nice words.
I will say, I was calmer watching the videos today, than last night....maybe because, even though they were still jerks, it wasn't feeling like every time I turned around. The boos were having me shake my head, but Cory Booker was killing it and I just didn't care.
Hopefully tonight they will behave better. Maybe they need a time out
I'll be missing tonight as well, and won't be able to catch up until tomorrow afternoon. I work again in the wee hours. ugh.
I was appalled at the nastiness directed at Marsha Fudge and Elijah Cummings. I didn't see the opening prayer, but from what you and others have said, they did the same with her.
All I can say about that is it was disgusting behavior on the part of so called Democrats.