Hillary’s party started last night and while she won’t make an appearance until later in the week, it was an invited guest who stole the show.
No … not Bernie, though he was good.
And, No … not Elizabeth, though she did what she does best.
It was First Lady … first … lady … Michelle Obama’s night and, well, who knew? But I’ll get to her in a minute because, you know, save the best for last.
It started off rough, some protestors, some demonstrations, in the wake of that DNC email hack that lead to the ousting of party chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. And that has caused some on the right to suggest that Bernie supporters are abandoning ship.
Let’s be clear, the majority of Bernie Sanders supporters are rallying behind Hillary Clinton because, while she might not have been their choice, and might not still be their choice, they fully understand what might happens if she loses; so they put away their differences and step up.
I did that in 2008; I was ardently pro-Hillary. I liked Obama but I was with her, even then. When she lost her chance I was miffed, but instantly became Team Obama because I knew that it was the right choice for this country, as do most Bernie supporters now. For the ones who don’t understand, who boo and moan and kvetch, well, as Sarah — a former Bernie supporter — now says:
“Hillary is our Democratic nominee, and I will proudly vote for her.”
And then she made what some say is a mistake, and I say is something that needed to be said:
“To the Bernie-or-Bust people, you are being ridiculous!”
And they are; it’s over. No matter what this email hack shows, it did not get Hillary Clinton more votes than Bernie; she did that. It did not get minorities out to vote for Hillary; she did that.
So, yeah, to continue to bellyache is ridiculous, so here’s what you do: stay active, stay motivated, vote for Hillary and then demand she do the work you want of her; hold her accountable hold her feet to the fire. But sitting on your hands in November will accomplish nothing.
So stop …
As for Bernie, well, he was a little verklempt at the ovation he received last night — a deserved ovation, I’ll say — but then he stood with her, Hillary Clinton, as the only choice this fall, though he made it clear that he has ideas, he has plans, and he’ll continue to fight for them, with Hillary, not against her:
“We have made progress, but I think we can agree that much, much more needs to be done. … This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered reasonable solutions— not just bombast, fear-mongering, name-calling and divisiveness. … We have got to defeat Donald Trump and do everything we can to elect Hillary Clinton to the White house.”
So, you ardent ‘Berners,’ if your champion can set aside his differences, and understand that he can still be heard, still have a voice, why not do the same?
And we also had Cory Booker, who may just find himself in the Oval Office one day … perhaps as part of an Obama-Booker ticker …. Or a Booker-Obama team.
Booker was cheered for demanding that we aim higher and become a “nation of love” and not just “tolerate each other”:
“This is the high call of patriotism. Patriotism is love of country. But you can’t love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good. We can’t devolve into a nation where our highest aspiration is that we just tolerate each other. We are not called to be a nation of tolerance. We are called to be a nation of love…”
He told how Donald [t]Rump does not love anyone but himself, and how [t]Rump “treats women in a way he would never accept from man” speaking about wife or daughter; a man who speaks of immigrants as thieves and rapists; a man who demonizes an entire religion because of the actions of a few; but he ended on a high, calling for the election of Hillary Clinton:
“[She] knows what Donald Trump betrays time and again in this campaign: that we are not a zero sum nation, it is not you or me, it is not one American against another. It is you and I together, interdependent, interconnected with one single interwoven American destiny….We will RISE!”
Elizabeth Warren did what she does; it wasn’t so much a rousing speech as it was a list of what’s wrong with [t]Rump; the lies, the cheats, the bankruptcies, the bloated sense of self.
She blasted him:
"Donald Trump's entire campaign is just one more late-night Trump infomercial."
And she reminded us that during his lengthy acceptance speech he railed about a lot of things but never said anything about what he was going to do:
"Other than talking about building a stupid wall...did you hear any actual ideas?"
No ... but enough of that; as I said earlier, let’s save the best for last.
I have always admired, respected and loved Michelle Obama, but last night she went beyond …
She spoke mostly about her children, just girls when they moved into the White House and now beautiful intelligent young women. But she also talked about the struggles, about dealing with people who continually, year after year, “question their father’s citizenship or faith.”
“We insist that the hateful language that they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. When someone is cruel and acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. … When they go low, we go high.”
And then shoe pointed out that the issues a president faces — and she never once mentioned his name — “cannot be boiled down to 140 characters” and how she wants a president “whose life’s work shows our children we don’t chase fame and fortune for ourselves.”
“Hillary Clinton is the only person I trust with the responsibility of our children.”
And she praised Hillary Clinton who, almost the instant she knew she wouldn’t get the nomination in 2008, began the campaign to elect Barack Obama to the White House with her own brand of grit and determination:
“When she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned. … Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.”
But it was toward the end of her speech when she made her point, quite simply, and talking another show at the elephant in the bad rug in the room:
“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great. This, right now, is the greatest country on earth.”
And she told us how great this country is, because we adapt and change and accept and love one another, as much as we can; Michelle Obama probably grew up never thinking for a minute that she would be where she is right now because it had never been done, hell, it had almost never been a thought, for centuries, because of her skin color:
“The story of those generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters, two beautiful and intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”
That’s what makes America great; we may not always move fast on issues, but we move. And America can stay great, and become greater, with the election of a party that wants “liberty and justice e for all.”