Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chachi Jumps the Shark: Opening Night At the RNC

Trump & wife before overt plagiarizing of FLOTUS speech
The opening night of the 2016 Republican National Convention had all the elements of the kind of crass reality TV show culture for which Donald Trump has become so famous.

There were an odd assortment of real-life characters on stage who at various times wept, accused, screamed, yelled and lied.

The GOP Clown Car finally came to a screeching halt at the circus.

But let's be fair.

Give the Republicans credit for adding some racial diversity to their opening night lineup.

To bolster the RNC's opening night "Make America Safe Again" theme, they trotted out the frequently unhinged African-American Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr.

This peculiar Democrat-turned rabid Trump supporter has vowed to "do everything I can" to get Trump into the White House and has a clear message for the numerous members of the Republican party who fear that a Trump presidential bid will destroy what party unity that's left, and threaten the GOP majorities in the House and Senate:

"Anyone who thinks Trump will wreck the GOP is delusional." We'll see soon enough Sheriff!

The outspoken law enforcement officer, a frequent critic of President Obama, also called the charges filed against the Baltimore PD officers responsible for breaking Freddie Gray's neck and killing him the product of a "malicious" prosecutor - which is exactly what many Americans would call cops who intentionally use a "rough ride" in a police van to purposefully abuse someone in custody then end up killing him.

Sheriff Clarke also described the Black Lives Matter protest movement as "anarchy" (so much for 1st Amendment rights!) and defended Donald Trump for saying a federal judge born in Indiana would be unable to rule fairly in a court case against Trump's sham university because his Mexican heritage would bias him against Trump.

Rudy Giuliani inflames the hysteria Monday night
Speaking of law and out of order, former New York City Mayor and resident paranoid fear-meister Rudy Giuliani also took the stage and proceeded to tear into one of the most bizarre public speeches he's ever given.

This morning long-time New York political observer and WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer observed that he'd never seen Giuliani talk publicly like that before.

It was like Giuliani was possessed by some kind of bizarre determination to convince the audience that the Apocalypse was upon us as he yelled hysterically into the microphone like he thought the thing wasn't working, insisting to the cheering throngs that:

"The vast majority of Americans today do not feel safe. They fear for their children and they fear for themselves."

Which of course completely contradicts F.B.I data on crime statistics as well as extensive research by the Brennan Center for Justice that shows crime rates in America (including killings of police officers) are at a 30 year low.

Clint babbles to an empty chair at the 2012 RNC
Now obviously we're all entitled to our own personal political views, and the right to express them, but there's always something slightly unsettling about famous actors who bring their unvarnished political beliefs into the public arena.

I've enjoyed films that Clint Eastwood has acted in and directed for years, but I'm not sure I'll ever look at him in quite the same way after his bizarre onstage tirade against an empty chair on the stage of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

For me it's somewhat jarring to listen to an actor I've always known through the lens of popular entertainment profess political views that veer to the fringes of the far right.

In the history of American politics, there has never been a presidential candidate of a major party who is viewed as unfavorably as Donald Trump; according to the results of a recent poll of 1,000 people conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, Trump has a 70% unfavorable rating among Americans, which climbs to a remarkable 89% unfavorable rating with Hispanics.

So it's hardly surprising that the people Trump described as "winners" who would be speaking at the RNC on his behalf, including former Indiana coach Bobby Knight, former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, have all backed out.

From Chachi to right wing nut bag?
Enter actor and former teen heart throb Scott Baio, who might not even have been on Trump's bucket list of potential speakers save for a recent random encounter.

Apparently Baio was at a Trump fundraiser when The Donald asked him to speak at the convention in Cleveland.

According to an article on Philly.com, Baio, who endorsed Trump back in March, has said he backs Trump because he wants someone "to go into Washington and blow it up." 

Growing up in the 1970's as I did, actor Scott Baio went from playing the cute wisecracking sidekick to Fonzi on 'Happy Days', known as Chachi Arcola, to a guy who has become intoxicated by Trump's delusional xenophobic hate speech.

Et tu Chachi?

Last night I listened to a number of the opening speeches at the RNC, including Scott Baio's brief remarks to an enthusiastic audience.

Baio earned a public rebuke from MSNBC's Tamron Hall for his toxic Twitter comments about Hillary Clinton; now say anything you want about her policies, fine, but using the c-word to refer to a former Senator, Secretary of State and First Lady, or any woman for that matter is wrong - especially in the public arena.

Baio panders to Republicans in Cleveland 
Last night the once-dreamy television veteran was less inflammatory in front of a national prime time audience, but just as partisan - and looking decidedly less cool than he used to look standing next to Fonzi with a mouthful of perfectly shaped teeth.

He assured the conservative crowd that he trusts Trump with his family's lives, I have no idea what that means but I wouldn't want Trump babysitting either of my two nieces.

True to his newfound identity as an enlightened conservative firebrand, Baio shared his definition of what it means to be an American, saying it "doesn't mean getting free stuff." 

Which I assume includes the millions of American GI's who returned home after WWII and were given free college education under the GI Bill?

Or the billions in taxpayer-funded corporate subsidies regularly dolled out to the defense, agricultural or petrochemical industries?

 Was Baio's uninformed opinionating as toxic as Giuliani's fear-mongering?

No, but it's a sad state of affairs when Chachi resorts to simplistic toxic Republican code-speak to demean and slander millions of Americans.

We all know how that worked out for Mitt "47%" Romney

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