Thursday, July 28, 2016

President Obama's Speech a Boon With #NeverTrump Conservatives

While this seems-and is-surprising, it's not an accident. Obama was looking for that sweet spot. \

"President Obama roused Democrats on Wednesday with a progressive call to action, but his speech was also a hit with a narrow group of conservatives who have spent the last eight years opposing his agenda: The #NeverTrump movement."

"For #NeverTrump Republicans — a small band of conservative writers, intellectuals, and former administration officials refusing to vote for Donald Trump — Obama's speech provoked a striking mix of admiration for its upbeat patriotic themes, as well as despair over their own party's failure to offer the same."

"Take about five paragraphs out of that Obama speech and it could have been a Reagan speech," John Podhoretz, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, tweeted. "Trust me. I know."

"This didn't happen by accident. Obama contrasted Reagan's invocation of America as John Winthrop's "shining city upon a hill" with Trump's vision of a "divided crime scene that only he can fix." His speech was filled with moist-eyed tributes to the nation's founding beliefs and the fundamental decency of its people."

"For Liz Mair, a Republican consultant who has spent much of the last year coordinating efforts to stop Trump, the president's defense of limited government and democratic values tugged at her heartstrings even as she and other conservatives grumbled that he failed to govern by those ideals."

"#NeverTrump believes America is great, because America is an idea — and a very, very good one," Mair told NBC News. "Trump believes Americans are great, but that America sucks and that the idea of America is inherently flawed."

And, that America is a cesspool that needs Donald Trump to save it. The Trumpsters began chanting 'Yes, you will' during his RNC speech last week.

This was clearly their answer to Obama's 'Yes we can.'

Note how the Trump slogan is all about Trump. Obama talks about 'us'-he and his countrymen. Obama draws a hopeful, optimistic, forward looking outlook. Earlier I mentioned how even some conservatives like Nicole Wallace and Steve Schmidt said Obama's speech made them 'Proud that he was our President even though we voted against him twice.'

Similarly, Hillary's slogan is 'Stronger Together' as well as 'Love Trumps Hate.'

Many are starting to see the brilliance of  the Tim Kaine pick. Note that Obama was s strong Kaine advocate.

Kaine is like Biden in a number of ways. Both from a progressive Catholic tradition, and both have a lot of white working class appeal.

And neither are ideologues. When you understand Obama's America, it was never a highly ideological place. Obama's America is not Bernie Sanders' America either.

We are a multiracial, multi-ethnic country. We don't all worship the same-or worship at all. We don't agree on everything. But what we share is the American creed. 

Note despite Obama's status as our first Black President, his America also was never Malcolm X's or Cornell West's America. We have these parts of our history which are shameful and hard to talk about but we can and we will get past it.

The #NeverTrump conservatives have not agreed with Obama on much. But they do agree with him that what we saw last week from Trump was as alarming as it was sad.

The idea that America is some hellhole that needs a charlatan like Trump to be our savior or strongman.

"It wasn't just Obama's liberal use of conservative imagery that touched those on the right, though. The speech was carefully crafted to bring Trump skeptics into the fold with malice toward none and charity for all, to paraphrase another Republican president."

"Rather than chastising the right for enabling Trump's rise, something Obama has done in the past, he argued that Trump's message "wasn't particularly Republican — and it sure wasn't conservative." The goal was to give Republicans an opening to join him in condemning Trump as an outlier in an otherwise proud party."

"In critiquing the other party's nominee, Obama also avoided litigating typical partisan divides over issues like government spending, gun rights, and abortion. Instead, he described Trump as a "homegrown demagogue" whose chief sins were ignorance, hatred, and contempt for American democracy — none of which he tied to any deeper philosophical flaw embedded in conservatism."

"Again, though, Obama's vision was never just about a progressive revolution. Bernie thinks that everyone already agrees with him-just he and a few others were the first to see it.

If only the money left politics all would have the scales come off their eyes and discover that they too are 'True Progressives.'

The Obama vision was never that ideological in scope or intent. 

"Thank God the President had the grace on that stage last night to point out that Donald Trump is neither a Republican nor a conservative," Resurgent editor Erick Erickson, a fierce critic of Obama and Trump alike, wrote the next day. "I am glad that even the President is not willing to tar and feather my party with Trump, despite my party's willingness to commit political suicide."

"Tony Fratto, a former communications aide to President George W. Bush, tweeted that Obama deserved special credit for absolving conservatives, because he "has every incentive to say the opposite." Another speech might have portrayed Trump as the natural endpoint of a GOP in thrall to extremism in an effort to drag down Republican candidates around the country. This is the approach Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, to name one prominent example, has taken all year.
And this is the point of the DNC this week. To unify Democrats around our liberal principles, yes. But also to reach out to all those middle of the roaders, undecideds, moderates, indies, moderate GOPs, and conservative #NeverTrumpers."

The only way to guarantee #NeverTrump is to vote for Hillary Clinton. To put country above party or even ideology.

What more powerful testimony can there be than Max Boot?

"Max Boot, a national security adviser to Republican candidates who was featured in the film, tweeted that Obama was "embracing #NeverTrump Republicans and independents."

"I wasn't an Obama voter but he makes you feel good about being an American," Boot said. "Trump makes me ashamed."

Brian Beutler also has a great piece on how Obama's goal was to literally save American democracy from Trump's fascism.

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