(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A mercy rule -- also known by the terms slaughter rule, knockout rule and skunk rule -- brings a sports event to an early end when one team has a very large and presumably insurmountable lead over the other team. It is called the mercy rule because it spares the losing team the humiliation of suffering a loss by an even larger number of points.
By the time a hero astronaut had introduced his wife, a hero congresswoman, it was over.
By the time a Marine and a Navy man had both validated Hillary Clinton's Commander-in-Chief card, it was over.
But then came Uncle Joe Biden, roaring out on his Harley and red-white-and-blue jumpsuit, whipping his Ray Bans off and and leading the crowd in a rousing chorus of "USA!USA!".
And then the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace made itself manifest in the person of Michael "No Labels" Bloomberg. And the Invisible Hand was swinging a 100 foot Vorpal Sword with which he proceeded to gleefully lay about the Terrible Orange Jabberwocky:
One, two! One, two! And through and throughThe vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
Then came Tim "Martin Minivan Buren" Kaine who made us all scrambled eggs and cracked us up with his goofy-dad Donald J. Trump impressions while cheerfully name-checking...
...JesuitsSocial JusticeFaithFamilyWorkThe Nobility of public serviceand the United States Marine Corps.
It was over. It was over. It was so over.
And then the sweetest, funniest, feistiest Gold Star Mom and school board member straight from Frank Capra central casting in the world walked up to the microphone to introduce her president. The speech that President Obama delivered after her introduction is already being translated into every language on Earth, shared on every media site and will be studied by school kids on our Martian colonies a century from now, so since you can find it anywhere (and rightly so) let us instead give the floor of this tiny blog to Mrs. Sharon Belkofer of Rossford, Ohio:
It was over. It was already so over.
And then President Obama delivered what I can best describe as the "Morning In America" speech Abraham Lincoln might have given at the end of his second term had a radical Christian white supremacist not cut him down in one of the greatest acts of domestic terrorism in American history.
Day Three of the DNC was, collectively, the most comprehensive political beat-down I have ever seen.
Will it budge Hillary Clinton's numbers? Probably. A little. A few points. But probably not more than that. The election will still be a close thing because we are now an irrevocably riven country. A House Divided, not between honestly-held contending philosophies which argue back and forth in good faith, but between a hateful, paranoid mob who have been reduced to mindless beasts by 20 years of Fox News/Hate Radio taking a dump in their skulls every single day...
...a contentious concatenation of Liberals and Progressives who work each in their own way to leave this country a little better than we found it and who have been warning that this day of reckoning would come for 20 years...
...and a timorous band of Both Siderist children, moral cowards and professional jellyfish whose only dogma is mindless fidelity to the delusion that what they see happening right in front of them cannot possibly be happening. Who would travel 1,000 miles just to find a fence to straddle. Whose holy mantra is that somewhere under the gargantuan steaming pile of shit that is the Republican Party there must be a pony, and that somewhere in the Haight-Ashbury of their imagination, some Dirty Hippie is probably doing something right now that is somehow as equally and oppositely disqualifying as Paul Ryan or Mike Pence or Trey Gowdy or Donald J. Trump.
And this is the ground the Republican Party abandoned when they decided to give up on the very concept of self-government, and instead chase the Kenyan Usurper from Death Panel to Benghaaaazi, and give their base permission to let their racist freak flags fly.
This middle place -- this small town, hard-hit-but-hopeful, church-going, duty, honor, country place -- is what the Republicans ceded so that they could build the Golden Calf of their dreams out of an Orange Con Man who has all the best words.
On Day Three of the DNC, the Democratic Party orchestrated an extremely effective land, sea and air invasion of this middle place. They established a beachhead there, and unless they fuck up very badly, for the next three months the campaign will be slugging it out from hedgerow-to-hedgerow in a Battle for the (how it hurts me to say this) Sensible Center. And that campaign will be fighting against the collective muscle memory and professional instincts of the Beltway Both Siderists who are desperate to turn this back into a mindless horse-race between equally flawed minions of the Corrupt Duopoly.
Which is why the Mercy Rule cannot be invoked. Because however soaring the rhetoric or overwhelmingly damning the evidence may be, at least 40% of our fellow citizens will be going to the polls in November to cast a vote for Donald J. Trump.
And between now and then it will be our job to confront the children, moral cowards and professional jellyfish who want to go right on cowering in the Both Siderist spider hole hoping this will all blow over. To whang away at them over and over again with brutal truth that Donald Trump is not merely a disaster because he is an unhinged racist lunatic -- he is a disaster because he is the manifestation of the unhinged racist lunacy that is at the very core of Republican Party as it exists today, here and now.
Our job is to leave them no place to hide.
Our job is to leave them no place to hide.
And to do it with a smile on our face, a song in our heart and a beer in our hand.