A Night at the Opera

Between Trump’s campaign chairman lashing out against the Bush family, the #NeverTrump movement initiating a floor fight and the night ending in a controversy of plagiarism, the opening day of the Republican National Convention did not disappoint.

12 RNC

Credit: Reuters

During a Monday morning breakfast with the press, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort discussed the notable absence of the Bush family from this week’s convention.

“Certainly the Bush family, while we would have liked to have had them, they’re part of the past,” Manafort told reporters. “We’re dealing with the future.”

Manafort sounds more like Bob Morton talking about Dick Jones in the OCP restroom rather than a chairman for a presidential campaign.

Manafort continued to unify the party by attacking the Republican Governor of the very state holding the GOP convention.

“He’s embarrassing his party in Ohio,” Manafort said of Gov. John Kasich’s decision to not endorse Trump when he ended his own campaign for the GOP nomination in May.

Three hours after the convention began, a faction of #NeverTrump delegates attempted to force a vote on the convention’s rules package in order to unbind delegates from their state vote.

The package agreed upon by the rules committee last week specifically binded delegates to the results of the their state’s primary or caucus results.

Delegations from seven states are required in order to call for a roll call vote. The #NeverTrump movement got the support of nine.

Acting chair Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack called for a voice vote on the adoption of rules. Seemingly ignoring the “nay” votes, Womack gaveled in the rules package and proceeded to leave the stage.

It was surreal watching as the #NeverTrump group began chants of “Dump Trump,” only to be overwhelmingly drowned out by chants of “USA” by Trump supporters.

When Womack returned to the stage, it was with bad news for the Never Trumpers. Three states had withdrawn from the request, bringing the total number of states to just six and ending the chance for a roll call.


Credit: NPR

The non-roll call dust up was quickly followed by a benediction prayer given by Pastor Mark Burns. Like the preceding event, this was anything but routine.

Burns’ prayer centered on thanking the lord for the “life of Donald Trump.” When not calling for the sole protection of the real estate mogul, Burns called out the enemies of the Republican Party:

“Republicans, we got to be united, because our enemy is not other Republicans – but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.”

This was just the matinee show.

The evening featured appearances by such Hollywood powerhouses as Scott Baio, Antonio Sabato, Jr. and the highly anticipated speech by potential future First Lady Melania Trump.

The first speech was given by Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson. Robertson shared his theory with the crowd on why the media failed to recognize Trump as the presumptive nominee:

“They don’t hang out with regular folks like us.”

Or it could be that the media believed not even the voter electorate of the GOP would nominate an openly racist homophobe who doesn’t even understand what the nuclear triad is.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton would take the stage a short time later, praising our nation’s equality: “We love that we’re born equal and live free…”

Cotton says this on the same stage, the GOP earlier in the day ratified their latest party platform, calling for restricting the rights of every LGBTQ citizen.

The platform rejects last year’s Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, which recognized same-sex marriage:

“We do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a Constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states.”

The party firmly reestablishes marriage as between one man and one woman.

The platform also advocates for positions which have long been disproven by research, such as children raised in a “traditional” home are healthier than those raised by same-sex parents.

On Sunday’s Meet the Press, RNC Chair Reince Priebus attempted to defend this disgusting rhetoric:

“The best scenario for kids is a loving mom and dad,” Priebus told host Chuck Todd. “However, it doesn’t mean at all that single parents or same-sex parents, that any parent in America can’t love a child, can’t raise a child, and that child can’t be successful and loved. It doesn’t mean that. It just means what the facts say.”

Except the facts don’t say that. A study published in the April edition of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found “no differences in outcomes” between children raised by same-sex parents and those raised by heterosexual parents. Priebus should go back to wiping down the tables of Maz Kanata’s cantina.


Credit: Walt Disney Studios

The platform also attacks the recent Justice and Education Department’s joint guidance letter allowing students to use the restroom of the gender they identify as, referring to it as “illegal” and “ominous.”

Later in the evening, it would be the voice of a bisexual man announcing the stage arrival of Donald Trump as Queen’s “We are the Champions” played to an entrance Vince McMahon would be envious of.

Introducing his wife, Melania, Trump kept his speech to just a few lines, bragging about winning.

Following a fired up former New York Mayor Rudy Guilliani, Melania brought a different tone to the convention stage.

Melania carried herself as the empathetic presence Trump seems incapable of being.

“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect.”

The night would soon reveal its biggest twist yet that nobody saw coming… well, except Michelle Obama.

Journalist Jarrett Hill was the first to report that portions of Melania’s convention speech were lifted from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech.

The Trump campaign responded in a statement, ignoring the growing plagiarism controversy:

“In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”

This contradicts Melania’s own claim to authorship during an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer earlier in the day on Monday:

“I wrote it… with (as) little help as possible.”

The cherry on top of this situation is that Michelle Obama’s head speechwriter was Sarah Hurwitz… who formerly wrote for Hillary Clinton.

For a candidate that has built his political reputation on authenticity and telling it how it is, this is a rough end to the convention’s first night.

Hopefully, The Young and the Restless’ Kimberlin Brown will be able to do adequate damage control during her speaking slot tonight.

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