Many readers tell me these days they've been reading TPM since the very beginning. If you've really been reading since near the beginning you'll remember that - oddly, paradoxically - TPM was early on the story of the death of congressional intern Chandra Levy, while official Washington was still mainly averting its eyes because it held then-Congressman Gary Condit (D-CA) in such high regard. The whole tragic story elevated into a vast media circus in the summer of 2001 and was only knocked out of the headlines by the staggering news of the September 11th attacks that closed out the summer. Despite vast suspicion centering on Condit, who was having an affair with Levy at the time she was killed, years later the story took an unexpected turn when a petty criminal named Ingmar Guandique was charged with and later convicted of the crime. Now, almost 15 years later, the case has taken another dramatic turn.
Let's just note here for the record that Trump has again said that Vladimir Putin is a better "leader" than President Obama. Set aside whatever quarrels we have with Putin. He is unquestionably an autocrat who has usurped virtually all power in his country, rendered all but the most marginal media subservient to the state, jailed major political opponents, especially those wealthy enough to have independent bases of power - or worse. Putin didn't invent autocracy and he's certainly not the worst autocrat the world has ever seen. But he is an almost textbook embodiment autocracy, complete with his own mid-range early 21st century cult of personality. That is one version of leadership. But it's more like domination. It's not one that anyone in a democracy or someone who seeks to lead a democracy should see anything to compliment in or as a model of leadership to emulate. Joseph Stalin or Augusto Pinochet weren't just great leaders who got too leadery. They were autocrats, albeit with different death tolls. There's a difference.
O'Reilly sees dark future where Fox News hosts will have to band together to weather new climate of anti-Fox incitement and peril ...
"I think the time has come now, where this whole network is going to have to band together, all of us, and we’re going to have to call out the people who are actively trying to destroy this network, by using lies and deception and propaganda. We're going to have to start to call them out by name, because that's how bad it's become."
I'll repeat something I said as we listened to Obama speak. He's less attacking Trump as making him seem small and petty in comparison to the picture of America he's painting. We heard a lot about how Obama was going to take it to Donald Trump. And he did. But it wasn't in a way that I would have expected based on those words. It was more organic and sweeping.
11:20 PM: "We don't look to be ruled."
11:29 PM: "Democracy isn't a spectator."
(Chants and heckling notwithstanding you can't compare this to what we saw in Cleveland.)
11:35: "Home grown demagogues."
(This whole passage, not just that phrase, makes Donald Trump look very small.)
(He's less attacking Trump as making him seem small and petty in comparison to the picture of America he's painting.)
(And we have better music ... Stevie!)