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Wake Up To Politics - August 27, 2020

Wake Up To Politics - August 27, 2020
Wake Up To Politics - August 27, 2020

It’s Thursday, August 27, 2020. Election Day is 68 days away. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.

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RNC Night 3: Pence accepts VP nomination

A series of speakers from politics, police departments, and a convent launched some of the harshest attacks yet at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the third night of the Republican National Convention.

As protests continue in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after a police officer shot a Black man, Pence went after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for failing to condemn violence that broke out from similar demonstrations. “Last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country,” Pence said, referring to Biden’s speech during the Democratic National Convention. “Let me be clear: the violence must stop — whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha.”

Biden condemned the violence in Kenosha in a statement this week, but did not touch on similar actions in Minneapolis or Portland in his DNC speech.

Speakers offered a litany of attacks throughout the night. Michael McHale, the president of the National Association of Police Organizations, called Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris “the most radical anti-police ticket in history,” while Sister Dede Byrne labeled them “the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history.”

Biden is a “Catholic in name only,” former college football coach Lou Holtz said.

Many of the convention participants framed the upcoming election as more than an ideological struggle, but a foundational test for American ideals. “It’s not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or more Democrat,” Pence said in his remarks. “The choice in this election is whether America remains America.”

While voters would not “be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence said, he promised the re-election of President Trump would “make America great again, again.”

However, Pence offered a “cascade of false claims” to support his arguments, the Washington Post reported — from claiming that President Trump had suspended all travel from China and signed the VA Choice program into law to claiming that Biden supports “open borders” and a ban on fossil fuels.  

President Trump is slated to conclude the Republcian convention tonight with his speech from the White House lawn accepting the party’s nomination.

The Rundown

Hurricane Laura strikes Louisiana: “Hurricane Laura slammed southern Louisiana early Thursday as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful to strike the Gulf Coast in decades. The storm made landfall at 1 a.m. near Cameron, La., about 35 miles east of the Texas border.”

. . . “Hurricane Laura slammed southern Louisiana early Thursday as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful to strike the Gulf Coast in decades. The storm made landfall at 1 a.m. near Cameron, La., about 35 miles east of the Texas border.” (Washington Post)

DOJ launches investigation into Blake shooting: “A federal investigation has been launched into the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.”

... “Blake, a 29-year-old Black man and father of three, was shot in the back by a Kenosha police officer seven times on Sunday as he tried to get into his car.” (Business Insider)

  • “Athletes from the N.B.A., W.N.B.A., Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer took their boldest stand yet against systemic racism and police brutality, boycotting games on Wednesday in response to the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis. The moves dramatically escalated a season of athletes demonstrating for social justice as some expressed doubts about continuing to play amid widespread social unrest.” (New York Times)

The politics of coronavirus: “A sudden change in federal guidelines on coronavirus testing came this week as a result of pressure from the upper ranks of the Trump administration, a federal health official close to the process tells CNN, and a key White House coronavirus task force member was not part of the meeting when the new guidelines were discussed.”

... “White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was in surgery and not part of the discussion during the August 20 task force meeting when updated guidelines were discussed... The new guidelines raise the bar on who should get tested, advising that some people without symptoms probably don’t need it -- even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person.” (CNN)

Numbers of the Day

2,193 vs. 0: That’s the number of policy statements in the 2016 Republican Party platform vs. the number in this year’s platform, according to Manifesto Project data provided to Wake Up To Politics by University of California-San Diego political science professor David Fortunato.

Fortunato said of all the global party manifestos studied by the Manifesto Project, the 2020 GOP platform stood in a league of its own. “The only outcome that they list is supporting Donald Trump,” he said of the brief RNC resolution backing Trump passed in lieu of a platform this year. “And that just doesn’t happen in democracies.”

The political scientist told WUTP that the Republicans opting not to put forward a platform outlining their ideas and stances represented a lack of “any real desire in doing the work that typically goes into governance” throughout the Trump era. “There’s a real discord between what Republicans in Congress want and what the Trump team wants,” he added. “And rather than try to ameliorate those differences, to build a policy document, they just said, ‘f--- it... why bother?’”

The Republican National Committee did not respond to a request for comment.

Average number of policy statements in past platforms:

  • World (including U.S. platforms since 1920 and other major democracies since 1945): 570
  • United States (including Democratic and Republican platforms since 1920): 719
  • Democratic platforms (1920-2016): 657
  • Republican platforms (1920-2016): 840


All times Eastern.

President Donald Trump will meet with campaign donors at 12 p.m. at the Trump International Hotel Washington and deliver his acceptance speech to the 2020 Republican National Convention at 10:30 p.m. from the South Lawn of the White House.

The House and Senate are on recess.

The Supreme Court is on summer recess.

The Republican National Convention will continue for its fourth and final night, airing from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., with the theme “Land of Greatness.” Tonight’s speakers include:

  • President Donald Trump
  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson
  • Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader
  • Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton
  • California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader
  • New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who switched parties amid the Democratic impeachment effort
  • Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser
  • Ja’Ron Smith, a White House domestic policy adviser
  • Ann Dorn, the widow of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn (who was shot and killed in June)
  • Debbie Flood, a Wisconsin business leader
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudy Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney
  • Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham
  • Alice Johnson, a former federal prisoner whose sentence was commuted by President Trump after intervention by Kim Kardashian
  • Wade Mayfield, a Nebraska businessman
  • Carl and Marsha Mueller, the parents of slain ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller
  • Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will attend a virtual fundraiser.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will deliver remarks on coronavirus and the economy at 2 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

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