Initial thoughts on RBC debacle.
I just got home from DC and I'm going to make this quick because at this point I haven't slept in almost 40 hours, and were it not for the energy derived from my seething rage, I would have collapsed.
I'm sure many of you either watched the
sham theatrical event proceedings or were following them as they were being live-blogged on TalkLeft and elsewhere, so I'll spare you the blow by blow and just give you some of my initial notes/observations.
I was immediately struck as I stood in line to get my credentials by how many people were displaying their Obama shirts, buttons, stickers, hats, earrings, etc. This surprised me because I thought that we had been given pretty clear instructions that this was a professional meeting, not a rally and that no signs or banners or disruptive material was to be brought into the room. I interpreted this to mean that we should leave the obvious partisan expressions outside or at home. Very few Clinton supporters initially displayed any outward indication of their preference, so clearly we all came to the same conclusion.
It also surprised me how many more Obama supporters than Hillary supporters managed to get tickets. It was odd given that everyone supposedly had the same chances of getting tickets -- how was it that the Obamabots were so much more successful acquiring them?
I managed to get a ticket by being a squeaky wheel -- I was given a fax number that was available to people who were "unable" to register online, but only after I pushed. Who else was given that number? It was not publicly available, but clearly some people were clued into it's existence, but most weren't. However it happened, more Obama supporters managed to get in. I just found it curious, that's all.
It was very interesting to see the difference in people's reactions and responses to just about everything. First up was the introduction of, and a statement from Howard Dean. At the mention of his name certain people in the room politely clapped. Certain other people were rapturous at his very name.
At one point Dean told us that the time has come for the racism and sexism in this campaign to stop. Oh, reallly? Now is the time for this to stop? And prior to this moment was the appropriate time to vent such hatred? Has Chairman Dean had the power to stop this all along and he just chose not to? This meeting is not getting off to a good start.
The arguments for and against seating FL's delegates came first, and then MI. Each campaign had one representative making the arguments for the candidate for each state. In FL, Hillary chose State Senator Athenia Joyner, and Obama chose Congressman Robert Wexler. If you didn't get a chance to see this bit, try to watch it somehow. The contrast between the two epitomized the differences between the candidates and the campaign.
Senator Joyner was great -- where has she been all this time? She was very effective and very engaging. Her case was built almost entirely on arguments about the voters. Her's was a positive argument -- she never mentioned Obama or criticized the choices he's made regarding the voters in FL, instead she talked about her long history fighting for civil rights and voting rights, both here in the U.S. and also in apartheid era South Africa. One of Joyner's arguments was based on the enormous number of people who came out to vote despite being discouraged by the media and the political establishment telling them that the election wouldn't count.
After she presented her case, she took questions from the committee. One of them was from Donna Brazile (more on her later) who asked that given that it was widely known in FL that the election wouldn't matter, was it then fair to punish those who believed what they were told and thus didn't vote? Brazile wondered how any solution that counts the votes is fair to those who didn't vote. Seriously. We can't count the votes because the people who didn't vote don't have any votes to count. What is this, our democracy in action or a Monty Python bit?
Senator Joyner didn't let us down, though. She had the perfect response. She said that on January 29th, Democrats heeded Maya Angelou's advice when she said "You may think you may not be heard. Speak anyway."
Could anyone better epitomize the most egregious dickishness of the Obama campaign than Robert Wexler? I think not. Things were going pretty well until Wexler opened his mouth. He was combative, belligerent and interested only in defending Obama. He had little to nothing to say about the voters and his presentation was all about defending Obama's good name from all of the scurrilous accusations that he tried to derail any effort at a revote. He was palpably angry. What does he have to be angry about? His candidate is about to coronated, could he be a little gracious? It was at about this point in the day that the Clinton supporters reached their respective boiling points and started to become a little more vocal about the proceedings.
Wexler was asked a couple of different ways whether or not he would oppose seating and counting 100% of the full delegation. He would not answer, he just kept reiterating that the Obama campaign supports a 50% penalty. Which is when people started shouting at him to answer the question, which is when the Obamabots jumped in and tried to silence anyone not singing their song. It was with Wexler's help that things started to get ugly in the room.
I'm going to bed -- I'm about ready to drop. More impressions after sleep.