The DNC ’08

The Democratic National Convention is coming to Denver in a little under a year or so. Are you pumped? Are you excited? Are you ready for the anarchists? They’re coming!

I was at my friendly neighborhood Chipotle earlier this evening and found this article to be both fascinating and a wee bit disturbing. You see, throughout the entire article I couldn’t figure out if these guys were peaceful or not. I got the sense they wanted to be but that if “certain things” happened or didn’t happen the fit throwing would start. There’s some drama (I surmise from the article) about who will join with the protesters wishing to recreate what happened in ’68 (why on God’s Green Earth would you?!) and those who realize it would be a public relations disaster on a national and even international stage.

Westword is a favored read of mine every week or so and not because I’m spying on those dirty liberal hippies (Denver Police tried that and we all saw how that went) but because it usually presents an interesting perspective opposite of my own and therefore requires me to think.

This article was somewhat different because the writer (Jared Jacang Maher) didn’t take the usual “shine the nice lights” on the subjects that I tend to disagree with in regards to Westword. When I started reading words like “anarchists” and “not stating pacifist policies” my giant waving in the wind red warning (no, I’m not a member of the communist party) flag went atmospheric.

Do these guys really think this is going to end well for anyone? Recreate something that nobody really wants to see again? I know times are tough but I find it hard to imagine that we live in the same world as we did in 1968. Something tells me that time has moved on and we’re living in a different place. Sure, poverty still exists. Yep, war is still a concern. And apparently we still have people who wish this government was gone. I quote

“I’ll work with anybody who wants to make a positive change in this country,” he insists. “Once this government’s gone, then we can sort out how to fix this country. Too many people get sucked into ‘I’m a communist, so I don’t work with socialists who don’t work with anarchists.'”

Maybe it’s because I’m a to the right, but when I hear the sentence, “Once this government’s gone, then we can sort out how to fix this country.“, I get a little nervous. I don’t like anarchists. I think they’re the worst kind of activist because they simply want to destroy and level and refuse authority. I don’t have a very good relationship with socialists because I like what I have. And communists are never on my list of dinner guests. And people who want to get rid of the government? Please.

Now, if he was talking about President Bush, sure I understand. Wait until we as a country elect the next guy and we’ll get on our way.

Maybe my point is this and we can figure the rest out in comments. Our country is the greatest in the world. It works. It’s not like Myanmar where people are getting shot in the head for standing up for their rights. It’s not even close to Venezuela where the cable news stations were shut down because they went against their president. It’s not even close to Iran where women are beaten and prosecuted for not wearing enough covering. It’s not like Zimbabwe where the inflation percent is sky high where nobody can reach it and the dictator refuses to swerve in the never ending game of chicken. We’re far from being in Darfur’s situation where people are trying to get in to help and being refused entry.

This country may have her faults. Nothing is perfect. But the system works. We’re not dead yet. And I refuse to believe that recreating something that has the very distinct chance of being violent and out of control is a good idea.

What do you think?

UPDATED 10/26/2007 FROM THE COMMENTS with my comments.

“I think anarchists are too anarchistic get much done.”

That and the whole violence thing. Also,

“…but if they make some noise during the convention…”

Meaning destruction of property, calling for the demolition of the government yada yada…not really sure I’m too excited to see that display in my city.

Also Joe when you say this,

“Unless of course this is actually on to something…”

Doubt it. Stuff on the internets is hard to trust. Also,

“It’s when they’re prevented from doing these things, when they’re punished for their thoughts rather than their actions, that we’ll find ourselves in one of those countries you mentioned.”

When those things in those countries start happening here, we’ll talk again. Until then you’re just using the “IF” and “IT COULD HAPPEN” speech to try and prove a point that I don’t personally believe your able to win. Take it for a grain of salt obviously as it’s just what rolls around in this ugly mug of a head.

And of course Dicker hits it on the nose (we’re actually agreeing!)

“Dude: Pick an issue”

So true. Hold the course. Rove was/is a genius for his ability in crafting that focus. Also on topic,

“Sadly, that’s a job for Karl Rove and friends not sectarian leftists who seem far more interested in throwing public temper tantrums disguised as direct action than actually changing hearts and minds.”

BINGO BONGO! Now we’re reaching across the gulf and having a conversation. Rove knew and knows how to run the ship and make it a lean mean focused machine. Dems could learn from THE EVIL ROVE!01)!)! and if they did, there could be some good things that come from it. Dicker, I might send you a Christmas card yet…:)

And as for the DNC ’08 being meaningless, I hope it’s not true. As a former Democrat (still lean that way a few times a week) I believe if the Dems can move away from what both I and Dicker have talked about…there may be hope yet.

11 Comments so far

  1. Valerie (unregistered) on October 26th, 2007 @ 9:41 am

    Well, I don’t think the anarchists are organized enough to really effect much change.

    I noticed when we were homeschooling that the secular homeschooling groups weren’t really cohesive groups that effected change simply because we were just a bunch of individuals thrown together for the sake of our children. The Christian groups were strong, organized, long lasting and they were the ones that pushed legislation through that helped all homeschoolers. They had a higher purpose (raising kids to be good Christians) and that higher purpose inspired them to work together, make and contribute money, change laws.

    My point is: I think anarchists are too anarchistic get much done. But if they make some noise during the convention, there will be more media coverage for Denver and that will probably be good for the economy, don’t you think?

  2. Joe Helfrich (unregistered) on October 26th, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

    There have almost certainly been articles like this one before every Democratic convention since, oh, probably ’68. I doubt it will get all that bad. And personally, I think they’re protesting at the wrong convention–we’ve got a lot of work to get done inside the Democratic party as well as in the nation as a whole. But while there are certainly failures in the current party leadership, they’re not the ones that got us into this mess.

    And this country still (barely) works because people are still (barely) allowed to consider, and plan, and even do these sorts of things, even when there are consequences to be faced. It’s when they’re prevented from doing these things, when they’re punished for their thoughts rather than their actions, that we’ll find ourselves in one of those countries you mentioned. And we’re already sliding down that slope a bit–everyone mentioned in this article probably had an FBI file within 24 hours of it being printed, if they didn’t already.

    As usual, Thomas Jefferson said it best:

    “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

    And: “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.”

    (Unless of course this is actually on to something, in which case Nancy Pelosi’s odds of being the first female President of the United States will skyrocket over Hillary Clinton’s. And there’s another bit of innuendo for my FBI file….)

  3. dicker (unregistered) on October 26th, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

    This is the money quote:

    They talked about oppressed peoples, military spending, Katrina, immigration rights, solidarity with Iraqi people and police brutality. They said they hoped to host a four-day “festival for democracy” in Civic Center Park during the convention with teach-ins and poetry readings. “

    This will ensure that these protests will have no message that anyone remembers. Dude: Pick an issue – for my money it’s the war and the milquetoast Dems who can’t, or won’t, stand up to to end it – and hammer ONE unified message.

    Didn’t 2004 teach you anything? C’mon.

    Sadly, that’s a job for Karl Rove and friends not sectarian leftists who seem far more interested in throwing public temper tantrums disguised as direct action than actually changing hearts and minds.

    See Aaron, I do go after lefties!

    And I’ll continue:

    Recreate 68 are profoundly naive. Chicago 68 was when all the inspiring movements of that period unraveled. King and RFK were shot down, urban riots throughout the country. The anti war movement became infiltrated by nutjobs (aks Weather Men) and the civil rights movement was hijacked by ineffectual black nationalists. Granted, Cointelpro had a hand in all this, but the fringe left didn’t help. One need not be a right wing historian to accept that the legacy of the far left is nothing to try and resuscitate.

    Why would we want to recreate that? I’d rather reenact Atlantic City 64. But that’s another story.

    Plus, the DNC isn’t a convention. More than previous years, due to the new primary schedule, this is simply a coronation.

    Hopefully it won’t be Hillary Clinton getting the nod, but even in the unlikely event that my candidate (that’d be John Edwards) is making an acceptance speech it’s still one big commercial.

  4. Aaron DeLay (unregistered) on October 26th, 2007 @ 9:43 pm

    I had to comment in the post because there so much coolness from the commenting. Woot.

  5. Joe Helfrich (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 7:54 am

    I’m an Edwards guy too, but I don’t think it’s that long a shot. Polling Iowa is like herding cats, and it all comes down to ground operations there. We’ve still got a good shot.

    That said, the convention could be a coronation…but there are a couple paths that lead to a brokered convention and Al Gore standing on the stage yelling at people to not vote for him he doesn’t want the nomination.

  6. dicker (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

    I really hope you’re right Joe. I do remember this time in the last primary no one would’ve guessed that John Kerry would have pulled it off.

    I don’t think Edwards is less electable than Hillary, that’s for sure.

    Oh, Aaron. Not to quibble but I would say the problems I ranted about have less to do with mainstream Dems than the far left.

    And Rove: I wouldn’t use the G word, I just think he understands messaging. There’s a really good documentary called And So Goes The Nation which follows the 04 presidential campaign in Ohio. It makes this argument better than I can and it’s pretty interesting to see how vague the Dems were. It was worse than I could tell from here.

    Anyway, I’d be curious to know what you think of it.

  7. Joe Helfrich (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

    Oh, there are plenty of voices who realize that the Democratic party needs to be more unified.

    It’s not that we need to pick an issue though. All (well most) of the issues that are mentioned by Democratic activists are important, but we haven’t learned to compromise. We spent so long in power following the New Deal that we segmented into issue groups and started purging everyone who wasn’t right on every issue–or worse, anyone who wasn’t *exactly* right on “our” issue, meaning by the time everyone was done, no one was left. (Anyone who wants to know more about this, and about how elements inside the party have started to fight it, should read Markos Moulistsas Zungia (Daily Kos) and Jerome Armstrong’s (MyDD) Crashing The Gate.)

    That was what Rove was able to do–he was able to get groups that have wildly divergent views that fall under the big umbrella of Republicanism to work together–I’ll give you this thing you really want that doesn’t affect me too much, and in exchange, you help me get this thing I want that doesn’t affect you to much. That coalition has been disintegrating, thanks to the Religious Right (the leadership got too greedy and offensive to the moderates and financial conservatives, and the rank and file is starting to remember that they’re mostly blue collar union members, and there’s economic reasons to vote Democratic.) I think 2004 was its last gasp, though certain candidacies may breathe temporary life into it.

    As for the article linked in my previous comment, note that it’s not a single blogger being paranoid. That’s one piece of information from ABC News, and one from Congressional Quarterly. I mean, really, what are you going to do with that bomb in that theater? There certainly aren’t many major complexes left outside of US control in Iraq. You’re either going to hit Iranian bunkers, the theory laid out in the quoted articles, or you’ve got a good idea which cave bin Laden’s hiding in. Now let me be clear: the second option is worth every penny of the 88 million, because al qaeda is largely a cult of personality. The first option however, would cause a great big mess, at home and in the Middle East.

  8. Joe (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

    Oh, and:

    “When those things in those countries start happening here, we’ll talk again. Until then you’re just using the “IF” and “IT COULD HAPPEN” speech to try and prove a point that I don’t personally believe your able to win. Take it for a grain of salt obviously as it’s just what rolls around in this ugly mug of a head.”

    A friend of mine applied for a job that required a security clearance. He was asked to list all known aliases. He plays live action roleplaying games, and for a while the GM sent players mail under their character names. He was playing a character that had a provocative name (it included the word “anarch”), but obviously was completely imaginary.

    My friend did not think to list that name, which he’d not received mail “as” in a couple years. But that was the reason that he didn’t get the security clearance, and why his college degree is pretty much useless.

    So how did they know that he’d received mail under that name?

    And just to bring it back to Denver, I’ll point out this Washington Post article that details Ralph Nacchio’s claims that Qwest and other telecom companies were approached to facilitate government spying on their customers in February of 2001, just days after the Bush administration took power, and months before September 11th, and that Qwest was punished for refusing to participate by having several contracts jerked away from them at the last minute.

    I’m sure we can all agree that we’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into Wonderland if Qwest are the good guys.

  9. dicker (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 7:57 am

    I’m inclined to agree with you about the Dems, Joe. I’ve been curious about the Kos book so I might just pick it up. It’s funny, I’m not a big fan of Kos’s blog because it’s a jumbled mess but I do value his analysis and he’s always on point as a talking head on the chat shows. When he’s on the chat shows…

  10. Joe Helfrich (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 11:04 am

    The secret to dKos is to only read the front page, and to know who to read and who to skim. :)

  11. dicker (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    Ok, who’s worth reading besides Kos?

    I’m a big fan of Talking Points Memo.

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