Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Summit in Summit, Pt. 2: A Smattering of Speakers.

So the program starts. Undeniably, the atmosphere is energized and energizing. The attendance eventually gets announced as somewhere north of 400 and it looks it in the Auditorium. The crowd runs the gamut of liberal stereotypes, from unreconstructed tie-dyed hippies to punky lesbians in coarse anti-Bush gear to tweedy professorial types. In the middle of it all in a skinny guy in a goatee is tapping on his laptop. Someone actually askes if I'm blogging. As I'm waiting for things to begin, I write the following:

What I’m am most interested in is making the Democratic tent big enough to win. I’m all about the winning. Second I’m interested in seeing progressives adopt messages and postures that allow them to have influence, even with moderate lawmakers, after the election.
Note to self -- do not hold breath.

As often happens at these things, we hear from a bunch of folks before the real fun begins. SCPD President Ingrid Kunstel introduces organizer Patrick Carano who introduces John Wagner from the AFL-CIO. Then a couple of VIPs had about five minutes apiece.

Now. There's this guy running for this office who I sometimes supported and sometimes criticized. Then I got tired of a certain cross-state pissing contest and vowed not to blog about his race again until I saw some very public rapproachment. The silence from his camp has been deafening.

Well I can outstubborn anyone on the block, so I'll just mention that this guy got an utterly unsurprising award from AFL-CIO Tri-County labor council and said some utterly unsurprising things about health care, then he was done.

Next to the podium is Mimi Kennedy, Chair of Progressive Democrats of America and mistress of ceremonies for the afternoon. And yes, she played Dhama’s hippie mom, Abby.

She mentions Cindy Sheehan is in da house. Deafening applause

Then she brings Dennis Kucinich to the front. I haven't heard Kucinich speak live before. I don't know if he usually comes out of the gate doing the loud speedfreak auctioneer or if he builds to a crescendo. In this format, he was all crescendo. If you ever saw the WHEREARETHEWEAPONSOFMASSDESTRUCTION??!!! snippet Jon Stewart looped during the '04 primary, it was all like that.


Throttles back for a bit and works back up to BUILDINGANEWDEMOCRATICPARTY!!!

With that, Kucinich is out.

Up next, Keynote speaker John Green.

NOTE: Kevin Spidel from PDA liveblogged the event for the PDA blog. He's unmitigatingly positive about everything. If you want a counterpoint to my jaded reservations, you can start at the first of his dozen or so posts and work your way around, or go to the front page of the blog if you do it in the next couple days or so.