Take Back Washington

In today’s Washington Post, Dan Balz discusses the booing Hillary incident I wrote about yesterday. The communications director for Take Back America / Campaign for America’s Future, Toby Chaudhuri, sat with some of us exhibits and told us he didn’t know about any special agreements that had been made with Code Pink. Indeed, he said, no one would have had the authority to make such an agreement. He didn’t know where Code Pink got the idea there would be a Q & A after Senator Clinton’s speech. He said that he was unaware that anyone had prevented Code Pink from handing out fliers. However, he said, they had a firm rule about no signage in the ballroom during the speeches. This rule applied to everyone, including Hillary Clinton’s people, who were prevented from bringing signage into the ballroom also.

I speculated yesterday that it may have been the Hilton Hotel, not Take Back America, that prevented Code Pink from handing out fliers. I still think that’s a possibility. Yesterday I asked some Code Pink people I saw in the hall if they could send a spokesperson to the bloggers to talk about what happened, but none materialized.

The Take Back America conference is winding down. The final luncheon is about to start. I’m eating a sandwich in the Exhibit Hall, getting in some blogging time before they kick us exhibits out.

On the whole, this is a pretty depressing place. I just came from a panel that was allegedly about building progressive media. After a lengthy presentation of poll numbers that seemed to be the same poll numbers I’ve been reading about for several weeks, it was brightly suggested that progressives/liberals ought to develop a media infrastructure. And then people introduced themselves — lots of earnest people from earnest Democratic organizations earnestly working on their little issues and projects — the panel ended. Time for lunch. I swear, I want to bang heads together.

Kathy Kiely from USA Today reports that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are launching a new platform called “New Directions for America.” I take it this platform is about policy proposals. Like any of this will wriggle through the media filter and actually reach voters who aren’t politics nerds.

Russ Feingold spoke to an enthusiastic audience this morning. “It’s not enough to be in the majority,” he said. Democrats have to stand on principles. Dems can’t expect to win by default or by running out the clock.

Biggest applause line — after talking about Bush’s breaking of FISA law, Sen. Feingold said Bush’s actions amounted to “what the founders meant by high crimes and misdemeanors.” (Audience stands, cheers, applauds.) Feingold says it is important to censure Bush even if he is a lame duck. We have to do it for history.

Time to leave the Exhibit Hall. See ya later.

3 thoughts on “Take Back Washington

  1. I’ve been reading your take of the TBA conference, and flashing back to the cop conference in “Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas”. Just as the clueless cops couldn’t figure out what was going on – to amusing ramifications in Hunter Thompson’s infamous 1971 novel – so it sadly parallels the political and media thickets progressives seem to find themselves in today. “This seems to be a prehistoric event” remarked the protagonist in Fear and Loathing, and that’s the similar take I get from your report. And you needed to travel all the way to DC for this?

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