"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

April 16, 2005

CDC - The Place to Be This Weekend

The California Democratic Convention is taking place this weekend here in Los Angeles. Many of the top Califonia Democratic politicians are making appearances, plus Howard Dean gave a rousing speech as an introduction to the showing of "Outfoxed" in one of the larger meeting rooms.

Besides Dean, I got to see, up close, Gen. Wesley Clark who all but threw his hat into the ring for the 2008 primaries. He noted that this time he will be funded, organized and experienced. He continues with the middle-of-the-road support of taking care of business in Iraq by giving our troops the support they need. Clark's most memorable comment, with respect to Bush's recent claim that his administration's foreign "policy" is responsible for the recent "breakout of democracy" in the Middle East, compared that with the rooster claiming credit for the sunrise due to his crowing. [UPDATE 4-18-05: You can download the speech HERE. It's a 59MB .mov file, so broadband is a must.]

Other notable and much more progressive speakers whom I was priviledged to see included Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee and Tom Hayden. Barbara Boxer literally brought down the house with her appearance.

The attendees at this gathering clearly seem to favor Phil Angelides over the other Democratic candidates vying to oppose Governor Groperzenegger. He's not flamboyant and popular like the Terminator, but he may pull out a victory if Arnold continues his abuse of the state.

The PDA had probably the best collection of speakers (including several of those mentioned above) and I was impressed with the popularity shown for this fledgling outcropping of the Democratic Party. Tom Hayden gave, by far, the best speech of the evening, especially his rationale for why the US Military should announce their timetable for a pullout from Iraq, which would likely shut down the insurgency.

Tomorrow the CDC wraps up its business and will have Antonio Villaraigosa as its last big-ticket draw. He is the opponent to current Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and is currently favored to win, but you know how those things can change...

What bothered me the most was seeing way too many smiling, happy delegates wandering the halls and attending the numerous parties, meet-and-greets, lectures and other events. As fun as conventions should be, this is a critical time for Democrats across the nation, with their party on the fast track to extinction; it's time to get serious and also stop bickering amongst themselves. It's time to show some balls and unify behind a theme of representing the real needs and values of the lower and middle classes of this once-great country.

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