I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for the fade. At about 8:40pm, it's humid. Lot of water will be needed. And I must say that this place certainly is a trip. Where else could you see Willie Nelson and Joe Lieberman on the same stage within a few minutes of one another, and what does that mean? To be honest I can't tell you.
Veterans are big in the message, but it's not really reading at the moment. Platitudes. Too many plattitudes. Why should we honor veterans, and how? These are not simple questions, especially in the contextual reality that vets wars we feel really good about are in shorter and shorter supply. The Democratic party of 2004 is largely run and staffed by people who either got into the game post-60s, were on the inside in 68, or laughed from the outside in 72. Sometimes I really wonder if these people have throught it through.
The populist sheen of the modern party doesn't read to me either. Here's a highly produced media event, where even getting anywhere near the action requires a laminated pass, where you're not allowed to bring your own sign, and we're clapping and singing along to "you've got a friend."
I want to believe it. I want to, but it's difficult. My hands are huge. Eyes wide open, and it still doesn't come through as real to me.
But I think it is real for the people on the floor. These people are on a trip, and they did come from around the country, from all sorts of states and surprisingly diverse walks of life. They've choreographed little dances to do, and done their best to personalize their delegations. There's pride in the room down on the floor tonight. The inner stratigest in me worries about Hubris, an old nemesis of mine, but Pride can be a good thing too, especially when it comes with such a hometown flavor.
And here, where the political thresher meets the grasroots, the mix still isn't quite where I'd have it, but there's promise.
I have to say Kerry gave me a lot more than I thought he would. He's not my man, but I won't be holding my nose when I vote for him this fall.
More to come as I deal with the fallout and realizations. Expect now a feature-length piece comparing massive rituals like the DNC and the OCF, because I've done them both now, and there are a surprising number of paralells.