Headline: Netroots Nation Entertains Progressives, Tops Bonnaroo Death Toll
Body: MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (OYIT) Over 144,000 true believers in the progressive movement gathered last month in the Minneapolis Convention Center. Participants discussed the great tribulation of Obama's presidency and the 2010 elections.
The opening night speech began with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak echoing sentiments he had printed in a letter written for the Netroots Nation program. He encouraged attendees to take advantage of the city's offerings, including wireless internet and massive bridge collapses. Rybak also asked that people send their unconstitutional United States currency at local businesses. Audience members nodded approvingly while wondering how he could lose a gubernatorial primary to a Judas like Mark Dayton.
The conference was divided into breakout sessions during the day, augmented by some sort of lunch presentation and a closing night activity. The attendees were divided into true believers and "professional" political people. The former were a mixture of Obama supporters who are ready to follow him to the Hale Bopp comet and those who simply believe in progressive ideals and have worked to free Mumia Abu Jamal from prison. The latter group includes all the people currently employed by political or media organizations. They were there to network, share tricks of their respective trades and reassemble sad DC bar outings in the Midwest.
Out of Thursday's daytime sessions the highlight was Structural Barries to Progressive Success, featuring Darcy Burner, Ari Berman and David Waldman. All three are influential players on the progressive internet, but former Congressional candidate Darcy Burner's presentation shined the brightest. She discussed how the "rules of the game" are currently in favor of the right. Simply playing harder under the current rules will only guarantee more future losses and terrorist attacks on American soil.
Thursday night's keynote speeches included Howard Dean and Russ Feingold, two heroes of modern American politics that were unjustly defeated by treasonous elements in this country. Dean, best remembered for completely transforming the way presidential campaigns were waged and yelling at a speech, spoke first and less coherently. He tried to sidestep the failures of the Obama administration by saying progressives had to take the reigns of the country into their own hands.
Feingold followed it up with a shot across the bow, warning Democrats not to take advantage of the new rules established by the Citizens United decision. That Supreme Court case, no doubt partially inspiring Jared Loughner, said that donations to supre secret PACs could not be limited or regulated. This is wrong, but there is a strain of thought in Democratic-leaning circles that we should fight fire with fire, or at least ice with fire as depicted in the climactic battle scene of X3: The Last Stand.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfieffer was angrily, sometimes petulantly, questioned by Kaili Joy Gray ("angrymouse" on Daily Kos). His answers were mostly bullshit, but that's his boss's fault not his. Afterwards Prairie and I stood around waiting like a couple of Sirhan Sirhans, but when we finally got Dan's attention it wasn't with bullets. I asked him why the communications team for Obama's campaign didn't make more of an issue out of Republican Senatorial filibusters of things like the health care for 9/11 responders bill. He said it's easy to see that in hindsight and that the President's bully pulpit isn't as "bully" as you think. So THEN I shot him.
NO MORE HIGHLIGHTS
Netroots Nation was overall a little disappointing to me. Granted, I missed the first day and was hung over the rest of the mornings and sleeping until noon. But the panels I did attend ranged from great to boring. The final night's speeches were pretty bad, including David Waldman of CongressMatters reading the entire 1500 page "2083 Manifesto" written by the Norway terrorist/mass murder/right-wing Anders Breivik. Even though the shooting hadn't happened yet, it would have still been worth predicting a mass killing by a right-wing terrorist SOMEWHERE in the world. Keep predicting it and eventually it will come true. That was Miss Cleo's model, who predicted the Oklahoma City bombing for three straight years before McVeigh actually followed through on the "action" component of Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America."