The Dog and the Big Dog At Netroots Nation
Okay, okay, the Dog has not been posting from Netroots Nation like he promised everyone he would. There are no excuses, the laptop is working, the wireless connection while sometimes spotty it functional for posting. The Nuns used to say “the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions”, so the Dog is just going to crank up Highway to Hell and own the fact the swirl of people and events here has kept him from posting to those playing the home game. Sorry.
"Originally posted at Squarestate.net"
Now the Mea Culpa is over, lets talk about what it all like around here. If you have even been to a SciFi Convention, you will have a feel for the energy in the hall. There are a lot folks who are really pumped up, they are finally in a room where their passions don’t make the eyes of the people they talk to glaze over. There is very little need to explain the issues 101, you can get straight to a graduate level discussion of whatever it is that strikes their fancy. Hell the Dog even gave a fan boy squeal of joy when he got to meet Chris Hayes, the Washington editor of the Nation magazine.
There are more panels than you could possibly attend. Training for media appearances, food panels, panels on the various tools you can use as a organizer or candidate. How to’s, why to’s and the like. If you want to be educated or fired up, there is something for you here. Last night was the Keynote speech by President Bill Clinton himself. We’ll get to that in moment. The Dog wants to talk about the first couple of speakers.
First we had the video below. Be aware, it is not safe for work. The title is We’re Fucking AFSMCE. It is from the 70’s and is narrated by a voice which total sterotype of a union worker from that time. You’ll hear things like “We even have broads on the street making sure some fucking jerk don’t run you kids over.”
Here is the link, to since it is not work friendly, he is not going to embed it.
After this played we had a little welcome from the AFSMCE president, who started with “I don’t endorse that ad, but I love to watch it!”
The speeches kicked off with Chuck Ricci of the Steelworker Union. He gave what can only be described as a barn burner of a speech. He talked about what it meant to be a factory worker, not out of shame but out of pride. He told the story of how is grandmother may have to be moved out of a nursing home because she is too sick for that facility to keep her. This is forcing his family to try to find a way to pay for home care. He made us laugh, he made us think and he fired up the crowd!
We had a slew of other good speakers and then we got to the Big Dog himself. President Clinton spoke for about an hour. If you have never seen him speak, the Dog has to take a moment to describe what it is like. President Clinton is the most seductive human on the face of the planet. His magic has always been his ability to connect with the listener on a personal level which is nearly unmatched. After about 30 minutes of listening to him, you are so in sync with him that he could pull out phone book and read from it and you would be right there, clapping, cheering and agreeing! Which is exactly what happened to the Dog last night.
President Clinton had some good points. His main thrust was things have changed. We have turned a corner which was not available to him during his career. The nation has changed in terms of being more accepting of multicultural, multi-religious ways of living than in the last 40 years. He laid out the vision of as much as 40 years of Democratic governance, based on the underlying demographics and the policies of the Republican Party and what their base requires of them. President Clinton pointed out the litmus test for Republicans leaves more the population of the United States out than it allows in. This is the nature of a failing movement and party.
He made a plea for all of the Netroots to support the public option and health care reform. He took a stand for any kind of bill over a good bill. This the Dog can’t agree with at all. But his point that we who are active who do blog must be making the same basic case President Obama did. We must talk about three things.
If you like your insurance you can keep it.
This change means no one can be denied coverage ever.
This change will provide real competition which will keep costs down.
Many on the net are very aware of these facts, but not all of our fellow citizens know these basic facts and as we are getting to crunch time here on this issue it is important that we push these points, not just on the net, but at work and with our neighbors. This is one of the most important things we can do.
For all that President Clinton burnished his legacy, for all that he encouraged us to take the long view and accept a half a loaf over none, he did spread that feeling of empowerment over the crowd. He also made a point which can’t be made too often, the time is now, we have to pass real healthcare reform. This takes our work, not just our hope.
The floor is yours.