In our fair city we had the State Democratic Convention, wherein the party faithful from around the State gathered to be warned of the terrible things that lie ahead unless they could somehow summon up the zeal of campaigns four years back. The Governor was there, Nancy Pelosi was there, candidates for just about every elective office were there and Bob Filner, the Only Democrat running for Mayor of San Diego made sure that we knew he was there, wearing a campaign tee-shirt, just in case we didn’t know he was running. They Were Warned: there would be no health care reform, no jobs program, no financial regulation, no effort to deal with climate change, no stem cell research, no immigration reform, no women’s right to chose…And a meat axe to Medicare and Social Security. Unless Democrats got busy now, all these things would surely whither away.
In our nation’s capitol on the other side of the continent, a vastly different political gathering tool place. Conservative activists from around the nation gathered for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Three of the four GOP candidates for President (Ron Paul campaigned in Maine) showed up to pay homage, along with several candidates whose campaigns have already fizzled and a really big closer in Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin. They Were Warned: leave the current President in office for another four years and his War on Religion will succeed, guns will banished, the family will be destroyed, and big government will take over, dooming all Americans to a life of poverty and hopelessness.
The California Democrats were serenaded by Occupella Women’s chorus, singing symbolic remixes of classic patriotic songs designed to pull upon the heartstrings of the party faithful. An hour later, the tone had changed to serious political Occupy as they got an earful with “Democrats, come out! We’ve got some shit to talk about!” The Save the Bill of Rights group joined in to protest the National Defense Authorization Act, pointing out that the Democratic Party failed their constituents by allowing such a draconian measure to pass.
The DC Conservatives were infiltrated by Occupy DC, despite a plethora of measures designed to keep people of their ilk out of the sacred rites and ceremonies of CPAC. Big Mama Grizzy got “mic checked”. Certified Commie Killer® Andrew Breitbart, in the midst of making an anti-Occupy propaganda film to be distributed by Citizens United, the group that won the law suit brought to the Supreme Court that changed the rules of campaign finance, took time out to rage against the Occupiers: “You’re freaks and animals,” Breitbart screamed repeatedly, as seen on a video shot by CampusProgress. “Stop raping the people!”
On their way over to ‘meet & greet’ the Democrats, OccupySD marched through downtown, stopping off at 5th& E Streets to commemorate the centennial of the Free Speech Movement and Children’s Park to celebrate the first local Occupy action. And after the day’s actions, they returned to continue planning future protests as part of the SoCal InterOccupy Conference.
Over on the other side of the universe, CPAC was all about confirming the existence of a much darker narrative, one filled with a special wrath for the LGBT community: GOProud, a Gay Conservative group, and one-time a sponsor of the confab, found themselves barred. The CPAC bloggerverse exploded with venomous attacks on JC Penny stores for having the nerve to hire Ellen DeGeneres, holding the department store responsible for rises in suicides and breast cancer rates. Then there were the pleas for sympathy for the oppression that rich people like Santorum backer and three quarters billionaire Foster Friess are facing. Most noteworthy at CPAC, however, was the open participation and acceptance of White Nationalists, who warned the crowd that “America’s greatest threat is its diversity”.