Day one of the DNC!
Tension in the room! Michelle Obama blows the lid off the convention floor!
Philadelphia heat in summer explains why the American Declaration of Independence is so brief! As hot as it was yesterday, no one would have been able to sit in an unconditioned room and write some long story. I’m sure independence Hall in 1776 was intolerable. I can hear George Washington say, “Keep it short Thomas!” Nevertheless the first day of the DNC was exciting, tension-filled, and ultimately gripping.As the delegates, 5000 of them, filed into the Wells Fargo Center, sharp political conversations punctuated the sweltering Philadelphia summer.
It was clear that Bernie Sanders’ 1800 + delegates had no intention of going quietly Into the night.Since I was clearly recognizable as a Hillary delegate, it was very interesting to be confronted left, right, and center by very committed and serious people representing the Sanders political revolution. As I’ve said many times, I admire the Sanders movement, and appreciate what they brought to the Democratic party in terms of energy and enthusiasm. Additionally, they’ve made a great contribution to the most Progressive Democratic party platform ever. However, once the gavel came down, and as we well know that was an adventure in and of itself, the underlying political forces in the convention hall were in sharp display.
At the first mention of the fact that Hillary was going to be nominated by this convention, segments of the Bernie Sanders supporters reacted negatively with a classic Philadelphia chorus of boos! In several instances, the enthusiasm of the Sanders supporters for their cause made it difficult for the speakers to continue to say what they had to say.
This was particularly disturbing when representatives of the African American community, a critical component of the Democratic Party, were addressing what are very serious issues of voter rights and voting opportunities. I think that this is an aspect of the political mood in the country, and particularly inside the Democratic Party, that the Sanders movement has failed to either address or simply understand. The erosion of voter rights, and the Civil Rights Act, are serious issues in the African American community. And, they are serious issues to me. I think the some Sanders people misunderstand that the party is not just made up of the 99% movement.
Consequently, there were sharp differences and discussions on all procedural matters including the committee report, credentials committee report, and in particular the platform. TPP remains a strong issue in side the convention, both with the Sanders supporters, and with the convention delegates in general. Fortunately, as the night moved on the tremendous and highly energetic, as well as formidable list of speakers, slowly moved the convention towards the Unity so vitally needed to defeat the dangerous and irresponsible Donald Trump and reactionary Mike Pence. For those watching on TV or on the Internet, I’m not sure how the enthusiasm inside the hall was communicated across the airwaves, but the convention was electric.
Cory Booker had the Convention off its feet for most of his 20 minute speech. Booker’s theme reminded me of the Euro Maidan Revolution [in Ukraine]. Booker ripped it up as he urged the convention, and America, to Rise Up! And indeed that is what we have to do. But this night, organized to placate, molify, and incorporate into the Democratic party campaign the important and critical Bernie Sanders movement – this night belonged to Michelle Obama. Michelle, rocked the house as she brought to life the the importance of electing Hillary Clinton president directly to bear on the lives of regular American families. Bringing particular attention to the concerns of mothers who have to face the future with young children.
If you haven’t watched or seen any of this convention, it is worth it to go on to the internet and find Michelle Obama’s speech, and take the 15 minutes to listen. It will wake you up! Joe Kennedy III and Elizabeth Warren also had tremendous impact inside the hall. Warren reiterated the irresponsible nature of Donald Trump’s business practices, and the danger he poses to whatever gains have been made in the economy during the Obama Administration. As well, any efforts to control irresponsible actions on Wall Street.
The closing act for the evening was an impassioned, purposeful, and electrifying speech by Bernie Sanders himself. Entering the convention hall to a five-minute standing ovation, Sanders exhorted and urged forward his 1800 delegates to join in the critical effort to defeat the dangerous and racist Donald Trump. In a speech punctuated by long and rapturous applause, Sanders made it clear that he intended to do everything he possibly could to make sure that Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States. You have to give Sanders his do. The 74 year old Vermont senator has had an extremely successful campaign, and has brought hope and enthusiasm to his millions of voters.
When the 5000 delegates streamed out of the Wells Fargo Center, we may not have left as a 100% unified political party at this point, but we are well on our way. The dangerous demagogic enemy [Donald Trump] is in our sights, and we are sharpening our aim. More to come, as the Democratic Party aligns its forces on the battlefield that election 2016 has become.