Stoller is accurate that progressives are somewhat marginalized here. Actually I think it's that all sides go to their corners. If you wanted to have a fully progressive convention and see great progressive speakers and meet with them and brainstorm, you certainly can. I ran into Jane Hamsher and Ned Lamont yesterday and out of that might come a great counterpoint to Joe Lieberman's RNC speech. There are also insiders and lobbyists, and that's a different convention that has better food and a decent view of the action. And they don't let progressives in.
GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, it’s amazing. And essentially, we probably tried to interview twenty-five, thiry people going in, and every last person refused to even give their name, identify themselves, say what they’re here for, what the event is for. It’s more secretive than like a Dick Cheney energy council meeting. I mean, it’s amazing.
AMY GOODMAN: So, what are you here for? Why do you want to interview people?
GLENN GREENWALD: Well, because, I mean, it’s extraordinary that the same Blue Dogs that just gave this extremely corrupt gift to AT&T are now attending a party underwritten by AT&T, the purpose of which is to thank the Blue Dogs for the corrupt legislative gift that they got. So AT&T gives money to Blue Dogs, the Blue Dogs turn around and immunize AT&T from lawbreaking, and then AT&T throws a party at the Democratic convention thanking them, and then they all go in and into this exclusive club.
There isn't a party thrown not sponsored by some corporate behemoth, so it's hard for me to get worked up about any individual one. What does bother me is all the corporate signage that really swamps the convention. The coal industry has a bunch of young kids passing out fans with "clean coal" messaging on it. Interesting, they're giving me something that harnesses the wind to create energy. It was a hot day, so I took it from them to use for a few seconds. Then I gave it back, saying, "Here, it's renewable."
Interestingly, one of the most prominent corporate presences here is Trojans.
To spin it out and see the partitioned convention as an example of an Obama Administration hostile to progressives takes a little bit of extrapolation, but it's clearly true that any leader of a party is going to mold it in his image. Obama is stage managing the podium speeches, for example. And as progressive power in Washington isn't exactly strong, then progressives will be shoved to one side as well. Our challenge is to collectivize our power and grow it from the bottom up, making ourselves impossible to ignore.