Monday, August 25, 2008

Mule Notes

Christian Avard, who interviewed me at Huff Post, is blogging from Demver, and among his first impressions is the militarization of the area:

"Denver's definitely clamped down to the max. Police are in riot gear all over the city. Helicopters are flying overhead."

Of course. One half of the imperial corporate state is nominating its managerial team. Naturally, they must be protected from the people they claim to represent and supposedly wish to help. Part of the program in a land under permanent surveillance, brimming with SWAT and Delta teams. I mean, who's funding this shindig anyway?

AT&T is a major backer, and for good reason. Many Dems, led by Obama, granted the telecoms retroactive immunity for their warrantless spying. So why not throw a party to say, thanks mules! Glenn Greenwald, along with a few notable libloggers (a tight tribe, they), attempted to crash last night's AT&T bash, and were told that it was a private event, despite Glenn and company's press badges and concern for constitutional democracy. Still, the libloggers tried to ask questions of those strolling in, and as Glenn put it:

"Amazingly, not a single one of the 25-30 people we tried to interview would speak to us about who they were, how they got invited, what the party's purpose was, why they were attending, etc."

I trust that Glenn's being sarcastic here. He should be, given what's right in front of his face. But then, liberal hope is elastic -- it can stretch around the largest corporate gathering, provided that mule symbols are numerous and prominent. I think it's safe to say that there'll be plenty of hope stretching over the next few days.

There will also be pointed reminders to those who may refer to reality, and thus call the whole gathering into question. This morning, C-SPAN covered a "convention conversation" at the Denver Athletic Club, featuring several prominent African-American politicians and commentators.

I came in when Prof. Cornel West was in mid-sermon. I wasn't quite sure what West was talking about, as he has a tendency to free associate. But he did mention the "American empire" that covers the globe through various means. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. cut West off to remind him that there was a huge audience watching at that very moment, and that the Prof. should reconsider his language, lest "independents" or even Republicans who might be leaning toward Obama be offended. West shot back that Jackson knew what he was saying was true, and while Jackson quickly agreed, he reiterated that this was "Barack Obama's platform," and talk about an American empire was potentially alienating. This was followed by former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder's claim that the planet looks to the US for guidance, and that an Obama presidency would reassert American power and influence abroad.

Empire? Where?