The Calm Before The Calm
By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire
7/17/2014 at 12:45 PM
The annual Netroots Nation gathering is an almost placid affair. For example, in contrast to the CPAC convention, at which every wingnut with delusions of grandeur showed up and at which enough red meat was thrown out to give the Potomac atherosclerosis, this hootenanny is remarkably uncontaminated by major politicians, and especially by those national politicians who allegedly aspire to a higher office than the one they presently hold. The only real marquee names are Senator Professor Warren, who speaks on Friday morning, and Vice President Joe Biden, who pops in this afternoon to inflame the masses as only he can. Hillary Clinton is too busy having a really bad book tour.
Nevertheless, having been to CPAC, it’s hard not to conclude that the two national parties continue to have conspicuously different attitudes toward their respective bases. At CPAC, every high-profile Republican showed up, whether or not they happened to have five votes in the hall. Chris Christie got hooted at by the denizens of the monkeyhouse, and nobody seemed to know quite what to do with Rand Paul and his devotees. But they showed up. Here, once again, it is fair to conclude that the national Democratic party — at least as represented by its high-profile national figures — can still be scared away from its base and its issues by a strong breeze. The people at Netroots are being held at arm’s length in a way that national Republicans never would dare hold CPAC. And with the triangulated, deadening specter of an inexorable Clinton Restoration looming over everything, and that includes everything here, it’s difficult to see that changing very much. I’m sure Senator Professor Warren will get a wild ovation tomorrow. How long and how profoundly that ovation echoes in our politics is still very much an open question.
Yeah, Markos. Things are better than ever. How’s that working out for your business model Bucky?