31 July 2004

Light blogging today and tomorrow

Because I need to clean my house a bit and get life back in order after four days in Convention Land.

No worries, however, I have lots of stuff on the way about religious
rhetoric, political participation, focus groups, and so forth.

Posted in Day2Day on 31 July 2004 at 8:50 pm by Nate
30 July 2004

Benediction prayer

You probably didn’t hear this last night, with all the balloon popping
and such, but here’s the benediction prayer that Fr. John from the
Paulist Center offered.

Let us pray…

God of all holiness, we have invoked
Your Spirit to guide these delegates in their work over the past four
days. As we take leave of this convention, in the place where our
country’s quest for freedom began, words of liberty and equality for
all must not be left idly behind in this arena. We rely on You, O God
of strength and wisdom, to inspire these candidates, these delegates,
and indeed all citizens of this great nation to go forth and build a
stronger America and to work for respect, and accomplish peace around
the world.

By the power of Your grace, instill in
Senators Kerry and Edwards the fortitude to uphold the Constitution,
which promotes the dignity of every person and frees all people to
serve You as You have called them. Help these public servants to
safeguard the common good; give them courage to live lives of
integrity; inspire them to speak with a prophetic voice for the
disenfranchised and disinherited; and when these candidates hear Your
call, give them the strength and wisdom to say, “Send us.”

By
the power of Your grace, guide every citizen of our United States to
cherish all life. Help us to seek unity in diversity; give us the
courage to embrace each person as our neighbor, regardless of gender,
race, or ethnic origin, regardless of sexual orientation, religious
tradition, or age. Inspire us to support all families in their pursuit
of happiness; and when we hear Your call, give us the strength and
wisdom to say, “Send us.”

By the power of Your grace,
remind us that Your love knows no national boundaries. Give counsel to
world leaders so they may never again declare an unjust war; help all
peoples of the world overcome prejudice and poverty; inspire everyone
to work for justice so we may know true peace. And when we hear Your
call, give us the strength and wisdom to say, “Send us.”

Therefore,
O God, lover of us all, open our eyes to the bright future that is
before us! Give us the strength to labor with a lively faith. Send us
forth with a firm hope. Send us forth with a charity that knows no
bounds. Send us forth as one people, that we may realize the splendor
of Your creation now and forever. AMEN.

A couple of thanks and further links are available at http://www.paulist.org/boston/news/articles/dnc_benediction.htm.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 30 July 2004 at 7:10 pm by Nate

Odds and ends

First, a Sikh student at BC was detained and roughed up by the Secret Service, apparently because he was taking pictures of his campus and wore a turban on his head.  Disgusting.
UPDATE — 11.19 PM EDT:  One of the local netword affiliates just
ran a story on the fellow, and it showed exactly the kind of shit he
puts up with every day.  The reporter’s mike picked up some person
in the background saying, “It’d be good if that camera was a machine
gun.”  They also noted that the female Secret Service agent asked
if she could search the fellow, saying, “I don’t want you to pull a gun
out of your turban.”

Second, the NY Times covered the money machine at the convention.  I’m still surprised that this somehow surprises people.

Third, Slate provides an analysis of the impact of the Kerry speech.

This aspect of the convention,
I saw.  The delegates are repsonsible to find their own money to
get here.  They aren’t on expense accounts (unlike many of the
journalists who covered the proceedings), and they’re here because they
are either committed Democrats or because they think they need to get
rid of the guy in office.

Not much mention of the gays at the convention.  I’m not
surprised, because parading the gays out in this sort of election,
especially after Bush’s freedom assault with the FMA, only makes a
loser of the party.  (And by the way, John Kerry’s position of
“marriage no, civil unions yes” offends my ethics.  Again, I know
he has to get elected, but unless he’s not saying that he’s separating
religious institution from civil institution here, he’s advocating a
form of segregation.)  Yes, most Democrats support gay rights and
gay marriage.  Yes, gays are an integral part of the base of the
party (with a few exceptions).  Yes, they barely mentioned
us.  Yes, the LGBT side of things seemed fairly low-key. 
It’s as if all the gay people decided to be quiet about who they are so
that the Dems can win.  Would I have liked to see more?  Of
course.  So, was I expecting anything else?  Of course not,
I’m a pragmatist.  And I want to see the Dems win too.

And now I’m gonna try NOT to blog for at least a few hours, so that my
BF can have a real birthday, even if it was really yesterday. 
Happy Birthday, Brian!

Posted in DeeEnCee on 30 July 2004 at 2:29 pm by Nate

Viva la France

Apparently, we’re not just media darlings here and in Germany (lots of Germans in Blogger Row this week).  The French like it too
Now who wants to bet that some French graduate student is hard at work
deriving the next great social theory, based on blogs or
something?  Baudrillard for blogs….

Posted in DeeEnCee on 30 July 2004 at 1:42 pm by Nate

“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”

Or that money is involved in a Democratic convention.  Or in any political activity.

Iraq War Reader, written by Micah, posts about the money involved in the convention.  He writes more here.

Folks, don’t have any illusions.  You need a lot of money to make
a modern political campaign work, and when you can put the donors and
donees in close proximity to one another, the exchange is fast and
furious.

‘Cause without the money, as my American politics colleagues tell me,
grassroots efforts and such have only marginally more effectiveness
than doing nothing.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 30 July 2004 at 1:25 pm by Nate
29 July 2004

Miscellany

Sorry that what follows is so brief, but it’s all happening pretty fast now.

The sign brigade people are incredible.  The tag line of the
moment is, “America can do better.  And help is on the way.” 
And they have a set of signs out there on the floor already. 10.44 PM

Alan (of command-post) and I note that the applause lines — at least
in the speech as written — are getting walked on in the cheering
that’s happening. 10.48 PM

Hey, the bloggers just got our line!  “So now I’m going to say
something that Franklin Roosevelt could never have said in his
acceptance speech:  go to johnkerry.com.” 10.50 PM

Just because my schtick here is the religion and politics beat: “And
let me say it plainly: in that cause, and in this campaign, we welcome
people of faith. America is not us and them. I think of what Ron Reagan
said of his father a few weeks ago, and I want to say this to
you tonight: I don’t wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has
given me values and hope to live by, from Vietnam to this day, from
Sunday to Sunday. I don’t want to claim that God is on our side. As
Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God’s
side. And whatever our faith, one belief should bind us all: The
measure of our character is our willingness to give of ourselves for
others and for our country.”  10.53 PM

Bono!  They’re playing “Beautiful Day.”  God, I love U2!  10.56 PM

And here come the balloons!  11.00 PM

It’s a strange, surreal sea of red, white, and blue balloons and
confetti in here.  It makes the view from up here in the balconies
even more strange, as it obscures out view to the stage with an odd fog
of detritus.  11.09 PM

“Johnny B. Goode” has become the theme song of the convention, and we’re experiencing it once again. 11.10 PM

Front page of newspaper shot: Emma Claire Edwards standing there
holding a big red ballon about the same size as her.  11.12 PM

I’m signing off for the night.  It’s been 25 minutes and the balloons and confetti are still falling….  11.25 PM

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 11:51 pm by Nate

Reclaiming patriotism

The middle section of the speech — about the military, national
security, the 9/11 commission — provides the explicit design for how
the Democrats are and will attempt to neutralize any attacks from the
Republicans that they are against America.

Also, there’s been a lot of Biblical language and evocation of Lincoln and Kennedy in the speech.

More coming….

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 11:40 pm by Nate

Republicans barely get mentioned

It’s lines like this that get the crowd going but which also exemplify the tone of the convention:

Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing
complexities – and I do – because some issues just aren’t all that
simple.  Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
doesn’t make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make
it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn’t make it
so.

And as President, I will bring back this nation’s time-honored
tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we
want to, we only go to war because we have to.

The Republicans are never mentioned directly.  The focus is on the
particular policies of the current administration, speaking of the
problems the Democrats see with the Bush presidency only by saying how
Kerry will do things differently.  What I mean is that he lays out
what he will do in terms such that it’s clear what the problems of the
“other side” are, but only by their explicit absence.

Stong lines:

And we will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists.

To all who serve in our armed forces today, I say, help is on the way.

I think we’ll see much more of “backdoor draft.”

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 11:30 pm by Nate

In the middle of the speech

We just got to this line:

I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us
into war.  I will have a Vice President who will not conduct
secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. 
I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice
of our military leaders.  And I will appoint an Attorney General
who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States.

They love it here.  This is a party who will go out and fight tooth and nail for this man.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 11:21 pm by Nate

Ramp-up to the big speeches

I think that much of the build-up to the nominee’s speech comes from
what we see and hear in the convention hall before Kerry (or Bush, at
the RNC) comes on to the platform.  We get riled up (even people
like me who aren’t too prone to getting easily excited over politics)
and in the mood to see what the big speaker has to say.

But those of you out there who are not watching PBS’s or CNN’s or
C-SPAN’s coverage probably are not getting the same feeling that we
here are getting.  I think you can get
I think that much of the build-up to the nominee’s speech comes from
what we see and hear in the convention hall before Kerry (or Bush, at
the RNC) comes on to the platform.  We get riled up (even people
like me who aren’t too prone to getting easily excited over politics)
and in the mood to see what the big speaker has to say.

But those of you out there who are not watching PBS’s or CNN’s or
C-SPAN’s coverage probably are not getting the same feeling that we
here are getting.  I think you can get that feeling over the TV
broadcast, but you need more context.  I certainly remember the
feeling of Mario Cuomo’s speech at the 1984 DNC.

Point is, for those of you watching the major networks, it’s sort of as
if John Kerry dropped unannounced into your living room, without any
particular reason why.

Posted in DeeEnCee on 29 July 2004 at 11:04 pm by Nate