JABbering Stooge

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

DemocracyFest 2005

While I didn't get to go to all three days of DemocracyFest 2005, I did get to go to the main event - a star-studded rally at Stubb's BBQ that started at 6:30 PM for DemocracyFest attendees, with regular folks like me gaining entrance an hour later. The whole event was amazing - lots of good food, good music, and good politics.

Highlights include:

Columnist Molly Ivins, who was already speaking by the time I was allowed into the event. While listening to her speak, I decided to get food, so I didn't actually see her in action, but I was able to snap this photo:

Later, I was able to get closer to the stage and capture the following images:

Radio commentator and populist agitator Jim Hightower

Dallas county sheriff Lupe Valdez

My State Representative (who I worked to help elect), Mark Strama

Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

But the highlight of the evening was the (earlier than scheduled) appearance of one Howard Dean, head of the DNC.

Several audience members (myself included) were handed signs that read "Dean Speaks for Me," which we all waved vigorously at every applause line (in particular, his counter-jab at Darth Cheney's "only Dean's mom liked him" line).

In a stirring speech that included a jab at "Tex" Sensenbrenner's DeLay-esque fund-raising trips ("See? He can make lists, too!"), Dean laid out a multi-faceted strategy to take back our country (which, of course, our local fishwrap, the Austin American-Statesman didn't cover in it's one-paragraph blurb buried inside the Metro & State section):

  • A strong national defense, bolstered by a consistent, humane foreign policy that recognizes the validity of the "Flies, Honey, Vinegar Principle."

  • Solving the health care crisis in this country, because people can't be very productive unless they have access to the same health care our congresscritters and the CEOs enjoy.

  • A sane, balanced economic policy that widens the circle of prosperity to all who participate in the economy (from the fancy-pants elitist CEO on down to the lowly worker).

  • Reclaim the morals debate, because the only people Jesus didn't like were hypocrites (I'm looking at you, James Dobson!) and because Jesus cared for the poor, and thought that one should pay their taxes ("Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's," and all that rot).

Afterwards, Dean had a brief, impromptu autograph session - signing everything from copies of his book You Have the Power to the dinky little paper "Dean Speaks for Me" signs. The session was necessarily brief because Dean had a plane to catch (places to go, clones of his mom to see...).

With the exciting part of the festivities concluded, I left the party.

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