Blue Collars, Pink Collars, Red Necks – Class & Race

ZOMG but I think this article is great:

Long before the end of the Democratic National Convention, commentators and African-American civil rights activists were situating Obama’s nomination in the long trajectory of Black political struggles. Surely Obama’s addresss would address claim this history–after all, he was to give his speech on the very anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Obama had barely spoken when some commentators like Cornel West on Tavist Smiley’s talk show expressed astonishment at the veiling of blackness. Indeed, the convention was virtually shorn of any possible contamination by blackness.

Watching the official video about Obama, one might think black was simply a variety of white, an odd variant, perhaps, resulting from the mixing of Hawaiians and Kansans. No doubt deadbeat dads don’t deserve accolades or prominence, but the sheer absence of any reference to Kenya, the land of his father’s birth or even a photograph of his father was strategic. And every fleeting scene showed the Illinois Senator shaking hands with white constituencies that, according to conventional wisdom, might not be trusted to vote for a black man: the blue-collar workers, old white men, old white women, white farmers. Were it not for the occasional black person, one would think Obama was running for President of Idaho.

Obama’s book about his father, as many have noted, sets out to discover a father only to arrive at a mother. Put another way, go searching for blackness, and what you actually find is whiteness.

After all, the absurd question of a year ago “is he black enough” has proven the wrong question. Obama made this point himself when he noted that the election was ” not about me, it’s about you.”

That’s right. Obama’s race is not about Obama. In his video, he was either putting white people at ease, or alone, gazing pensively, sitting studiously, almost unable or unwilling to look at the political world around him. The real focus, instead, was on you, the non-black viewers and voters, who were granted the freedom to revel in their own transcendence of race without painful and annoying reminders of unresolved racial problems. MLK became “the preacher” of long ago, his color and cause unmentioned. Obama”s race became an “unlikely characteristic,” a statistical improbability. Chicago’s South Side became a marker of public service, not a disastrous failure of US racism.

It’s not surprising then that the cameras repeatedly gave us earnest white faces gazing at Obama. ” This isn’t about me, it’s about you” It’s not about where Obama came from, but about the satisfaction that whites might take in voting for a black man. If the final speech, a tour de force of rhetorical blending, to be sure, has been praised to the rafters, it is because it was liberal race-porn. It was the spectacle of tens of thousands watching themselves overcome their own discomforts about race. White voters’ love for Obama is really a love for themselves. A love for their own liberalism which has transcended race and evident in their voting for an African-American. A reassurance to them that America isn’t racist any more, while voting for Obama means that they don’t have to think about racial injustice. They don’t have to think abou the one million African-Americans incarcerated because of laws that favor the privileged or the crime of driving while black. To a generation of young white voters who can rebel against their overtly racist parents, it is an embodiment of living in a post-racist society.

Geraldine Ferraro and others tried to make this argument, but the resentment with which they fumbled toward this insight left them rightly condemned as creepy speakers of America’s racial code.

The McCain campaign understands this dynamic, too, and has been struggling for a way to answer. The day after Obama’s speech, they rolled out their own strategy in the form of Sarah Palin’s elevation.

Liberal commentators have been quick to condemn McCain’s pick as a cynical ploy to draw disaffected Clinton supporters to the Republican camp. Such criticism naively misunderstands the new racial code of this election. McCain is not assuming, in devious Rovian fashion, that he can trick unthinking voters into voting for a woman. Rather, he is offering an escape for cynical non-blacks resentful of their historical situation. They were about to face an election in which they had to finally admit they would not vote for a black man. But now McCain has offered them a palatable way out: now voters do not have to say they prefer McCain to Obama, they can say that they are actively supporting a woman.

Read the rest here

I’ve been perplexed by the notion that many white, blue collar Americans, including “older” white women, won’t vote for Barack Obama because of his race.  Since these voters were supporters of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, and President Clinton’s “base” included very loyal Democratic African Americans who moved to become supporter of Obama quite slowly, it makes little sense that working class white America would be unable to overcome racism to vote for him.  It takes a more nuanced understanding of “redneck” America to understand what might be happening and, perhaps, terribly belatedly, for the Democrats to respond in time to win the election.

See this post at Anglachel and the post at Once Upon a Time … for more analysis and comment on this issue

Joe Bageant has good analysis on the “redneck” issue as well, as I’ve said before

UPDATE:  Also, have a look at this article, recommended by Anglachel

Equal Pay USA

From the New Yorker:

She was an ordinary middle-class mom who, despite fierce criticism, succeeded in a male-dominated profession. She challenged the local establishment and became a national figure, earning herself a spot as a featured speaker at her party’s recent Convention. But she wasn’t the governor of Alaska. She was a woman named Lilly Ledbetter, a former middle manager at a Goodyear plant in Alabama, who appeared at the Democratic Convention to give a human face to the slogan “Equal pay for equal work.”

Ledbetter’s unlikely journey to center stage began in the late nineteen-nineties, when she received an anonymous note revealing the salaries of her fellow-managers, all of whom were men. Although Ledbetter did the same job as her colleagues, and had more seniority than some of them, they were all being paid considerably more than she was. Ledbetter sued, under the Civil Rights Act, and proved that her lower pay was the result of discrimination early in her career, the effects of which had never been remedied. But victory was short-lived; the verdict was overturned on appeal, and then the Supreme Court ruled against her. The Court did not deny that Ledbetter had been discriminated against. However, according to the Civil Rights Act, Ledbetter’s lawsuit had to be filed within a hundred and eighty days, and the Court ruled that the clock started ticking with the first act of discrimination, almost two decades before Ledbetter found out what was going on.

Ledbetter was out of luck. But the Court did leave open a possibility for others like her: if Congress wanted a more realistic time frame for lawsuits, all it had to do was change the law. And so, acting with surprising dispatch, that’s precisely what Congress tried to do. Last year, the House passed a bill, named after Ledbetter, that essentially did away with the statute of limitations on pay discrimination, and the Senate was set to do the same until Republicans filibustered it to death.

Read the rest here

Bush Crimes, the Body Politic & the Dems

Gary Younge at The Guardian on the Dem and Rep conventions, the crimes of George W. Bush and the complicity of Democrats:

… the conventions do not just mark the beginning of a new presidential cycle but the passing of an old one. The fact that this administration has been criminally incompetent is now the stuff of water-cooler orthodoxy. The fact that it has been plain criminal is not. But it should be. Under George Bush the US has tortured, disenfranchised, lied, spied and, on more than one occasion, flouted its own constitution. Those who would not go along were fired or demoted. Those rulings it could not garner support for it simply classified or hid. Those inquiries it could not prevent it thwarted. When Major General Antonio Taguba tried to pursue his investigation of Abu Ghraib up the chain of command he was stopped. “I was legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority,” he told the New Yorker.

Its violation of international law is ultimately a matter for the international community. But its violation of American laws is a matter for the American public. However, it is now clear that the political consequences of these transgressions will range from negligible to non-existent. The Bush administration should be led away in handcuffs – either indicted or impeached. Instead it is about to leave the scene of the crime in broad daylight while those tasked to police this democracy – notably politicians and the press – blind themselves with confetti.

Those who regard impeachment as merely a vindictive attempt to adjudicate the past display a chronic lack of imagination. True, it is not going to happen. But that makes it no less morally compelling or politically relevant to argue that it should. Trying to look ahead without acknowledging how you got to where you are is a surefire way to end up wandering around in circles. And the last place the Democrats want to be is where they were. [emphasis mine]

Take voter registration. Around this time last year the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, was forced to resign amid allegations of perjury before Congress over his role in the politically motivated firing of seven attorneys. They were replaced by what his then chief of staff referred to as “loyal Bushies” on the advice of the White House. Five of the fired attorneys were in battleground states. They had irritated local Republicans by refusing to bring voter fraud cases targeted at loyal Democratic groups because of lack of evidence.

The congressional hearings were a farce. Gonzales said he “could not recall” more than 71 times in one day. Clearly he hoped we would forget too.

But in a year when voter rolls are swelling with the expectation of an unprecedented turnout it is crucial that we remember. A few weeks ago John McCain’s campaign attorneys attended a national training session for Republican lawyers on election law, which included a session on identifying and responding to instances of voter fraud. Despite the justice department’s own studies showing that voter fraud is extremely rare, Republicans are gearing up for mass intimidation in minority areas on election day. If the election is close expect to see Florida 2000 replayed from Virginia to Nevada. And if the challenges go to court, Gonzales’s “loyal Bushies” will be there to hear the cases.

Such are the lasting consequences of Bush’s crooked tenure. Casting him as inept and unethical is not difficult. He is the most unpopular president for six decades. Some have been loathed more – but none by so many for so long. But understanding how he managed to do it demands a wider lens.

For he could not do it alone. The US is not an elected dictatorship. The president is supposed to stand at the helm of a system of checks and balances. The reason there was no balance was because there were no checks. The real problem with the Bush years is not so much that he did what he did, but that he managed to gain the consent of America’s political class in enabling him to do it. His political estrangement is not because he tried, only because he failed.

This has more or less been conceded by none other than the leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who voted against the war in Iraq. When asked recently by the Nation why she took impeachment off the table before the 2006 elections, Pelosi answered: “What about these other people who voted for that war with no evidence … Are they going to be voting with us to impeach the president? Where are these Democrats going to be? Are they going to be voting for us to impeach a president who took us to war on information that they had also?” In other words, for the Democrats to impeach the president they would first have to implicate themselves.

This is not to say the Democrats were equally culpable. But they were differently responsible, and cowed by accusations of lack of patriotism most of them abdicated that responsibility.

Asked to explain the administration’s use of torture, the director of the 9/11 commission, Philip Zelikow, said: “Fear and anxiety exploited by zealots and fools.” But there is, it seems, no price to pay for being a zealot or a fool in power. America will no doubt be anxious and fearful again some day. And for all the ceremonial hyperbole of this convention season, there is little to suggest that when that day comes the fools and zealots won’t once again come out on top.

Read the whole thing here

I noted on another occasion that I believe Gerald Ford’s failure to prosecute Richard Nixon for the crimes he committed when in office was a tragic mistake, if only because it failed to establish the precedent that presidential crimes would be taken seriously and may have led Dick Cheney and George Bush II to believe they could do whatever the hell they wanted.  That, apparently, is still true.  To let Bush/Cheney walk away from their crimes will be another crime against the people of America.

And see Dean Hammer’s call for a “Truth Commission”

I guess it was incredibly naive of me to think that the Democrat’s convention was going to be a shout out of truth to power.

Silence Isn’t Golden

Glenn Greenwald on what didn’t get said at the DNC:

During that time [the last eight years], our Government has systematically tortured people using sadistic techniques ordered by the White House; illegally and secretly spied on its own citizens; broken more laws than can be counted based on the twisted theory that the President has that power; asserted the authority to arrest and detain even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and hold them for years without charges; abolished habeas corpus; created secret prisons in Eastern Europe and a black hole of lawlessness in Guantanamo; and explicitly abandoned and destroyed virtually every political value the U.S. has long claimed to embrace.

Other than a fleeting reference to such matters by John Kerry in a (surprisingly effective) speech which most networks did not broadcast, one would not know, listening to the Democratic Convention, that any of those things have happened. Even our unprovoked and indescribably destructive attack on Iraq, based on purely false pretenses, has received little attention. Those things simply don’t exist, even as part of the itemized laundry list of Democratic grievances about the Bush administration. The overriding impression one has is that the only things really wrong during the last eight years in this country are that gas prices are high and not everyone has health insurance. Those are obviously very significant problems, but they are garden-variety political issues which don’t begin to capture the extremism that has predominated in this country under GOP rule, and don’t remotely approach conveying the crises on numerous fronts the country faces.

Read the whole thing here

These are the things that have affronted the conscience for eight years and I’m damned pissed off that no one really went after Bush for his crimes.  I pretty much started blogging because I couldn’t bear my own silence about these crimes.  I didn’t think the DNC would be the place where anyone got called to task for any of this.  But it’s still unforgiveable that it wasn’t.  Silence is complicity.  The only complicity required of us.


Katrina survivors, three years later:

“That’s President Bush hugging me. See how tightly he’s hugging me?” It was the chilly end of 2006 in Baker, Louisiana, when Lena Beard asked me this, proudly waving a newspaper clipping my direction as we talked in her still-temporary home. The fading photo, taken the same day the mother of two took refuge on a mattress in a church after Hurricane Katrina, had served as proof after the levees burst that she was going to be okay. “I’m a veteran who has served my country and put my life on the line. I believed my country would take care of me and my family,” she said.

Read the rest here

And from Norman Solomon in Denver, some thoughts on the soundtrack that accompanied the Democratic National Convention, something that I thought about quite often myself since these conventions are, above all else, pieces of American entertainment:

Not to read too much into the soundtrack of this convention, but the music — presumably selected as carefully as the visual décor — is part of the political experience.

On Wednesday night, delegates swayed or even danced to “Love Train.” And when Bill Clinton appeared on stage, “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)” accompanied him yet again. In this context, it was ironically enough a song that looked back to a long-gone yesterday — to when it instantly became his signature tune at the 1992 convention. Then, watching the controlled pandemonium inside Madison Square Garden, I couldn’t help thinking of another sweet and catchy Fleetwood Mac melody, the one that goes “Tell me lies, tell me lies, tell me sweet loving lies.”

We might prefer for such matters to mean next to nothing, but they’re big weaves in the media-wired tapestry of what we call American politics. And, all cerebral and analytical notions aside, mass-marketed American politics is largely fueled by — and aimed at — emotions. The morning after the night when Barack Obama formally won the party’s nomination for president (“by acclamation,” courtesy of Hillary Clinton), I’m left most of all with sensations of feelings that propelled the Democratic Party’s last night inside the unfortunately named Pepsi Center.

And the rest is here

Here’s another comment from Solomon about the way the Obamas had to reassure Americans that they’re just “regular” Americans themselve:

Michelle Obama’s speech went over very well inside the amphitheater. I liked it OK, but it saddened me that so much focus had to be poured into trying to convince viewers that an African-American family is fully part of the United States of America and fully part of the human family.

[UPDATE:  I just found this comment on Michelle Obama’s speech at 3quarksdaily and it fits right here.  So here it is:

If the practical entered the picture, as it must, at the level of planning and detail, it was only in the service of something grand. Michelle Obama delivered a powerful and deft speech, telling the story of her family and attempting earnestly to define herself for strangers. Except that she was also responding in a very precise way to criticism made of her in the past, and this open act, because it was being performed on such a big public stage, threatened each utterance by exposing its fragility.

I understood this more fully only when I came out of the Pepsi Center, and a friend of mine, who is black and a writer, sent me a text message from upstate New York saying that Michelle’s humanity had been diminished that evening: the white majority had imposed on her the view that she could be considered acceptable only if she said nothing critical of her own country.]

Kevin Drum on John McCain’s choice of running mate:

Well, Palin just managed to get a crowd of 10,000 Republican die-hards to throw up a huge cheer for Hillary Clinton. That’s a first.

This whole thing is crazy. Various conservatives and TV talking heads, now that they’ve gotten used to Palin, seem to be working hard to dig up reasons why she’s the most brilliant choice ever. She’s a reformer, her son is headed to Iraq, her husband is a union member, anybody with five kids knows how to handle pressure, she’s popular with Alaska voters, women are going to love her, etc. etc.

Look, call me a partisan hack. Whatever. But I’m just stunned by the cynicism of the whole thing. I’m sure Palin is a fine person, loving mother, devoted wife, learning her way as governor, and so forth. But a heartbeat away from the presidency? Someone with virtually no serious political experience, and no serious experience of any other kind to make up for it? She’s going to shake up Washington?

I don’t know how she’ll do on the stump or in the debates. Maybe she’ll be great. Who knows? But a potential leader of the free world? You gotta be kidding.

The choice of Palin is a cynical one.  But I’m not sure what everyone expected.  Obama’s choice of Biden was surely cynical as well.  I think the choice of Palin was also a stupid one and that surprises me a bit, but it shouldn’t.  Check out Werther’s view of such bad choices, posted last night here

Here’s what Stephanie Mencimer has to say about Palin:

John McCain may think that Alaska governor Sarah Palin will help him pick off the Hillary voters, but the fact that she went back to work in April three days after giving birth to a premature baby with Downs’ Syndrome has already got women buzzing on the web with questions about her judgment and priorities. Obviously 2008 is a lot different from 1992, when Hillary, who wasn’t even running for office, was heavily criticized for her decision to pursue a career after having a child. But even in these more enlightened times, women on both sides of the political spectrum may frown on Palin’s decision to hit the national campaign trail at this particular time of her life. (And of course, we’ll all be wondering: will she bring her breast pump?)

UPDATE:  As I’m sure you know by now (Sept 1), the Palin “baby talk” has gone nutso.  Check this post for some good links to a more mature conversation.

And that would represent my own Sarah Palin sexism watch, #1.  I don’t know the circumstances of Palin’s life, the division of labour between herself and the father of her children or what other childcare provisions she’s made for her children, from within and outside her family.  I’m not gonna judge her on that one.  I know plenty of female lawyers who were back at work within days of giving birth.  They all had good reasons, or reasons they thought were good, and none of their children were unprovided for.  I thought men were supposed to be parents too.  Though I don’t know for sure, it would really surprise me if Palin’s baby wasn’t very well cared for.  My worry would be the toll this choice took on Palin.  But that’s her responsibility and her choice too.

And this newspaper article, cited by Mencimer, validates my belief that she is a devoted Mom with good support from the father of her children.

Here’s John Nichols on the choice of Palin:

She’s a smart, edgy pol who is exceptionally popular in Alaska and has a story that the national media will enjoy telling almost as much as it does McCain’s.

The rest is here

Refer back to Normon Solomon’s sadness about how the Obamas have to prove they’re just regular Americans, with personal stories just like “everybody else’s”.  That, for one thing, can’t be true.  If America truly is the only country in the world where a story like Obama’s could occur, then surely “American stories” are diverse and complex.  As is Palin’s.  As is McCain’s.  I don’t know if it’s true that American’s demand these homogeneous, patriotic stories.  But I am sure that these are not the stories that we should really care about.  And, WTF happens to the issues when it’s “the story” that takes precedence?

[UPDATE:  I think Heather Gehlert’s post at AlterNet provides the best analysis I’ve read of how Palin’s “story”, and other things, could give the Dems more than one big pain – here]

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan stimulated precious little comment during the Democratic convention and what comment there was fom Obama and Biden was very very far from reassuring.  Tom Hayden writes about the suppression of freedom of speech in Denver and expressing concerns about the state of the “peace vote”, here:

The most significant question coming out of the convention is whether the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party will back away from their antiwar position to the traditional comfort level of domestic economic issues. This is written before Obama’s speech, but the pattern of the week was disappointing for those wanting to hear the antiwar message.

The whole thing is here

John Kerry spoke up. The moving Steven Spielberg film reminded us of the cost to veterans. There were frequent throwaway lines about “responsibly ending the war.” Joe Biden finally pointed out that Obama was right on the issue of setting a deadline, but then dampened that theme with a ringing call for war in Afghanistan.

There are only two reasons why the Democrats want to expand the war in Afghanistan, and it is unclear which is worse. If it is merely political, to avoid an “antiwar” image, it will disappoint millions of peace voters. If it is actually substantive, it represents a choice to bog down the United States in an expanding empire of wars and unwinnable quagmires.

The antiwar movement thus faces critical choices: on the one hand, to throw themselves into the campaign for Obama or risk electing McCain, while also opposing the expansion of the wars to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama didn’t say a thing in his acceptance speech that was reassuring, reiterating his bad-ass scarey views about Iran, Afghanistan and now, Russia and Georgia.  He didn’t defend his vote on the FISA legislation, because he can’t.  And I don’t know how American women feel about his comments on the abortion issue, but they did nothing for me, since he focussed on contraception instead of coming out as fiercely as he should in support of the right to abortion secured by Roe v. Wade.

I really like this one:  Patricia J. Williams on “the sisterhood of the travelling pantsuits”:

So this is the kind of stuff rattling through my brain when Hillary Clinton spoke those fateful words. I looked at her well-constructed peach pantsuit and the pantsuits of the thousands of her well-heeled contributors on the floor, and thought: the night before, Michele Obama had worn a simple, single-layer sheath dress, appropriate for this weather, and a pair of low-heeled shoes. Elegant, confident and literally cooler. This thought, this contrast, made me stop my busy blogging about unity and the future and women as astronauts. I unbuttoned my jacket, kicked off my shoes underneath the press table. Whew, I said to myself. Hillary Clinton and I are trapped in the clothes of our generation.

I suppose there’s nothing like an election to turn the mind to fashion statements. And now that the party is at least nominally united, allow me this little digression upon the little-observed semiotics of what hell it has been for a woman of a certain age to dress for success. To some extent it’s not exclusively woman’s issue–the citizenry is often disposed to deciphering candidates’ positions on serious issues, ranging from the war to the economy, from the esoterica of what they wear. Cowboy-boot politics. Italian-twill twee. Plaid-shirt populism. Lapel-pin patriotism.

Read it here


Power of the Voter?

I thought Barack Obama’s speech in Denver last night was a very well crafted piece of political propaganda, and extremely well-delivered as well.  John McSame McCain will have to travel quite a distance to get out of the hole.  I’m mildly interested in the result.

The DNC, in general, provided us with four days of boring American exceptionalist manipulative cant.  At that place that used to be called Mile High Stadium, the producers and directors of Hollywood and big money music-land displayed themselves in all their tacky, goofy, sentimental, nationalist, sloppy glory.  I must admit, it was often humorous.  I’m not sure who the country and western singer was who interrupted the coronation of the prince at the end of the speech from the throne, but truly, it did make me laugh.  After I threw up.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if Pa, Hoss and Little Joe had ridden across the sky on their way to the Ponderosa, galloping along to the theme tune of “Bonanza”.  T’would have been fitting for, indeed, it was a Democratic bonanza.

Sheesh.  Glad it’s over and glad to find this post from the American Left with a solid discussion of the meaning of a citizen’s vote in the land of the free:

There is no more generally accepted truism in this country that the notion that exercising the right to vote is always a good thing. People and parties may seek to intimidate others from doing it, or make it difficult for them to do it, but the concept of voting itself is considered an act of personal participation and empowerment. Conversely, refusing to do so is a form of civic treason and submission.

But it is really that simple? Consider, for example, that we live in socioeconomically diverse country with over three hundred million people, yet we retain a two party political system that solidified itself in 1800, when the country had a population of just over five million, mostly white, black and rural. Does our political system now provide sufficient means of participation and electoral alternatives so that it can be said to offer an opportunity for most citizens to give expression to their values?

The question really answers itself, doesn’t it? Of course, it doesn’t. The dirty secret of this republic is that it relies upon millions of alienated, captive voters to participate in elections, and, hence, legitimize them, even though their issues, their concerns and their values are nowhere to be seen in the candidates offered by the Republicans and the Democrats.

So, if you are one of these people, why should you vote? We all know the answer to this question, too. Most of us in this situation vote as a reflexive self-defense mechanism. On the left, we know that the US is capitalist and militaristic, so we try to discern which candidates will pursue less avaracious and violent policies domestically and abroad. This is pretty much the line of reasoning of those who signed the open letter to Obama.

Unfortunately, even if you are smart enough to interpret the opaque and contradictory messages put out by the candidates on these subjects, and make the right choice, such a reformist approach invariably pushes one into a position of active collusion with the actions of the candidate once elected. If you were a fiscal conservative in the 1980s, you found yourself rationalizing the profligacy of the Reagan presidency. If you were a social welfare services supporter of Clinton in the 1990s, you found yourself having to explain welfare reform. Unless, you just said to hell with them, which some do in this sort of situation.

Read the whole thing here

Denver (Cops) Bullies

Those big, strong, tough cops in Denver with all their gear take down a CodePink protester whose crime was?  This infuriates me …

UPDATE:  Those Denver cops just can’t keep their hands off people – and it appears they haven’t done their sensitivity training –

Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel.

A cigar-smoking Denver police sergeant, accompanied by a team of five other officers, first put his hands on Eslocker’s neck, then twisted the producer’s arm behind him to put on handcuffs.

A police official later told lawyers for ABC News that Eslocker is being charged with trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. He also said the arrest followed a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel.

 Eslocker was put in handcuffs and loaded in the back of a police van which headed for a nearby police station.

Video taken at the scene shows a man, wearing the uniform of a Boulder County sheriff, ordering Eslocker off the sidewalk in front of the hotel, to the side of the entrance.  

The sheriff’s officer is seen telling Eslocker the sidewalk is owned by the hotel. Later, he is seen pushing Eslocker off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic, forcing him to the other side of the street.

It was two hours later when Denver police arrived to place Eslocker under arrest, apparently based on a complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel, a central location for Democratic officials.  

During the arrest, one of the officers can be heard saying to Eslocker, “You’re lucky I didn’t knock the f..k out of you.”  

Eslocker was released late today after posting $500 bond.  

Eslocker and his ABC News colleagues are spending the week investigating the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention for a series of Money Trail reports on ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson.”

There’s a link to video here

I don’t know what the by-laws of the City of Denver look like, but in my city, sidewalks are public property.

Hillary & The Press

Here’s a bit from an excellent article by Eric Boehlert on the inability of the press to treat Hillary Clinton like a human being:

What’s so startling in watching the coverage of the Clinton convention-speech story has been the complete ignorance displayed about how previous Democratic conventions have dealt with runners-up like Clinton. It’s either complete ignorance or the media’s strong desire to painstakingly avoid any historical context, which, in turn, allows the press to mislead news consumers into thinking Clinton’s appearance (as well as the gracious invitation extended by Obama) represents something unique and unusual. Something newsworthy.

Based on previous conventions, if a candidate had accumulated as many delegates and votes as Clinton did during the primaries and then did not have her name placed into nomination, that would represent a radical departure from the convention norm.

But, boy, in 2008, an awful lot of media outlets have played dumb. When covering the August 14 announcement about Clinton’s role in Denver, they miraculously forgot to make any historical reference to similar names-placed-in-nomination at previous conventions.

Read the whole thing here

via Shakesville