Grassroots politics….kinda like makin’ sausage but in this case we progressives are setting the agenda!

Here’s big talking Art Torres addressing the California State Executive Committee regarding Senator Dianne ‘I luv Bush’ Feinstein’s continuing problems with being a ‘Democrat’:

And here’s my comment in the thread:

Graphic evidence of the rot which has set in… (0.00 / 0)

…in the CA Democratic party. The man’s body language and rhetoric scream authoritarian to the viewer.

But maybe that’s just me. Let’s go to the beginning of his admonition to us mere citizens. He says that Senator Feinstein is listening to us.

Well…she appears to be listening now that we’ve managed to make her voting record public to many.

The idea that she was ‘listening’ to the voters when she voted for Southwick…when she spoke lovingly of Mr. Bush in SoCal…when she voted for wiretapping every American is Mr. Torres laughable if it were not so sickening.

The idea that she would consent to appear at citizen’s meeting is also risible. She is one of the rulers and as such does not do such demeaning things.

As for Mr. Torres appeal to avoid damaging the Democratic ‘brand’ by providing ammo for the Republicans I say this, ‘Mr. Torres take your stupid meme and put it where the sun don’t shine. The way to avoid Republican attacks on Democrats standing up for progressive values is to not vote Republican…to not be corrupt in your votes which affect you husband’s business interests..to frankly stop acting like a Republican and act and vote like a real Democrat.’

Pathetic excuse making which does nothing to advance the progressive agenda. But then that’s not Mr. Torres’s job….
Is it.

Here’s what happened to Eden James and Julia Rosen of the Courage Campaign when they showed up at the committee to support his organization’s motion to censure Senator Feinstein for being ‘out of step with her
constituents:

I entered the California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee meeting room with Eden James, Courage Campaign’s Managing Director, bearing our sign and easel. We found a free space at the front of the room and set up the sign.

Almost immediately, Resolutions Chair John Hanna approached us, demanding that we remove the sign. Eden politely asked if there “was a rule” against signs in the meeting rooms. Hanna replied “yes.”

Kathy Bowler, CDP Executive Director, then calmly approached me, stating that the sign should be removed because the room was getting full and she had staff she needed to get into the room.

John then grabbed ahold of one side of the sign, attempting to remove it from Eden’s hands. Eden, maintaining his hold on to the other side, repeated the question to John about whether a rule existed against signs inside the meeting room. John said “yes”again and Eden asked to see the rule, saying that if there was an actual rule against signs inside the room — he would respect it.

Increasingly angry, John threatened to call security. Eden, surprised, calmly responded that John “should go ahead if that’s what you want to do.”

Suddenly, Hanna then shoved his side of the sign and Eden at the same time, forcibly pushing Eden backwards. Eden held on. John shoved again, then pushed Eden’s shoulder back with the palm of his hand.

Stunned, Eden let go of the sign as John ripped it from his hands and threw it to the floor. An unknown person then picked up the sign and sprinted it out of the room, taking it to the staff room (according to Kathy Bowler).

This is the Last thing that we wanted to happen. And Eden is one of the most peaceful, non-aggressive people that I have ever met. It was shocking to see his calm, determined words met by violence.

The goal of bringing the sign into the room was to provide a visual representation of the large number of people, clubs and groups supporting the resolution to censure the Senator.

Our purpose in continuing to discuss moving the sign was to get a clear reason and clarification of the rules surrounding bringing in signs. If a rule was presented against posting signs, we would have respected it without question. And indeed, we would have entertained a discussion about its removal due to space issues.

We are shocked and shaken by this turn of events and so are many others. It is extremely disappointing that something as simple as trying to bring a sign into a room (that lists organizations supporting a resolution) can escalate into physical violence.

Eden and I want to commend Kathy Bowler for her professionalism throughout this incident. John Hanna’s conduct, on the other hand is shocking, upsetting, and completely inappropriate.

This resolution should be addressed on its merits. No matter what side you are on, this discussion does not deserve to be marred by physical violence.

The entrenched power structure is freaking out because people, people just like you and me, are showing up at their organizational meetings and demanding that they not only be heard but that their concerns be addressed. I know Eden and he’s the sort of citizen activist the Democratic Party should be ecstatic to have in it’s ranks not the object of some party hack’s violence.

Here’s Frank Russo’s post on this event with a comment by me.

I hope you will see that so far only a few people have invested their time and energy to participate in this most basic of political acts: Getting involved and, further, that these folks have had a pretty impressive impact. I hope you will consider joining us.

Come to the next meeting.

Make a comment on the blog.

Get involved now because the opportunity for real change is real but will not last if we fail to push for change….

As hard as we can.

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