Monday, November 19, 2007

Beyond Protest: when distraction hurts.

The Grist / LCV Presidential Forum on Energy and Climate Change is being touted as a triumph. In some respects, it was. After all, it was the first time that such a forum was held on this particular topic.

It was also an embarrassment. The fact that only three of the Democrats showed up and none of the Republicans bothered, shows that these issues do not figure into the political calculus being calculated by the pundits and consultants that swarm around candidates like yellow jackets on a soda can. You can add the fact that they description of this forum keeps using the word "green" and they never bothered to ask about the Green Party.

But more specific to my Title is the way that this particular presentation was disturbed by a protest. According to Grist's Dave Roberts...
When Clinton came on stage, there was persistent, boorish booing from one part of the crowd. Said boo-er, in the middle of Clinton's remarks, stood up and started shouting about something or other. He was quickly dragged out by the police. Turns out he was a member of the activist group Code Pink, which is trying to end the Iraq war by showing up at events, yelling and screaming and annoying the bejesus out of everyone, discrediting the anti-war movement and progressive activism, and generally engaging in futile acts of moral onanism.
I had to look up "onanism" as I am more accustomed to using Woody Allen words to describe this mode of giving yourself pleasure. But then, I did catch the evening news and there was a recognizable Medea Benjamin handing out literature as Hillary walked in to a San Francisco fund raiser last night. It is obvious that Code Pink has made a decision to hound Hillary for the rest of the campaign. I wonder who they do support, and whether they are walking precincts to convince people to elect that candidate, or if they are only interested in bring Clinton down.

In the case of the Forum in LA, the protest grabbed media attention and the ideas did not. That tells me that Code Pink does not care about whether people can make an informed decision about Global Warming. They have a single issue focus and the future of this planet is not on the list.

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