Yesterday I spent 9 hours in a crowded, hot, school gymnasium for my district’s Democratic Party Caucus. It was very rewarding, inspiring and pleasantly exhausting and, it renewed my faith in the system.
The turn out was enormous–nearly three times what they were expecting! Apparently people on the left are so ticked off by the incompetence of the current administration, that they turned out in droves at the precinct caucuses and now at the district caucuses. Party members also donated record amounts of money and volunteered by legions. And perhaps the turn out will be very heavy all across the country. I think the strategists of Shrub’s reelection campaign had better worry about this! Apparently if you irritate enough people, they will get political and they will remove you, if only to stop apologizing for your stupidity around the world!
Anyway, here is another thing that I think is remarkable–an example of how the left is finally recapturing the center again. There was section of the party platform with inflammatory wording about withdrawing from the WTO and NAFTA. This was challenged, amended and changed to support reform of and opening up of these organizations for the public all participating countries–not withdrawal from them. Finally some rational heads prevail on the left! This from one of the most radical, left-wing districts in the city. This from the city that gave us the WTO demonstrations of 1999 (Which I took part in as the token moderate who supported the reform and opening of these organizations, not the abolition or withdrawal from them. Global trade is a fact folks–better to reform and steer it toward beneficial ends for global labor and the environment than to shun it in disgust and fear.)!
A lot of people were harping on Bush’s economic record and failure to contain deficits. Could it be? Is it possible? That the Democrats are the party of fiscal realism and responsibility again?
On the other hand, the Dennis Kucinich supporters were able to get nine delegates to send on to the Congressional District and State Caucuses and they added several key pieces to the platform, so we haven’t lost those further to the left either. This year, we close ranks!