Monday, May 24, 2010

We are not weinies. We are Dems.

Are Wyoming Democrats weinies?

No. We take our licks, persevering against overwhelming odds. Repubs outnumber us 2-to-1. At gatherings, we often admit that we are Democrats, risking public humiliation. In 2008, we made thousands of phone calls and knocked on many doors to utter the name "Barack Obama." Very few of us were cursed at or beat up for our troubles.

But there were signs at tonight's Laramie County Democrats' meeting that we're not the champs we think we are.

Bryon Lee is Wyoming's Organizing for Obama chair, the only full-time paid Obama person within 97,818 square miles. He's from Gillette and now lives in Sheridan. He's been traveling the state to find Democrats grumbling about Obama and Gov. Freudenthal and lack of Dem candidates and even the horrible spring weather which must be Obama's fault. Sometimes he arrives at meetings to find tumbleweeds rolling through an empty room. A sad state of affairs.

He and six like-minded Dems waded into a Sheridan rally of some 250 Tea Party people a few weeks ago. They were hoping to serve as an antidote to the usual fawning media attention give to teabaggers.

They got it. Name-calling -- commies! socialists! When Bryon applauded the mention of Obama's name, he was shoved by a Tea Party goon. "You assaulted me," Bryon said. The menacing crowd closed in. Fortunately there was a reporter there and the incident ended up on the front page of the Sheridan Press.

The moral of this story -- nothing happens if you don't show up. Also -- don't let the teabaggers have all the fun.

Speaking of showing up -- Organizing for America is holding a meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Windflower Room of the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne. Bryon will be there to talk about organizing for the 2010 elections.

The weinie issue continued when Ken McCauley spoke. Ken is an Air Force combat veteran and now flies big passenger planes for a living. He put together a presentation on national security because he was upset about wording in the 2010 Wyoming Democrats platform approved at last weekend's state convention in Casper. Ken distributed a handout that looked to be from PowerPoint (I'll ask him if it's available online and provide a link to it).

WyoDems adopted the following phrase in its platform:

"Wyoming Democrats support a foreign policy that reflects and promotes the principles of freedom, human rights and compassion without the use of force."

I'm a peacenik and even I couldn't believe that a phrase like this ended up in the party platform. I spent most of the 2004 state convention trying to get "U.S. Out of Iraq" planks in the WyoDems' platform. I received a smattering of support but the votes were overwhelmingly against the efforts. Maybe it was my Dennis Kucinich T-shirt that turned off the John Kerry multitudes. Maybe it was too soon to openly oppose a war that hadn't yet turned into its "extremely ugly" phase.

At last week's Casper convention, Ken tried to replace the platform statement with a hastily-worded one of his own:

"Wyoming democrats support the suppression of domestic and international terrorism that threatens U.S. security. We support the promotion of stable world democracy, safeguarding nuclear material, and worldwide reduction of WMDs."

His suggestion was ignored by the conventioneers.

So he put together his presentation and tonight offered a revised version, borrowing wording from Pres. Obama's recent speech to West Point cadets:

"Laramie County Democrats support combating the root causes that lead to terrorism, and we support the Obama administration's efforts to disrupt and dismantle known terrorist organizations so that legitimate and peaceful leadership can prevail in areas that spawn terrorism."

There was a spirited discussion. A motion was made to adopt the statement as a resolution. It passed unanimously.

We are not weinies. We are Dems.

1 comment:

bigfrank said...

At least Wyoming isn't a total entitlement state like all those other broke states. Sure hate to earn something yourself just better to have the state give it to you and make the other hard-working folks work harder.