…in bigger-than-life projection was an extended trailer for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, which played to a nearly instantaneous standing ovation. In addition, the conference screened other documentaries, some innocuous (The Motherhood Manifesto, featuring Rosie the Riveter balancing a baby on her bicep) and others not (Iraq for Sale, whose name is self-explanatory).
Down below, on the concourse level, signs flanking entrances into the Hilton’s 45,000-square-foot exhibition hall and its vendor booths read, “We know what to do: Impeach him.” On top of NOW, NARAL, ACORN, and the ACLU (which still contends it is nonpartisan), there was the Backbone Campaign, which sold miniature spines to discourage purchasers from engaging in yes-man, convictionless support of their politicians.
Attendees cautious of “establishment politicians” also seemed to be looking for signs of spinelessness at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday in the Hilton’s International Ballroom, a classy combination of contemporary architecture bathed in florid adornments. That’s when Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi were to begin their back-to-back-to-back speechmaking.
Before the main event, two graying, hippie-looking men in the third row hoisted a handmade banner that read, in all caps, “IMPEACH BUSH.” (This was becoming the unofficial theme of the week.) Wild applause erupted, and several people nearby, energized by their proximity to this agitation, felt compelled to stand in solidarity and raise peace signs. This horrified the conference leaders, who discouraged such displays and constantly reminded attendees, whom they treated like mischievous children, to “be respectful.”
Not a pretty picture. That’s why I suspect that the Donkeys are going to be disappointed again this fall.