Rancho Mirage Common Cause Panel
I attended the Rancho Mirage Common Cause panel today, called "Uncloaking the Kochs". My Minuteman Dad-- who left XXXXX and became a US citizen due to socialism-- went with me. Robert Reich had to cancel due to illness but Van Jones (pictured) was there, along with Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean of UC Irvine law school) a guy from Think Progess, and DeAnn McEwan from California Nurses Association union (the ones that sponsored Nicky Diaz, the illegal who killed Meg Whitman's campaign).
The crowd was very quiet, polite and surprisingly older than I expected, with lots more grey hair than I see at Tea Parties. My 86 year old Dad even noticed! And, even though many were bussed in from LA and San Diego, the crowd had fewer "people of color" than I see at Tea Parties, though I noticed that they tactically put minorities up front in their outside, public protest speeches. There was also a lack of energy compared to Tea Parties I have attended across the country.
The panelists focused on how bad the conservative Kochs are because they have billions of dollars and are "spending it on causes that help their own bottom line". The focus was on the old playbook language of vilifying the evil corporations ("corporations are not people!"). Lots of talk about how bad the Citizens United case turned out. They were also upset that the DISCLOSE act didn't pass (thank God for the Constitution). Funny, Van Jones was blaming Washington for unemployment, as though his guy Obama has nothing to do with it!!!
The CNA nurse was the most extreme, tugging at emotions about how an asthma patient died "due to air pollution" and how the Kochs are "holding the pillows over patients' faces" in their support of Prop 25 (to kill CA's cap & trade law). Civility, anyone?
I asked the left-wing blogger next to me (I was posing as a progressive) how to answer the right's charges of hypocrisy, since the progressives have billionaire George Soros. Her answer: it is not the amount of money, it is the causes that they spend on. So big money in politics is okay with them, as long as it is on their side!!!!
One speaker said that the Coachella Valley Tea Parties (plural?!) are supported by the billionaire Koch groups like Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity. Let's get our hands on those big bucks, eh?!
Main observation: I was struck by how dis-spirited these people are, especially after the Nov. election. They are truly scared of the Tea Party and kept helplessly and naively asking: "what do we do now?!" and "we don't have any money for our cause!!!!". I thought these folks were way more organized and funded than I witnessed! Not to rest on our laurels, but it was almost embarrasing as they grasped at how to energize and organize themselves. The blogger next to me admitted that Common Cause had NO next steps planned to battle the Kochs. Then they proposed an old-fashioned Koch boycott idea, which the blogger cynically shrugged off. These progressives' lack of energy, confidence and strength shocked me, given that they have the media, the White House, Soros, Hollywood, trial lawyers, the entire CA government and the unions! Van Jones even referred to "being sad and defeated" as a "typical progressive trait"!!!! Is this possibly true?!!!
Outside, my Dad and I had to laugh as the protest signs went by, vilifying Wall Street. Don't they know that Wall Street is on the left now?!
Hope this helps all see that conservatism is making a huge difference, even in CA!!!! But we must keep up our good fight and not relax anywhere, any time...