As billed, I was at the podium at 4:00, ready to change the discourse in our nation. Well, it may take a little more than that. I presented a rant-free version of the post below which tried to highlight the fallacies in Obama’s argument. My co-panelists were Juan Cole – who gave a wonderfully off-the-cuff rundown of Dick Cheney’s pathology and the Oil Connection, John Mearsheimer – who predicted an Apartheid state in Israel [sounded more of a statement of fact rather than a prediction, to me] and Dennis Perrin – who tried to make light of our current predicament, thankfully!
I didn’t get many questions but I didn’t expect to. It was gratifying, however, that tons of people introduced themselves to me over the weekend, and told me how much they appreciated my remarks, asked what they could do to help. I had no good answers. The section of my remarks about the Lawyers was the best ‘eye-opener’. Just the fact there is a middle-class, a professional middle-class in Pakistan was astounding to many. That this middle-class was out rioting in the streets for Justice was revelatory. One lawyer I spoke to said with a look of wonderment, “If a Lawyer picks up a rock…”. Such is the state of our media that we don’t even know that Pakistan has a middle class that shaves.
Any warm glow dissipated at the Presidential Leadership forum where Bill Richardson and John Edwards wholeheartedly agreed with Barack Obama. Edwards recounted that he met Musharraf and had a conversation during which Musharraf claimed that all of Pakistani children go to a Madrasa. Uff.
I had some conversations with the Obama campaign and gave them the text of my remarks and my slides. Maybe something will come of that – but I doubt it. Obama does not seem too keen to realize his mistake at the moment – Let Them Burn Flags.
I attended both Clinton and Obama’s smaller Q&As with the Kossacks. Hillary is quite the Presidential but Obama is very charismatic, quick on his feet, and has a great vibe about him. Impressive.
In general, YearlyKos reminded me of all the tech conventions that I attend – white, middle-aged with suitable floral printed attire, and hair that defies treatments known to humanity. Word is that they will change the name to Netroots Convention or something boring. Good luck with that.
I have a case of the Mondays which will only be cured when I settle in to watch Bourne Ultimatum later tonight. Do you know that Bourne’s alter-ego is a professor of Asian Studies? Yes, think on that.