Jon Cummings: Welcome to the first installment in a Popdose political adventure that wonâ€™t require you (or us) to leave the computer! Hereâ€™s my little secret, Ted: A few months ago, on a whim, I applied to the DNC for a blogger credential that would allow me into the Colorado Convention Center. Would you believe the Democrats turned Popdose down? Fuckers. I blame Jeff, whom I identified as the bossman. Of course, the Dems invited me to come to Denver anyway and stake out a position among the thousands of other rejects in the â€œremoteâ€ blogging center. As if! Unless I can get face time with the chairman of the Mississippi delegation, why would I pay the jacked-up hotel rates when I can TiVo wall-to-wall coverage on CSpan?
Ted Asregadoo: When I found out that Joe Biden was asked to be vice president on the Democratic ticket, I was looking for jobs on the Internet. I’m one of the “real people” who’s been on the receiving end of our wonderful economic downturn. Yeah, I was laid off from my day job a couple of months ago. Fuckers. Why couldn’t our sales department do their job and sell our product? Why, oh, why couldn’t our potential clients ignore their declining receipts and just buy into what we were selling?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot how messed up the economy is. I almost forgot about the insane amounts of money we’re pumping into our two wars; wars in which thousands have died for … well, I think you’ve heard the talking points from the current administration. I almost forgot about the real estate bust. I almost forgot about the credit crisis. I almost forgot the high price of oil. I almost forgot how the culmination of these elements had the consequence of throwing a bunch of Americans into the realm of the unemployed. Like I said, I almost forgot. But there are too many powerful reminders to stave off the amnesia; too many stories of economic and political woe that can’t be ignored.
The reality is that I’m ready for an economy where the government doesn’t prime the pump with selective military contracts. I’m ready for a government where all the freedoms that nobody gives a shit about, until they give a shit about them, aren’t eroded. I’m ready for a government where xenophobia and bloodlust revenge for 9/11 aren’t the New World Order. I’m ready for a Democratic administration who is unafraid of standing to thwart these forces and not merely yelling “Stop,” but standing tall with conviction and understanding of who they are representing.
The Democratic Party is supposed to support policies and advocate, as John Mellencamp once said, for the simple man. You know, the simple man who pays for the thrills, the bills, and the pills that kill? It’s the word “Pays” that resonates. You, my friends, been sold a bill of goods where the spin masters, the so-called pundits, and elected officials have told you over and over that it’s the captains of industry, the elite, and the person who “has to meet a payroll” who are the elect, the saved, and the revered. We hear it so much that it has become internalized, to the point where those of you who punch the clock sometimes recoil in disgust at your plight. You look at your contribution to the economy as something that’s insignificant, because you aren’t the elect. You feel powerless in the face of forces you have no control over — but you pay in more ways than one. Or to paraphrase another pop cultural reference: You’re takin’ what they’re giving, ’cause you’re workin’ for a livin’.
These next few days are about nominating a presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. It’s serious business. Even though we’ll be doing our best to bring you the highlights with all the snark you expect, I wanted to remind those of you who give a shit what’s at stake in this election.
Jon: Jeez, thanks for the buzzkill, Ted! Sure, this week is about Change We Can Believe In, and rolling back the Bush years, and getting you a new job and all that, but itâ€™s also party time, liberal-elitist style!
For me, the biggest bummer about not being in Denver is the slate of after-hours rock and roll weâ€™ll be missing. Jakob Dylan and Fall Out Boy at the Rock the Vote gala tonight! The â€œRock to Winâ€ concert tomorrow night, featuring Melissa, Cyndi, Rufus and a bunch of other gay-friendly people! The Black Eyed Peas headlining for the Creative Coalition on Wednesday! (Because nothing says â€œSave the NEAâ€ like a celebration of Lovely Lady Lumps.) Kanye West playing a benefit for the ONE Campaign, also Wednesday night! Not to mention the outdoor indie-rock extravaganza, also Wednesday night, featuring Death Cab for Cutie, Cold War Kids, She & Him, Nada Surf and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! And, of course, a Rage Against the Machine antiwar benefit (fire up the tear-gas canisters)!!!! Not to mention the rumor that Bruce himself will be onstage Thursday night, serenading Barack as the balloons drop! Come on up for the rising!
Itâ€™s gonna be â€¦ itâ€™s gonna be â€¦ itâ€™s gonna be a giant, self-congratulatory music-biz/politico clusterfuck, is what itâ€™s gonna be. Iâ€™m too old for that shit anyway, so Iâ€™ll just spend my Wednesday evening sitting on he sofa and watching Bill Clinton and Biden get all red in the face.
Thatâ€™s where weâ€™ll be all this week and next, watching (or at least fast-forwarding through) every televised minute of the Democratic and Republican conventions so you donâ€™t have to. Weâ€™ll report on the major speeches, the punditry, and the general revelry, all from primo vantage points all around the convention centers (that is, wherever the TV cameras are positioned). Join us, wonâ€™t you? Itâ€™s your civic duty, after all.
Ted: Jon and I are ready to dissect, pontificate, critique, skewer, and even award points in this convention that comes around every four years. So, by all means, as Jon said, join us!
Jon: Tonight we ride!