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"You Lie" The California Edition

by: Brian Leubitz

Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 22:00:00 PM PDT


PhotobucketAssembly Member Tom Ammiano is a San Francisco Treasure. Always has been and always will be. But Tom Ammiano is special. He's hilarious. He's passionate. He's progressive. He's just Tom Ammiano.

And this brings me to the San Francisco Democratic Party annual gala, or the nerd prom as my friend Beth Spotswood likes to call it. All was going well, a smidge boring, but Former Assembly Speaker/Da Mayor Willie Brown got up on stage to really take it up a notch.  Brown let the crowd know that he had another offer on the same night for the President's Cup dinner, a PGA event, that featured Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton and the Governor. The event just so happened to be in the same hotel.

The remark about the Governor being in the building brought a smattering of boos, as you might expect from a Democratic audience.  But the event continued on as expected, dinner was served. And as people were just finishing dinner, we began to notice something of a commotion.

And there he was, the Governator.  On our turf. In the San Francisco Democratic Party event. This wasn't the Assembly Chamber. This was a raucous Democratic Party event.

He was talking with Willie Brown and his entourage for a while. And then, former SF Board of Supes President Aaron Peskin brought him up on the stage.  As he began to talk, Asm. Ammiano yelled out "You LIE."

The Governor began to say a few words about how he heard that the Democratic Party event was in the same hotel as a chorus of boos and other random hissing noises rained down upon him.  I, of course, was taking pictures with my cell phone.  Apparently the Governor felt that he should visit the Democratic event because he "sleeps with one every night."  And then proceeded to tell the room that he was "post-partisan" and that he didn't care whether you were a Republican or a Democrat.

And as he continued, Asm. Ammiano still couldn't believe this man was up on the stage at a Democratic event.  The San Francisco Assembly Member yelled something to the effect of "kiss my gay ass" as he left the room.

But the more interesting part was when Tom Ammiano accepted an award, the SF DCCC Trailblazer Award, from Willie Brown. Ammiano began by praising Brown's excellent record on LGBT issues. And then continued by hinting at their differences in the past.  And then he proceeded to bludgeon the Governor's record. He questioned why he was holding bills hostage to get a bad water deal. He questioned why a Governor who has vetoed the Harvey Milk Day bill would stand up in front of a room that was at least 25% LGBT. He politely asked Mayor Brown to send a message to the governor to sign the bills already.

And finally, Senator Mark Leno closed the proceedings for the evening.  Leno took a different tack than Ammiano's passion. He simply stated the facts. He said that the events of this evening were all funny and stuff, but the fact is that this Governor had cut state workers salaries by 15% with the furloughs. This Governor wanted to cut IHSS salaries to minimum wage. This Governor illegally used the line item veto to slash funding for domestic violence shelters. And that he, and the Senate Democrats, were going to fight him tooth and nail.

And to a loud applause, Leno stepped off the stage and the crowd began to thin.  And everybody was saying, "um, wow."

I'm still trying to collect my thoughts from the evening, so I apologize if the order is slightly skewed or I missed an important point. Feel free to add anything in the comments if you were there.

Brian Leubitz :: "You Lie" The California Edition
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Thanks for the reporting (0.00 / 0)
He questioned why he was holding bills hostage to get a bad water deal. He questioned why a Governor who has vetoed the Harvey Milk Day bill would stand up in front of a room that was at least 25% LGBT. He politely asked Mayor Brown to send a message to the governor to sign the bills already.

And finally, Senator Mark Leno closed the proceedings for the evening.  Leno took a different tack than Ammiano's passion. He simply stated the facts. He said that the events of this evening were all funny and stuff, but the fact is that this Governor had cut state workers salaries by 15% with the furloughs. This Governor wanted to cut IHSS salaries to minimum wage. This Governor illegally used the line item veto to slash funding for domestic violence shelters. And that he, and the Senate Democrats, were going to fight him tooth and nail.

And to a loud applause, Leno stepped off the stage and the crowd began to thin.  And everybody was saying, "um, wow."




k/o

Okay (0.00 / 0)
Nothing wrong with what came afterwards, but the people that had to shout out when the Governor was speaking were simply rude.  One of the basic tenets of the Democratic party is the belief in orderly discourse and discussion with our political opponents.  If someone like the Governor finally deigns to reach out just a little bit, he deserved to be treated with courtesy.

I couldn"t disagree more (0.00 / 0)
This was a private gala for the Democratic Central Committee to celebrate our accomplishments and honor our leaders, much of which revolved around work to stop the inhumane policies of the California Republican party and its leader, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  It was rude for him to crash into this private party function unannounced and uninvited.  And it was was nothing more than a childish publicity stunt designed to allow Arnold to continue fooling the media into believing that he's bipartisan, post-partisan, or whatever he wants to call it.  I fully support Tom Ammianio for calling him on his B.S. and attempting to shout him down from the stage.

If Arnold truly wants to reach out, he has plenty of opportunities to do so.  Yet, he continues to maintain his "my way or the highway" approach to policy.  Crashing a private Democratic party gala is not the appropriate time for him to decide for the first time to "reach out."


[ Parent ]
There was a better way. (0.00 / 0)
Yes, it was rude for the governor to crash into a Democratic event.  But that doesn't justify treating him rudely in response.  There was a time and a way to demonstrate fierce disagreement with his policies -- and yelling at him while he was attempting to speak was the wrong way to go about it.

Responding to rudeness with politeness (or at least a lack of yelling) is a sign of strength, not weakness.  It would have been better to respond to the governor's unexpected entrance with silence, followed by setting the record straight after he left.

The principle that rudeness justifies rudeness is part of what drags politics down into an ugliness that many people simply reject and want to have nothing to do with.  


[ Parent ]
Fuck that (5.00 / 1)
Arnie has been sticking a hot poker in the Democrats for years. and yet we're supposed to play nice?

I suppose that sort of Democratic mindset of "please republicans fuck us over some more while we be good little kids" worked once upon a time, but these people are literally trying to destroy our state and our President.

You may like playing nice with people who want to kill you, I'm proud of any Democrat who kicks these assholes in the teeth and says we're not gonna take it anymore.


--
www.gregdewar.com


[ Parent ]
He was invited to speak by the former Speaker of the Assembly (0.00 / 0)
Who has stated that he checked with the people running the event first.

[ Parent ]
Not so sure (0.00 / 0)
As with everything Da Mayor says, I'd take that with a hefty dose of salt.  I watched the whole thing go down, and I assure you there was no "checking with the people running the event" before Arnie took the mic.  

And so you really think that the Democratic County Central Committee would invite the Republican Governor to speak at their "Onward to Victory" Gala.  The victory of which they speak, of course, includes taking back the Governor's seat from Arnie.  If you seriously think that the DCCC approved inviting Arnold to this event, I've got a great deal for you on a bridge in Fresno.


[ Parent ]
While I agree with you that shouting down people is rude (0.00 / 0)
I've watched Marcy Winograd and other progressive activists do the same exact thing to people that agree with them on 95% of issues.  It's not just limited to political opponents.  The booing, hissing, back turning and other childish histrionics that occur from the left and right coarsen debate in this society.  

We have facts and logic on our side.  We don't need to act like Philadelphia Eagles fans.  


[ Parent ]
oh? (0.00 / 0)
"we have facts and logic on our site" and yet the crazies and the people who want to de-legitimize our President are winning.

How's that whole "logic" thing working out for you? Kinda the way Neville Chamerblain got "peace in our time" with You Know Who.

--
www.gregdewar.com


[ Parent ]
The crazies aren't winning; in fact, they are driving people away from the Republicans. (0.00 / 0)
Your data is wrong.

The most recent polls show approval for Obama increasing again, and disapproval for the Republican Party at mind-boggling highs.  Rush Limbaugh has a 19% approval rating (CBS, March 2009).  Sixty-eight percent disapproved of Congressman Joe Wilson yelling at the president (USA Today/Gallup).

And Barack Obama made it all the way to the White House by not screaming back at people who were screaming, but deploying facts, inspiration, and patience to win in the long run.  And he's going to do it on health care, too.

The Democrats must not follow the screamers.


[ Parent ]
Hep me (0.00 / 0)
"One of the basic tenets of the Democratic party is the belief in orderly discourse and discussion with our political opponents."

Link?

Try as I might, I can't find that particular tenet in Democratic Party literature. Of course it may be there. The volume of Democratic Party material just in my in box alone is daunting.

So. If you could be so kind. Much obliged.


Try these (0.00 / 0)
"It is the manners and spirit which preserve a Republic in vigor.  A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats into the heart of it's laws and constitution".

                       Thomas Jefferson  

"Our political faction is united by the uncompromising belief in civil political discourse.  We must never use calumny to disparage our opponents, but trust in the people's wisdom to see through any attempts at deception."

                       James Monroe

A general dissolution of manners and principles will surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of a common enemy.

                      Samuel Adams

We must never forget that all Americans regardless of party are our neighbors and their opinions should be treated with respect.  We must never accept the tactics of our fascist foes that try and win arguments by shouting louder than their foes.

                       Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But of course my favorite comments on the subject were a Republicans Abraham Lincoln who in his first inaugural called on Americans to remember that they were friends, not enemies and called on all citizens to be guided by the "better angels of their nature".   Sadly he was ignored, but I think the words are still a good goal.


[ Parent ]
Da Mayor should have known better (8.00 / 1)
I'm all for being polite but this event was not the place for the Governor to show up and expect a warm welcome. It showed poor taste on both his decision to take the mic and for our MC to invite him to do it.  

willie being an asshole? (0.00 / 0)
who told?

Willie is an asshole, he bankrupted the city and he's a corrupt liar. he can take his collaborator ass back to Texas and go to Hell!

--
www.gregdewar.com


[ Parent ]
Arnie can go fuck himself (2.50 / 2)
God Bless Tom Ammiano!

Arnie can seriously go fuck himself. I don't give a shit who he's banging, he's still a world class asshole and a fucking liar.

And as always, "Where was Gavin Newsom?" Oh right, running around being a douche and pissing on the DCCC. The DEMOCRATS in his OWN FUCKING CITY.

--
www.gregdewar.com


Bravo Tom!! (0.00 / 0)
On behalf of my friends who have seen their life-saving HIV meds cut by Der Terminator himself, let me just say that if anything, his outburst was too mild.

"You lying murderer" would have been a good start. Along with, perhaps, a reference to the fact that he vetoed same-sex marriage -- TWICE.


Not Holding My Breath (0.00 / 0)
"Senator Mark Leno closed the proceedings for the evening.  Leno took a different tack than Ammiano's passion. He simply stated the facts. He said that the events of this evening were all funny and stuff, but the fact is that this Governor had cut state workers salaries by 15% with the furloughs. This Governor wanted to cut IHSS salaries to minimum wage. This Governor illegally used the line item veto to slash funding for domestic violence shelters. And that he, and the Senate Democrats, were going to fight him tooth and nail."
These are the same Democrats who served as "enablers" for the governor in passing one of the most obscene, repressive budget agreements in California history. These are the same Democrats who cut programs for the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, while refusing to fight for things like a tax on oil production.

There were some Democrats--very few--who had the courage to stand up to the governor, the speaker, the president pro tem and the Republican ideologues.  But for the most part, they all blinked.

If that's an example of what Sen. Leno calls "fighting tooth and nail," I'm not holding my breath that they will undo the governor's damage.


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