Your DNC Hangover Bromide


Still suffering from your post-DNC hangover? Me too! So today’s column – a political 6pack –  is your hair of the dog.  Hopefully it’ll prove therapeutic for both writer and reader alike. Here are 6 DNC parting thoughts I’m eager to put into words so I can forget about it (for another 4 years.)

6) Jill Stein people at the DNC. Where do I start? As a charter member of the Attention-Hungry-Contrarian Alumni Association, I how how intoxicating media attention can be. And let’s face it, the whole (overblown) Bernie or Bust phenomenon was like catnip to the press. And for a few days Jill Stein and her supporters gave the universe a glimpse at what really makes them tick (hint: it’s the attention!) So for realistic progressives wondering how to talk to Jill Stein purists, my advice: you don’t. Leave ’em alone and let ’em sober up and detox from the adrenaline that came with their antics last week. If that came off dismissively, then I’ve made my point.

5) I lost track of how many times I ran into an old friend/colleague/rival at the DNC who’s now working for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign. Picture it; ME:  Hey (X) how are you it’s been ages!? THEM: I’m great! Working for Phil Murphy. ME (mostly sincerely): Congrats on finding someone who can afford to pay you what you’re worth!

Phil Murphy will have a hard time getting the county line anywhere in NJ and that’s gonna be a tough obstacle to overcome.To his credit tho, he smartly hoover’d up the Fancy Watch Class of advisors early on. Now he’s populating his ground game squad with very solid rank-and-file talent. And that matters, because it’s the grunts down the payroll who actually win elections.

4) Size matters. You literally could not help but notice Steve Sweeney’s massive campaign sign on display at the NJ delegate hotel. His would-be gubernatorial rivals (Murphy, Steve Fulop etc) also had signs as did NJEA and several event sponsors. But all were dwarfed by Sweeney’s visible-from-space colossus. How big was it? Large enough to contain all the others with room to spare. Why was it so big you ask? You’ll have to ask him yourself. Dr. Freud was unavailable for comment.

3) This is (hopefully) the last time I’m gonna write about PSE&G’s desire to have their cake and eat it too. In PSE&G’s case they’re trying to brandish their pro-LGBT bona fides at the same time they’re funneling thousands of dollars to anti-gay politicians who make the actual laws that oppress gay people. PSE&G’s financial support of Steve Sweeney’s breakfast last week set off a firestorm that might have been easily quelled but sadly still festers on account of PSE&G’s tone-deafness and indecision.

Sweeney boycotted his own breakfast to protest PSE&G’s anti-gay connection. Good on him. And in fairness, it’s possible Sweeney was unaware of PSE&G’s policy of contributing to anti-gay politicians like NJ Congressman Scott Garrett as part of their “business agenda.” But that doesn’t explain PSE&G’s public silence on the apparent contradiction of supporting their LGBT employees  while bankrolling the politicians who oppress them. PolitickerNJ spoke off-the-record with several legislators involved in last week’s contretemps and none were overly impressed with PSE&G’s reaction which was to basically say “Sure, we routinely gave money to an avowed hater, but what’s the big deal? We do lot of nice things for our gay employees and we support LGBT rights in principle.”

Which is a lot like saying “Oh what’s the big deal? That pie only contains 1% dog poo but the rest of the ingredients are organic!”

{Note to PSE&G: we don’t want your 1% poo pie.}

2) One name rarely heard the entire week at the DNC: that of Chris Christie. Sure, he came up from time to time, but only incidentally and always in a mocking tone. For a man who once loomed larger than he should have over these events, the specter of Chris Christie’s irrelevance almost made up for the whole PSE&G buzzkill. Almost.

1) You could hear a pin drop when George Norcross entered the packed ballroom to attend Steve Fulop’s morning DNC breakfast. That’s no surprise. There’s no love lost there. But what was surprising was Norcross’ post-breakfast reaction to Fulop’s speech about (mostly) veterans. Big George was not impressed “because (Fulop) tells people what they want to hear and he patronizes people.”

It was a bizarre characterization of a presentation by Fulop primarily devoted to veterans issues. Things like getting our vets involved in politics and crafting policies with veterans and their families in mind. General Wesley Clark even keynoted! You’d think that sort of thing was universally popular but it rubbed George Norcross the wrong way just the same.

The speech might have been patronizing had it come from someone who never served in the military. But Fulop actually did serve, in the US Marine Corps, and so when he talks about veterans issues he does so with a degree of authoritativeness that frankly most folks in the room lacked, self included.

There was nothing patronizing about it.

Jay Lassiter is an iconoclast, tech savvy media artiste, street warrior for LGBT liberty and marijuana reform, and an un-intimidated presence if the halls of Trenton power as he aggressively pursues liberal causes. He’s often at brunch and always on twitter @Jay_Lass.

Your DNC Hangover Bromide