There are people who stand up and scream and yell at meetings. Yeah, I can do that, but why expose myself as a complete nut.
There are people who wait their turn during the citizen comment portions of meetings before they rant. That is generally more my style.
Sometimes there isn't the opportunity to speak at a gathering to say something important. You can hold a sign to broadcast yourself. I've done that. You become part of the human wallpaper of the event (there is absolutely nothing wrong with being part of the human wallpaper).
Last weekend at the Progressive Summit in Harrisburg Arlen Specter spoke. I have a real problem with him being the candidate for our party's Senate Seat (see: this-is-matter-of-self-respect).
I am not going to scream and carry on, signs are too bulky, there is no place to air your gripe at this gathering.
So I stood with my back to him silently for about the 40 minutes that he spoke. A couple of people wanted me to move out of their way, and I held my ground (I told them later at the bar what I was doing and they got it and we were cool.)
Some reporters snapped shots, and people asked me what was up after the gathering broke up. Here is a link to the interview that was done afterwords:
When the interview was concluded, Specter passed by me and we shook hands. I don't think he's a bad guy. I just think it is not proper for him to be my Senator as a Democrat.
When he first came over I wrote a letter to the editor of the local Republican rag that got printed. In it I said that Specter changing uniforms may be a pretty good deal. This guy was supposed to be a master politician. We don't find people with this type of acumen and 30 years Senate experience every day. As long as he's a Dem we can make the best of it.
As the first week of our new Senator went on, it became clear that he forgot to negotiate any decent position before changing his registration. Gone were the 30 years of seniority in an instant. Gone was the leverage that Pennsylvania would have, because he panicked about poll numbers 18 months in advance of a general election. So much for experience and acumen.
Then he stood at a press conference and had the audacity to say he would not be going along with everything the President wanted. What was more amazing was both the President and Vice President were just feet away from him. It is ok to be independent - you just don't need to jam it in Obama's and Biden's faces.
I accepted long ago that Obama is the boss. Specter still doesn't know what uniform he is wearing. A couple of weeks ago he was on the Smerconish' Show in Philly where he made a crack about the President going to China with his hat in his hand. That is language that makes the President look weak. I call up, got through and gave it to him. He plays for the Democratic team now. You don't take shots at the boss, period, end of story. President Obama is taking enough garbage from the right - he doesn't need it from the rear too.
I am not going to jump on chairs and scream, it may be more effective to silently stand your ground. Stand with me.
By the way, the Pennsylvania State Committee will be meeting this weekend for an endorsement for the Senate Race.
I will be posting the results of that ballot - with the names of who voted for whom next week.