DENVER--This is another tale of two conventions. I posted earlier from Denver on how Democratfest felt to me just like the 1976 Republican Convention in Kansas City where Gerald Ford narrowly squeaked by Ronald Reagan to win the nomination. No, in Denver there is no contested nomination as there was in Kansas City. But Sen. Hillary Clinton's presence weighed mightily and at times it felt like there were two Democratic candidates at the convention.
Uber-libs and party regulars seem completely blind to this and in fact seem to be trying to bury it down to the earth's core. Witness this post from left-leaning Salon.com's Rebecca Traister on a PUMA (or Party Unity My A**) protest:
But this is how media fantasy gets made, a miniature tableau of political discord, played out in front of a couple of well-placed television cameras and a television host who finds fetishistic, hyperbolic meaning in everything having to do with the defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her still-sore supporters.
I spoke at a panel with Traister, one hosted by the Women's Media Center, and found her to be a thoughtful person (and gifted writer). But her pro-Barack Obama leanings blind her to reality. She portrayed the pro-Hillary, anti-Obama protesters as a hysterical, PMS-ing minority. True, at the convention Obama folks dominate. But a look at the polls and in discussions with honest pro-Obama delegates in Denver, it's clear Democrats are worried and they have plenty to worry about.
A Gallup poll out this morning shows Obama wins more points from voters than McCain on handling of economic issues and in terms of "caring" about voters' problems. But he falls way behind on the question of leadership and on voters' questions about whether he can handle the job of Commander -in-Chief. Meanwhile, as I posted earlier, conservative Democrats are still not behind him, and guess what: There are more conservatives in this country than liberals. Guess what again: Clinton's supporters are more conservative than Obama's.
This race is far from over. But as I've noted repeatedly, liberal Democrats ignore and belittle conservative Democrats at their peril.
By Bonnie Erbe