What most of Netroots Nation 14 missed.
Since around here at Daily Kos if you're not crystal clear about what you're saying, too many people get all funky and keyboard spew before fully reading or reconciling what they think you said with what you actually
said, let's start with a few disclaimers:
1) I love Elizabeth Warren. My greatest Netroots Nation memory is spending nearly 20 minutes sitting, face to face, talking to her. Discussing the foreclosure crisis, the legal strategies lawyers like me had tried and were trying out here in California to attack the predators, and the arguments one might make to create primary-residence cramdown rights in Bankruptcy Court. Before she became a Senator. Becfore she even decided to run for Senator. This diary has nothing to do with how I feel about Senator Elizabeth Warren.
2) I dig Vice President Joe Biden. He speaks off script and I like that. But he ain't perfect, and I am still bloody furious with him about Anita Hill. I also resent that his status at Vice President created huge delays at NN14 that had panels and the reception before the keynote address starting really late on Thursday afternoon. (Thank you Secret Service - NOT). But this diary has nothing to do with how I feel about Vice President Joe Biden, either.
3) This has nothing to do with Netroots Nation 2015 being in Phoenix, how I feel about that decision, or the Netroots Nation Board or staff. The decision to write this diary, as those who were with me in Detroit can confirm, was originally made on Friday morning, that's how angry I was. It was before most of us learned of Markos' viewpoint on the locale of NN15. Before I made clear that if he wasn't going to be in Phoenix, neither will I. It has nothing to do with the Board/staff of NN, either - they can't control what conference attendees choose to do, or not do, with their time. And in this case, NN did what anyone could have reasonably expected it to do to encourage activism at the conference.
4) This has nothing to do with the only direct political action (aka sponsored protest) that, to my knowledge, has ever taken place during Netroots Nation--the March and Rally that took place on Friday July 18 in support of the residents of Detroit's demand for renewed access to a fundamental human right - water. I have lots of feelings about that. I feel rage at the BS arrests by the Detroit PD and genuine joy about Netroots Nation's public sponsorship of the rally. And more. (Of course it didn't stop the majority of the approximately 3,000 NN attendees deciding they'd rather get lunch or schmooze than turn out in solidarity, such that only 250-300 attendees bothered to join the March--even less stayed for the Rally afterward--despite Netroots Nation attendance being at least 2,500 strong that day.) But this diary has nothing to do with my feelings about all that, either.
Actually, to be honest, it does have to do with my feelings about one aspect of (4). You see, the comparative lack of participation by NN 14 attendees as I note in (4) is a symptom of the problem this diary IS about.
Disclaimers over. Here is what this diary IS about:
The failure of the denizens of Netroots Nation to show support of, and interest in, the ONLY activist keynoting at Netroots Nation in 2014. The only one who is actually organizing, mobilizing and taking direct action as opposed to politicking, campaigning and punditizing.
It is about the attendees of Netroots Nation, for the most part, showing the most fundamental disrespect (through their absence) of one of this nation's true progressives:
Dr. Reverend William Barber, leader of the Forward Together (formally Moral Mondays) Movement.