Where the Elderly Roam

After going to the Frank Church Banquet on Saturday night (thank you everyone), I have a few comments (of course, right?).

Where are all the young people and when did the cryptkeeper and his minions become the entirety of the Democratic Party?

Yes, I know I'm a bit overboard with that, quite the exaggeration, but in some ways I'm serious. Where were the interns, the assistants, the upcoming family members of prominent Democrats? Where were the heir apparents?

Because while those that actually showed up with some energy on Saturday were rambunctious and apparently energized, there were way too many there that looked like they should be at home in bed before the sun went down.

Which led to a couple interesting conversations that some of us will be fleshing out over the next month or two and hopefully coming up with some new plans for this party's future. We need to get the youth interested enough to know and wecome the Democratic party's past and interested in building themselves and others into a future that we can also celebrate.

Now some of my more specific observations: Roark isn't a personality. He needs to stay away from the banquets and public faces of the Democratic party. He may be savvy, crafty, intelligent and ready to lead, but he's not very charismatic, I'm afraid.

Quanah Spencer of the Coeur D'Alene tribe was an incredible man, filled with energy and purpose. I look forward to his continued involvement with the Democratic party. Maybe some of you that are up north and familiar with him can give us more information.

Amy Wynn... I don't know what to say. She appears genuine, honest, and totally unaware of what her future will look like. Someone seems to have built her up, told her that she is invincible and said to go run for Governor. For the party to treat her as the golden girl, the woman of the moment and ignore the other Democratic candidates for Governor? Well, I think you'll be hearing more about that soon enough.

Walt Minnick..... I tried man, I really tried to see the good in your speech, I tried my hardest to actually listen, but either you said absolutely nothing or I slipped into a temporary coma at the sound of your voice and the laughter of the crowd at your seemingly unaware personality. I sure hope you hire some really really good campaign people.

The Larry's? They were polished and ready for the night. They played their parts and exited the stage gracefully.

Kos was Kos. He entertained, he energized, he only slightly chastised the Democrats and he played with a few humorous Republican issues. A plan didn't issue forth from his lips, he didn't call up 20 demons from the pits of the intertubes and he never ate a baby.

The rest was an uninteresting blur. But good job on the salmon dinner, whoever organized that did very well.

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Astute observations

and I agree with you about the youth. Although I did have a rather good time myself... and certainly didn't go to bed at a reasonable hour.... I think we may see more young people at the State Convention (unfortunately it may depend upon who wins the primary) and I did meet several young people who attended the banquet. I always urge them to jump in, take over, and run for something because they are the future. One reason for their lack of attendance may be the price, especially when they come from the netherlands of the state.

BTW, it was nice meeting you, however brief.

Youth

In all seriousness, there were a lot more young people there this weekend than when I attended the Frank Church (then known as the Jefferson-Jackson Banquet) as a college student in the 90s. I was definitely the outlier then.

I saw several of the current ISU College Democrats there this year, for example. True, it wasn't a young crowd overall, but it seems to be getting better in that regard.

Could it be as simple as...

.....banquets are boring? I mean, c'mon. I could barely stand it myself.

... and expensive

$75 a ticket is tough to take for many people.

It's also worth noting that a whole mess of local Obama organizers were in Texas this weekend, and that another bright young activist, TJ Thomson, was in DC to lobby for youth suicide prevention.

Read my post at RSR

for another perspective. I thought it was very cool that the party tapped several young stars to speak, including Amy Wynn and James Ruchti and Quanah from the CdA tribe. Of course, bink, you and d2 talked through much of what they had to say.

Despite Roark's comment about the 2010 "governor and her husband," I am not sure Wynn is being groomed to go for gov. There are other women who could run: Wendy Jaquet and Kate Kelly come to mind.

Agreed on the salmon: It was one of the better banquet meals I've had.

Quanah Spencer

Actually, I can multitask, despite the rampant rumor that it is impossible for men.

Was James Ruchti the guy that looks like Ed Norton? If so, I'm being nice in not saying anything at all.

And I did mention Amy, and if Amy Wynn is the future of the Idaho Democrats, we're in trouble. I like her, I think she is a great woman and could be seen as the new "momma" of the Democratic party, but I don't see her as Governor and I don't see her future in the Democratic Party surviving the mud slinging that the Roves of the Republican party can throw at her. I also took a great amount of umbrage at her introduction.

But as I've made clear, or tried to, I'm not a party man. I'm not one to see rosy glitter where there is nothing but choss and half baked plans of conquest.

Perhaps it was

Brian Cronin. In which case, I disagree. He did the best he could under adverse circumstances.

Overall, I'd say the banquet was OK. I didn't feel as energized and excited as I had hoped, but I'll take responsibility for that. On a positive note, it was wonderful to see all the people there! Great to meet McJoan and a few other bloggers I hadn't met before. The mayor's special auction was fun and added some welcome humor to the night - Walt Minnick so clearly did NOT want to put on the jacket! :) Nice to see Congressman Stallings receive a tribute - he deserves it. I liked the surprise from the Coeur d'Alene tribe. The food was OK, and the service for our table was great.

However, I left the party feeling discouraged by the glaring organizational issues that could have been avoided. (I know we're Democrats, but come on! How many years have we had this banquet? Will someone please write down a checklist for next year?)

So for what it's worth, here are a few suggestions.

1. Check people in in a way that makes sense. First, divide the tables into people who have paid / people who haven't paid. Requiring us to stand first in one line to pick up our packet, then in another to pay for it adds a lot of confusion and is way too time consuming. Second, divide those check-in points into sub-groups according to last name (A-E at the first table, F-M at the second, and so on). I stood in line for ten minutes, only to find that my auction number / packet had been given to someone else. We had no idea who because each volunteer checking people in had the same master list, and the person checking me in did not check in the person who ended up with my number. It was just gone. End result - I didn't bother to pay for my tickets on Saturday night because after the confusion over my auction packet, I couldn't bear to stand in that mass of confused people any longer. I just called the party this morning to pay by credit card over the phone.

2. Have the banquet in a place where there's enough room for all of us! Getting down to a hospitality room was impossible. I never even laid eyes on half the people I hoped to talk to.

3. Schedule the live auction before the keynote speaker! In fact, schedule everything else before the keynote speaker if you want the crowd to pay any attention to it. We had already sat on our butts for almost three hours when Kos finished. When he was done, people stood up and left in droves right before the big money maker of the night. Moreover, I sat and waited to bid on the last two live auction items, only to sit in amazement when the auction was abruptly stopped, with no explanation as to why. Very very bad call, and it left your auctioneers completely hanging. And poor John Foster - he deserved better.

3. The auctioneers should have some experience. If not, then only one person should run it. Brian Cronin does a nice job and would have been better off doing it by himself. None of us want to listen to that type of chit-chat at the end of a long night.

4. It was just TOO long. Boring, I expected, but my heart sunk when I saw that schedule. I'm not sure what to do about this, other than to plead and beg with those who are simply introducing others - remember, we didn't come to hear you! We want to hear from the person you are introducing.

"Governor and her husband"

fwiw, I didn't think Roark was talking about Amy Wynn either.

Comments

OK.... pop quiz time. Let's see how I do.

Brian Cronin resembles Ed Norton at a distance. Google-image search on 'brian cronin' and his picture is in the 2nd or 3rd row.

James Ruchti is someone I know well enough that I paid close attention to his speech.

Quanah: I missed whoever introduced him, but listened to him intently, and was impressed enough that I sought him out after the formal gathering ended.

So, while I mentally disconnected a few times, the only one you hit it on was Amy Wynn. I'd blame her style of extemporaneous speaking: fluffy, cliche'd, and redundant are the first words that come to my mind.

Call me self-congratulating, but seems I paid attention just fine...


Meanwhile, Serephin and I had never met Binky. I'm now doubly glad that I positioned him, Serephin and I as far from you on the table as we could manage, Julie. I did so because your styles are profoundly different and I didn't want to make Bink or you uncomfortable, but it now appears my night might have been a train-wreck if we hadn't had that big morass of campaign lit, accouterments and centerpiecery and an 8' table separating us. Having been to a few of these together, Serephin and I are patently aware (and quick to admit) that the best place for us to sit is in a rear table near the bar so we can drink, crack jokes, and observe without interrupting the night for others. Chris Oates, before he cancelled, insisted that he wouldn't attend if he had to sit up front at a 'bloggers table'. That's just who we are... I mentioned this to so many people, I'm sorry that I apparently didn't tell you.

Given the amount of effort I put into getting Bink to attend and given that Bink had arrived late and left early (baby-related reasons), I can't for a moment countenance apologizing that I spent every available moment making the most of the couple hours that I had to meet him, swap pics of kids, and get to know him personally, rather than only knowing him thru the filter of words on a blog. Like Tom Paine, his level of frustration with the party should be alarming you, rather than triggering you to ignore them.

Walt Minnick: talked *about* him while he spoke.
Larry Grant: talked *about* his presentation while it was running.
Larry Larocco: talked *about* his presentation.
Amy Wynn: asked questions about who she was and why she was the only person on stage that didn't suffer from dramatic glare problems on the 2 big screens (gear vs. lighting vs. makeup).

I also went out of my way to meet and talk with Keith Roark, and paid close attention when he was on stage. I really respect Richard Stallings but never got the impression that Lenore or Lerch or Sali or Otter or Thayn or Denney cared for a moment what Stallings might say in response to their wingnuttery.

Lost interest immediately in the auction (a first -- I enjoy auctions!) when Jeannie Buell began to turn it toward the surreal. I've never heard an auctioneer refuse to close bidding or to (not once, not twice, but 3 or 4 times) hector an audience member to raise the bid.

If anything, my strongest regret for how we handled ourselves was that we stood to say goodbyes with Binky during the auction as he went to leave. That conversation dragged on until I two or three times looked around, apologized to Wendy Jacquet and her tablemates, and tried unsuccessfully to figure out how to suggest that several of us move to the foyer to finish our goodbyes.

I did miss it

...And to quantify the my initial reaction to the "blogger" table. I frankly don't like the label "blogger" -- yes, I do realize the irony in that. I still prefer to be behind the scenes observing and not actively participating.

That and knowing the guys from 43rd, I knew that'd I'd be better situated to be sitting in the back of the room with them, as close to the booze as humanly possible. Having sat through one too many banquets and receptions this year (or last, whatever), I know how much I dislike sitting and listening to people talk about how good they are.

From what I'm reading it sounds like I didn't miss the banquet as much as I missed talking to friends and meeting new ones. Of which I do regret, but as things turned out we had some good friends in town that we don't get to see that often. I'm an Idaho Democrat, but good friends will always come before party. It's just the way I am.

So all that being said I did miss not seeing D2, Serephin, Julie, Tara and Alan. I have interacted with more of you over the last year, so I also missed meeting those of you that I have yet to meet in person. Oh, and speaking of... I know Alan wasn't the only one taking pictures -- I want pictures dammit.

Of course I will be able to see 2/10ths of the 43rd crew this summer at the beer fes in IF (we will be there this year).

the unequivocal notion

Cool!

Beery fun for one and all...

d2, I know the original plan

d2, I know the original plan was for you, Serephin, Bink, and Chris and spouses to commandeer a table near the bar. You did mention this to me and I mentioned this to John Foster a time or two (about anonymous bloggers wanting to be anonymous), but I think any hope of preferences being met went out the window with the huge turnout. It's just good we all got in.

I do appreciate your effort to separate Bink and me. I also very much enjoyed talking with his wife. They do say opposites attract. Plus I got to sit with Gary and Liz Allen, two of my favorite people.

Yes, our styles are different. I do respect what they have to say, but as I've told Bink before, I put far more stock in the words of people who are willing to work for the party at least as much as they bitch about it.

I've enjoyed reading all the comments here. Now that I think about it, Brian Cronin definitely looks a little like Ed Norton. As for anyone who didn't recognize him, he's only the recently retired (after three years) longtime chair of the Ada County Democrats. But you wouldn't know that if you never attend party meetings.

Just an aside ... I had no idea how bad the auction was

I had gone over to talk with Jill at the next table during that, so I missed Jeannie's antics.

But speaking of the auction, I donated one hour of how-to-blog coaching, along with an Obama t-shirt and Yearly Kos tote bag. I realized late in the bidding that somehow they put out another silent auction item offering a second how-to-blog session with me, this one TWO hours - and neither item mentioned that the coaching would have to be on the phone for buyers outside SW Idaho.

I'll go ahead and do both sessions, but I have no idea how that happened.

Ruchti - pic at his website

I don't think he looks anything like Ed Norton, but I dunno who else you could mean.

http://james4house.com/

Many of the real future stars haven't been elected yet. That's why the most important task before us to get them to run.

Multitasking= talking during speeches and making it hard for other people to hear what they're saying? Hmmm ... it's hard to judge people's words when you don't hear them. To be fair, I can't remember which speeches you were chattering through, but it was several of them.

Well then - it may have been a good thing

I missed that. I'm not kind any longer; I'm 50. I woulda told (in an acronym first, maybe a discreet note) him - STFU.

Yeah - multitasking isn't being able to chew gum and walk at the same time, Bink! :))

Clearly

Clearly you have no idea of the circumstances, nor the specifics of the event, yet you seem quite ready to chastise me for every ill. Good job, I hope that Julie's description of what was actually happening is accurate, or else you look like a dumbass.

Well - it won't be the first time.

Nor the last, I'll bet.

I wasn't chastising you ("for every ill"?). I was messing around with you.

But why don't you just overreact and use that language of 'every' 'always' 'all' never' - Mr. irascible.

Should have finished it out

I should have finished it out.. Not "every" ill, but every ill of the night's event that wasn't approved by Julie.

I have to wonder if Julie's interpretation of my lack of social graces is clouded in any way.....

Ed Norton

Was James Ruchti the guy that looks like Ed Norton? If so, I'm being nice in not saying anything at all.

James Ruchti's picture doesn't resemble Ed Norton at all. And for the record, I think Ed Norton is an attractive man not to mention a tremendous actor. I like him.

Don't pat yourself too hard on the back for 'being nice.' Hate to have you hurt yourself, ya know, dislodging your heart or somethin.

FCB Youngsters

I usually feel like the youngest person in the room at these functions, but I was happy to see a handful of ISU College Democrats make the trek to Boise.

The cost really is an issue--adding together a place to stay, the banquet ticket, and food while in town, college students could last a month at school for the same cost. I was lucky because my ticket was given to me and I was in town for other reasons, too, so my trip was partially paid for.

As for Ed Norton--that is definitely not Ruchti, no offense intended.

And no, not Amy Wynn for governor, again no offense intended, I just don't think that is who he meant.

And what the hell?! One person should be plenty for a live auction and preferably one who isn't forcing the audience into items they don't want or can't afford. Get off the stage! I kept thinking we needed Ralph Harding to tell her to move on already (like he did with Twileger at the Truman banquet a few years ago).

Anyway, yes, a lack of youngsters--the ones being cited still have ten years on me! ;)

Oh c'mon Bink

It's a fundraiser, directed at people with disposable cash, which typically doesn't involve too many young people. So if you want to assess the future of the people in the party do so from the vantage of caucus night, you imperious twit. ;-) Last night was a sellout so from that standpoint very successful.

I was also very impressed with Mr. Spencer. Roark did just fine and makes a fine image for leader of the party. Amy is a bright spot for the party and I'm wondering just who did you have in mind to fill the role if not her. Overall a positive evening. Sounds like some of you backseat organizers should devote some time to being on next year's committee. The saddest part for me is losing a young vibrant intelligent director who is leaving not knowing where he's going.

But the greatest part of the evening for me was meeting all y'all. Ecoflame, you were missed, as was M Goat. Glad we got you out Bink. I don't think I'm alone in saying that I think your wife is a saint. ;-) I look forward very much to the next opportunity to hook up.

I do have a misgiving. I think it was great to bring Kos to highlight the changes accomplished by the blogoshpere, nationally. Idaho's blogosphere is in its infancy still and I think we missed the opportunity to explain to this room of "geriatrics" how useful the blogs are. After that explanation we could have directed them how to participate with us here. One of Idaho's biggest issues involves our geography which vexes both parties. Yet we progressive bloggers are a lot further ahead at being able to utilize the unifying force of the tubes to overcome this geographic difficulty for Idaho Democrats. If grassroots networking is the key to rebuilding Democrats in Idaho then next time we need to start getting the message out to others who share our frustrations on how to use the tubes as the pre-eminent tool to accomplish the ojectives.

And yes the tubes are very useful to vent our frustrations, eh Bink?

Really

I've established a 'fund' for thing such as these, something akin to my health savings account. This is the year I told myself I'm becoming involved again.

And besides, Binky, I'm looking forward to meeting someone who seems to be as cantankerous as me.

As for blogs, I talk about them every chance I get with folks. My sister for instance thot the internet was filled with erroneous junk, and not to be trusted. Sure, there's junk, there's erroneous ascertains and junk, and there's all kinds of shit. However there are wonderful things - all kinds of wonderful things. Last night I found all kinds of feminist blogs while looking up something on Mary Daly. The tubes have given me hope. There are blogs for EVERYTHING. It is so cool.

Come on?

I offered a critical assessment of what I saw and what I think. I'm not the one that makes these decisions, I can only say what I felt. I could be wrong about Amy, I could be wrong about the Democratic party and I could easily be wrong about the end results of Saturday night for the party.

However, given that we can be agents of change, that we can make the old guard stop operating like losers, given that we want to be the future of the party, or at least create the future of the party, where am I wrong in my criticism?

After living in other places, after learning about true socialism from someone that has lived in successful socialist countries and after offering up my time and money for candidates that fail to deliver, I think I've earned a little bit of my suspicion and curmudeonliness. (I just made that word up) I want the elders of the party to get the younger people involved, to invite their children, their grandchildren, to pass on the love of politics and the enjoyment of political successes as something that goes beyond self and can be seen as growing the community. Unfortunately we seem to just have a bunch of self-congratulatory shitholes that want to see losing as some sort of exercise in self-flagellation that convinces themselves the pain is all worth it.

"Given that we can be agents of change"

maybe we could make more judicious choices regarding our criticisms to accomplish our objectives. Nice word invention, though.

FCB thoughts...

Hey everyone,

I had a great time Saturday night. I for one was very inspired and motivated by the evening. Perhaps it's because I'm relatively new to all of this, but I have been incredibly energized by all the Democratic solidarity that's been brewing up here recently. It really feels like our time has arrived!

From a campaign perspective, I thought I'd share a few thoughts. While I enjoyed the speeches and videos, the hospitality suites were really the highlight of the night for me... the free booze was definitely a bonus (check out the pic on IdaBlue, the smile on my face says it all!) but what I really liked was having the opportunity to see my candidate in his element. As a member of Minnick's communication team, one of our challenges is to get him to open up more on stage. Walt's a lot of things, but a performer he is not! Walt is the kind of guy you need to chat with face to face or in a small group to appreciate all that he has to offer. (Which is why the campaign is implementing a grassroots strategy built around traveling across the district holding roundtable discussions and meet & greets.) Anyway, I was blown away watching Walt work the room. The suite was packed the whole evening with friends both old and new. Walt obviously doesn't have Obama's oratory panache, so it was good for him to have the opportunity to meet with people on a more intimate level. His sincerity, authenticity and intelligence really come through in that setting.

So we just put up our FCB video, check it out here. Just out of curiosity, did anybody out there film the speeches? It would be cool to see those on YouTube too.

Finally, I was a little dismayed to see all of the leftover campaign literature after dinner. It struck me as a huge waste that goes against the "reduce, reuse and recycle" mentality that many of us Dems share. It was a bit ironic given the evening's keynote speaker. Judging by the number of postcards and flyers left strewn across the banquet hall (and our campaign certainly had its fair share of leftover materials) one has to wonder if printed material is an effective way of reaching the voters? It certainly doesn't seem efficient. A big shout out to all the folks who helped pick up and sort material after dinner...

Cheers,

Tashi

What else are we supposed to do with lit?

Like with junk mail, it isn't like we had any say on whether we needed or wanted it. And once the sort started, several of us grabbed a table or two of residual lit and carried it to those that were sorting it. If anything, the sorting springing up casually goes utterly to the 3-R mantra. Someone saw waste and did an ad-hoc *fix* for the problem.

I disagree with BinkyBoy

I disagree with BinkyBoy and his account of the evening. But that is the beauty of our party. The Democratic Party is great because of disagreement and the fact that we allow everyone - even the likes of Binky and his damaging infantile observations.

Binky’s comments offend all those in the room Saturday night, especially those who have traveled a long way to support their party. Unified together in a room full of Democrats, Idahoans came from all over to celebrate the life of a great man. Most banquet attendees were not from the political comfort of Boise. From the conservative corners of Idaho were Democrats from Salmon, Buhl and even parts north of Lewiston. These individuals came to enjoy old friendships, listening to new ideas and meet new faces. Events such as the Frank Church Banquet only occur once a year. Striving to build the party, Idaho Democrats come together here in phrase of one another in hopes of setting the bar higher.

Times like these are few. Seldom is the energy and enthusiasm for Democrats as high as it is now. To cut people down, having barely lifted a finger off of the “Enter” key to do anything for the event or the party is WRONG.

Nevada Democratic Governor Mike O'Callaghan of once offered a similar obstructive ass something like – “I’ll offer you my hand in friendship and if you decline the offer, I’ll give you the same hand in another form.” The O'Callaghan style of democratic rule is what Binky deserves.

It might be difficult for Binky to realize that it is tough to be a Democrat in rural Idaho when he likely doesn’t dare to get out from behind the computer screen. Having not challenged the conservatives in the coffee shops of Rexburg, Genesee or Paul, Binky ought to be mindful that it takes a fist full of courage to poke your head up outside of Boise. For Binky to cut off the heads of those who try and to have it done at this time, by a supposed member of their own team, in safe territory, is a bunch of shit. Certainly, Mr.Roark, Ms. Wynn, West Point Graduate Ruchti, Walt, the Larry’s and the countless others offended by Binky’s diaperless theories and mindless comments would like to offer him a fist full of something.

Before offering Binky what he willingly hands out others, the fist or even better yet the boot, the party should gladly accept his observation as an offer to sponsor youth tables at the next several party events and at the many Frank Church Banquets to come.

Additionally, since Binky did not like what he saw Saturday night and being the educated intellectual, Binky has to realize that there is plenty of room for his wise expertise. There is plenty of work yet unfinished.

Binky it is time to start working and stop typing.

Ah, so informed

You know me so well, why don't you just take my place?

For your information, my education comes first, I'd rather help solve the problems of the world than solve petty bullshit problems like how best to spend the community's resources.

As well, your insinuation about rural Idaho? Pretty damn funny and ironic.

Fist or Boot?

I'll take both, thank you. Gonna step up?

Binky being...

a rude, obnoxious douchenozzle?

Say it ain't so!

Damn sorry I missed it.

Then maybe

Then maybe you could make your own judgment based on facts rather than Julie's skewed bullshit?

Say it wouldn't be so!

My skewed bullshit about what, exactly?

You have your views, I have mine. I'm fine with that.

Here's the big difference:

You talk.

I talk *and* walk - and call and organize and canvas and volunteer and donate, even when I'm not 100 percent happy with what the party is doing.

biased

Julie, you're so biased against me and my methods that it is evident that it has totally clouded your judgment. For assholes like Jester to just jump on the bandwagon with assumptions based on only your critical outlook of me? Pathetic and shallow.

And you have no idea what I do, do you? You've made your assumptions and you're going to stick by them no matter what. Thats fine, but it really is sad.

For those of you with personal investments in the "party" that vastly outweigh your fucking common sense? Go screw yourselves. You all have made your beds and you'll lay in them forever even when they're covered in the shit and piss that Republicans have thrown on them, even when the coveted Democrats join in to cover it with more shit, you'll just sit there with dumb ass grins on your face and blame people like me for telling you you're laying in a pile of foul effluent.

Nothing moves forward without criticism, nothing. Cheerleading the party through losing election after losing election is ridiculous, but holy hell, if someone steps up and asks "why are you doing that?" you just ignore them. It has taken people like myself to stand up and say "what the fuck" to get you people to actually start suggesting changes for next year, to start looking at what else can we do?

So while I'm the one moving the conversations forward, you're still trying to suck nickels off of little old ladies.

Shallow? Perhaps.

But you have the depth of a contact lens sometimes Binks. Having been victim of your screeds here, I find it very easy to believe others accounts of you.

If there is something pathetic here, it is your utter lack of self awareness.

persecuted

You must be one of those persecuted Christians, huh?

Poor thing.

Deist actually

Gee, Binky wrong again.

Whodathunkit?

Is there a particular reason for your bile, Binks?

People like yourself?

I blame you, but you already knew that because you're so smart, right?

Sisyphus is constructive, you're just an ass. But you can keep trying to rise to his level, but I doubt you'll ever be able to get there with such a limited vocabulary.

Save

your vitriol for the other side Binks, otherwise people will think you are an uneducated douchebag with nothing better to do than be an ass. Or does it get you off to be a dick to EVERYONE? You are indicative of just about everyting that is wrong with blogging and your super shitty attitude would be more at home at RedState or some other site that welcomes assholes.

HEY!

Both of you! Knock it off!

That's exactly what I say to my two kids, ages 9 and 12, who engage in this type of shit way too often. I expect it of children but not two adults. This is just ugly - none of us want to read this petty name-calling garbage.

Grow up. You both need your moms to smack ya.

Spellcheck much?

You might try it, it definitely would improve on your creativity.

21K caucus goers prove my point

For one thing, Bink, it's been ages since I've called you out. Years.

And if you look upthread, I cited you because you were yacking while other people tried to talk. Sheesh. That's it. I've let truckloads of shit from you slide over the years, just because I figure YOU are the one wallowing in your toxic negativity. And I see you still are.

Fine. I'd rather get some work done.

This is really sad...

... to think I'm going to see a follow-up of what I thought was a wonderful evening/morning, and wade into this muck...

Not that I don't think that folks should have their own perspectives of how the evening went, but to see you all squabble and stab each other over your differences is really hard to take.

MY perspective of the whole thing...
I've hit and missed the weekend over the years... sometimes I get to the trainings and not the banquet, sometimes I get to the banquet and not the trainings. This year I really wanted to catch it all, but illness prevented me from arriving until Saturday night.

I can't encourage folks enough to participate in the whole weekend... this event is more than just the dinner. The workshops on Saturday are invaluable. It's training and networking. It's energizing and informative. It's constructive for oneself AND for others. I realize that it's a time committment, but it IS free. And I think it is critical for all of us who want the party to flourish and grow. For the folks who have lots of experience, it's an opportunity to meet and mentor us newbies (and you might STILL learn something!). For those of us who are just getting started, it provides building blocks so we have more skills/talents/resources to take to our own communities. Even if one isn't considering an active "party" role, they can still gain knowledge that can help them in their "offsides" activities. That being said, I'm really bummed that I missed it all.

The dinner... like someone said previously, for those of us in rural Idaho, it is a rush. Call us deprived or whatever, this is OUR chance to see (and hopefully MEET) the people who have paved the way before us. At the banquets I've had the fortune to meet Larry LaRocco, Walt and AJ, Gov. Andrus, Mayor Beiter, and more. I've run into people who I've known from previous activities who I didn't know was active in the state party until I saw them... such as my high school classmate Stephanie and CSI co-workers such as Paula. Last year at my first Women's Breakfast, I saw Sharon Van Slyke for the first time in YEARS (I knew her from my years at CSI)... and now, after her passing, I treasure the memories I have from that event. The dinner is more to me than the meal... it is something I look forward to every year as an opportunity to re-fuel in preparation for the upcoming year.

I totally understand that improvements can be made. And we all have our own areas which we want improved. I was disappointed last year that there was no mention of the Idahoans who have given their lives to Bush's war... this year, the only mention I heard was from Markos who acknowledged the 29 lives lost. In my opinion, those are 29 HUGE reasons for us to continue and increase our efforts politically. For this to be ignored further proves to me that America, and even Idaho Democrats, are forgetting the human cost of our failure to demand accountability and responsible leadership. I was also very disappointed that there was no mention of Idaho blogs (am I mistaken?)... I couldn't believe they weren't listed on the programs or anything. It didn't have to be all of them (i.e. mine!), but a few to start out with would have been great. 90% of the people in attendance probably have NO idea what we are doing... and that banquet would have been a great opportunity to inform them... that opportunity is now lost.

However, as someone who has chaired and assisted with many projects, I know that it is impossible to please everyone, remember everything, and control everything. I'm sure they did the best they could with the resources they had. Attacking them rather than offering suggestions or assistance for future events is not my idea of building unity.

It brings to mind something I heard not too long ago...
"Disagreeing without being disagreeable..."

All this being said, I hope that we can allow others to have different perspectives without feeling offended or being offensive.

"You can't leave footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt...
and who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?"

Don't despair

Diana, its just Binky, who has no discerning nature and for whom tact is something to pin his ego to the wall for all to see. I say that because he raises valid points to some degree. But the points are worthless because he fails to persuade and instead provokes defensiveness. His qualities are excellent for rooting out and educating trolls in comment sections but that seems hardly worthwhile here since Serephin minds the gate rather well.

I love Bink's useful qualities, he's intelligent, educated, and travels faster than the speed of light through the blogosphere. But his brash nature apparently can't be controlled. Sounds like he was aptly named.

Taking things personally

So many of you have taken what I have written as personal attacks. I'm unsure why.

I actually had a great time, that much I thought might have been a given. To actually break out of my shell and meet and greet a few of you was incredible and actually very encouraging.

But for me just to write how much of a good time I had meeting a few people? Why bother with the time it would take to type it all? I hope you all took away from our personal meetings that I found each and every one of you as personable, warm and intelligent. Don't make me say it again, please.

But despite having a good time and getting to see the candidates up and personal again, I was there to see how well the Democratic Party is handling its new found personality, its new chutzpah (I'm not pointing to anyone in particular). Idaho Democrats are now front and center again, Roark is young, intelligent and I think he's incredibly capable.

I am saying that new things need to be done, the old need to be let go (not people, old traditions) and now that they're not on 100% defensive just to maintain party unity that maybe breaking the molds of the past are things that need to be done, and not later, but sooner.

I'm very sorry so many of you took what I wrote as personal attacks. I'm not sorry that Julie took her personal axes and decided to grind them on my head, I should have expected that. I am sorry to see a few of you make judgments based solely on what Julie thought she saw (and I have on authority isn't really what happened). For Roark to think I compared him to the cryptkeeper is more an indication of my poor writing skills and less of anything that Keith might have done.

Again, I want to reiterate something: I am NOT the party, I am not OF the party and I am a casual observer of the party without much personal investment. That allows me a little more room for independent review of the party, at least I hope so. My observations were intended to be of the general sort of an impression that I left with of the organization and event itself. None of it was intended to be reflective of how I felt of any single person there.

There are ways to say things

And this is much better. We don't get the sense that you are one of us from what you write sometimes. We know you are smart. But constant criticism won't make you popular or persuasive which is the source of power for politicians. Socrates was very smart. And look what happened to him. Thanks for this effort.

Are there two of you?

Cuz this seems to be written by someone else! ;)

Hopefully next time I'll get to meet you for longer than half a second!

nope

Just one, hopefully.

My original post wasn't directed at anyone, yet many of you felt that way. Care to answer why?

Or is it just the way I attack hypocritical right wing 'tards for their lies and incorrect perceptions of events that creates the legacy of me being an asshole towards individuals?

And given the general reception of my analysis of this event, I'm not sure I really want to attend more.

My personal opinion...

... since you asked...!

First of all, a lot of your posts are very in-your-face attacks. I understand most of the time where you are coming from, appreciate the frustration behind the words, and even vent like that myself at times. It DOES get attention, whether people understand the message or not. Sometimes the "volume" of the post drowns out the intended message, but I usually "get it".

With this typical method of yours, many people may automatically assume you are in attack-mode every time you post something, whether that is your intention or not. It's an automatic "flinch" when you raise your hand; even if you weren't intending to strike, it's become a learned response.

As for this particular post, what I believe could have been taken personally is the following:

Where are all the young people and when did the cryptkeeper and his minions become the entirety of the Democratic Party?

"Cryptkeeper" seems like a reference to the person in charge, which I assumed WAS a reference to Mr. Roark. If you weren't intending that to be a personal reference, then it was unclear to the reader.

Roark isn't a personality. He needs to stay away from the banquets and public faces of the Democratic party. He may be savvy, crafty, intelligent and ready to lead, but he's not very charismatic, I'm afraid.

This seems to be direct criticism and not done very constructively, in my opinion. I felt that you were stating your opinion as if it were fact.

The rest of your post didn't seem to be much of "personal attack", but rather of harsh observations of others. Many of the replies here seem to be the rest of us sharing differing opinions--some expressed as harshly as your own.

This being said, you started the topic in your own way and people replied in the same manner. I truly don't understand why that confuses you?

I personally just tried to explain that I didn't see what you felt you saw. I wouldn't know "interns, assistants, and heir apparents" if they ran me over with a bus, but I saw many young people and felt excited about that.

I hope that you do consider attending future events... it sounds like there were positive moments for you and those you interacted with. That's too valuable not to consider...

not really sure

I, as a youngster in attendance at the FCB, am particularly frustrated with the state of IDP politics. I grew up in Boise and recently moved back here from DC after working in politics there. Everyone should know that there are plenty of young, capable, and liberal individuals in DC, hailing from all over Idaho that have considering getting involved in party politics here (similar to my situation), but ultimately decide to leave because there efforts are better served in capacities that genuinely utilize their input. The entire system needs to be revamped in order solicit support of a younger, less weathered demographic.

I believe the way in which the established Idaho Democrats have operated over the past X amount of years proves the majority of them don't know how to build the party and shows they don't know what the heck they are doing in general. Maybe it can be attributed to a generation gap, maybe arrogance, and maybe just flat out ignorance. I'm not sure and don't care to speculate here.

I don't want to drop the Obama card, but from my perspective, he has single handedly inspired more young people from Idaho to become involved than an entire fleet of Frank Church's and Cecil Andrus'. While I think they are both important anchors Democratic Idaho politics, the more focus that is put on the past the more discouraged youth will be to participate. They both did a lot for Idaho. Great - Fantastic. I thank them for it, but it's time to move on.

The IDP needs to focus on the future and not the past if they want to bring new blood to the party. It's very plain and simple. Idaho seems to have a brain drain as most of my intelligent friends from a prominent downtown Boise high school have left Idaho to pursue opportunities that saw value in their opinion.

I have had several very explicit conversations with some young Idahoans from around the state and DC that expressed an interest in getting involved at more executive levels. We have come to conclusion that we have to wait until the older establishment dies or decides it time loosen the proverbial grip on power to allow for new fresh ideas to be a) expressed, b) listened to, c) incorporated, and d) implemented/executed.

My comments are not intended to be inflamatory by any means and I don't want this to be perceived as a flagrant rant. It's just upsetting to see so much talent and potential wasted, chewed up, or possibly flat out ignored by established-older-weathered-crusty Democrats. Maybe I am being too idealistic as a result of my age (mid 20s). Who knows? But I don't see the status quo changing anytime soon.

I have been back less than a year and I am already looking for the exit. Democrats in Idaho have a proven track record of loosing elections. That is well documented. The IDP and other powers that be must recognize this do something about it or we will never have Democratic representation. It is not good enough to capitalize on floundering Republican officials and candidates. If we want change the color of Idaho politics we must take the offensive and try new strategies. Business as usual has proven to be an unsuccessful tactic. We will keep losing key elections until this is recognized.

I am finished now. Sorry for ranting and wasting the 2 minutes you spent reading this, but I don't think things will get any better until there is some significant reorganization and reprioritization within the party, the significant players, and the candidates that choose to run for office. Until this happens I must bid adieu to politics in Idaho as I don't see a place for myself. The efforts I invest in my personal political battles are better served elsewhere.

Don't be sorry

You have nothing to be sorry about, you're in friendly company here, we're willing to listen and you will rarely get smacked around for just stating honest opinions.

We're knock down fighters here. We know we're the fringe, we know we're the "activists" with finger quotes and everything.

You're more than welcome to join in, blog, spew, rant, rave, calmly assert or whatever you want to do. The more the merrier.

pissed off

I'm not actually sorry. I was just looking for an easy way to shut myself up. I'm extremely pissed off at how the intra Dem politics work in Idaho. It's going hurt everyone in the long run. I understand that these types of situations are inevitable, but I mean, for fucks sake. Youngsters (I kind of like that term) need direct access to significant power channels/players in order to make a difference and be influential. Through my own experiences, successful politicians listen to and incorporate young voices into their message. Shit, I'd say 90% of the staffers that work in DC on Capitol Hill are under the age of 30. It's quite shocking. I will admit that it is also due to a willingness to be underpaid and overworked, but I digress.

Youngsters are willing to put themselves on the line and formulate creative and adaptive messages that bridge various demographic boundaries in ways the crusty 40+ crowd cannot - reaching out to moderates, I's, centrists, realists or whatever else falls in the middle of the political spectrum that will most assuridly prove to be a very diverse and prominent chunk of voters this election cycle and those for years to come. I don't really think all 40+ers are crusty. The association was made for simplicity's sake.

The Idaho Dem elite have their heads so far up ass trying to toot their own horn, they loose sight of the larger picture. IMHO this has proven to be decisive factor in previous races. And will continue to be, if change is not brought about soon.

There seems to be a disconnect to the way things should be done and the way things are actually done. Maybe I am missing something, but as I see things, these problems will continue to plague the Dem party in Idaho if there is some sort of an awakening. Maybe Idaho Dems could sit down with Keith Roark and hold a candle light vigil so he could tell us all his plans to win this cycle with his stupendous track record. All I'm saying is we have nothing to loose and everything to gain. There is a lot of room for fresh ideas and new management styles. Nothing is going to happen if the youngsters are not challenged. They will simply leave and find situations that will.