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America's 'Limousine Liberals' Take Us for a Ride--Over the Cliff

 -- "Liberal" and "progressive" conclave in Washington, DC: It's all about controlling and "framing" the message. This week's "Take Back America" conference, sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future, ends today. The conference studiously avoided topics that are uncomfortable to the "limousine liberals" who have steered the agenda of the Take Back America conference over the past four years. After Al Gore's loss in 2000 and John Kerry's in 2004, both resulting from massive election fraud in Florida and Ohio, respectively, the topic of voter fraud was shunned at the conference as a sort of "conspiracy theory." This year, Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers changed things dramatically by directly addressing what happened in Ohio in 2004, as well as vote fraud in other states. But other topics remained verboten, including immigration and 9-11 skepticism. In the past, global warming received scant attention (cited by a few speakers at this year's conference) but with Al Gore's new movie, An Inconvenient Truth, making a big cinematic splash, the labor unions that support the conference could no longer censor the topic entirely.

Yesterday, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton received lukewarm support from the audience. In fact, when Clinton said she opposed a withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops in Iraq, she received catcalls and boos.

When Sen. John Kerry told the conference, "It was wrong and I was wrong to vote for that Iraq war resolution," he received a thunderous standing ovation. One attendee yelled out, "Tell Hillary!"

Afterwards, security guards hired by the conference organizers attempted to remove some home made "Impeach George Bush" signs from some of the audience members. The guards attempted to wrest the signs from three audience members while Kerry was speaking about the constitutional right and duty of Americans to dissent. Yes, censorship abounds among the intellectual and elite left. In the view of the elites, censorship is permitted for the good of "framing the message." It is the same type of "framing" that takes place daily on a few well known "liberal" and "progressive" blogs. [One of them, which actually stands for Deranged Unctuousness, was at it again yesterday, condemning Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz, Jonathan Turley, and continuing to pile on -- all part of "framing the message."] There is one Democratic presidential candidate who has already filed for his White House run. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, the man who stood up to Richard Nixon over the Pentagon Papers, the draft, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and the person who took on the original neo-con, Washington Democratic Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (whose Senate office spawned Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Elliott Abrams), and the first person to legally take on The Carlyle Group, was denied an official speaking role at the conference. This former two-term Senator and anti-Vietnam War leader participated in the conference as a credentialed correspondent for -- WMR! Gravel's Senate colleague, former Sen. Gary Hart, was a featured speaker, Gravel was not. It's called "framing the message." Hart, of course, was a co-chairman of the national security commission set up by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich that first came up with the obnoxious term "homeland security."

Speaking of credentials, an attempt by the editor to briefly talk to two guests at last night's banquet was rebuffed by the conference organizers -- the reason: entrance to the banquet hall (the same hall where the annual White House Correspondents Association soiree is held) was only open to "pre-credentialed media," that is Washington- speak for the media elites in this town, all the usual suspects: The Washington Post, New York Times, Gannett, etc. Never mind the fact that WMR's readership now rivals the circulation of mid-sized metropolitan newspapers). WMR also learned from some of the conference attendees that Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan was denied official participation in the conference. The reason given was that the labor unions, who help fund the event, did not want her there.

One can only be reminded of the union construction workers who used to shout profanities at anti-Vietnam War demonstrators in the 1960s and 1970s. Some things never change. [Union leadership in the United States has always been co-opted by the right-wing. George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and Leonard Woodcock were ardent supporters of the Cold War and never once contemplated European-style general labor strikes in the United States]. Immigration was also studiously avoided at Take Back America in clear deference to the unions.

George Meany steered American Labor into the hands of the right-wing war mongers. Effects still felt today.

American organized labor, of course, through their lethargy that resulted in them now representing less than 10 percent of the American work force, has divaricated into warring factions. One AFL- CIO union was handing out pens that were made in -- you guessed it --
China. One longtime Democratic politician said that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney's speech could have been given in the 1960s. The old
Democratic coalition is still very evident at Take Back America: the attendees are mostly old and white with a strong eastern European (primarily Jewish), Irish, and southern European ethnicity component, with Big Labor very much in charge. Very retro considering the fact that America is becoming more Hispanic and Asian and African Americans are becoming more and more politically active. Bottom line from this liberal version of the annual right-wing Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gathering -- before taking back America, progressives and true liberals have to take back the Democratic Party. Yesterday, Jim Webb beat longtime limo liberal Harris Miller in the Virginia Senate primary to take on uber- conservative George Allen in November. That is a good start to taking the party back from the chardonnay and brie liberals.