Netroots Nation this year was off the chain. We progressives – including the creme de la creme of lgbtq activists and bloggers – gathered together in Rhode Island to coordinate our plans, bounce around new ideas, talk to Congressmen, and basically rejuvenate ourselves for the fights ahead.
This was my second Netroots Nation. During my first one, I was a young, eager-eyed blogger ready to meet some of my idols and Congressmen.
This one was special because I accomplished a lot of things. I was able to give a talk on what I do with my blog (it was called “opposition research, but I corrected the term. It’s actually truth-telling on the religious right) to good applause.
I participated in a panel discussion about lgbtq rights in “red states” and was able to give a deserved shout out to all of the South Carolina lgbtq organizations who work steadily to accomplish equality for our community but rarely get their due. By the way, the fact that we were able to pass transgender-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances in various SC cities without so much as a peep from the religious right was deemed as extremely impressive.
I was able to meet Congresswoman and hopefully soon-to-be Senator Tammy Baldwin as well as NAACP president Benjamin Jealous and have a quick discussion with them on how they are my inspiration.
Lastly, I was able to work some mischief in. Oh come on now. That’s that reason why you reading this post and I won’t disappoint you. Netroots Nation was infiltrated by a few right-wing bloggers, famous for their vitriol.
Jim Hoft, Dana Loesch, and various other writers of the Breitbart site.
For those who don’t know, Hoft has written vulgarly inaccurate pieces on President Obama. One infamous piece had to do with that the President’s speech in Tucson, Arizona after that awful shooting incident last year.
Hoft had claimed that the White House was demanding that people applaud Obama’s speech via the Jumbotron. In reality, the Jumbotron was merely closed captioning for the hearing impaired.
And I would remiss not to mention that it was Hoft who kept publishing post after post after post falsely accusing former Obama appointee Kevin Jennings of teaching children how to have gay sex, sending children to adult gay bars, etc. etc.
When I walked up to him during Netroots Nation and confronted him about what he had done, he wasn’t exactly loquacious. We had two conversations. Now those who know me are aware of the fact that I adore the television character Columbo. Columbo was a police detective who caught criminals in lies by not yelling at them but treating them politely while just simply pointing out several facts. I tried to follow that direction in that I did not yell at Hoft nor call him names. We had a somewhat “pleasant conversation:
Me: Mr. Hoft, I loved your work on Kevin Jennings.
Hoft: Well thank you
Me: I would have loved it more if it was accurate. Come on man, you know that stuff wasn’t true.
Hoft: (nervous laugh)
Me: I mean come on, seriously, where did you get that stuff.
Hoft: Well I’d have to look over it.
Me: But you wrote it and you were wrong.
Hoft: Well I don’t remember . . .
Me: Well I could send you the information. Are you going to correct any of what you said.
Hoft: Well I’d have to look over it
(Hoft begins to move away from me.)
Me: Wait a minute, where are you going? Let’s continue to talk. I haven’t even mentioned the Obama speech stuff. That was when you said Obama’s people was ordering audience members to applaud but it was really the Jumbotron for the hearing impaired.
Hoft: Well . . like I said, I would have to look at it.
Me: Well I got your twitter, I can send you where you got it wrong if you send me your address.
(Hoft was already gone)
Now my conversation with Dana Loesch was more polite, which is a surprise in light of a lot of the stuff she has said and
It was what happened afterwards that was interesting. In case you didn’t hear, Loesch attempted to asked Sen. Sherrod Brown a question and he shot her down like she was an enemy warrior in a video game. She tweeted about it:
“Sen. Brown, do you have time for a question?” – me“Not from you I don’t.” – Sen. Sherrod Brown #nn12
After the incident, Loesch confided in me how shocked she was that Sen. Brown shot her down like that. And I was all “now that’s just a crying shame.” But I was being deceptive. After all, it was me who alerted Sen. Brown’s aide that Loesch was in the audience and was going to probably ask him a question for the direct objective of embarrassing him?
It wasn’t my idea to do it at first. Daily Kos Markos Moulitsas told me that I should alert Brown’s aide on what Loesch was planning. So I did.
And I enjoyed the outcome.
Granted, what I did was probably insignificant, petty, and probably won’t amount to a hill of beans in the long run.
But what the heck? It was fun. I didn’t yell at anyone. I didn’t call anyone names. I like to think that I merely regulated the situation.
No hard feelings, guys. But come on. Some of us progressives aren’t exactly pushovers. We also know how to fight. But more importantly, we fight intelligently.