Gotta admit, from the reports I’m seeing, the “Peoples Summit” in Chicago is reminding me of my teenage years at early 1970s Star Trek conventions. Lots of fervent outsiders extremely hyped to have discovered — finally! — ‘our own kind’. Many hucksters, of varying quality and honesty. Formerly-low-Q-rating celebrities visibly wondering whether their new notoriety would be worth the costs. Skeptical stringers, looking for filler in default of screenworthy car crashes or fires. And a shadowy background of professional marketers considering how this novelty niche could best be… monetized.
Perhaps, as we would tell questioners later, you just had to be there to understand.
Dave Weigel, in the Washington Post:
… Nearly a year after effectively conceding the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders was the star of this year’s People’s Summit, which has quickly become the country’s largest progressive political conference. At least 4,000 people trekked to Chicago for a weekend of teach-ins, panels and dance parties. In a Saturday-night speech, Sanders planned to tell activists to charge ahead because “ideas that, just a few years ago, seemed radical and unattainable, are now part of Main Street discussion.”
But as Sanders used his star power to unite activists behind the Democrats, some debated whether the Democratic Party could ever be fixed to their liking. Faced with unified Republican control of Washington, progressives were less interested in simple unity than in a purity that they believed could win…
Stephen Jaffe, a 71-year-old Sanders supporter challenging House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for the 2018 midterm elections, spent some of a Friday-night meet-and-greet debating the relevance of the party with would-be supporters.
“If the driver pulls the car into a ditch, you get a new driver,” said Jaffe.
“What if the car’s so banged up that no one wants it?” asked an organizer for a group that aimed to draft Sanders as an independent 2020 presidential candidate.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Sanders reiterated that he had become the Democrats’ outreach chair in the Senate; third-party politics in the wrong places would only split the movement, he said.
“Look, as the longest-serving independent member of Congress, I know something about that,” Sanders said. “Where my energy is right now is in fundamentally transforming the Democratic Party into a grass-roots progressive party.” And we’ll see where it goes.”
But the long hangover from the 2016 campaign has lingered. Melissa Byrne, a Sanders organizer who now serves on the Democratic National Committee’s transition committee, said she continues to spend time and energy persuading people not to abandon the party over bitterness about the DNC’s perceived slant toward Clinton…
Heck, why should the rightwing nut jobs be the only ones enjoying a cosplay “revolution”?