Photo by… Me!
One of the many highlights of my GA experience was getting to be in the same room as Howard Dean, if only for a little while, and to watch him make an ass of himself in front of the entire convention.
As I blogged, live from the session, “Dean took an indirect stab at Bush (which ought to be safe territory considering Bush’s approval ratings and the overwhelming disapproval of the Iraq war within the Jewish community) saying that, after seven years the US needs to regain the moral high ground. Instead of a cheer, Dean received a lukewarm applause. However, when he added that the reason Israel has managed to survive is because it’s maintained the moral high ground — thunderous applause.”
JTA reported, “Some UJC officials and local Jewish federations quietly grumbled that Dean’s comments were too partisan.”
I mean, hell, 62% of American Jews vote Democratic. He knew who he was talking to. What’s the big deal, right?
Apparently, the DNC chair went off card, and one major Republican donor to the federation system stormed out of the room midway through his speech.
But it wasn’t just the officials, or the federations who were left grumbling. Some of the younger, progressive members of the audience, like Daniel Septimus of myjewishlearning.com, were also disturbed by Dean’s behavior, which was the talk of the town for the rest of the day. As he wrote on his blog, soon after:
Dean talked about ending partisanship — and then spoke about what “our candidates look like.”
And what do they look like? America!!! (Which, I guess according to Dean, includes one woman and one black man in a sea of white men.)
What do the Republican candidates look like? According to Dean: America in the 1950s.
But what can you expect from the guy in the middle of a campaign season? Anything other than a stump speech?
And even though I hate the Dems pretty fiercely right now, what with them acting the same rubber stamp Congress they chastised the GOP for being, I agreed with most of what he said. I even applauded.
Yet Dean giving himself yet another black eye was not in-and-of-itself the highlight. The highlight was, that as I walked past the front of the stage, where Dean was sitting, just before the start of the plenary, I looked right at him and let out a nice old “Beeeeyaaaaaaah!”
Sadly, he was too distracted to notice.
Sandwiched between Jacob Berkman and 700 Hillel students from around the country, just as Dean was taking the stage, I reeeeeally wanted to do it again, and way louder. But my boss was sitting on the other side of Jacob and probably would’ve throttled me.
Sigh. It would’ve been hilarious. I woulda had them Hillel kids in stitches.
Anyway, for everyone who kept hearing me go “Beeeeeyah!” all throughout the rest of the session Sunday, and didn’t get the reference, here it is.
I love lesbians! Beeeeyaaaaaaah!