I’m back, after traveling across the country very slowly and carefully, seeing friends and family I haven’t seen for years, and returning to my favorite city, Denver, Colorado for the Democratic Convention.
All I can say is… wow.
On the one hand, the city is exciting to see after so many years away. (My last visit was six years ago, and I moved away from here 16 years ago.) The changes are huge. And they are definitely welcoming the Democrats with open arms. I’m sitting in the greatest bookstore in the world right now, The Tattered Cover, and just sitting here, I have seen a few Congresscritters and several wide-eyed tourist-delegates. I am currently sitting at a table with a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter with the unlikely name of Dick Polman. It’s still early, but the excitement is already palpable, and the disruptions are due to start very soon.
Today, I will be covering the protests, and speaking to run of the mill delegates. I will also be discussing actual issues with this blog, not the semantic bullshit that seems to obsess the rest of the news media.
There are way too many police here, but there are also way too many protesters. Parts of Downtown are like an armed camp, and the "free speech zone" (does anyone else see anything ironic in having a "free speech zone" at a political event in the United States of America?) is way too far away from convention goers. They’ve closed off Auraria Parkway and Speer Blvd, which are two of the major thoroughfares in town, and they plan to close several miles of I-25 while Barack Obama is giving his acceptance speech Thursday evening.
In other words, true to the Bush era, security at the Democratic Convention is nothing less than insane.
Tell your friends to stay tuned. This will be a bumpy ride. The convention behind the convention is about to begin.