On a day when the temperature was in the 40's, the wind was blowing, and a light rain mixed with snowflakes fell, the North Dakota Tea Party drew more people to protest outside the Democratic Convention than there were delegates inside the Fargo Civic Center to hear them. A crowd of over 400 sang the national anthem, made their voices heard on healthcare and other issues, and vowed to take back government.
The proceedings were very civil; frankly, the only unpleasantness I witnessed were a few people wearing laminates from the convention crossing through the proceedings while Partiers were trying to talk and a man attempting to sing over the young lady performing the anthem. Neither of those things is anything to get bent out of shape over. But compared to the protesters, the conventioners were the only group who could boast any impoliteness.
The much-ballyhooed security brought in to keep the peace were singled out by more than one speaker (Rob roamed the crowd with a microphone letting anyone who wanted to talk have a go) with praise. By 2:15 the guards (actually Fargo police officers) had left.
Master of Ceremonies Scott Hennen, in a bit of theater, set up three chairs with the names of Byron Dorgan, Earl Pomeroy and Kent Conrad affixed and invited the namesakes to come out and take questions from the crowd. I don't believe any of the three were present other than Pomeroy (who, for some reason, arrived in a limo with the Presidential seal displayed on it. It was upside down, which for all I know is some nod to protocol. Regardless, it looked odd). The Representative declined the invitation.
(Crossposted from Say Anything)