Washington State Republican Convention, No cheer in Tacoma!

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I was a Republican.

At least my fellow delegates kept asking me if I was a Republican.  This lasted the four days of their state convention. Apparently my credentials had been questioned.

I was worried about how many of my fellow delegates were carrying guns, and the chair did tell the audience that they should expect someone in the room to be taking pictures for the web.

The force must have been with me! The worst I got were some knowing snarls from an Aryan who told me he “knew what you are here for!”

After being nominated as a Santorum delegate, I decided to spend the couple of hundred bucks ($90 registration plus housing and food) to see for myself. For what it is worth, I think I am open minded.

I really expected to be surprised … not by lots of white folks, nor by Obama’s birthers, or even by the creationists but by  the business folks and values types I assumed still comprised the majority of the party.  The sensible folks who call themselves the traditional GOP.

The few of traditional Republicans all seemed glumly resolved to support Mitt Romney as the best of their worst choices.

Is Kirby Wilbur giving a Nazi salute?

The majority?  Well who better to represent these folks then GOP party chair, Kirby Wilbur.  Mr. Wilbur is, I am told, among the nicer folks from hate radio, less Glen Beck and more a conservative radio talker.  Sadly this picture is all too false for the mood he led.  To be clear, Kirby is not echoing the fascistii, but he did lead a cheer for Conan the barbarian after showing a clip of threats by Conan to kill all his enemies!

Presumably Kirby, like Schwarznegger, was role playing?

I would like to believe that, but I saw lots of hatred.

Josh Romney asks for votes on a pink lsate for his Dad! CLICKME for slideshow.

Noone seemed to be convinced  that Mitt is more than a poseur. Even when Josh Romney, an eery clone of his Dad ,spoke in favor of the Romney delegate list, there were few cheers.

By the way, the Log Cabin (LBGT) Republicans did have a booth, generally it was ignored by the crowd even though Mitt’s slate did choose to use pink paper!

Speaking of pink, one of the worst episodes I photographed happened to a very dear old lady,  She wore a tiny pink suit.  Patricia Conant is a very nice lady.  I met Ms. Conant at lunch and we became, I hope, good friends. Her passion is endless, but one focus is the right to life.  We talked about abortion.  Patricia told me that she knows life begins with conception because at that moment she “knew” something wonderful has happened to two of her just created daughters. This led to a very nice discussion about science, Buddha, and spirituality.

Learning I was a bona fide scientist, Patricia cornered me with very good questions about global warming and. yes, about the biology of conception.

Sadly, I had to intervene when people I will call thugs tried to prevent this little old lady from speaking!

Patricia Conant at 2012 Tacoma Repub Conv CLICKME for slideshow.

Craig Keller calls for respect for diverse opinions. CLICKME for more.

One of the Santorum delegates, Craig Keller, had just made a courageous plea for some real discussion .. exactly what the bylaws called for.  Not only was Craig over ruled, but a cacophony of delegates called for the guy to be expelled as a “Democrat!.”

Pat was at the head of line of delegates speaking on behalf of the Santorum community … mainly people wanting more focus on moral principles and  on the needs of working class Americans.  The others in the line really wanted to speak!  So they raised the mike so high the little pink lady could barely reach it. Then, they  tried to elbow the little lady aside.

Right after taking thge image here, I went up and told them to bugger off.

Ms. Conant gave a impassioned, if short, speech about something called “respect.”

Another truly ugly moment was the invocation led by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.  For those who do not

Rabbi Lapin calls on God to bring his wrath to Tacoma.

know Lapin, especially other Jews, you are lucky!

Rabbi Lapin has nothing to say about Judaism that does not paint us as money hungry Shylocks. Lapin actually looks a bit like an actor playing Shylock or even somewhat like an  antisemitic character from der Stürmer.  He has disdain for the unions and civil right movements, especially for the Jews who led and contributed to these great achievements.  As for science, I will let you guess where this Luddite stands!

Of course, Lapin’s allies are the same fundamentalist Christian extremists who see my Israeli brothers and sisters as the sacrificial vanguard for the coming Armageddon.  America should stand behind the Israelis as we die for Lapin and his millenialist cohorts.

At least Lapin did not lie.  The rabbi warned his audience not to expect an invocation prayer about love, charity or peace.  Instead,  the Rabbi echoed Kirby’s Conan role, calling for Jewish supremacy in God’s land given to the Jews and God’s judgement against the Muslims.  The audience cheered this red meet, .presumably including their hatred for our Kenyan born, dark skinned President.

Before someone accuses me of bias, I REALLY wanted to find some goodness here.  I would guess there was some … the Romneyites and McKenna’s minions both seemed to be working hard to keep out

End of Convention Sale, see more happy faces by clicking the image.

of things.

I had some good talks with the McKenna folks … they tried hard to convince me that the candidate for Governor is just acting as if he is a crazy person.  Perhaps, but I heard them telling much the same thing to my fellow delegates who were concerned that McKenna was a secret liberal. One surrogate spoke from  the platform about how happy we would all be if we could talk with Rob in private.

The other group that impressed me were the Paul supporters.  Like Ron Paul or not, these are VERY serious folks and the Paul folks were the youngest, smartest and best disciplined, delegates I met over the four days.  Even this guy, as seedy as he looks, was busy actually getting things done.

The only real smiles I saw, other than on the Paul delegates, were on professional politicians like Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi.

The Romney folks did have some brief signs of glee, as the convention ended the Romney booth was selling left over Romney stuff at a discount