The Nose

The Nose: Bernie-or-busters show off their civility at Dem convention; plus a bizarre campaign ad

What an exclusive news-digging opportunity! The Sniff didn’t attend this week’s Democratic National Convention, preferring to watch the festivities from a secure location through heavy lenses. Really, it was just like being there, with the added perk of muting the volume every time “Fight Song” played, and avoiding the lines at the beer garden.

Home-state rooting opportunities for comic relief proved even more numerous than last week’s Republican lovefest, when the Evergreen State’s delegates struck fashion gold with fetching tree-shaped hats.

At the DNC, Washington’s Dems, including a contingent of diehard Bernie Sanders loyalists, didn’t bother with headgear. They prefer all-caps shouting, much like their hero.

Bernie threw down a big endorsement for nominee Hillary Clinton, and backed it up with a text message urging supporters not to protest on the floor, which was about as effective as silencing the neighbor’s dog with firecrackers.

Bernie threw down a big endorsement for nominee Hillary Clinton, and backed it up with a text message urging supporters not to protest on the floor, which was about as effective as silencing the neighbor’s dog with firecrackers.

The Bernie-or-busters booed just about everybody not named Obama, up to and including Massachusetts senator and progressive queen Elizabeth Warren, who got heckled like a stand-up comic delivering a lousy set as she endorsed Clinton. (“WE TRUSTED YOU,” the shouters chanted.)

Invoking Hillary’s historic status as the first woman nominee of a major party didn’t seem to cut it for Sanders supporters, any more than bogeyman warnings about Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Sanders loyalists weren’t buying any of it. They threatened to stage a “fart-in” ahead of Clinton’s formal acceptance of the nomination (probably the only stunt that could force The Sniff to seek a safe space.)

At times, the convention devolved to a rudeness contest between the California and Washington delegations, if reports from the corrupt, corporatist mainstream media can be trusted. (They can’t, of course — take it from The Sniff, who types on a gold-plated laptop provided and monitored by The Illuminati.)

At times, the convention devolved to a rudeness contest between the California and Washington delegations, if reports from the corrupt, corporatist mainstream media can be trusted (they can’t, of course -- take it from The Sniff, who types on a gold-plated laptop provided and monitored by The Illuminati.)

Washington state Democratic Party chairman Jaxon Ravens, yet to embark on his destined career as a supporting character in a series of fantasy novels, tried to downplay the tumult, saying the Washington delegates played nicer than the California crowd; score one for nativism.

Sanders delegate Nick Vaidyanathan of Seattle boasted to radio station KUOW about disrupting a speech by former CIA Director Leon Panetta Wednesday night. The shouts (“No more war”) prompted convention organizers to turn down the house lights over the Washington group, which prompted the group to flash their cellphones and keep up the chant.

Vaidyanathan scoffed at the “four-day staged commercial” of the convention and said he “expected to have a conversation with other delegates and to participate in the democratic process.”

Such notions represented the norm for Sanders supporters, who are muttering about mysterious “anomalies” in the Democratic primary voting. Others made a public show of claiming to be “silenced” by the convention process.

That made perfect sense. As every self-respecting activist knows, getting a four-day ticket to the party’s national convention, waving the sign of your choice, shouting slogans to the rafters every time someone you don’t like speaks, covering your mouth with tape and swarming the media tent to air your petty grievances on camera is the functional equivalent of being exiled to the Gulag Archipelago for voicing contrary opinions.

Nobody move! The Sniff has no idea who devised a recent TV ad for would-be Seattle Congressman Joe “No, I’m not exploiting my last name” McDermott, but the effect leans bizarre.

Titled, “Our Public Health Crisis,” the 30-second ad features a camera panning along a diagonal line of five women.

Another woman stands alone in the left edge of the frame, out of formation, permanently blurred, as though some symmetry-obsessed choreographer realized at the last moment that the arrangement needed balance, if not focus. Is the blurred figure King County Councilwoman and former state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles? A random stranger? Tough to tell.

As the ad progresses, the other women recite fragments of a sentence about Joe’s support for health clinics. The camera pans backward, revealing Joe Himself, holding ... an assault rifle!

As the ad progresses, the other women recite fragments of a sentence about Joe’s support for health clinics. The camera pans backward, revealing Joe Himself, holding ... an assault rifle!

What’s going on in this short horror film? Is Joe the Last-Name Hitchhiker holding these women hostage, aided by the blurry stranger? Is he running for Sheriff of Polygamy County? Is the message VOTE FOR ME OR ELSE?

OK, so Joe talks in the ad about his support for a Seattle gun buyback program and ending gun violence, but as any half-awake political consultant can tell you, viewers respond to pictures before words — when they watch political ads at all, which is a separate question, but you get the idea.

Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune

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