The inside scoop from the SD Democratic Convention and the implications
by ira13ping, Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 02:59:23 PM EDT
I posted my piece from the SD Democratic Party blog on Daily Kos today, but I gotta' say, the convention was more than just rhetoric. I'm posting my opinion on what I saw at the convention for those interested in the condition of State Parties (in this case, South Dakota).
So, most of this is true. I did really enjoy myself at the convention (I'm actually a temporary staffer so I worked the convention too). However, there was trouble in the party. The most excitement happened during the 2nd day. Most of the platform was rubberstamped (we had some new things moving towards the right in economics but that's to be expected) by the convention delegates.
The real trouble came during the adoption of the "Unity Resolution" authored by Jack Billion, Eric Abrahamson, Rep. Stephanie Herseth, and Senator Tim Johnson. Essentially, it said that we were willing to tolerate different views and recognized that the local Democratic Party was willing to work on issues that united us.
However, many pro-life and pro-choice democratic delegates finally felt the need to speak out. Angrily, advocate after advocate, they demanded a resolution to take a position on the abortion issue. In fact, they suspended the rules and offered a replacement resolution of the "Unity Resolution" that took a pro-choice position. Now, while many of my progressive compatriots might not think this too bad, remember where I live, South Dakota.
Surprisingly, despite the negative press, South Dakotans are already forgiving Governor Rounds about H.B. 1215 (outlaws abortions). In the end, the convention ended with the chair and peers making deals with delegates to force a withdrawl of the new resolution and adopt the "Unity Resolution" for the sake of the candidates themselves.
Eventually it worked and we adopted the unity resolution with the hardcore believers (of both sides) refusing to vote. It passed with no resistance. Was this a good experience? Did the delegates need a place to vent? Or is this just the tip of the iceburg?
I know it seems paranoid, but I can attest that there are MANY passionate members on either side of the issue. Sadly, the republican's wedge issue (H.B. 1215) is even working on the democrats (even at our own state convention)!
What can be done? I can't help but think that the SD Dem party is more trouble than initially thought. Hell, Democrats are usually united by being against something but even this.... there was no hope of really addressing this issue. Perhaps there never will be.