Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Trouble In Little Obamatown

Barack Obama made another campaign fundraising trip to San Francisco on Tuesday. But it bore little resemblance to his past royal progresses. He usually has an excited crowd inside his favorite gathering spot--the W Hotel--with seats costing between $2500 and $35,000. He got a few of those people, but many of his regulars were in an angry crowd outside the hotel.

Bear with me. I have to comment on Obama's choice of hotels. San Francisco has some of the most beautiful and historic hotels in America. The Fairmont. The Mark Hopkins. The Clift. The Palace. The St. Francis. The Drake. But the nouveau riche Obama and his staff prefer the W. It's South of Market Street (nicknamed SOMA by the wannabe hip crowd), where we old-time San Franciscans still picture skid row and broken-down warehouses. It's in SOMA near MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art). It has a certain ring to it. Millions spent on redevelopment haven't changed our minds, but the yuppies love it.

The hotel advertises itself as "green, hip, stylish, upscale, and forward-looking." It's pure kitsch as far as I'm concerned. The yuppies, who know the price of everything and the value of nothing, simply can't tell the difference between fad and fashion. Much like Obama himself. They can order a $200 steak, but they still put their elbows on the table, hold their utensils like weapons, and talk with their mouths full, sometimes in mangled French. The dining room sounds more like Madison Square Garden during a heavyweight boxing match than an elegant place to dine. And who names a hotel "W?" Is it located between the V and X hotels?

I won't even comment on the three-story tall "pneumatic" sculpture of a reclining lodger which looms over the Disneyland-like entrance. I feel better now, so I'll go on with the actual topic. The cause du jour that turned the usually Obama-friendly crowd hostile is the Keystone XL pipeline. Susie Tompkins Buell, co-founder of Esprit de Corps clothes, stood outside with the crowd and railed against the 1700 mile pipeline from Canada to Texas refineries. It will end the world as we know it. It will destroy the migration and mating habits of the caribou and kill off the remaining polar bear population. Oh, wait. Wrong pipeline. That was the Alaska pipeline.

Tompkins Buell attended the last Obama fundraiser inside the W, at $7500 per plate. But she's out with the folks on the street this time. In 2010, fellow protester David des Jardins, an IT consultant, gave Obama and the Democrats $60,000. This time, he joined hands with Tompkins Buell outside and said "The concern of the donor community is that he really doesn't get the picture of how important this is." They missed the point that importing oil from Canada is a green Obama initiative so we don't destroy the world by drilling for oil ourselves. Brazil was too far, and at least we have a border with Canada.

But they weren't alone in the roiling crowd. The antiwar protesters were there as well. Republicans are giving Obama grudging credit for knocking off a few of the leaders of terror organizations in the Middle East. But this crowd is having none of it. Many were highly-indignant about the lengthy detention of US soldier and alleged traitor Bradley Manning (accused of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks). The Occupy SF gang also took time out from demonstrating in the financial district to come down and take a few shots (metaphorical, of course) at Obama. There was also a CAIR contingent, furious about Obama's perfidious attacks on Muslims.

But the biggest and richest contingent was the anti-Keystone contingent. There was Michael Kieschnick, CEO of CREDO Mobile and Working Assets. That company and its executives have given Obama and progressive, green causes over $60 million. This time he refused to pay the freight for a seat inside at the luncheon, and stood on the street with the rest of the gang. Standing next to him was usual luncheon/dinner attendee Heidi Hess, who contributed $4,600 to Obama's 2008 campaign, but says she doubts she'll contribute this time: "It depends on what kind of president he is. I've been disappointed on a lot of issues." If she doesn't know what kind of president he is now, she never will.

Last, but not least, is the gay/medical marijuana crowd. Led by state Assemblything Tom Ammiano, former SF Supervisor and apostle of Harvey Milk (and former stand-up comic), their portion of the crowd held up protest signs, inhaled, got well, and ate carloads of Doritos. Said Ammiano: "I am part of the loyal opposition to Obama. I want him to rein in the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice and federal prosecutors are acting like thugs by threatening medical marijuana dispensaries." Sweet Jesus!

This is a strong indication that there's trouble in paradise. Obama has been trying to appeal to his base by issuing executive orders for left wing causes, thereby avoiding that pesky Congress and Constitution stuff. Apparently, his efforts have not been entirely successful. These people will never vote for a Republican, but if they sit on their hands on election day, the hardcore votes of the left may be lost to him. Besides, San Francisco has candidates galore from fringe groups like the Peace and Freedom Party and the Green Party. Maybe they'll vote for Cindy Sheehan.

18 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I guess it is popcorn eating time. Has Obama addressed his munchkins occupying SF? Or did the SFPD raid ObamaVille by the Bay?

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: The police in SF pretty much have their hands tied, but they are very good at corralling mavericks who break away from the herd. Business goes on in the financial district, amazingly. The Occupiers who showed up at the W were relatively peaceful, and Obama simply ignored them.

The Oakland police, on the other hand, don't suffer from the same restraints on maintaining order. They've driven the Occupy mob back from City Hall twice, and intend to continue to do so until they get the idea. Oakland is a very violent city, and they have a police force that recognizes that, and prepares to nip riots in the bud. Of course during his tenure, former mayor and now governor Jerry Brown weakened the force considerably.

T-Rav said...

I can just see the history books now: "The Revolution of 2011 was fought in the streets, as oppressed millionaires fought for their rights against working-class policemen, notorious lackeys of the capitalist powers."

Joel Farnham said...

Oakland used to be a tough but fair town. Now, it is home to thugs and other denizens of the drug culture.

I do wish that they would try to reclaim it's old glory, but I fear that is impossible now.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Henceforth we shall call you T-Nostradamus.

Koshcat said...

I would give money and support to Cindy Sheehan over Pelosi. Sheehan's politics and mannerisms drive me crazy, but at least she is honest about how she thinks.

Wasn't "W" Bush's symbol? Sort of a weird irony.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: In the olden days when I was in college, I had a part-time job at a bank located at 12th and Broadway. We set type at night for new checking accounts. I felt perfectly safe going back to Berkeley from Oakland at midnight. Today, I wouldn't hang around 12th and Broadway in broad daylight, let alone at midnight. A few years back, the city had to start providing taxi service and police protection for swing shift and graveyard shift employees at the banks and businesses in that same area because of the high rate of muggings, rapes and murders. It was giving all new meaning to the words "graveyard shift."

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: Cindy Sheehan is not the typical SF Obamist. She's crazy, but she isn't rich. The Democrats love their street crazies like Sheehan, but they need their rich limousine liberals to fund their activities. This is the first sign of a crack in that SF wall.

That is ironic about the name of the hotel. However, if I'm getting it right, to go along with the other kitsch, the word is that the "W" stands for "Wow." Oh, brother! To complete the picture, the big bar in the hotel is called the XYZ bar. Well, at least they know their alphabet.

AndrewPrice said...

We're seeing a lot of this now as big-spending Obama supporters are turning their backs on him. I don't know yet if it's real or if they're just trying to make a statement before the election, but it's interesting that they're giving him so much trouble.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I love the irony of ultra-rich people who have feasted at the tables set by capitalism promoting socialism, income equality, and radical egalitarianism. Like the oil pipeline, they can't even figure out that some things wouldn't be necessary if the government weren't already screwing up free enterprise and putting the environment ahead of human needs.

I tend to think that they often suffer from "single issuism" which we've warned our conservative colleagues about more than once. It wasn't until the pipeline looked like a fait accompli that the biggest group at the W hotel turned against Obama. Previously, they were inside the hotel eating $2500 rubber chicken and worshiping The One. But we can be pretty sure that none of them will vote for any of the current Republican candidates (with the possible exception of Huntsman). Our best hope is that they will just sit at home in their mansions and fail to vote at all.

rlaWTX said...

Koshcat, I had the same thought about "W" when reading the article!

LawHawk, the "Wow Hotel"? oooookay.

As for the protesters... there's a WOW. "depends on what kind of president he is" - when will this decision be made? Maybe he can toss out some crazy regulations on 11/1/12 and make them all happy again?

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I don't know what to make of much of what Obama and his disciples are up to. He responded to calls for showing some leadership by authorizing constitutionally-questionable executive orders. He's against drilling, unless some other country does it, then he supports running a pipeline from our northern to southern border. He is flailing and he's going to take the rest of us with him if we're not vigilant. I can envision that November 2012 executive order being something like: "As President, I hereby execute my right to suspend the Constitution." Wow!

StanH said...

Lovers quarrel. They’ll be back holding hands singing Kumbaya in preparation for 2012. There is an opportunity to vanquish our leftist, and they’ll sense it as we get closer to November 2012 in a failed attempt to save the One, and by extension the democrat utopia.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, I doubt he has the nerve anymore to do something like that. If he does, however, all bets are off.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: That's a pretty good way of thinking of it. They'll rail at him, but when a Republican makes a much more valid criticism, they'll circle the wagons. Still, I see some malaise in their loyalty, and the enthusiasm that propelled this nonentity into office is lacking in many former strongholds. The honeymooon's over, and they're not ready for a divorce, so maybe it will be a trial separation.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I meant it largely as humorous overstatement, but this guy is a narcissist of the highest order. Megalomania may lie just beneath that cold exterior. His will to stay in office, solely for his own good and the perpetuation of his image remind me more of Stalin than Hitler, though I genuinely don't think he has the murderous tendencies of either.

rlaWTX said...

just saw this and had to share...


http://sweetness-light.com/archive/ows-kitchen-workers-protest-freeloaders

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: That's hilarious. The doctrine of unintended consequences.

Here's the clickable link: Freeloaders.

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