[Ed. – Maybe this should be called “heartwitness.” I’ve noticed about Democratic blog writers that they can’t seem to recount political events without making it all about their deep, intense feelings, their backstory, and what everyone was wearing. Bless their hearts.]
We arrived late Friday night and all around me, women were dressed to the nines and looking miserable. My heart broke for them. I wanted to know their stories; why were they so unhappy? The weight of crumbling expectations seemed to fill the smoky air. I found myself sending little silent affirmations to all these sad, fancy women—You are beautiful, I beamed to them. It will be okay. Perhaps I was channeling my dad, who always did whatever he could to make people feel better about themselves. …
At 9:30, a full half hour before registration closed, Lange read the results of ballots that had been passed out to early arriving conventioneers regarding temporary rules for the convention, rules which would discount the results of the county convention (the second tier of the caucus process, where Bernie had won more delegates), rules which would require that all votes at the convention be decided by voice alone, and which ruled that the decision of the chairperson would be final. These temporary rules had passed with flying colors, which did not sit well with the Bernie delegates, many of whom had not been given ballots. Suddenly half the people of the room were on their feet, shouting “No!!!!” My son and I jumped to our feet as well, added our voices to the chorus. It felt good, all those voices of resistance vibrating through my body. I started to feel less like a cloud. I felt myself drop back into my body, surrounded by all these bodies yelling “No!”, feeling alive inside my skin.
Then people began to chant “Recount” and my son and I joined this call, too, throats aching, adrenaline coursing. Lange took the temporary rules to a voice vote. A hearty round of “Aye”s rose up from the Hillary side of the room, but when it was time for the “Nay” vote, the response was so loud, I felt it shake my every cell, felt it alter my heartbeat. The room was explosive with “Nay”s, roaring with it, and yet Lange decided in favor of the “Aye”s, which only set off more yelling. I thought about my dad, how once when I was a kid, I wanted to do something and my sister didn’t, and he said “If someone says no, you need to listen.” Lange definitely didn’t listen to all the “no”s in the room.