DENVER — The opening of the Democratic National Convention has been like the main stop on the book tour of every left-wing pundit who has done battle on a crossfire television show.
Though the celebrities were scheduled to begin making appearances Monday night at parties thrown by magazines such as GQ and Slate, the main stars so far have been Eric Alterman, Arianna Huffington, Jonathan Alter, Samantha Power, et al.
As could perhaps be predicted, they have been ubiquitous, as easy to find on the circuit as the overheated bomb-sniffing dogs and Panasonic flat-screen televisions populating the Pepsi Center.
You’d think most of the pundit class would be elated, or at least optimistic, right now. Thanks to an Iraq war that has gone disastrously (at least until the last few months) and an economy that is in the dumps, the country has turned on its Republican president in a way that is virtually unprecedented in modern American politics.
And yet, at a slew of panels Monday hosted by the Progressive Book Club, there seemed to be as much ambivalence as ever about the direction of the Democratic Party. For all Sen. Barack Obama’s talk of “change we can believe in,” one thing that remains the same is that the Democrats are the party of self-doubt, and that means that change we can believe in changes depending on whom you ask.
Why isn’t the Democratic Party fighting more like the Republicans?
Why, conversely, does it talk so much about this? Does it even need to?
Does the party need to be more corporate friendly or does it need to begin really talking about the small number of companies that control the airwaves?
Jane Mayer is a New Yorker writer and terrorism expert whose book, “The Dark Side,”argues that in, addition to the moral dilemma posed by torture, coercive techniques against alleged terrorists have proven time and again to be less effective than a carrot-and-stick approach. Yet Monday, at a lunch cohosted with Media Matters, she was saying that “liberals are afraid to make an opening on national security issues.”
The author and media critic Alterman was criticizing the left’s failure to forge alliances with military personnel who have criticized the war in Iraq.
David Sirota, author of the “The Uprising,” was incensed that the left talks more of winning than of forging a real progressive agenda.
Huffington was cautioning against a move to the center in an effort to appeal to swing voters. “Do you want a repeat of 2002 and 2004?” she asked. “Equivocating and triangulating? We had John Kerry putting on his hunting outfit to show people he was one of them. Those ways of campaigning will not win the election in 2008. The thing that will win is appealing to unlikely progressive voters.”
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion