WND Exclusive ELECTION 2008
'Progressive' conference shuts down military man
At event attended by leading Democrat candidates moderator cuts off questioner because of uniform
Posted: August 3, 2007
7:24 p.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Democratic National Committee chief Howard Dean, seen on accompanying video screen, stirs up YearlyKos conference crowd (Photo DailyKos)
A moderator at a conference of "progressive" bloggers attended by leading Democratic presidential candidates engaged in an unusual confrontation with a man in military uniform, refusing to let him speak and demanding he identify himself.
The panel, "The Military and Progressives," took place today at the YearlyKos in Chicago, an annual event run by influential blogger Markos Moulitsas of the DailyKos.
The confrontation was captured on video posted by blogger Ian Schwartz, beginning at about the 40-minute mark.
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Ezra Klein of the American Prospect, who witnessed the incident called it an "odd close" to the panel, reporting that at the end "a young man in uniform stood up to argue that the surge was working, and cutting down on Iraqi casualties."
"The moderator largely freaked out," Klein wrote. "When other members of the panel tried to answer his question, he demanded they 'stand down.'"
The moderator, Klein said, "demanded the questioner give his name, the name of his commander and the name of his unit. And then he closed the panel, no answer offered or allowed, and stalked off the stage."
Panelist Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, "took the mic and tried to explain what had just occurred," Klein said.
Klein said "the argument appears to be that you're not allowed to participate in politics while wearing a uniform, or at least that you shouldn't, and that the questioner was engaging in a sort of moral blackmail, not to mention a violation of the rules, by doing so."
He concluded: "Knowing fairly little about the army, I can't speak to any of that. But it was an uncomfortable few moments, and seemed fairly contrary to the spirit of the panel to roar down the member of the military who tried to speak with a contrary voice."
Democratic presidential candidates expected to attend the conference are former Sens. John Edwards and Mike Gravel; Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Chris Dodd; and Rep. Dennis Kucinich. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also are expected.