[Note: Upon further investigation by members of the Draft Perriello movement, it has become clear that only one person was trying to organize a disruption of the JJ dinner. That person is a Kaine opponent, but not necessarily a Perriello supporter (though he is apparently a member of the Draft Perriello Facebook page). That person has since walked back his comment and either deleted it or had it deleted by the moderator. The moderator of that page may want to police its membership a little better. I am happy that the Draft Perriello movement has clarified that it will not make an angry noisy demonstration at the JJ Dinner.]
Well this is kind of disturbing. It seems like some of the people in the Draft Perriello movement may be planning to disrupt a speech by Tim Kaine. The Draft Perriello folks are well-meaning and I admire their passion, but their behavior has escalated in a really negative fashion in an incredibly short amount of time. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the dinner's attendees react if a handful of Perriello zealots try to shout down Tim Kaine.
The person I feel sorry for in all of this is Tom Perriello. There's no way he approves of this kind of over-the-top, obnoxious demonstration. Perriello has been out of the country, working to help the spread of Democracy in Africa--specifically in Egypt, where he was detained by the Mubarak government during the recent demonstrations. Tom deserves a lot better than this. There would be nothing wrong with a dignified display, such as wearing Perriello stickers left over from his most recent run for Congress. That would be classy and would demonstrate support for Perriello in the event that Kaine decides not to run.
But to openly plan to disrupt a speech by the person who really is the consensus candidate for most Democrats in Virginia is really irresponsible. It suggests that the people pushing so hard for Perriello's nomination (and not Tom Perriello himself) have become a little unhinged. These people would do well to take a deep breath, calm down, and begin thinking about how their actions will be perceived by their friends, because that, in a way is what JJ is: it's sort of an annual family reunion for the people who make up the Democratic and Progressive movement in Virginia. Now is not the time to embarrass Tom Perriello in front of his friends and political family.
Update: Bob Brigham, the person who "joked" about bringing vuvuzelas to the JJ Dinner to disrupt any speech by Tim Kaine, has asked that I publish the following statement:
"Any mention of vuvuzelas in America is, by definition, a joke. Writing a blog post like this over what is very obviously a one line joke on Facebook is a clear sign that The Richmonder is either the dumbest person in Virginia politics or entirely disingenuous. Either way, entirely untrustworthy and only deserving of a hearty, mocking laughter...the type of laughter that begins far down in your stomach and soon becomes so overpowering that one finds themselves actually rolling on the floor...the type of laughter usually reserved for Tim Kaine's announcements of which offices he does not seek."As you can see, Mr. Brigham's sense of humor is rather clumsy and poorly expressed, so perhaps we can take this dolt at his word that he did not actually mean to encourage people to disrupt the JJ Dinner. Mr. Brigham's behavior and commentary have done little to advance the cause he claims to support. Mr. Brigham's comment at the Draft Perriello Facebook page was apparently deleted by the moderator of that site . . . 19 hours after it was posted.