He particularly hated the Thursday night dinner I mentioned as the high point of the conference:
At a banquet the previous evening, the Constitution Party's 2004 presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, called the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube "an act of terror in broad daylight aided and abetted by the police under the authority of the governor." Red-faced and sweating profusely, Peroutka added, "This was the very definition of state-sponsored terror."Funny thing is, I didn't see Peroutka sweating or red-faced. But you know how its been since about 1970--every journalist wants to be Hunter S. Thompson. If it moves the narrative along to say he was sweating profusely or turned into a lizard or something, who's to niggle about facts?
Blumenthal then gets to David Gibbs III's (who was the Schindler family's attorney) speech at the banquet, and the subsequent prayer:
Gibbs described his visit to Schiavo's hospital room after her feeding tube had been removed. Schiavo lay in bed "with her eyes sunken deep in her head...she was skeletal," Gibbs recounted. "Then she turned to her mother suddenly, like she wanted to speak, and she just started sobbing." By now, members of the audience were crying.I'm afraid I cannot vouch for the facts one way or the other here. Unlike Max, not once at the conference was I tempted to check out the other men's butts.
As soon as he left the stage, one of the event's planners asked all the men in the room to get down on the floor and pray. With no other choice, I moved my plastic-upholstered chair aside, took to my hands and knees and listened as plaintive voices arose all around me with prayers for Schiavo's parents and maledictions against judicial tyranny. A saccharine version of Pachelbel's Canon emanating from the player piano in the hotel lobby seeped through the banquet hall's open doors, suffusing the ceremony with a dreamlike atmosphere. When I finally dared to look up from the ground, I realized that my head was only inches from an enormous posterior belonging to William Dannemeyer, the former congressman who once issued a letter to his colleagues listing twenty-four people with some connection to Bill Clinton who died "under other than natural circumstances."