Later today Bastardette is heading out for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing there exactly, though my tentative plan is to cover the street for the Columbus Free Press and schmooze. I plan to post here, too. I’m not sure, though, how much time I’ll have to write, but if nothing else I’ll be posting pictures here and on Facebook unless I lose internet access. My tentative lodgings are only 15 miles out of town, so it looks like I won’t have to spend the next 5 days under a tarp on Public Square. The Michigan delegation, though, may as well be camping out. I hear, it’s stuck in Akron and will be shuttled around. Why bother to even go?
The RNC, with good reason, is getting a lot of bad press. People have asked me if I’m afraid to go . Well…no. I go back and forth about how bad the RNC will be, but afraid–no. I find it fascinating and horrifying that the RNC and presumably the DNC–or rather their federal and state surrogates– are transforming dozens of city blocks of major cities into militarized zones to protect “our” candidates and “law makers” and delegates from “us.” Doesn’t anyone see something wrong with this? Hell, even Dick Nixon could walk the streets of Washington after hours. He had a little nitch at Trader Vic’s where he was left alone to sip mai tais and brood or whatever he did. Now we have the specter of Trump’s Lions, the KKK, Aryan Nation, the California Traditionalist Party (who hates everybody), and a bunch of bikers coming to town packing to protect their boy from Black Lives Matter, The New Black Panthers, the Democratic Peoples Guard, NARAL* naked people, and me. Ironically, under Ohio’s open carry law, I could walk around all but a very restricted downtown area with a baby Glock all week but am forced to leave my ax, grappling hook, and tennis balls at home. This is indeed a shitstorm, but it’s history and (thank you Lin-Manuel Miranda) I want to be in the room where it happens.
In 1968 Abbie Hoffman asked made the reasonable remark regarding Chicago: What are they gonna do Shoot us? But this is 2016 and the answer is well, yes, maybe…
*Reportedly NARAL is planning a demo at an Ohio Right to Life meet-and-greet with the grande dame of the right Phyllis Schlafly.