I missed it. I was at the Republican Convention, so I missed it. The big protest March was rerouted at the last minute and fifty to seventy thousand people marched in front of my apartment building. I saw the tail end of it while getting out of the subway. The sanitation department was right there cleaning up the mess from the streets. The homeless handyman who lives on our block said, "I’ve never seen anything like it." Damn!!!
But that was later…
Let’s flashback to this morning, getting off the subway at half past eight in the A.M, where we find the entire area around 8th avenue blocked off. I had no trouble getting in, they borrowed some security people from the airports and it was a breeze. After picking up some magazines, I headed over the bridge to the Garden, this after going through another metal detector, there we went directly to the press conference area, and the guy who was police commissioner on 9/11 gave a statement on the security situation, which was, he said, much better than prior to the notorious attack.
Someone asked about when Cheney was going to be nominated and the briefer didn’t know. So with obfuscation fuzzified like never before, we the press scattered to the winds.
I first went to the radio row section, which is always one of the best sections of these events. You get to see celebrities and stuff! I saw G. Gordan Liddy sitting there with a shiteating grin on his face. Then some people I know from Pacifica radio.
Finally, I went to the Bloggers area. Being one myself, I figured that I should find out why I couldn’t get one of those cool buttons they were wearing. No one had an answer, but they were all very nice and full of good tips as to fixing my screwed up software problems. This despite the fact that their aethernet connections weren’t yet working.
When last I checked they were working at last.
Finally, I went up to the seventh floor and headed out to the bleachers to find my seat. It was the very worst one in the entire arena. Fortunately, the place wasn’t that full, so I just sat down in front of a good view, where I watched Ed Koch give a really mediocre speech as to why he was supporting a guy with whom he disagreed about everything.
"Why am I here?" He asked. "To convert You!!!!" If only he were.
This was in fact a double introduction. First he introduced a short film about how wonderful New York is, then he introduced Mayor Bloomberg, the only Billionaire for Bush who’s not joking when he says that. His speech was genuinely awful. He, and quite a few other of the speakers invoked Lincoln, as if the fact that Dixiecrats and neo-confederates hadn’t taken over the party decades ago never happened.
The Co-chair of the party, who’s name I don’t remember told some inspirational stories about some of the volunteers at the convention. There was one that got me teary-eyed.
There was this little girl named Rita, or at least I think that’s what her name was. She had been in a hurrendous car wreck and was undergoing surgery to save her life, when her lung suddenly collapsed. It turned out she had a tumor growing between the lung and her heart. Of course the doctors cut it out immediately, and she’s on the mend, but even though she’s very week she insisted on coming to New York. "I have to help President Bush get re-elected!" she said. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww……
Then in came Dick Cheney himself. The crowd didn’t exactly go nuts, but there was a lack of restraint. He was there for a very specific reason. The nominations!
Nominating speeches are a grand tradition in the history of political conventions. Some of the greatest oratory in the history of the english language could be found in them. But not this time. They just had a guy from Ohio give a thirty second speech from the floor. The nominating speech for Cheney for Veep was even shorter.
Then the first part of the roll call of the states began. The Republicans, with no opposition to the pre-selected candidate, have decided to cut the voting into little pieces part this afternoon, part tonight and part tomarrow. One wonders what would happen if there was a deadlock….
So when that ended I left. Then I got out of the train and saw the protesters leaving my street. I need a nap.