Protests hit 'em where they ain't

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J. M. Branum quotes approvingly from Margaret Cho's account of the Sunday, August 29, 2004, protest in New York City:

. . . There were police all over the street. More than were necessary, and more than I thought actually existed. I am sure they had a major recruitment rush before this week, because their uniforms were ill-fitting and too new, and they all had an awkward nervousness to them. Every once in a while, you would see a grey suited delegate speedily walking alongside on the other side of the barrier. Often, they would be hiding their badges with their hands as they almost ran back to the safety of Madison Square Garden.

There was a small group of delegates sitting near the entrance, watching the enormous crowd go past, with glum but semi-stunned looks on their faces, as if they were watching their empire crumble, which is exactly what was happening.

Nice attempt at mindreading there, Margaret.

Now this protest occurred on Sunday, the day before the opening of the convention. Delegates didn't go to Madison Square Garden on Sunday. There was nothing for a delegate to do there, and I doubt that delegates would have been admitted. The only thing that would have been happening there on Sunday was last minute preparations for the start of business the following day. Delegates and guests had a separate credential for each session -- numbered 1 through 5. Number 1 was for Monday morning, the only morning session. We didn't have a number 0 credential.

Where were the delegates? Were we being protected from reality, as Mike from Little Axe suggests?


On Sunday afternoon, delegates were still en route to NYC in many cases. Those of us who had already arrived were going to church, sightseeing, attending welcome brunches, and getting ready to see a Broadway play -- the NYC host committee provided matinee tickets for all the delegations. And I doubt that many delegates were wearing grey suits on a warm summer Sunday afternoon.

After reading some of the protest websites before the convention, I told people that the radicals seemed to think that we would stroll the sidewalks of New York looking like Rich Uncle Pennybags, with cane, top hat, tails, monocle, spats, and furs. All of us members of the Halliburton board of directors, we were undoubtedly assembling to plot the next round of plunder, rape, and pillage, but the mighty protestors would confront us and shock us and send us scampering back to the Hamptons (um, no, all rich liberals out there) or Bel Air (ditto).

So Margaret Cho spotted a hotel manager or a security supervisor or a salesman from Macy's mens' department, taking a break and watching the wackos pass by, and imagined him into a plutocrat quaking with fear at the fall of the ancien regime.

If it makes you feel better, Margaret, you're welcome to believe you made a struck a blow against the system and left a deep impression on the nation's kingmakers, but the reality is that we delegates (who aren't very powerful anyway) were busy having fun that day, and we missed seeing you. Sorry. Better luck in four years. If I see you then, I promise to sneer at you through my monocle, whack you in the shin with my walking stick, and leave you in a cloud of exhaust as my Bentley speeds off, so you can feel properly victimized.

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» I really need a monocle. from Spot On

I know I'm a little late with the convention stories but this post by a delegate is a great, funny read.... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 12, 2004 1:09 PM.

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