Anyone who’s ever attended a specialty convention will tell you that it is a rather massive undertaking to coordinate several thousand like-minded individuals in a confined space. Whether it’s a gathering of animal costume fetishists, comic book and sci-fi geeks, porn stars, or politicians, these unique meet-ups are logistical nightmares that require the cooperation of local authorities and governments for permits, police, and private security, as well as staffers, work crews, sponsorships, and an event space large enough to house the endeavor. This doesn’t even take into account the surrounding communities that need to prepare for the flood of yahoos who barrel into town needing hotels, restaurants, and parking spaces to empty the shitters in their Wonkebagos.
You’d think that some 150+ years after the first Republican National Convention, the 39th would be pretty easy. It’s done every four years, right? Get some balloons and confetti, a couple cops, and find a stadium with air conditioning and a solid P.A. system where you can hold a bitchin’ laser light show, and wrap everything up with a break dancing Ronald Reagan hologram. Just offer up some cheap booze, some shitty fried food, and bing-bang-boom: you’ve got yourself a spectacle to soak up news coverage for days. What could go wrong?
Well, your entire base could revolt and elect a quasi-fascist demagogue who spends a year airing dirty laundry, belching sentence-fragments, and barking at the national press corps for starters. The nominee could actively encourage violence and extremists who have only existed in the dark corners of the the party, like a drunk wife-beating uncle at the family reunion.
Such is the case of the GOP convention today. A veritable exodus of party die-hards, sponsors, and vendors have been quietly making statements that they won’t be attending the four-day shit show in Cleveland this year. Clearly, there is an elephant in the room.
“I’m sure it will be fun, I’m sure it will be entertaining. And I can watch it on TV.”
– Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“Just as they’re firming up the schedule, it kind of looks like there’s a lot of stuff for me to do.”
-Sen. Rob Johnson
“I don’t even want to be involved…It’s a mess. I hate the whole thing.”
-Gov. Larry Hogan, MD
“Donald J. Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee, But he will not be my nominee and I will not attend a convention celebrating his candidacy.”
-Josh Claybourn, IN. GOP Delegate
Yer Wonkette is clearly not losing any sleep over this, but it’s worth mentioning that everyone seems to think that they’ll catch cooties if they show up at GOPlaooza this year. While Trump certainly scares the living shit out of down ballot candidates and the Grand Old Party’s steadfast guard of olds alike, they’re realizing they’re stuck with him, whether they like it or not.
That same sick and disgusted feeling normally felt after a night of heavy drinking is radiating to convention sponsors and vendors like Coca-cola, Microsoft, and H.P. who are politely saying that they would rather take a flying fuck into Lake Erie than be associated with Trump’s orgiastic coronation as God Emperor.
“Coca-Cola has declined to match the $660,000 it gave for the 2012 Republican convention, donating only $75,000 for this year and indicating that it does not plan to provide more. Microsoft will provide only software and technical assistance to the Republicans’ event, while it plans to give that and monetary support to Democrats.”
Now, losing your sponsors would be bad for most people, but this is the party of trickle-down economics, they’ll probably be OK if they have to shell out some cash for a slap and tickle at the Jesus juicebar. They are, however, going to have a little bit of trouble when it comes to keeping everything together outside of the unimaginatively named Quicken Loans Arena.
Traditionally, the Secret Service is in charge of the security inside of the convention hall and in the immediate area outside of the venue. The rest is left up to local cops and private security, usually off-duty cops, and cops on assignment form other police departments. Cincinnati just pulled its cops from the convention because, while Cincinnati is simultaneously hosting an NAACP convention, Cleveland is being some cheap-shits and declining to pay for necessary medical check-ups for visiting officers, as well as workers compensation claims. God forbid there should be a riot at a contentious convention, or someone should get sick, you wouldn’t want to have to pay the medical bills of cops injured in the line of duty. So much for #BlueLivesMatter!
Other police departments in Ohio are pulling out as well, probably sensing the stink of shit and teargas in the air. The Butler County Sheriff’s office declined as well, stating that Cleveland seemed to have enough officers willing to beat and pepper spray protesters should things get out of control. Greensboro, North Carolina, also opted not to send additional officers to Cleveland for similar reasons, with their chief of police basically saying that Cleveland just didn’t have its shit together to handle 50,000 preppers, zealots, spoiled Brobots, and grumpy old white men hanging off the Trump-train.
“In recently weeks, I have spoken with Police Administrators who have experience in planning for an event of this magnitude and they express a lack of confidence in the City of Cleveland and their preparedness for the RNC. Due to this reason, they declined to send officers from their jurisdictions. While we always make a concerted effort to assist our law enforcement partners, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are sending our officers to an event that is well planned and that we do not leave ourselves in a vulnerable situation here at home while we send our officers to assist in another jurisdiction.”
Cleveland has said that it plans on making sure that the cops it DOES have are going to be warm and maybe friendly-looking. They want to hold back the “military-style equipment” and “personal protective gear” unless there’s someone other than Trump starts throwing bombs. Cops will be patrolling on bicycles, for that old-timey community policing feel mixed with hipster-chic.
But don’t worry, you guys! Cleveland may not be able to set up their convention properly anyway because the Cavaliers made it into NBA finals! Since the convention takes six weeks to prepare, and the finals won’t be over until four weeks before the convention starts, the crews will have two fewer weeks to get everything ready! WOO! SPORTS! Cleveland rocks!
Oh yeah, the Democrats are going to have a clusterfuck of a shitshow probably too.