I don’t even know what’s going on in the Twin Cities these days.
We’ll keep this brief: first of all, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! got arrested. There’s been all these protests – crazy kids with handkerchiefs over their faces like the guy on the front of the Flobots record – and tons of cops in riot gear trying to “enforce fascistic martial law” or what have you. Normally, when it comes to protestors vs. cops, I fall on the side of “say what you like, do what you like, even use puppets and stuff if that’s what thrills ya, but if you do anything stupid or dangerous, you deserve what’s coming to you.” But these people arrested Amy Goodman, a left-wing radio journalist who reminds me of my Mom in both age and demeanor. They let her go pretty quickly, but seriously?
That’s how it went down. She tried to ask what was going to happen to her employees, who had also been arrested, and they handcuffed her. Because, you know, an unbound 51 year old female radio host is obviously a danger to herself and others. I’m not saying that there’s some big conspiracy here, or that America is now under martial law or that this is part of something bigger and scarier. I am, however, saying that cops occasionally seem slightly more frightened of lefty protestors than they probably should be, which I think says more about the culture of the local police department than it does about our “descent into fascism.” Fascism is, by definitiion, corporate control of the government, and we’ve been there for years. The word you’re looking for is “totalitarianism.”
That’s no excuse for some of the things that have been done here, however. Consider this story, from the Minnesota Independent, about a 17-year old kid who was beaten by police for protesting more or less peacefully. Take of it what you will.
Here’s Bree R.’s Flickr photostream of the protests. There was one photo I saw of a kid holding a sign that said “If you tear-gas me, who will pay for my health care?” which I thought was really clever, but I can’t find it anymore. I think it’s somewhere on MSNBC’s site, so if you find it, let me know.
Across the river from St. Paul, there was another kind of protest: a sort of mini-convention of Ron Paul supporters. I admire the pluck and spirit of Paul and his army of internet friends more than their politics – small, inobtrusive, libertarian government is all well and good, but once you start talking about shutting down the Department of Education, I get a little bit itchy. Plus, as you’ll read in the article I just linked to, some of his supporters are a little too – shall we say – white supremacist for my liking. Seriously.
However, I’m a sucker for crazy Photoshopping, so enjoy.
Now, then, in St. Paul, at the FossilFuel4Eva Dome or whatever the frig, the actual RNC was taking place. Laura Bush showed up again for some reason. Her husband, who may or may not be the “President,” appeared on the big screen in a pre-recorded announcement of some sort. Hurricane Gustav did wonders for the GOP once again, providing a great excuse for them to not invite President Doop-dee-doop, who might otherwise break something. Lord only knows where Cheney is throughout all this.
And then Joe Lieberman came out to give the keynote speech. You might remember Joe Lieberman as the 2000 Democratic nominee for VP, before he left the beach to join The Others. Joe, with his astoundingly uninspirational speaking style, tepidly laid out the case for his buddy Sen. Johnny Straight-Talk, calling Barack Obama an “eloquent young man who will do wonderful things for this country.” Shame.
Many have speculated, and there may be some truth to this, that McCain wanted Lieberman to be his running mate like Bow Wow Wow wanted candy. The RNC, however, forbade such a union on the grounds that he’s Jewish perhaps it would be better to have someone on the ticket who wasn’t so circumcized centrist, and if that person just so happens to be a polar bear killing Christian fundamentalist with ties to an Alaskan secession group conservative female Governor, so much the better! Poor ol’ Joe got stuck with having to make this speech, anyway. Harry Reid, and other prominent Dems, are sort of angry with him and wonder if any retribution is in order, but a) they won’t do it because they’re Wimpocrats, and b) they can’t do it, because Lieberman is the sole member of the Conneticut for Lieberman party, and is thus no longer under their control.
I missed Fred Thompson’s speech, and might write about it later if I feel like watching it. Or not.
Tonight, Gov. Sarah Palin will accept the nomination for Veep of the GOP, with her daughter, her daughter’s unborn child, her daughter’s baby daddy, her four other kids, her husband, and countless reporters from OK!, People, and InTouch Weekly in the crowd. Let’s see how she manages to pull this off.