Well, my friends, I was unable to get myself to St. Paul for the Republican National Convention this week. It just wasn’t in the cards, financially.
I don’t know whether to be bummed or relieved.
See, the blogger/activist side of me really wants to be there with cameras rolling, documenting what’s happening outside the convention. Because there is a lot of shit happening that really ought to be documented. More on that in a minute.
Then there is the self-preservation side of me, that wants to remain unbruised, unhandcuffed, unpeppersprayed, and un-arrested-on-ridiculous-trumped-up-charges.
Though you can’t tell it from the coverage in the mainstream media, the St. Paul police (and, according to at least some of the reports, the FBI) have been totally out of control for the past few days, trying to round up anyone who might have an opinion before the Republican convention gets started.
They’re not just arresting the activists. They’re also arresting journalists – they got Amy Goodman Monday afternoon, and also AP photographer Matt Rourke. And anyone who might be trying to document the police behavior. I read one report that said one or more of the lawyers who have shown up to represent activists have also been arrested.
Sorry, I can’t remember where I saw that one. I’ve been reading blog coverage – since the mainstream media has been totally fucking ignoring this – more or less continuously since I saw subMedia’s early Saturday morning report about the first police raid Friday evening. They’ve done two more since then, and both are must see. Lots of other people have been writing and posting videos about what’s going on in St. Paul. Here’s a few worth checking out.
Here’s the thing that’s got me nervous:
Regular readers of this blog may remember that back in early July, I had a pretty severe attack of paranoia. I was expecting some sort of faked terrorist attack (or a foiled fake terrorist attack) around the Fourth of July.
My understanding of terror management theory (see more that I’ve written on this subject here) and my beliefs about certain corporate and ultra-right-wing interests had me quite concerned about one or the other scenarios happening, because frankly, the Republicans actually need a terrorist attack at this point if they hope to win this thing using their fear tactic (since obviously Mr. Get-Off-My-Lawn-You-Damn-Kids’ charm isn’t doing the trick).
Well, my paranoia’s back, and lately it’s all centered around the city of St. Paul.
Let’s see what we have:
- A Republican convention that most of the Republican “all-stars” (Bush, Cheney, Schwarzenegger, etc.) have backed out of due, allegedly, to hurricane Gustav
- A Republican candidate with all the charm of Oscar the Grouch – one whose Senate colleagues think is too hot-tempered to be trusted in the Oval Office
- A Vice-Presidential candidate who is already under investigation and an embarrassment to her party due to her family, um, situation
Plus, a whole lot of liberal/left-wing activists who would serve very nicely as scapegoats if anything…unfortunate…were to happen during the convention.
Am I being overly cynical if I say that somewhere out there is someone with enough money (and no moral compass), someone whose interests would be adversely affected if the Democrats take control next year, or even maybe someone who just wants to help Jesus come back to earth now — and that that someone may try to take a bunch of lemons and make lemonade for himself?
Now, once again, I want to emphasize that I am not accusing Republican leadership of planning a terrorist attack on American soil. I really believe that most Republicans who hold public office honestly believe that what they are doing is best for the country, even though it is really only what is best for their country club buddies.
But their there (jeez, jane, proofread once in a while, will you?) are some sharks out there who lack all conscience, and have a kill or be killed mentality, who would think nothing of a little “collateral damage” if it served their bottom line.
I hope I’m wrong.
I’m probably wrong.
But I’m not going to stop worrying until the current bastards are literally out of the Oval Office and back on the ranch in Crawford.
Or better yet, cooling off in a nice federal penitentiary for their various high crimes and misdemeanors.
But that’s probably too much to hope for, isn’t it?
P.S. I still wish I had managed to find a way to get to St. Paul.