|Art by Winston Smith|
“I hate that guy,” muttered one young Republican to another at the edge of Michael Moore’s impromptu press conference. No doubt he did, but like all the other Bushies present, he merely stood frozen in shock and awe — the anti-Christ had brazenly arrived in the GOP’s living room and there wasn’t a gun in the house, thanks to tight security.
“Are you really here to celebrate with the Republicans?” a Japanese reporter asked incredulously.
“I’m definitely celebrating,” Moore said, “because the Republicans only have four months left.”
Then, with glacial speed, the swirling mass of reporters and recording technology, with Moore at its center, proceeded to the escalator that would take him upstairs to the convention. It was only when Moore was riding up that a few of the Republicans regained their voices.
“Booooo!” one managed.
“You . . . creep!” yelled another.
Moore turned to look down. What, no doubt, his hecklers regarded as a satanic smile spread across his face and then he ascended out of sight.
—Steven Mikulan, August 31
The list, the list . . . who’s got The List? I’ve been going to national political conventions for two decades now, and this is the first time I can remember where there’s no published public list of the parties, receptions, banquets and luncheons to fete the delegates and grease the pols.
Maybe tens of millions are being spent by special interests this week to stuff the attendees of the RNC with shrimp and sushi and generously water them with Jack and Jim. But just where? And when? And paid for by whom? This is all being kept private. The Democrats are no better, having also rolled around in the donor dough like piggies in dung. But at least the media and the public had a complete list of who was shtupping who (right down to a contact phone number for each event).
The RNC flacks say the secrecy is merely a question of security. With a couple hundred anti-Bush protesters in town, I can understand. Publicize these chi-chi events and they’re likely to get crashed by a bunch of kids with beer-battered locks. Keeping things on the mum is also a nice way to avoid whatever attendant bad publicity comes with revealing just exactly who is (and therefore who is not) underwriting the American political system.
—Marc Cooper, August 29
Last night, the Tank was the site of a party called Sleeping With The Enemy: A Bi-Partisan Affair. The idea was to get young liberals and young Republicans together, get them drunk, and let the carnal magic unfold a velvet path across the aisle. Party identification at the bar determined who got a red cup or a blue cup. It was perhaps a testament to size and gender makeup of the co-sponsoring New York Young Republican Club that there seemed to be far fewer red cups than blue ones, and I saw only one girl holding red, which I think might have been an accident. Not that the red cups were really needed as identifiers, since they were all in the hands of dudes whose button-downs and pleated chinos gave their affiliation away from 50 yards.
—Joshuah Bearman, August 30
I passed a television tuned to Fox News and watched the anchors earnestly announce that onetime members of the Weather Underground were “out of prison and living in the Big Apple” — and just might be planning something nasty for the Republican National Convention. My God! — a former member of the Velvet Underground lives nearby in a place called New Jersey — has anyone looked into this?
—Ben Ehrenreich, August 26
Sample dialogue, guaranteed accurate, voiced as a line of police shoved milling protesters down 47th Street for no apparent reason:
Officer Badge Unseen: Come on. Keep
New York Civil Liberties Union Rep Alex Vitale: Where are you trying to get us to go?
Officer BU: Into the pen that we have set up for you.
—Ben Ehrenreich, August 30