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Hullabaloo


Friday, February 20, 2004

 
Buy Your Own President!

Via Cursor, I read about these exciting plans to showcase the GOP as the party of diversity in NYC during the Republican National Convention.

Harris wants the GOP to venture into the outer boroughs. He’s eyeing Flushing Meadows Park in Queens as a possible venue, and is exploring events in the city’s diverse ethnic neighborhoods. The idea is that the sight of Republicans mingling with New Yorkers of all hues will project an image of a new, inclusive GOP to a national audience.

“I fully expect to have events all around New York,” Harris says. “It’s an opportunity to show the country, and the world, what the Republican Party is all about.”


Haha. Good luck. I have the feeling that if the Democrats and the Left in general play this one right, that they can show the world what the Republican Party is really all about.

For instance, the NY Times reports today about a great strategy that I think will entertain and fascinate the media if activists can pull it off with humor and panache:

At one point, as hundreds of guests with invitations waited to pass through velvet barriers to enter the club, a small group of men in bowler hats and women in gowns marched up, chanting, "Four more wars" and "Re-elect Rove."

As the group approached, a man who appeared to be a security agent of some type, was overheard whispering into a microphone: "We've got two groups. One for and one against."

Actually, it was two against. The person was confused by a group that calls itself Billionaires for Bush, a collection of activists who use satire to make a political point. Indeed, members of the Sierra Club, who were protesting on the other side of the street were also confused and began shouting at what they thought was a pro-Bush contingent.

" We want the truth and we want it now!" the Sierra protesters shouted.

The billionaires shouted back, "Buy your own president!"

It took a few minutes, but the police finally realized what was going on when they escorted the group behind the blue barricades as well. Still, the show was not over. A black town car pulled up and out stepped a man whom who the crowd assumed to be Mr. Rove. "There is Karl Rove," people shouted.

Reporters, photographers and television cameramen swarmed the man, but the police pushed them back. Another man lifted the velvet rope to let him enter. But the would-be Mr. Rove walked over to the crowd of protesters and began shaking hands, when finally, again, this was seen to be a joke. It was not Mr. Rove, but an actor playing the part.

Each of the groups has said it planned to stage similar events when the Republican National Convention comes to New York City from Aug. 30 through Sept. 2.


I remember that some activists did a similar thing to protest a Cheney speech in San Francisco where they had a Cheney impersonator shake hands and entertain the crowd. Even the cops were laughing, asking "Mr. Vice President" to stay behind the lines.

Over on TAPPED today, Tara McKelvey links to a Reuters story that reports on "a group of activists from the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign are planning to host "reality bus tours" of local slums during the Republican convention. They’re also going to build a tent city. It'll be called Bushville, of course."

Perhaps as part of their desire to project an "image of a new, inclusive GOP," the convention planners would like to stage one of those exciting events there to show "Republicans mingling with New Yorkers of all hues."

Humor can be a powerful weapon. Especially when the convention itself will be nothing but a bunch of boring windbags telling lie after lie. A little counter programming is definitely in order.