Against Protesting the GOP Convention:
The Rude Pundit is not opposed to protesting. He has marched too many times to count - he marched for divestment in South Africa during the days of apartheid; he marched with Sister Helen Prejean, pre-Dead Man Walking, against the death penalty; he has chanted at rallies calling for an end to racism after the L.A. riots; he was featured on local news holding a "No Blood For Oil" sign at a Persian Gulf War protest back in the day; he has stood with pro-choice protesters, making sure family planning clinics stayed open against a tide of Randall Terry's Operation Rescue nutcases; he once yelled, pithily, "You're stupid" right into the face of Dan Quayle; and he's marched against this Iraq War. Not that the Rude Pundit gives a shit whether you believe him or not, but he's got the cred to say this: he believes protesting the GOP convention is useless at best, and, at worst, dangerous to the cause of getting rid of George Bush.
The Republicans are salivating at the prospect of all the giant puppets, idiotically dressed attention-needers, and the lefty thugs beggin' for a fight. The vast, vast majority of the tens of thousands of demonstrators will be the "average" people, silenced by four years of Bush's hegemonic control of political discourse, people who want, for chrissake, to finally show that they deserve to be heard. Goddamn, it's a beautiful thing, a giant protest, when the tides of people keep flowing as a unified whole, when everyone you meet has the same beliefs as you, when there is an instant bond. Sure, it can be goddamned hot (or cold), your feet get sore, and your voice gets hoarse, and the speakers can get repetitious, but ultimately you are there to say that you have a voice that counts, that you are part of the democracy. Fuckin A, man, it's so fuckin' beautiful.
And all it takes is one fucked up group of anarchists with a giant papier-mache George Bush with a giant papier-mache cock fucking a giant papier-mache Statue of Liberty in her giant papier-mache ass to fuck up the whole vibe. Oh, sure, it's lots of fun when you're out there and the street theatre group comes out to perform its latest play, Cheney Wants To Shock Your Dick, complete with rubber masks and a guy in the Abu Ghraib hood and rags (although, c'mon, you roll your eyes at how literal and didactic the whole production is). But then some asshole decides to burn Donald Rumsfeld in effigy or something. And you know what makes the news: not you and your kids, out there, saying they're afraid they're gonna be drafted; not your neighbor, out there because he can't find a job that has health insurance; nope, none of that. What makes the news is the papier-mache fuck puppet, the burning Rumsfeld, the Cheney mask.
Oh, how the Republicans want there to be violence, how they want the Starbuckseses near Madison Square Garden to have their windows broken, how they want flags to be incinerated in the steets. You know, you know in your heart of hearts, dear hippie-wannabes (sorry, that time's over, gang), that groups have been infiltrated or entire groups created, just so someone can light the spark that makes the explosion. And if you haven't made your Lyndie England bondage costume, complete with a prisoner on a leash, that some COINTELPRO-type has decided to do it. Or some Fox "News" exec who needs good images. And then, how deliciously will the GOP tie Kerry, who was a protester, as we all know, to these protests. See the Democrats? Do you wanna be with the fuck puppets and the flag burners or do you wanna be with the nice guys? they'd be saying.
If the Rude Pundit was some kind of magician, he'd halt all the marches and protests in New York. He's take all the money that's being spent on travel, on legal challenges to the obvious discriminatory actions of the city of New York, on the organizing of the protests, and he'd put out TV ads and flyers that say something like, "Silence=Contempt". Yep, he'd start a campaign of silence. Of ignoring the hate spewing from the Garden. Ignore the bullies. Of denying them the chance to portray us as a bunch of lunatics who would dare protest a "sitting President." Make the press coverage about how all these groups are protesting with their absence. Have petitions signed by thousands and thousands of people stating that they are expressing their opposition to the GOP by refusing to acknowledge their presence. Yes, some will try to spin the lack of protest as a sign of support. But the message can be controlled. And empty streets filled with hundreds of cops is a pretty frightening little image, no? Also, it's a way of telling Mayor Bloomberg to go fuck himself with his protester discount buttons.
When the convention is over, stage the largest, loudest goddamn protest march ever fuckin' seen.
The Rude Pundit has been invited to no less than three different protests in NYC. Let's open it up: someone convince the Rude Pundit why he should attend.