GOP Totally Out of Control: The Fascist Convention?

The American public has largely been spared the spectacle, over the last few years, of the Bush/Cheney security operation that precedes any appearance by the President, no matter where in the world he goes.

In general, this includes speaking only to pre-screened, pre-selected audiences, with participants often required to sign sworn party loyalty oaths.  Security perimeters are generally set in two or three rings from the event, extending thousands of yards from the site, with hundreds or thousands of police involved in preventing the entry of any old citizen.

The cost estimated by the Italians, who went through this painful experience not long ago, was in the $11MM range.

Because Bush generally appears only in already-secure sites, such as the White House lawn, Camp David, military bases, or the foreign equivalent, Americans have generally been spared the experience of seeing their president’s security paranoia in person.

That all ended yesterday, and continued today, as the Twin Cities became the site of what many will compare to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.  But that comparison would be unfair: in this case, the police have been doing “preventive raids” on the houses of protest groups, taking journalists’ cameras and keeping their notes, stopping buses of well-established groups such as Earth Justice on the highway, and pepper-spraying reporters.  The list of illegal and inappropriate actions is so long it will take weeks to sort it out.

In the meanwhile, the story will have moved from the hurricane, and from the convention itself, to the fascistic (and I hate using that word, but this is Brown Shirt territory to anyone who remembers those days in Germany as Hitler was rising to power) behavior of the local and federal “law enforcement” agencies involved.  I have no doubt that this story will eclipse the convention itself, nor that the Bush Cheney approach to public discourse has been finally, and domestically, outed.

The results are all over the Net, even as the rest of the media are talking about the hurricane. 

Here is a lawyer talking about one raid in a neighborhood in Minneapolis.  You won’t believe what you’re about to see.  And yes, this is the Bush Cheney view of America.  Or was that, Amerika?

Those interested can also follow this story on twitter, at

There will certainly be many YouTube videos appearing as well. 

After perhaps the most joyous and eloquent Democratic convention in history, this GOP opener is a tragic reminder that our rights are only as real as our will to defend them.