Thanks for nothing, DNC

C-Span this morning interviewed a fellow named Mark Pasquale. He’s a Boston native, a middle class guy, a small business owner. He lives in Boston’s North End, a quaint neighborhood of European immigrants and narrow, winding streets. Like many other struggling entrepreneurs, he had been looking forward to the big convention. He had hired extra help and had made contingency plans for everything from bathroom service to plenty of clean glasses for beer. He is a Republican and Bush supporter, but hey, money is money, and good people can set aside partisan politics to have a beer and some pizza. That’s what his business is, a pizza shop located just across the street from the FleetCenter.

Then, he learned that he wouldn’t have any customers after all. Delegates will eat at private parties, rather than mingle with the common folk. The unprecedentedly tight security measures, it turned out, would even force temporary closings of some local businesses altogether. After discovering that he had no way to fight the system, or even to be sure he could open at all, he let the extra help go before their first day of work, cancelled all the contingency plans, and put up a sign of protest that said, “’'Say!!! DNC!!! Thanks for Nothing! Go Bush!”

Now, you would think, unless you are a blindly incorrigible partisan, that the Democrats — beacons of the middle class, whose presidential candidate is himself a veritable idol for protestors everywhere, and whose vice-presidential candidate proclaims himself the champion of the little guy — would rise up in unison and defend Mr. Pasquale’s right to protest. You would think that Michael Moore could tear himself away from an all-you-can-eat buffet long enough to share his kindergarten understanding of the First Amendment. But no, to add insult to injury, a local bureaucrat was dispatched to issue Mr. Pasquale a citation for “hanging an unlicensed banner” on the building that he owns. Oh, and just for good measure, the same bureaucrat cited him for blocking an egress with his sign because, you see, its bottom flap hangs down over the top of an unused side door.

Pasquale has given up. He’s not only getting the hell out of Dodge, he’s going to Canada. He’s going to play some golf while the DNC carries out Kerry’s coronation. He’s leaving the sign up, though, and says he doesn’t give a rat’s ass how much they fine him for it. He is the son of immigrants who came to America for the freedom to work and succeed. He’s going to express his opinion even if it costs him. Maybe Elton John will send flowers, or some Hollywood stars will hold press conferences to express their outrage, or Linda Ronstadt will make a personal appearance to show her solidarity with someone whose politics might not be like hers but whose spirit is.

But then again, probably not.

Where is the evidence that the DNC was responsible for the “dispatch” of the “local bureaucrat?”

I can’t stand it when people pick out events like this and attribute them to active planning and malice on the part of the Bush administration (or “Bushco,” so use the words of the simperingly moronic). It makes even less sense, were that possible, to attribute some sort of monolithic power to the DNC or the Kerry campaign. The stupidity of local officials has little to do with the national political campaign.

And while I’m at it, I doubt seriously that the Kerry campaign chose these measures to avoid the common folk. There are serious, real concerns about security here.

Perhaps the content of my post was too complicated for quick reading. You see, he did not blame the DNC for sicking the bureaucrat on him. He blamed the DNC for disrupting his business and not allowing delegates to eat out. Another tricky part of the post, for skimmers, was the bit about — where are the Democrats championing the little guy’s right to speak his mind? I was hoping to be surprised and find some of them here.

Geez, this is utter craziness and BS. I understand that we need to/should beef up security for the DNC… but it’s almost like the officials expect the rest of Boston to stand perfectly still (don’t even breathe the wrong way) until the whole thing is over with.

And I have to admit, I am a little disappointed in our Democratic running mates for not standing up against this (or at least acknowledging the problems this poor guy-- and many others I’m sure-- have to face).

on preview…

I am wondering that too… but I’m not really concerned about whether or not the DNC is actually responsible for this bureaucrat. I’m more concerned that… well, as Lib said:


Yes, I can see that Mr. Pasquale was very confused about that, and perhaps someone should pull him aside and explain to him that the DNC at no point decided that his business needed to be disrupted, or that the delegates should not be allowed to eat out.

The business disruption is a consequence of the security measures being taken for the convention, which are, I believe, in the hands of the Boston Police Department. As far as eating out goes, are the delegates being forcibly restrained, kept shackled in the Fleet Center, or is it simply that most conventions arrange to feed the participants, rather than having them swamp the surrounding area every day at noon?

More self-indulgent garbage from Liberal.

I do, however, agree that Mr. Pasquale should be allowed to put up whatever banner he likes, even if his ire is utterly misplaced. Maybe, “Thanks for nothing, Mrs. Calabash!” I like it.

Wow. The best I had hoped for was a Democrat saying, “Hey, if it’s okay for Linda, it’s okay for Mark!” I never dreamed one would come along and say that the DNC is staffed with idiots who bury their heads in the sand.

Here’s the catch: imagine the shitstorm that would ensue if the DNC leaned on the Boston Police Department, and persuaded them to ease up on the security measures. Some loony (most likely a home-grown one, IMO) manages to kill a bunch of convention participants (bomb, rifle, whatever). BPD says, “If the DNC had left the security measures in the hands of the professionals, this never would have happened!!” DNC ends up looking like morons.

No, you tell the pros that you want your convention to be secure, recognizing that these days, the security is probably going to end up being somewhat oppressive, and then you let them do what they’re paid to do, without interference if possible. (Hey, if the police start clubbing random passers-by, I suppose that changes the picture!)

Ohhh, a swing and a miss! That’s the best you’ve got?

Tip o’ the hat to you! :slight_smile:

Also, forgive my naivity, I have a question about this statement, Lib:

I don’t know how things generally work with these conventions, so… do you mean that for the entire duration of the DNC, the delegates will essentially be “taped off” from the “common folk”?

on preview (again)…

I knew this type of response was bound to show up sooner or later (you know… the Pit, Liberal, etc.). As your later response shows (the one where you agree about Mr. Pasquale’s right to protest), the OP isn’t “self-indulgent garbage”.


According to C-Span, yes. Their schedules and iteniraries are tightly scripted and controlled. They will go where they’re told to go, say what they’re told to say, and vote how they’re told to vote. Of course, the convention in New York will be the same.

I understand your reaction, but to me, this is just another in the long-running, and stunningly tiresome, series of Liberal essays about how, in Libertopia, property rights would be supreme, and would produce a happy land, with hopping bunnies and fluttering butterflies. It’s always the same crap.

Unless he’s sucking Bobby Fischer’s cock. I have no idea where that comes from.

Let me see if I got this straight…

The Politburo of the DNC, as part of its ongoing program to stifle the entreprenuerial spirit and crush the small business man, dispatches a minor functionary of the City of Boston to harrass the aforementioned Mr. Pasquale. Having, of course, direct control of the day-to-day operations of the City of Boston and nothing better to do. As well as attempting to insulate the elite liberal snobs of the Democrat party from any unseemly contact with the hoi polloi?

Can we bookmark this thought? I’d like to contrast and compare when the Pubbies have thier NewYawk convention. That should be interesting.

I see what you’re saying, and I agree to an extent (especially on the part about “some loony”), but I still feel uncomfortable with the possibility of, as you put it, “somewhat oppressive” security measures. I think there are ways to make sure the DNC is a secured event, but encasing it in a giant bubble isn’t one that comes to my mind.

As another side-question: why exactly do some of these small businesses need to be closed down, or not allowed to operate during the convention? (Or did I misunderstand something? i.e. will the businesses just not operate, because there is noone to “operate to”?)


Are the Republicans still staying in cruise ships anchored in the harbor of New York instead of in local hotels? :slight_smile:

This seems to be a situation in which, if it’s common to both parties and both conventions, perhaps we’re not fully appraised of the actual thinking behind the security situation, let alone who is running it (you can bet that the Boston/New York police are not the only ones involved in planning it: these are a national security, federalized gigs now). It seems a little silly to get huffy about the particulars of the security measures if we don’t know what specific threats they think are targeted and how they are hoping to cope. I’m willing to give both the Republicans and the Democrats some leeway on this one, since I have my doubts whether they are really steering their own ships on the security measures.

Funny thing is, this convention is costing Boston a bundle, and there is very little in return in terms of revenue. Ordinarilly, city’s compete feverishly over these kinds of events. But after citizens of Boston pay this bill, there probably won’t be another political convention there for a while. This was all supposed to honor the Kennedys and their long careers in public service. It is no wonder they are not jostling to associate themselves with it.

Oh, and Early Out, I look forward to seeing you join me when I condemn the Republicans for their inevitable head smashing and rights bashing in New York. I know you’ll join that chorus because that’s just the kind of guy you are.

Yes indeed, if by straight you mean “bent out of shape beyond all recognition”. :smiley: :wink:

After nearly 3 years of overreactive, inane security measures (and also, people who think we need to give away some of our liberties to be safe), I really can’t say that I think “Libertopia” would be such a bad place to live. :slight_smile:


Ah, something we actually do agree about! I’ve never quite bought the “this convention will bring $X million to the city” arguments. I doubt that this convention is that much different from previous ones (anyone think that Chicago came out ahead after the 1968 debacle?)

[aside]It’s the same with sport franchises, for which cities compete with a white-hot passion. Having a major league team in your city invariably costs you more than it brings in. It’s never an “investment” in the city’s future.[/aside]

If the RNP is causing it, sure. If it’s the NYPD doing the head-smashing and rights-bashing, no, I won’t be joining in. Again, Chicago, 1968: I don’t blame the Democratic Party for what happened in the streets. Mayor Daley, on the other hand…