Killing dissent softly at the DNC


I like to run the streets to calm the demons in my head before bedtime. It’s like meditation or prayer, except you need good shoes and plenty of water, especially during heat waves like the one we endured while the Democratic National Convention was in Philly.

As I mentioned last time, the DNC took place near Broad Street, at the Wells Fargo Center, not far from the swamp where I live. It was capped Thursday night by Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech, which had an intro from her daughter Chelsea, who raised the event to a new level of kitsch while reminiscing about Mom and Dad and even Grandma, who would have been “so, so proud” of Hillary last night.

After a few minutes of her dreck, I left the house and ran to Broad Street and was serenaded by droning police helicopters to the south, circling the convention site, where protesters had gathered for the fourth straight day to show contempt for the Democratic nominee and the nomination process.

I knew the humidity was high because I could feel the sweat dripping off my fingers, and that protesters were active because cop cars were racing down Broad, followed by a big white police bus used to haul large groups of prisoners to jail.

And I knew from being at the site on previous nights that the protesters — there may have been a few thousand at times — wouldn’t get anywhere near the convention center because the “protest zone” created by the feds was hundreds of yards away from the center and fenced off like a cattle pen.

So I ran a few miles and went home just in time to see the end of Hillary’s dreadfully well-rehearsed speech. Then she and hubby Bill and other luminaries, flashing ultra-bright grins, pushed and poked at red, white and blue balloons, which had been released by the thousands after the speech.

The point is, convention planners made sure nothing inside or outside the convention venue was spontaneous or real — at least not for long. Even the balloon-poking seemed rehearsed.

Kudos to the cops for not engaging in the heavy-handed tactics that made Philly look bad during the 2000 RNC convention. This time around, in the name of keeping the peace, and with lots of help from the Democratic National Committee and federal agents, they smothered dissent almost before it could rear its feeble head.

America can breathe easy now. The homeland is safe from those bomb-throwing Bernie bros. Everything is under control. We’re all in the same cattle pen.

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