Jul 19, 201601:27 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Cleveland Republicans are what democracy looks like, I suppose
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Okay, so we got rolled. I am an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. We’re meeting at the Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cleveland Cavaliers won the city’s first championship. But the delegation would not permit me onto the floor until the convention rules were enacted. Those rules bound delegates to their state’s presidential-preference primary election results.
My delegate, Scott Grabins of Verona, said he was instructed that leaving the floor to trade places with me might look like a walk out. Still not certain it wasn’t a trust issue. I am a notorious “We can do better” advocate.
Seven states had petitioned for a roll call vote but, the chair told us, three states had withdrawn the requisite signatures forcing that vote. That’s what we were told.
So the chairman asked for a voice vote. (BTW: the chairman was not Paul Ryan. I don’t think he wanted to drink from this particular cup.)
So, it’s a voice vote. I got a voice. I used it to bellow a resounding “NO!” even though I was not on the floor and therefore, ineligible to vote. Technically.
Hey, my voice is as good as any delegate’s. But I’ve got to say, the voice vote, even with my own, sounded at least 60% in favor of Trump. So, we lost fair and square. The cheating bastards.
I’ll get on the floor tonight (Tuesday) but only after the roll call formally puts Trump over the top. So I get a better view of the speakers. This is democracy in action. It is why we fight.
But it is a good view. Wisconsin’s delegates are right up front; thank you Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, and Steve King. The latter is our national committeeman who also chairs the convention arrangements committee that picked Cleveland.
This alternate is majorly stoked by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. He owns the loudest applause line of the first night: “Blue Lives Matter.”
Sheriff Clarke spoke this morning at our Wisconsin delegation breakfast. Said he needed citizens to counter the hate message promoted by Black Lives Matter that he links directly to the assassination of eight police this month in Dallas and Baton Rouge and the wounding of more.
“The agents of socialism know they have to weaken the institutions that keep us safe.” The sheriff is an amazing speaker, well versed in history and philosophy. Clarke acknowledged that not every cop is perfect. But he encouraged his Wisconsin audience to counter “the myth of racist and bloodthirsty police.”
Your Humble Alternate Delegate told the sheriff we are doing exactly that in in Madison. The “We Support Our Madison Police” folks are presenting their petition to the Common Council. Join them at 5:15 p.m. on the steps of the City County Building. Join them.
Celebrity spottings … I’m jealous of folks who got pictured with Charles Krauthammer. The lovely Lisa and I record his Fox News panel with Bret Baier. When he was announced we cheered, “CHARLES!”
Photographed my convention guest Billie Johnson with Lou Dobbs. I dislike Lou Dobbs but he is famous. (Billie, by the way, has a startup called WinningRed.com, which he describes as the equivalent of the Democrats’ ActBlue, only for conservatives.)
The convention compound itself resembles the Green Zone of war-torn Baghdad. The bus in to the convention Monday morning drove all over Cleveland until I expected an announcement declaring, “Next Stop: Toledo.” An enterprising young man walked up to the driver to complain but the policeman on board — a regular feature of security-conscious America? — told him to sit down. Eventually, he persuaded the driver to stop in the relative proximity of the Q and we walked into a sea of delegates, alternates, and guests waiting for their appointment with the security wand. At least we didn’t have to remove our shoes but we were issued clear plastic bags, the better to spot any firearms.
We were also issued a list of prohibited items. It includes balloons, to give you some idea. No sudden popping noises, I presume.