In his first installment, Meyerson looks at the relationship between host cities and convention action, saying, "What's never happened before is that a convention has come to be viewed by its host city as an alien intrusion . . . ."
This is so far from the norm of how a city and convention interact that it is almost in a class by itself in American political history. Last month's Democratic Convention in Boston, for instance, featured outdoor concerts for delegates and locals alike. No convention planner even contemplated such a mixing of populations here in New York, however. Delegates travel through the city in buses with police escorts; their parties are cordoned off by the cops; getting into their hotels requires running a gauntlet of separate security forces. At times, you get the feeling the Republicans may as well be holding their convention in Baghdad. . . .
. . . There was, from time to time on the parade route, the chant "Whose streets? Our streets!" But the Republicans are happy to cede the streets to protestors, Democrats, and just plain New Yorkers (many of whom, of course, are protestors and Democrats). They've got their hotels, their convention, all encased in the most heavily policed bubble anyone has seen this side of the Green Zone in Baghdad. It's in good part directed against threats of terrorism, of course. But, as with most everything that the Bush Administration does, it's also in good part directed against us.
Note also: the irony of several hotel meeting room names - apparently, the RNC didn't brush up on its theater history; his drop into a party hosted by notable CMC alumnus David Dreier ('75 and the Chairman of the House Rules Committee) where he ran into GOP consultant Allen Hoffenblum (perhaps of note only to my family - Hoffenblum ran the campaign of the evil Reep who beat my Dad in the 1980 State Assembly race).
For bloggers at home with the RNC, Robert Tagorda recommends David Adesnik's Oxblog.