Lazy Commentary at RNC Not Limited To Speeches

Tampa - What happens when you fail to process what is happening before your eyes and just run with a lazy interpretation? You get really incendiary stuff like this from Harper’s Jack Hitt:

There were energetic shouts of “Aye!” and “Nay!” as a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

The chanting carried on for nearly a minute while most of the other delegates and the media stood by in stunned silence. The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly stepped up and asked for order and respect for the speaker, suggesting that, yeah, what we had just seen might well have been an ugly outburst of nativism.

First some background: Scheduled between the two committees the Ron Paul people were really upset over, Credentials and Rules, was the Committee on Permanent Organization. Nobody gets too upset over (or cares about) Permanent Organization because all they do is select convention officers. Rules and Credentials have the power to seat delegations and dictate how the party is run.

The Credentials Committee that was up before Permanent Organization denied a request from the Paul folks to seat the disputed Maine delegation. They were, understandably, really unhappy about this. Loud chants and cheers and boos broke out in the hall. At one point there were several dueling chants. These chants continued to take off and die out in almost cyclical manner. Paul people were fuming that their Maine friends were shut out of the convention.

The Republican Party is atrocious on immigration but the cacophonous shouting and chanting was not "an ugly outburst of nativism." It was disgruntled Ron Paulers expressing their displeasure with the party establishment they perceive as hostile to them not Puerto Rican National Committeewoman Zori Fonalledas.  Of course, if you were paying any attention to what was happening on the floor you already knew this. 

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Where's that fucking hurricane when you need it?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Sure, blame the libertarians for the GOPs nativist, anti-womenist, racist shannanagens.

  • Tim||

    I blame the Cowboy hats. Fortunately the Cowboy boots were absent or she would have got her arse kicked.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "Bowties and Cowboys Hats" is my pick for a great Shoegazer-revival band name.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Bolo ties.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "...some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

    Isn't this Stephen Colbert's goofy schtick?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    if you were paying any attention to what was happening on the floor you already knew this.

    If you already have your story written, why pay attention to what is actually happening on the floor?

  • affenkopf||

    We need to declare English as the national language of Puerto Rico now!

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

    The GOP is having a convention? Who knew?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Doesn't Puerto Rico get to chant "U.S.A! U.S.A!" too? Why do people assume they're being excluded?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    You should have seen the nativist rhetoric directed at the Oklahoma Territory delegation at the 1896 Convention.

  • R C Dean||

    Fuck me, but I am bored.

    Is there anything else going on, anywhere? Surely, there must be puppies getting shot, government contracts going to cronies, something.

  • ||

    Liberals everywhere are celebrating the fact that the New Orleans levee system is holding up, not because they are concerned about New Orleans but because it proves how awesome government is.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You're shitting me. So the failure of the state and local government to do that in the first place means. . .means what, exactly?

  • Hugh Akston||

    That GWB doesn't care about black people.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can't even begin to comprehend the mental twistings of people who come up with, let alone believe, such nonsense.

    We really need benevolent superalien or divine intervention. Maybe both.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Look ProLib, to the vast majority of the US populace, the President is a God-King whose very will makes the sun rise. He controls the economy. People in every land of the world live and die, are free or imprisoned at his word. He even controls the weather and makes the earth shake on command.

  • ||

    People in every land of the world live and die, are free or imprisoned at his word.

    Well that part is actually mostly true, sadly.

  • WTF||

    The levees in Plaquemines Parish have been overtopped.

    Yay, government planning!

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Gov't planning does suck, but:

    "We just needed a couple more years without a major storm, but it doesn't look like we got that," Nungesser said. "We were in the process of raising those levees."

    He explained that the levees at issue are not part of the $14.5 billion federal project that updated 133 miles of levees around New Orleans — a project that was finished earlier this summer.

  • WTF||

    Katrina hit in 2005. They've had seven years to raise those levees. So, I guess it's also a commentary on government efficiency as well.

  • WTF||

    And in any case, is it really a good use of $14.5 billion in taxpayer money so people can live below sea level in a hurricane corridor? I think not.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "And in any case, is it really a good use of $14.5 billion in taxpayer money so people can live below sea level in a hurricane corridor? I think not."

    Obviously not

  • Hugh Akston||

    What? You aren't entranced by endless, up-to-the-minute coverage of meaningless procedures and empty suits making promises that they will never fulfill to gullible morons who vote for them anyway?

    You clearly hate America.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    Latest projection puts PQ on track for slim majority
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....le4507162/

  • RBS||

    It's days like this that we need some sort of open thread or something. Or the reason staff could stop posting multiple versions of the same story.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "In ABC Webcast, Yahoo’s David Chalian Says Romneys ‘Happy to Have a Party When Black People Drown'"

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/m.....z24xSdkr9V

  • WTF||

    Well, if they cancelled the convention, they wouldn't have drowned, you know. Say, how many rounds of golf did Obama get in while this was going on? Or was he busy fundraising instead?

  • Randian||

    They already fired him.

  • RBS||

    They fired him for saying something that is equivalent to pretty much every headline on Yahoo?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Yeah, and he actually worked for Yahoo

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/.....33662.html

  • RBS||

    They should have given him a raise for generating all the page hits.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I wonder if he anyone joked about him covering the convention and not being in New Orleans volunteering to help drowning black people when they fired him.

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

    Nut-throwers ejected from Republican National Convention

    Two attendees were ejected from Republican National Convention on Tuesday for throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Surely, there must be puppies getting shot

    Apparently, one of the civilian casualties of The Great Empire State Terror Attack has thanked the NYPD for shooting him in the name of the Greater Good.

  • ||

    How much longer does this shitfest last?

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    Next week it the other teams turn!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How much longer does this shitfest last?

    Until we hit Peak Retard.

    In other words, NEVER.

  • Bill||

    Very nice!

  • Fluffy||

    I think it's also patently obvious that the "USA" chants were intended to shout the Paul people down.

    In other words, those chants were coming from the people on the Latina's side.

    So Jack Hitt is a fucking moron.

  • Loki||

    Of course, if you were paying any attention to what was happening on the floor you already knew this.

    ..OTOH, if you're a progressive hack who writes for Harpers, you'd be more interested in pushing the "narrative" of bigoted GOPers to give two shits about what was happening on the floor.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal-Democrat Party, has proposed a one-time tax on the wealth (rather than the incomes) of high-net-worth Britons. The details aren’t clear, but Clegg says the country is facing an economic war caused by a prolonged recession, and needs to tax the rich in order to avoid social unrest."

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48825978

  • Killazontherun||

    It's a tired old theory, older than the Roman rulers who would give away bread and circuses to quell the mob but find that just made them want cake, coliseum blood baths and a public pension system. Revived by Marxist who quaintly believed themselves to have stumbled on to a new principle of governance.

  • ||

    Of course, if you were paying any attention to what was happening on the floor you already knew this.

    ..OTOH, if you're a progressive hack who writes for Harpers, you'd be more interested in pushing the "narrative" of bigoted GOPers to give two shits about what was happening on the floor.

    Your use of "progressive hack" was redundant.

    And such a person, even if they understood the context of what those chants meant, might aggressively misconstrue them anyway to score political points. Harper's is that partisan.

  • Ardelle||

    Loud chants and cheers and boos broke out in the hall. At one point there were several dueling chants. These chants continued to take off and die out in almost cyclical manner. Paul peopl

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