El Nuevo Día has published a story that says that the outburst chronicled below was the tail end of a demonstration led by Ron Paul supporters over allowing the Maine delegation to sit. And if that’s the case, then the behavior I describe below may not be as boorish as I first suspected. But they’re still a bunch of disrespectful louts, ay?
Amended version below:
Still considering voting Republican for statehood? How about this scene, reminiscent of, I don’t know, the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich? Or your run-of-the-mill Hank Williams Jr. concert? This sorry spectacle is footage from earlier today of Zoraida Fonalledas, the Republican National Committeewoman of Puerto Rico, wife of Jaime Fonalledas, owner of Plaza las Americas, the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean and intimately tied to Republican Latino star and Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño, trying to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Instead of giving her report, she is shouted down by a ruthless mob of I imagine hardcore Tea Party rednecks fanatics who upon hearing that someone from Puerto Rico was about to address them , upset that the Maine delegation wasn’t seated, chanted “Seat them now,” as others exploded into a jingoistic orgy of “USA” chants. ” I’m not a lip-reader, but there seemed to be other chants as well, one of them I think might be “Kick Them Out.” At any rate, the most pathetic moment occurs when apparently Fonalledas, her hair dyed some color that would appease even the most Aryan members of the crowd, joined in with the “USA” chant, to no avail. Even that could not abate the crowd’s open hostility.
“Give the gentlelady from Puerto Rico the respect, please?” whines an annoyed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus, like an overworked bouncer at a Klan rally.Milwaukee Wal-mart. Fonalledas looks shocked, close to tears.
This is a moment of national shame that even outdoes the infamous Pat Buchanan speech of 1992, one of the most chilling pieces of right-wing rhetoric of the last 50 years This is a moment of stupendous ignorance. What’s incredible about this moment is that Fonalledas represents a government that fulfills all of the totalitarian austerity state goals that the Republican Party is desperate to achieve: One-party government; erosion of civil liberties, privatization of anything that moves; destruction of labor unions and government employment; unbridled police crackdowns on dissent. AND THEY WERE BOOING HER LIKE SHE WAS THE ENEMY IGNORING HER LIKE SHE WAS A FOREIGNER!
This is an instructive incident, where one sees that this is the only end game for this kind of political logic. Declaration of war on difference, demonization of people of color, women, and gays, and scapegoating the working-class masses can only end up with two people in a room with guns taking aim at each other. Leaving the man behind the curtain to walk away, laughing all the way to the off-shore bank.
So, you still think you want statehood to be a Republican? Where do you think it’s going to get you? A mildew-heavy convention hall in Tampa, Florida, where a new kind of democracy is born, one carefully administered by mob rule and unfettered, unapologetic stupidity. hate.
UPDATE ON A SEEMINGLY UNRELATED INCIDENT:
Several stories appeared this morning describing an incident where a convention attendee was thrown out for “throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying, “this is how we feed the animals.” No word yet on how this person reacted to Zoraida Fonalledas.