Deserving Neither Liberty nor Safety

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is trying to put a happy face on the unflattering comparisons rolling in on the Tampa and Charlotte convention experiences. As I described for y’all last week, Tampa was essentially transformed into a police state during the RNC, whereas Charlotte is a happy place in which Mr. Cole, ABL & Co. are able to roam freely.

Buckhorn suggests security in Charlotte is kinda lax and defends his decision to turn Tampa into Gaza on the Gulf of Mexico:

“Given a choice between being happy or being efficient and safe, I’ll take efficient and safe,” Buckhorn said Wednesday. “Because I can guarantee you that if we had had problems, if there had been serious chaos in the streets, then that would have been far more damaging to us as a community.”

Buckhorn is a Democrat, but that sentiment illustrates the post-9/11 Republican mindset to a tee: It’s “we don’t want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud” writ…small. But it’s overly simplistic to blame Buckhorn or Tampa: The parties are getting the conventions they deserve.

One wag in the local paper comments section linked above summed it up nicely:

Hey, everybody got what they wanted. The Dems, sans Buckhorn, got an inclusive upbeat positive experience which makes them happy. The Repukes got their exclusive private party ringed with goon security which made them happy.

Exactly right.

[X-posted at Rumproast]






47 replies
  1. 1
    Nicole says:

    “Given a choice between being happy or being efficient and safe, I’ll take efficient and safe.”

    I bet he’s lots of fun at parties.

  2. 2
    Emma says:

    Personally, I think he had nightmares of what could have happened if something had gone wrong. The Republicans would have turned him into the poster boy of “democrats want to kill republicans” meme.

    Besides, it’s Florida. The crazy is so strong down here that Carl Hiaasen has stopped writing novels because reality had outstripped his inner snark.

  3. 3
    tomvox1 says:

    I’m sure Buckhorn makes the trains run on time at least… Oh wait, these guys hate trains. Nevermind.

  4. 4
    quannlace says:

    Said in another post:
    got a chuckle out of the RNC’s statement after Clinton’s speech. A speech full of actual reality and facts completely refuting the talking lies in Romney and Ryan’s speeches.
    What their ‘statement’ boils down to?
    ‘We don’t care. Obama’s still the worstest president ever cause we say so. So there!”

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Emma:

    The crazy is so strong down here that Carl Hiaasen has stopped writing novels because reality had outstripped his inner snark.

    Good point.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    If there was a contest to make Tampa worse than it already was, only the GOP could win it.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    Freedom isn’t for fraidy cats.

  8. 8

    Funny you should use this quote. I used a paraphrase of it, myself, just yesterday. And I defy anyone to still vote for Obama after reading this article by Mike Flannigan.

  9. 9
    artem1s says:

    I have to empathize with the guy somewhat. with that idiot self defense law in affect and a sea of teahaddists ready to enact second amendment solutions, I can empathize with acting on the side of caution. No way I want to have to make the decisions he had to make last week.

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    I have a hard time blaming Buckhorn. Tampa has its own crime issues, concentrating a bunch of political junkies of any persuasion in one place can exacerbate tensions, Florida is a concealed-carry state whose governor refused to allow any variance in the law for convention security, and that same governor would have lowered the boom on Buckhorn had anything happened. I don’t fault Buckhorn for being overly cautious, and as the commenter you cited said, the Republicans were probably happy with the show of paramilitary force.

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    Charlie Crist speaks tonight.

    Miss Cracker: what are Florida papers and Floridians saying about that?

  12. 12
    Raven says:

    @jurassicpork: I read it, doesn’t change shit. Defy away.

  13. 13
    Randy P says:

    @jurassicpork: The republicans greatly expanded the power of the president and Obama didn’t roll those powers back, therefore I should go with the republicans? I’m not feeling persuaded somehow.

  14. 14
    scav says:

    @Elizabelle: Charlie Crist speaks tonight.
    __
    Miss Cracker: what are Florida papers and Floridians saying about that?

    So, essentially your asking for A Cracker on Crist?

  15. 15
    mai naem says:

    I know this is going to sound crazy but I sincerely hope the Dems go west/southwest – specifically Arizona, in 2016 for their convention. McCain, if he runs again will be running for reelection. Phoenix has a Dem mayor and we have excellent convention facilities with a huge Hispanic population. If not AZ, take it to Texas or Nevada.

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    “Alex, I’ll take ‘Metaphors for Political Parties’ for 200”

    “…and the answer is: ‘Condom””

  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jurassicpork: Sure. Because there’ll be no difference between a Romney/Ryan administration and an Obama/Biden administration. None at all.

    Fucking clown.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @jurassicpork: Yep, and there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore, which is why it totally made sense to vote for Nader in 2000, amirite? Tens of thousands of needlessly dead Iraqis would probably disagree, but they aren’t (weren’t) even Americans!

    @Elizabelle: Mixed reactions. It’s honestly not getting as much play as I thought it would down here, at least, that I’ve seen.

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:

    I keep wondering how much of it is just me and my feelings but there really is a huge difference in the tone of the two shows. The GOP seemed to be having an angry sullen drunk wake while the Dems are having a party.

    I’m not getting much feedback from the disinterested people I interact with so I am wondering if it is just me or is this impression being made where it matters, on the undecided. Also can it last another 61 days?

  20. 20
    Ash Can says:

    @jurassicpork: You’re joking, right? Are you really coming here and saying that there’s no difference between a Romney administration and an Obama administration? Seriously?

    Debating the issues is fine, but this Obama-is-the-same-as-Romney stuff is beyond idiocy. You and your friend are full of shit.

  21. 21
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @jurassicpork: Due to the opinion of John Cusack, who gave a powerhouse performance in the Academy Award winning 2012, I’m going to embrace my inner douchebag and stay home on Election Day to watch the noted thespian Cusack redefine the word acting in Hot Tub Time Machine.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’ve felt for some time now that the problem with Presidential powers is that the Congress refuses, simply refuses, to assert itself. This is a true bipartisan situation…Congress refuses to act the way Congress used to do. Think Nixon, where Congress put aside party and acted like a co-equal branch of government. Contrast with how Congress reacted to the deserting coward.. Of course, the deserting coward had Rethug majorities more than willing to roll over and give it up in the name of Partei unity, but contrast with how Congress reacted to some of Reagan’s more egregious power grabs. Guys like Howard Baker led the charge against Reagan. They took their role as a co-equal branch of government seriously. The obstruction of Boner and Cantor has nothing to do with that, it’s purely partisan, and if I might venture another meme, racist.

    Obama in 2009-2011 gave Congress plenty of times to do something, and they just sat back and did nothing. Admittedly, there were domestic issues that had high priority, but not even Nancy Smash and Reid felt it necessary to assert congressional control over the executive when it came to foreign policy.

  23. 23
    Chyron HR says:

    @jurassicpork:

    Why can’t the White Horse seal the deal? I must not be blogging hard enough!

    Yeah. That’s Romney’s problem. Good catch.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    @jurassicpork:
    Worst. Troll. Bait. Ever.

    Really? That load of crap is supposed to change anyones mind? Maybe if they diapered their mind with really tiny diapers this would be a change.

    Maybe you should try trolling the political cartoon comments over at arcmax, its sort of the minor league of trolling. Work on your game a bit there maybe learn to throw a split finger or a knuckle ball cuz baby you ain’t ready for the majors.

  25. 25
    TK421 says:

    whereas Charlotte is a happy place in which Mr. Cole, ABL & Co. are able to roam freely

    http://dissenter.firedoglake.c.....um=twitter

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Haha! I like Cusack — a lot. But I can’t help but notice that the firebaggiest celebs don’t have to worry about minor shit like access to healthcare, and their gay friends probably don’t face unjustified firings and denial of accommodations, etc. Makes it a bit easier for them to gloss over the stuff we little people must consider when pursuing our political utopia…

  27. 27
    scav says:

    @Schlemizel: to some degree, it doesn’t matter. Conventions can certainly help with the undecided and certainly rake up the media space but they also can be juar a really good party, break and RROOOAAARRRGGHHHHH! for the faithful, stalwarts and ground-crew as they prepare to attempt the next slog. And there is plenty of slogging left to be done. Bottle the giddiness and energy: there’ll be need of it later.

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    @mai naem: That doesn’t sound crazy at all.

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    @TK421: Everybody here knows where the fuck FDL is.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Raven:

    Yup. With the exception of Tbogg, FDL is not well received.

    Also, someone is not at his post. AGAIN.

  31. 31
    Raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I miss the Southern Dragon and Norske!

  32. 32
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @jurassicpork:

    Somebody’s channeling their inner firebagger. Go vote for your favorite Green Party candidate while riding on your magical pony to the polling place. We saw how well that worked in 2000.

    Tom Junod in this piece:

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....s-12403562

    summarizes how many of us feel about the administration:

    a presidency that has been reliably feckless at home and irredeemably ruthless abroad

    And yet, at it’s core, it’s a Democratic administration and as Junod puts it “The Democrats can’t help defining opportunity differently: that everybody will have an opportunity to get to the front, if everybody waits.”

    I work for a federal executive branch agency. The difference between this presidency and the last one is NIGHT AND FUCKING DAY. I now have bosses who are competent, aren’t trying to loot the treasury, who honestly care about good governance.

  33. 33
    Punchy says:

    So a Pub convy in a Pub town and largely Pub state needs SWATs and razor wire, while a Dem convy in a Pub state requires red solo cups and potstickers?

    What da fuck is wrong with you, Tampa?

  34. 34
    grandpa john says:

    @Ash Can: He sounds like someone who has missed his last few appointments at the mental health clinic

  35. 35
    Schlemizel says:

    @scav:

    I have watched every national convention on TV since 1960 and have never seen such a difference in emotions. Maybe 1984, but even then it didn’t seem so palpable. I am of the camp that these things don’t matter much to the great unwashed but this years could make me change my mind

  36. 36
    Culture of Truth says:

    Somehow I doubt that Mr. Flanagan speaks for “basically the entire nation” when he says Obama should not stick his unwanted nose into the language of the Democratic platform.

    But yes, by all means, keep us posted on replacing both political parties over the location of the U.S. embassy in Israel.

  37. 37
    patrick II says:

    Don’t forget the gun carry laws in Florida made it legal for anyone to carry a firearm right up to the doors of the Tampa convention. And the “Stand your Ground” law makes it easy for those gun carriers to claim they were frightened and shoot just about anyone they want. It is easier to keep everyone except the privileged few outside of the temporary gated community of the convention in Florida’s world of guns and fear, brought to you by the NRA and the Republican party, than it is to have a real convention where everyone celebrates this formerly great country together.

  38. 38

    I’m in the ‘I don’t blame Buckhorn’ camp. Different city, different attendees. One convention has security risks, the other doesn’t. Mayors acted accordingly. I remain just a tiny bit worried about assassination attempts, but not convention-goers pulling guns on each other or the city’s populace.

  39. 39
    grandpa john says:

    @Schlemizel: Fist one I can vaguekly remember was by radio, 1948 Truman -52 and 56 was also by radio

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @Emma:

    This. Plus at a convention filled with gun worshipping lunatics angry not only at the president but at their own candidate and leaders, I can see why he’d freak out.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Betty Cracker:

    Buckhorn suggests security in Charlotte is kinda lax and defends his decision to turn Tampa into Gaza on the Gulf of Mexico …

    Right. Because that’s what the Secret Service is famous for: lax security around wherever the President is.

    Idiot.

    Seriously, if your security for a presidential wanna-be is more authoritarian and severe than the security for the actual President, you’re doing it wrong.

    .

  42. 42
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @jurassicpork: So Barrack Obama is now the American Julius Caeser.

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’ve felt for some time now that the problem with Presidential powers is that the Congress refuses, simply refuses, to assert itself.

    This exactly.

    To be fair, they tried once during the Church Committee era (after fifty years of essentially letting the FBI, CIA and the rest of the alphabet soup run amok with zero oversight) but that didn’t last. Not sure how much of the blame lies with Congress versus how much simply lies with the voters, though. There are simply no votes in trying to regulate the national security state, and there are always plenty of votes for giving it more power.

  44. 44
    Tractarian says:

    Tampa was essentially transformed into a police state during the RNC, whereas Charlotte is a happy boozy place in which Mr. Cole, ABL & Co. are able to roam drink freely.

    Fixed.

  45. 45
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @jurassicpork: and BTW that article is especially idiotic since it ignores that Caesar was the ultimate alpha individual – he did build that private army that he conquered most of the known world at the time by himself. No darn police state was there to oppress Julius Caesar’s freedom to use his fortune to turn the poor and desperate into an unstoppable killing machine.

  46. 46
    1badbaba3 says:

    Jesus Christ, everyone knows if you’re gonna have a bunch of pissed off rednecks running around armed and drunk (I know, redundant) ,you better outgun them, or they’ll shoot at your flag, try and assassinate your President, y’know, stupid shit like that. Unless you can distract them with a lynchin’ picnic, or nascar, or somethin’

  47. 47
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Chris: And let’s not forget the National Security State is also a job center. It hires a lot of IT, security personnel, analysts and other people with at least a BS or BA at a good salary in probably all 50 states. In a private sector recession, people are going to fiercely defend those jobs.

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