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]