Someone should tell some of the GOP convention attendees that you’re supposed to act like a drunk idiot after hours at the bar, not on the convention floor. There was a procedural skirmish between the Ron Paul and Mitt Romney supporters over whose delegates would be seated. The party decided that no Maine delegates would be seated, even though many floor delegates thought the motion should be considered (guess it sucks to be a Maine Republican). Much grumpiness ensued. Then it got ugly when Zoraida Fonalledas, of Puerto Rico, chairwoman of the Committee of Permanent Organization, began to speak (boldface mine):
As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “USA! USA!”
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.
I’m guessing this won’t help in Florida, New Mexico, or Arizona. As awful as the Democrats can be, this is dreadful. Definitely not ‘post-racial.’
While this is shocking in its stupidity, the ugliness should not be surprising. Once again, Republicans think they can ride this tiger.
Update: Two attendees were removed from the convention last night for throwing nuts at a black CNN cameraman, while saying, “This is how we feed animals.” BUT THEY’RE NOT RACIST! Or something.