A lot of preparation has gone into the 2012 Republican National Convention – and not just for the RNC. Apparently the convention was highly anticipated by law enforcement and adult entertainment venues alike.
“Party Like A Liberal”
Strip clubs all over Tampa have prepared for what club owners are anticipating to be one of the most lucrative weeks of the summer. Not only are there entire ad campaigns geared at Republicans – such as a racy billboard that names Romney/Ryan as the “hottest party in town” with “no liberals allowed” – but clubs are also offering discounts to delegates. Business was slower than expected on Monday, likely due to concerns about Hurricane Isaac. And it’s not just the establishment Republicans that strip clubs are catering to. One Tampa club boasts a nude Sarah Palin lookalike.
While frequenting strip clubs may seem inconsistent with the Bible-beating, self-proclaimed “family values” party, it does seem consistent with the GOP’s general opinion of women. The party just updated their platform to be far more conservative – the new version calls for both a Constitutional abortion ban and the continuation of the military’s policy to keep women service members out of combat zones. The strip club is the perfect woman-dominated bastion for people who subscribe to those principles – while at work, exotic dancers are the perfect combination of service worker and sexual object that has become the Republican ideal.
Occupy Holding Cells
Like strip clubs, local law enforcement is prepared for a busy week. As one of the most divisive elections in American history looms, protests are inevitable. Tampa authorities wasted no time and spared no resources to ensure that raucous protesting could be kept in check.
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee had his personnel empty a 1,700 bed detention facility in case of mass arrests. While Gee said that authorities would not be cracking down on peaceful protests – a statement that should be taken with a grain of salt given the rash of police abuses of protesters and private citizens in the past year – he was also clear that he would be taking a firm hand with violent or unruly protesters.
So far, the protests have been smaller than anticipated, and only one person has been arrested. This may also be weather related, and may change as the week progresses.
Rock Me Like A Hurricane, RNC
It won’t be clear until the end of the week whether or not the Republicans brought to Tampa the proclivity for strip clubs and angering activists that was predicted. But adult dancers and police officers alike are more than prepared either way.