“We’re going to build that wall!”
“And who’s going to pay for it?”
[The people of Pennsylvania!]
Yes, the Democrats are now in favor of building a wall, but it’s not going to be along the Mexican border. It will be around the Wells Fargo Center in the City of Brotherly Love during the Democratic National Convention next month. And the irony of the decision wasn’t lost on Senator Jeff Sessions. (The Hill)
Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) knocked Hillary Clinton’s immigration policies Friday, amid reports that a “wall” will be built around the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
“It’s interesting that the Democratic National Committee will have a wall around their convention to keep unapproved people out while at the same time, their presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, pushes for open borders policies that are even more radical than President Obama’s,” Sessions said in a statement Friday.
Special Agent James Henry told a local NBC station that the Wells Fargo Center and Xfinity Live! would be enclosed in “no-scale fencing” as part of the convention’s security measures.
While the announcement was bound to produce the well deserved mocking we’re seeing from Senator Sessions and others, this won’t come as startling news to anyone who’s been to either party’s conventions over the past few election cycles. Speaking as the person who will be heading to Philadelphia to cover this gathering next month for Hot Air, it’s pretty much in line with what I was expecting. I was at the GOP convention in Tampa four years ago and the “green zone” they established around the facility was equally daunting. There were long lines awaiting entry at the gates and you really needed to plan your day efficiently to get in and out at reasonable times and get your work done.
All poking of fun aside, it would be rather insane if the Democrats didn’t have such a security perimeter in place and you can bet we’ll have the same situation for the Republicans in Cleveland. That sad fact is reinforced by the reality of the attack in Orlando which is still under investigation as you read this. Anywhere that huge crowds of people gather can be an attractive target for terrorists and if the crowd happens to include the politically well connected that’s just a bonus for those who seek to foster mayhem on a large scale.
What we can expect to see in both cities as a result of these precautions are the same complaints we saw in Tampa last time. The expected financial boon to the city is considerably muted by these security borders. Attendees have to spend so much time and effort to get inside the fence that they rarely leave during course of the day’s activities so local businesses (particularly restaurants, bars and tourist attractions) don’t see the spike in tourist business they’d hoped for. By the time the convention events are done for the evening it’s generally pretty late and many of us just trudge back to hour hotels and collapse. The unfortunate result is that the only real impact on the city is a huge hassle of blocked off streets and disruption of the normal traffic flow.
This may be seen as a problem, but there doesn’t seem to be any other option in the current climate.