When the Evil Clowns Come to Town - Is Chicago Ready to Rumble?

AP Photo/Erin Hooley

Maybe I should rephrase that question in light of who and what we're dealing with. Politico certainly seems to have its doubts.

The DNC Is Preparing for the Worst in Chicago — Without the Help of the City’s Mayor

As Democrats plan their convention, they’ll have to address the elephant in the room: How to mitigate the threat of disruptions and work with a rookie mayor who unabashedly sympathizes with the protesters.


Democratic leaders have only suddenly discovered that Brandon Johnson is the barely more than a large, impulsive, not-terribly-bright-nor-stable child in charge of America's, like, third largest city?

They were all over heading north for the party a year ago after a "rigorous" site selection process. The new mayor-elect was "looking forward" to working "closely' with his fellow party members.

The Democratic National Committee today announced Chicago will host the 2024 Democratic National Convention at the United Center from August 19 to 22. The DNC is returning to the Midwest, a critical Democratic stronghold: Illinois along with Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota – part of the “blue wall” – were crucial to the 2020 victory of President Biden and Vice President Harris and to Democrats’ success in the 2022 midterm elections. 

...“Chicago is a great choice to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention,”said President Joe Biden. “Democrats will gather to showcase our historic progress including building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down. From repairing our roads and bridges, to unleashing a manufacturing boom, and creating over 12.5 million new good-paying jobs, we’ve already delivered so much for hard working Americans – now it’s time to finish the job.”

...“Chicago is a world-class city that looks like America and demonstrates the values of the Democratic Party,” said Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson of Chicago. “We are unmatched when it comes to hosting events of this scale. I look forward to working closely with the DNC to facilitate a spectacular convention that showcases Chicago’s diverse culture, our beautiful lakefront, our renowned hospitality sector, and our best asset: our amazing people.”


Maybe they're more hesitant because the first part of the mayor's statement rings uncomfortably true: Chicago "demonstrates the values of the Democratic Party." That has to send a chill down some campaign-organizing spines. The last thing the Democrats and Biden campaign need Americans to see is any more "Democratic values" in action.

[CUE: Sad trombone]

In an ornery move, it seems the vipers the Dems have spent the past decade or so nurturing - emerging when their snek charming masters open the lid and release them as shock troops to rampage for whatever virtue signaling needs to be done with a side of peaceful but fiery - aren't willing to stay in their baskets anymore. Progressive groups have grown to be quite fond of their relative freedom, thanks especially to now having friends and believers placed in positions of authority, like Mayor Johnson or any Poison Ivy League college president. 

As a former mayor of Baltimore, another movement enabler, once memorably said, prog activists and radicals have been "given room to destroy," and they are keeping it.

 Whatever kind of organized, civilized face the DNC was hoping to present to the world, the flag-waving, torch-bearing, store-looting minions they've created have issued a uniform answer, and it is "We're not playin'."

Progressive activist groups from across the country are preparing to protest outside the Democratic National Convention “with or without permits” come August.

Coalition leaders have attested their right to be within “sight and sound” of the convention’s center stage at the United Center, citing First Amendment rights in a federal lawsuit filed last month. On Saturday, leaders reaffirmed their commitment to be heard outside the DNC, despite the city’s denial of protest permits closer to the convention’s site.

A couple of hundred people representing 78 activist organizations gathered Saturday for a day-long “working conference” hosted by the March on the DNC coalition to organize fundraising, communications and logistics for the months ahead before top Democratic politicians arrive in Chicago. While support for a ceasefire in Palestine is the unifying cause, the coalition includes representatives from dozens of causes, including reproductive rights, labor rights, and immigrant and undocumented persons rights.

“We’ll be marching with or without permits. This DNC is the most important one since 1968, also in Chicago when Vietnam War protesters and the black liberation movement organized mass demonstrations that were violently repressed,” said Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, at a coalition conference Saturday on the Near West Side to organize protest efforts. The march on the DNC will be the largest mobilization for Palestine in the history of the city.”


Gonna be lit af.

And, no - this round won't have a hardnosed Mayor Daly in charge cracking heads in an attempt to enforce law and order. Convention organizers are right to be sweating bullets on that account.

You've got a fragile union stooge of very little brain occupying center stage in Chicago during the heart of one of the most volatile years in recent memory. Whether Democrats did this to themselves or not is immaterial to their needs at the moment, and Brandon Johnson is not the guy they need.

...Word on the street is that he's more than a bit frazzled by the size of the desk he's trying to ride and that's starting to take a toll on what little job performance he's managed so far.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is “stressed out” and has been admitted to the hospital for panic attacks. That’s according to veteran Chicago journalists John Kass and Anita Padilla, who discussed Johnson’s panic attacks on an episode of WGN-AM’s Chicago Way Podcast.

“The mayor’s panic attacks? Can we talk about that?” Kass said. “No amount of anti-depressants can cure him of (Chicago’s illegal alien) problem.

...Excuse me, sir - didn't you run for this particular job? I mean, no one held a gun to your head...although granted, it is Chicago.

..."Do you understand that you have not had a mayor like me? I get that. I have a wife, I have children, they have schedules. And plus, we still have public safety that we have to address, we still have the unhoused that we have to address, I still have a budget that I have to address."

He added: "And I'm doing all of that with a Black wife, raising three Black children on the west side of the city of Chicago. I am going to the border as soon as possible."

Your family is black? You're black? How interesting.


Thanks to his vitriol against police and advocacy for the "stupid kids" of the city committing felony after felony, Hizzoner's relationship with the Chicago Police Department is so fractured that he was recently told point blank to not to attend a murdered officer's funeral.

Johnson wound up sprinting away from local media rather than answer questions about it. Profile in courage - add that to his resume.

And this is even more damning scuttlebutt from the Politico article. Johnson is confirmed as nothing deeper than a preening bag of ruffled peacock feathers.

...Just as complicated is how to handle the protesters beyond the walls of the United Center.

There’s already a joke going around Democratic strategist circles that the main difference between 2024 and 1968 is that the Chicago mayor this year will be on the side of the protesters, not the cops.

Forty-eight-year-old Brandon Johnson, who was elected mayor last year after incumbent Lori Lightfoot failed to even make the runoff, was an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union and has yet to fully make the jump from activist to mayor of one of America’s largest cities.

It’s ironic because soon after he became mayor, he hosted DNC Chair Jaime Harrison for lunch and, according to a Democrat familiar with the conversation, immediately pronounced that “nobody else represents the city but me.” He also asked if Harrison would have his back as a fellow Black man (Harrison, I’m told, tried to delicately explain that the convention would be a partnership between the party, the city and the state of Illinois).

...“If there’s any mayor that understands the value of protest and demonstration, it’s me,” Johnson told reporters earlier this week at a groundbreaking, dismissing a question about Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) concerns over unrest in the city during the convention. Johnson said, “Without protests and real demands of a government, people of color and women do not have a place in society.”


The gist of the article is that the entire IL party hierarchy is a Schlitz sammich. It's GLORIOUS. Johnson hates cops, the mayor hates the governor, and the feeling is mutual. Johnson could care less about Biden as long as he comes out like a black hero. There are ongoing power struggles over DNC committees (Pritzker's ahead in that count), blah, blah, blah—I mean, it's a litany of truly dysfunctional, internecine knife-fighting and buffoonery.


With the city possibly going up in flames for a backdrop? 

ONLY - *winkwinknudgenudge* - if the Johnson lets it happen.

...Asked at the groundbreaking this week if he was open to calling in the National Guard for the convention, the governor said he didn’t think “we’ll need it.” But Pritzker made sure to note the Chicago police had jurisdiction and he’d only call in the guard if “the city asks us to — it would be completely inappropriate to just march into a city.”

IF YOU BELIEVE THAT, YOU'LL BUY THIS WATCH!   *holds up empty wrist*

Convention planners are thinking outside the box, trying to avoid the worst Hieronymous Bosch hellscapes already playing on nightmare loops in their heads.

One way to do that is to party like it's 2020, when video killed the street and floor protest star.

...The goal: drive maximum viewership on television and the internet while minimizing live programming and openings for protest in Chicago’s United Center. This would mean moving party business, such as rules and platform votes, off the floor and denying would-be demonstrators a chance to seize on contentious debates.

...Also under consideration for Chicago: reviving the pre-taped delegation roll call from each state featured in 2020.


Along with security practice - LOTS of security practice - for the lucky folks who don't get to Zoom call it in.

Is Chicago ready for Democratic values in action?

I don't think anyone is truly ready for that, but what the hell. 

Let's GO.

Gonna be lit af.

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