If you tune in to the networks' prime-time coverage of the Republican National Convention, you'll see the big speeches, learn what Karl Rove thinks about Mitt Romney's chances (prediction: Rove is bullish), and hear a lot of people extoll Romney's can-do spirit and well-groomed family. But there's another side to the gathering, beyond the silly hats, arguments over arcane convention rules, and general whoopin' and hollerin'. After extensive reporting, placing of hidden listening devices, and a greased palm or two, we have assembled this guide to the hidden RNC, to give you a window into the convention only the insiders know about.
Though the official story had it that Monday's events were cancelled due to the imminent arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac, we have it on good authority that the problem was actually the delayed arrival of Iggy. In every Republican convention since 1980, official activities cannot commence until a bull is sacrificed to Ploutos, the Greek god of wealth. This year's sacrifice—a noble creature bristling with muscle and the spirit of entrepreneurship—was delayed when the driver shepherding Iggy from his west Texas ranch fell ill after eating his 11th Chick-fil-A sandwich of the day. But by Monday evening, Iggy had been safely delivered, anointed with oil, and drained of his blood. After the party's super-secret Board of Overseers each imbibed from the chalice (making sure that Haley went last, since last time he damn near drank the whole thing), the convention could officially begin.
While the 140,000 members of the media cover the perfunctory gaveling in of the convention and grumble that nothing ever happens at these events (a refrain they will continue long past the point where anybody gives a crap), in a suite in a nearby Marriot, members of the Oklahoma delegation re-enact the Boston Tea Party, with tequila substituting for tea, and their mouths substituting for Boston Harbor. Things are off to a festive start.
Ron Paul Liberty Rally
At an invitation-only ceremony after the rally for a select group of supporters, Paul himself uses a ceremonial bejeweled knife to shave 64 slices of gold off a Krugerrand; members of the group then each place a slice under their tongues. "Are you feeling anything?" one is heard to say. "Um … yeah. I think so. Are you?" responds another. "Oh, totally. It's … um … awesome. It's like I can taste
freedom." "Yeah, me too," comes the reply.
During the morning and afternoon, a series of speakers—members of Congress, candidates for various offices, Florida Republican officials—delivers speeches while delegates and media mill about the floor chatting with one another, all but oblivious to the stage. Each speaker soldiers on gamely through their 6 minutes, the only response coming in the form of perfunctory applause at "And may GOD bless the United States of America!" Music is provided by Lee Greenwood cover band "America's Pride," which delivers the first, second, third, and fourth of literally hundreds of renditions of "God Bless the U.S.A." to be heard this week.
Attendees quickly realize there is a strict hierarchy of convention credentials and gaze admiringly at the Job Creators walking by with gold- and platinum-level access passes around their necks. One of Mitt Romney's nephews, a sweet but gullible young man, trades his all-access pass for a bag of magic beans. Somewhere high above the floor, a Romney campaign staffer and a "technically-still-married" delegate from Nevada celebrate their shared love of the Constitution with a dry hump in a darkened sky box.
In this Family Research Council-sponsored field trip, delegates visit a series of Tampa strip clubs to minister to the fallen women who work therein. FRC vice-president Tad Flerp reports that on his last visit to Tampa, he had an extremely fruitful discussion with a dancer named Brandeee ("the extra 'e' is for ecstasy") , during which he allowed her to give him a lap dance on the condition that they talk about Jesus afterward, and he has been thinking about her a lot ever since. "I really hope she still works at the Dollhouse," he says, adding quickly, "I mean, I hope she found a better life, but if not, I really want to see her again. We had a real connection. Spiritually." In answer to multiple queries, the FRC has announced that it will not be repeating the field trip it took at the 2008 RNC to minister at gay bars in the Minneapolis area, due to the existence of certain photos that have been widely misinterpreted. The organizers ask that people please stop asking about the gay bar field trip; it won't be happening, and that's final.
Touched by a Reagan
This breakout session discusses encounters with the greatest American and how lives were changed. Speakers include Reagan Fernwoody, who as a teenager in 2009 read an article in Parade magazine about her namesake, and woke up the next morning to find that that groady zit on her nose was like totally almost gone. Session also features Ed Meese.
Be Like Mitt in the Money Pit
You might think no one would literally roll around amid piles of cash like Scrooge McDuck, but the oppression of Obama's America is almost at an end, and it's time to stop being ashamed of wealth. Even if you haven't earned your first $100 million yet, you can get a taste of what it'll be like, in a special booth stocked with enough Benjamins to take a bath.
Purity Ball II: The Re-Virgining
This event was such a success in 2008 that organizers have brought it back. Delegates who have brought their teenage daughters to the convention can come with them to the Ball, where in a special ceremony they will be "revirginized" by crushing a birth control pill under their heels while saying "I am not a slut!" In 2008 the teens asked for a pre-ball, teens-only gathering for discussion and primping, which their fathers gladly granted, and the custom will continue this year (the girls assured us that rumors of young men arriving at the pre-ball gathering were completely false, and they explained that the smell of smoke on their clothes came from candles they lit during prayer).
The Most Dangerous Game
Attendees who have donated over $2 million to Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS are granted a special privilege that brings together their love of firearms and their contempt for the bloodsucking "takers" who want only to leech off the hard work and ingenuity of society's "makers." In a special 64-acre underground lair generously loaned by an anonymous Tampa-area donor, participants will have a unique opportunity to hunt, track, and kill an actual hippie. Gift bags provided courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Kid Rock performs, to what may well be the largest assemblage of simultaneous awkward slightly-out-of-rhythm head-bobbing in history. In addition, Mitt Romney will be present.