Occupy et al. have been conspicuous by their absence this week at the RNC. Earlier today, I swung by the protest HQ at “Camp Romney,” which was populated by a grand total of seven tents and maybe ten protesters, one of whom was panhandling at the intersection with no great success. A sad little show.
Closer to the convention itself, I encountered a handful of protesters: An old-school biker type with a placard denouncing war, one passing out a Dr. Seuss-themed anti-Romney book, and a third incoherent fellow chatting amiably with a representative of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department, who was, like every third person at the RNC, fairly well armed, with a semiautomatic pistol on his hip. The protesters were far outnumbered by the entrepreneurs hawking Romney buttons and anti-Romney buttons. As Protester No. 3 noodled through his cracked spiel about the wicked 1 percent, a Rolls-Royce Phantom with New York Yankees vanity plates glided by, unnoticed. You could have put all of the protesters present in the back seat quite comfortably, and nobody would have lamented their absence.