May 28, 2024

In a move that could leave Democrats with a lot of explaining to do, Biden officials are pushing to make the 2024 Democrat National Convention semi-online. The reason? They are terrified that their crazed voting base will show up and protest inside the arena, interrupting live speeches for all the world to see. 

With the convention being in Chicago, many Democrats fear a repeat of the 1968 protests that doomed their convention and likely boosted Richard Nixon to a narrow victory. Biden has been repeatedly heckled by pro-Hamas protesters over the preceding months. 

SEE: Biden Gets Heckled in Raleigh and He Folds

Trumpeting the success of their Covid-era convention four years ago, some in Biden’s orbit are aggressively pushing to make the 2024 conclave a hybrid production. That would mean in-person speeches from the president, party luminaries and rising stars to draw television attention alongside a mix of pre-recorded testimonials and videos from other parts of the country.

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.

There are a lot of problems with this, not the least of which is the optics involved. It’s not 2020 anymore, and using a COVID-era precedent is going to come across as weak and pathetic precisely because it’s so obvious why it’s being done. The above excerpt says Joe Biden would still speak in person, but I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility that he doesn’t even show up if this “hybrid” model is put into place. 

Such a plan wouldn’t stop the protests from being visible anyway. News networks, which is how most people will view the event, are still going to be laser-focused on any unrest that occurs, and if things get crazy, the convention being “semi-online” will be irrelevant. Further, as news of this idea gets out, it will only embolden the protesters (whether pro-Hamas, climate activists, or something else) to lash out even harder. 

So with campus protests over the war in Gaza raging and Biden being disrupted nearly everywhere he goes, Chicago’s organizers are plotting on how to preempt opportunities for heckling and quickly tamp down demonstrators who do get into the arena.

William M. Daley, the former Commerce secretary and son and brother of Chicago mayors, has urged top Biden officials to install a capable convention chair who knows how to wield a gavel and can restore order as needed, I’m told. One obvious possibility is Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and another is Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who before entering Congress was speaker of the California Assembly.

Yes, I’m sure having an 84-year-old woman banging a gavel is going to stop the chants of “genocide Joe.” You can tell how desperate Democrats are by how dumb their proposed solutions have become. No protester is going to care about Nancy Pelosi telling them to be quiet.

Another problem Democrats face is that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is rabidly in support of the current wave of pro-Hamas protests. There’s little incentive for him to play ball with the Democratic Party to make sure things remain peaceful. He has his own political image (as bad as it is) to preserve, and the last thing Johnson wants is to be the guy who put down far-left protests. 

Again, though, I go back to the question of optics. Biden’s biggest political liability is that he’s incredibly old and senile. How will it play to the American people if the DNC holds a “semi-online” convention for no other reason than to suppress the radicals in its midst? Even if Biden shows up for an hour, it will still seem like a cowardly and low-energy dodge of what is supposed to be a major in-person event. 

There’s no good answer here for Democrats which is one of the problems with courting insane people to be the base of your party. The chickens have come home to roost, sowing and repeating, etc. Whatever phrase you want to use, Biden and his lackeys are victims of their own moral cowardice.