Will Democrats have to hold a virtual convention?
Reluctantly, Japan has postponed the 2020 Olympics, scheduled to start on July 24th. That is ten days after the start of the Democratic National Convention – July 13th to be specific.
Democrats seem to have only three choices. They could go ahead as planned and hope that Milwaukee will not have restrictions on large gatherings by that time. And much like the Olympics, they are likely to have a problem convincing a lot of delegates, alternates, officials and lobbyists to take the trip if America’s beer capital is still on lockdown.
While Wisconsin is in the low level of the upper half of the states with significant numbers of cases — 360 cases and five deaths – Democrats and the media have been working overtime to scare the public into believing that epicenter outbreaks could happen anywhere in the future. Whether Milwaukee will be one of those safer areas operating with greater normalcy – as President Trump and the top medical professionals hope – is yet unknown. It will likely remain unknown even as the Democratic National Committee has to make judgments about their convention.
The second option is to postpone the convention to … ???? Yeah, like when? The Republican National Convention opens on August 24 – a full six weeks after the scheduled DNC event. Most authorities are more optimistic that the nation will be approaching normalcy by then.
Any delay in the convention works to the disadvantage of the Democrats and their standard bearers – likely to be former Vice President Joe Biden and whoever he selects as his running mate. If they move too close to the Republican convention, the traditional post-convention bump in the polls will be trumped – literally and figuratively – by the Republican convention. The Biden/whoever ticket will lose valuable campaign time.
If they try to go after the Republican Convention, they will run into the agreement between the parties as to when they will respectively hold their nomination conventions. Unlikely as it would be for the Democrats to move later than the GOP, any attempt could have the Republicans picking up a game of political hopscotch. In any case, it shortens the Democrats post-convention campaign season.
The third option would be to hold a virtual convention via the Internet. While this would be efficient – and safer – it would take all the drama and theater out of the event. All the promotional value. No appearances by celebrities. None of those million-dollar parties by labor, education and corporate lobbyists. No floor demonstrations. Any television news station providing gavel-to-gavel coverage would see their ratings drop through the floor.
Democrats seem to believe that the Coronavirus has given them what the Mueller investigation and the impeachment did not – the coup de grace of the Trump presidency. With the issue of the convention looming over their heads – and Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus being approved by most Americans – it is the Democrats who may suffer the more serious social and political side-effects of the disease.
So, there ‘tis.