Republicans have perfectly good responses to these juvenile arguments, starting with "buy your own blankety-blank contraceptives" and moving up to sensible health care reform. Still, Republicans (and grown-ups) are not well-served if the election revolves around condoms and morning after pills.
I take it as a good sign that the Republican National Committee has chosen to hold its convention in Cleveland. One undeniable bonus will be musical. The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the nation's finest. If good music isn't to your taste, Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Just kidding, don't write me!) In any case, both of those local institutions should coax convention planners away from the monotonous diet of country music that has so dominated recent Republican conventions.
Beyond music, the Cleveland location opens whole vistas for the Republican Party.
America's big cities are nearly all Democratic monopolies. Republicans will have to be tactful about this -- it would be very bad form to trash their host city -- but the locale does present an opportunity to stress their solidarity with the poor of America's cities who have been ill-served by Democratic government.
The poverty rate in Cleveland is the nation's third highest for cities of more than 200,000. According to the 2010 census, 53 percent of Clevelanders younger than age 18 live in poverty. The unemployment rate is an unhealthy 8.5 percent; not as terrible as Detroit (14.5), but not anything close to the other city the RNC was considering, Dallas (5.1).
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