RNC Madness: Scenes From a Week Among the GOP Faithful in Tampa

Amid the sound, fury, and heated arguments between 82-year-old actors and empty chairs at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, I stopped briefly to listen to Mommy Lobby President Cindy Chafian argue with a French blogger.

"All I'm saying is that there should be a 48-hour cool-off period and mandatory counseling," the feisty mother of five argued from Section 326 of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "And if she still wants an abortion, that's up to her."

That argument, believe it or not, was among the most reasonable ones I heard all week at the RNC. This was a convention, after all, where the GOP's official platform opposes abortion in all cases -- including rape and when the mother's life is at risk. By those standards, Chafian was practically a radical feminist.

Even though I kept busy by asking Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann about Ann Romney's Welsh cakes, stalking Jon Voight for his thoughts on the national debt, and terrorizing Geraldo Rivera for inside info on whether anyone was doing drugs in the bathroom, I still had a hard time avoiding God in Tampa.

If there's one thing a week at the RNC teaches you, it's that "our Lord" has a master plan for everyone. Just ask Redemptive Guilt author William Earl McBride, who set up shop in the arena's main concourse. "Hollywood, for the most part, is doing Satan's work," he told me.

Sporting a black cowboy hat and blue jeans, McBride took a break from signing copies of his "novel that will shape American history" to lecture on the film industry.

"Who does Hollywood support with their money? They support the left," McBride said. "Evangelical Christianity is doing God's work today, and Evangelical Christianity supports the right."

Evangelicals, however, don't seem to support self-published authors. I couldn't find anyone else at the convention who had read his book.

Here are some photo highlights of our week in Tampa:

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >