So conservative “entertainer” Rush Limbaugh on record for claiming that Hurricane Issac, which may strike the Tampa Bay area in time for the GOP convention, is part of an “Obama Conspiracy,” it appears more than Republicans are preparing for an onslaught. Those preparing are the strip clubs in Tampa Bay with stippers hoping the party of family values lines their G-strings with greenbacks. Since this is the party of the 1 percent, we’re probably talking $100 bills, not singles.
CNN had fun with this story:
Ezili, who is studying to be a dental assistant, strolls in clutching two fat stacks of dollar bills — $85 for her and $85 for Go-Go after the house takes its cut. Not bad, but they’re hoping for a whole lot more when the Republicans come to town Monday. They’re counting on the GOP convention to make it rain for a whole week.
Go-Go’s boss says she’s “the best pole girl in Tampa.” She says it’s hard work and should be an Olympic sport. She’s in it for the money, and she swears it’s only temporary. Pole dancing is not, as she puts it, “my career path.”
A big plus, she says, is the friendship forged with other dancers. “We see each other naked every day,” she explains, “so we kind of open up to each other.”
Many clubs have taken out ads inviting GOP delegates “to party like a liberal” in a city where the “poles are open all night.” City officials say the convention, expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors, could be Tampa’s biggest party ever. Imagine all those rainmakers.
A strip club with a spaceship on the roof seems an odd place to expect Republicans. At first blush, one might not equate lap dances with the political party that wraps itself in buttoned-down family values.
But at convention time, even upstanding men seem to seek out undressed women. When the Christian group Promise Keepers held a convention in Tampa a couple of years ago, attendees flooded the 2001 Odyssey, co-owner Jim Kleinhans recalls. They had such a good time that “they kept their promise to come back the next night.”
Many male convention-goers, regardless of political stripe, are drawn to the sexual underground, according to a study conducted by Baylor University business professor Scott Cunningham. He examined sex ads placed online around the time of the 2008 conventions in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Denver. Ads for prostitutes and escorts jumped 25% to 40%. Cunningham offers a range of possible explanations — chief among them anonymity, or what he calls “the reduced likelihood of future shaming.”
But if past conventions are any indicator, Republicans are likely to outspend Democrats heavily at topless bars and strip clubs, says Angelina Spencer. She heads the Association of Club Executives, an organization for the nation’s 4,000 “gentleman’s club” owners. The group talked to members in the host cities of past conventions.
“When we compared spending,” Spencer notes, “the average showed Republicans spending $150 per person at an adult club, versus Democrats, who averaged $50 a person.”
I have to wonder, if Republican patrons of these clubs recognize someone inside a strip club, how do they maintain a straight face during prayer services? And I’m sure the clubs in Charlotte, North Carolina are getting ready for Democrats too. Perhaps these GOPers can have a serious policy discussion with Amber before she takes the stage.