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Friday, October 15, 2004

George Bush's America

This is truly disgusting.

Comments (48)

you seem surprised. this has been going on since bush got in office. i read on boingboing.net an article about a longtime protester who had been singled out at every rally by the secret service (ss) for arrest based on a never used law from the 1970's. this law was created by congress after the tumultuous 60's. it allows the SS to create a "zone of influence" that gives them the right to arrest anyone in that zone if they feel that person threatens the president. there are no boundaries to this zone and the ss will tell you that. over the past 4 years, people who have just been standing on a corner with a sign or t-shirt have been arrested by the ss when the people next to them are screaming and yelling.

i wasn't using my civil liberties anyway.

Well, I am surprised. (I don't really know why, because I should have learned by now that Bush & Cheney have absolutely no limits of decency when it comes to, oh, I don't know, being humans.) But this case is different from all the rest. People wearing anti-Bush shirts have been kicked out, people carrying signs have been kicked out, people wearing pro-Kerry stuff have been kicked out, people shouting out things in protest have been kicked out, but these women were wearing shirts that said PROTECT OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES! Since when can you even make any semblance of an argument that expressing support for Constitutional rights threatens the President? Next thing you know, they won't allow anyone in who's wearing a Bruce Springsteen or a Dixie Chicks shirt because maybe - just maybe - they're really an evil Democrat who wants to shoot the President in the head and not just a music fan. Bush & Cheney are disgusting, and I'm sorry, but right now I feel disgusted by anyone who would support them.

If the DNC doesn't jump on this (it ain't enough that the Oregon Dems have), they are idiots.

Not nearly as disgusting as throwing a candidates lesbian daughter into the mix. Not as disgusting as saying that her mother must be ashamed of her. Not as disgusting as your campaign manager referring to her "as fair game", a phrase that was original used to describe animals that were fair to hunt.

Shameless, way over the line, and above all, typical Carville/Begala tactics. As a father of two lovely daughters, think about how classless an act this is. The T-Shirt thing was done by overzealous campaign workers or security people. The daughter bashing was done by TWO men who want to be President. Maybe the French told them it was OK.

Please provide direct citations of where Kerry or Edwards "bashed" Cheney's daughter. Note: Using the fact that Kerry actually dared to speak the dreaded word "lesbian" doesn't count as such a citation.

Yes, I'm curious to hear those citations as well. If mentioning the name of an out and proud and politically active 35-year-old lesbian equals bashing her, then what do you call proposing an amendment (which has no chance of passing, by the way) that will put bigotry against her and all gay people into our Constitution?

Not to mention that Cheney's campaign mentions her, and Edwards mentioned her and Cheney thanked him for it.

The only difference that I can see, as already mentioned, is that Kerry dared to actually say she's a lesbian -- in which case this is about nothing more than Republican squeamishness.

Isn't it interesting that we didn't hear a peep from the Cheneys when Republican candidate for Senator in Illinois, Alan Keyes, called their daughter a "selfish hedonist?" You can call her a selfish hedonist, but don't dare call her a lesbian!

For those who either don't know what raging red is talking about, or who know but want to pretend otherwise, see here for the story.

But here's the relevant part:

After saying homosexuality is "selfish hedonism," Keyes was asked if that made Mary Cheney "a selfish hedonist."
"Of course she is," Keyes replied. "That goes by definition."

Yawn... The Democrats do the same thing. Here is how it works for both sides. Those "public" rallies are anything but public. The tickets are given to the party faithful and the other "true believers" to watch the show. Campaign staff watch the crowd for any dissent or unauthorized signs and anyone who dissents is asked to leave. After being asked to leave and refusing the offending party is escorted out of the area for trespassing by local law enforcement as the USSS has no jurisdiction. That is how the game is played on both sides. Anyone who dissents is shown the door. The Supremes did away with the "protest zones" mentioned above.

Nothing to see here folks move along...

Um, I beg to differ. First of all, the Secret Service is still using protest zones, despite their agreement with the ACLU to stop. I'll provide you with a link to info on that if you so desire. Or, just attend a rally yourself and spot the protest zone. (Of course, Bush tends to hold his events indoors nowadays to make it a little easier on himself.)

Also, the Democrats do not do the same thing as the Republicans with respect to dissenters in their midst. Have you ever seen Kerry deal with hecklers? People will start shouting things out, and Kerry will respond to them. People will yell "Four more years!" and he'll yell "Four more years of what?" and then start telling them why they shouldn't want that. In contrast, Bush doesn't even let these people through the door.

I say, the President of the United States of America should be able to handle detractors. The POTUS should not be afraid of "partisan" questions, as Bush was worried about with the town hall debate. We have seen what happens when Bush is actually confronted with criticism and dissent - he can't handle it. As President, he should be embarassed. It's the Bush campaign that has invented this new idea of requiring a loyalty oath to enter the door, not the Kerry campaign.

I can handle disagreement, but not when it's based on fiction.

Dem tickets aren't given only to the faithful. Anyone can go online and print one out. The GOP on the other hand often restricts tickets to those who have volunteered for the campaign. These are hardly comparable approaches.

OK let me rephrase, the USSS doesn't use use "protest zones" at political rallies. Did you go to the bon jovi/decapprio/kerry/edwards rally at the waterfront park awhile back? Did you notice that there were 2 areas. The first area close to the talent/candidates was controlled by the Gov't. To gain access to the first area you had to go through USSS magnetometers and submit yourself to a search like the airport. For admittance to this area you had to be a "true believer" with the right color ticket (not the internet tickets) issued by someone with a hook (to their credit they did allow people with internet tickets to enter the last 10 minutes after they ran out of true believers). You could not (or were not supposed to) bring in signs or anything else to this area. People who dissented in the first area were escorted out as I outlined above. Yes, there were dissenters and people with unauthorized signs who were identified and removed.

The second area was further back behind the barriers where the general public and people who printed off the internet tickets were allowed to go. (You remember, the area with no water and a 500 to 1 people to honeybucket ratio) They were not subject to search or any scrutiny. The second area is out of tv camera range and if you wanted you could heckle to your hearts content and no candidate would hear and more importantly it wouldn't make the news.

Sorry guys there is no difference in the way the job is done for either party. The 2 parties run tightly controlled media events.

Also remember that you are witnessing a democratic/republican rally in a blue state things would be different if you were attending one of the party rallys in a red state.

b!x - The Dem convention locked up the protestors behind barbed wire (topped) fences. Even the GOP convention didn't go that far.

I live in West Virginia (I like to think of myself as an Oregonian-in-exile), so I can't speak to the Kerry rally in Portland. But if you think these two campaigns handle their rallies in the same way, then you haven't been paying attention.

It's fine to make a blanket rule that no signs are allowed in a rally, and both campaigns do it, and they have perfectly practical and legitimate reasons to prohibit signs.

But kicking people out for the particular message on their t-shirts is called viewpoint discrimination, and it violates the First Amendment. This year in West Virginia (which was red in 2000 and looks like it will be red in 2004), two people were arrested and charged with trespassing for simply wearing anti-Bush t-shirts at the President's 4th of July visit (not even an official campaign rally).

What happened in Medford is even WORSE than that incident (and others like it), because these weren't even anti-Bush t-shirts, they were pro-civil liberties t-shirts!

Sorry, but I have yet to hear of any incident like this occurring at a Kerry rally. Look, I'm not here trying to argue that my guy is better than your guy (if he's even your guy, I don't know). It's not about that. It's about the President's constant disregard for civil liberties.

The GOP convention went further. They had protesters arrested and sent to what amounted to a private jail on land being leased by the RNC.

And what exactly were the protestors doing that got them arrested? If you look, you'll find that their behavior went beyond the pale, and wasn't simply an attempt at Leftist 'free speech' (aka disruption).

Always remember: The Left always plays badly when they don't get their way: protests and illlegal behavior are the order of the day (WTO Protest anyone). Overall, the GOP protestors play much nicer than the DNC protestors.

Besides, it's the GOP convention - so the GOP can exclude whoever they want. The same way the DNC excludes whoever they want.

I think the fix is alredy in.. the world has already decided the nature of the NEW WORLD ORDER and all the hoopla in the world won't stop the other countries from having "their man" Kerry elected. Did you ever wonder why, with the highest oil production and the largest supply in history on hand, we are forced to pay higher and higher oil prices. Look to OPEC and see who they endorse.

Scott, you're missing the point. It doesn't matter what they did or did not do. They were held in a private jail on RNC-leased land. Not a public facility. A private facility.

Who did the arresting? Public police? If so, there's no problem with the smoke screen of 'private facility'.

The 'private facility' was run by the police, was it not?
It was located closer to the folks-needing-to-be-arrested. So the 'private facility' ended up requiring fewer police officers to handle the arrests. Had there been no 'private' facility, The Left would have whined about the excessive officers and transportation required to get the protestors taken to pre-existing police facilities.

I realize it's easy to get wound up about anything the GOP does, but this is a non-issue. It's wonderful for The Left to proclaim that Bush is Hitler, but incidents like this don't pass muster when examined beyond the leftist-written headline.

Scott, if you think there's nothing wrong with state police evicting people from an appearance by the President of the United States because their t-shirts say "Protect our civil liberties," then I'm glad you're in Japan.

Jack - The unfortunate reality is a lot of the leftist folks protesting would harm the President, if given a chance. Unfortunately, according to you, the state police did the same thing when Clinton was president. But no one complained then. Your bias is showing.

Yeah, those three schoolteachers posed a real threat.

Give my best to the Emperor.

Logical consistency Jack, that's all I'm looking for. On one hand you hand criticise Bush for not being 'presidential' (smirking at debates, and so on). But you more than forgive democrats who fail to behave properly at a presidential function.

Would the teachers have tried to harm Bush? I doubt it. Would they have tried to disrupt the proceedings, as other leftists in similar attire have done previously? You bet. Good call by the police in removing them before a problem started. Had the parties been switched, Jack, you wouldn't have a problem with the removal.

It's wonderful for The Left to proclaim that Bush is Hitler...

Ah, the reverse Godwin's law. I don't think anyone here called Bush Hitler, so all you mentioning it does is show a transparent attempt to equate all criticism of Bush with thinking Bush it Hitler. It's nonsense. Try again.

The unfortunate reality is a lot of the leftist folks protesting would harm the President, if given a chance.

John? John Ashcroft, is that you?

Would they have tried to disrupt the proceedings, as other leftists in similar attire have done previously? You bet.

It is! Hi, John! What are you doing in Japan?

I recall being at a Democratic event a few years back and some anti-Dem heckler was screaming in my ear while Gore was giving his speech. While a few of us weren't too shy to tell him where to stick it, no one escorted him out of the room. No way someone would get away with that kind of behavior--or anything approaching that type of behavior--at a Bush event.

I suppose it is easier for anyone to handle addressing a crowd of supporters. Public speaking is scary to a certain degree for most anyone. But Bush has sealed himself off from anything remotely approaching dissent during this election. I was glad (actually, gleeful is probably a better term) to see it catch up with him during the first debate. No politician should be so afraid of dissent that he completely insulates himself from it, and only takes sycophantic "questions" that usually go something like: "you're the best; may I please lick your boots?" during his public appearances.

Speaking of Bush's isolation, see tomorrow's NY Times Magazine and be very unnerved.

I've been out, and now I've returned, and I was about to give a blow-by-blow argument for my position, but really all I want to say is this:

The incident that I mentioned above (the two people wearing anti-Bush t-shirts at the President's 4th of July speech in Charleston, WV) happened literally one block from my house. I absolutely oppose Bush and everything he stands for. However, when I heard that the President was going to be giving a speech a mere one block from my house, I figured - that's a rather rare opportunity, and even though I do not approve of him, he is MY president, so perhaps I should just go to see him speak. Well, it turns out that tickets were only available to the state Republican party and other Republican organizations (despite the fact that it was NOT a campaign rally), so I would have had to go to some effort to get a (free) ticket. Even so, I still considered it. While considering it, I thought - you know, I would honestly like to go see Bush give a speech, but I would definitely NOT want to give the impression that I was a Bush supporter. So I figured that if I would go, I would wear a shirt that had some kind of anti-Bush message on it. I had no plans of yelling anything out or acting out in any way whatsoever. I simply wanted to attend the speech, yet express my disapproval of the President. In the end, I determined that it was too much trouble to get the ticket, so I stayed home (and baked a peach cobbler).

Now, you can believe my story or not, but you better f-ing believe that that right there is the absolute core of the First Amendment. The First Amendment gives me the right to attend a speech by my President in a public venue while wearing a t-shirt with a message that expresses my disapproval of that President.

While I did not attend the speech, two other people did, and they did the exact same thing that I had planned on doing. When asked to leave (after having said or done nothing disruptive), they refused, stating their right to stand there and listen with the rest of the crowd, and they were arrested and charged with trespassing. Their charged ended up being dismissed, and the city of Charleston, WV issued an apology. They were from Texas (in town working for FEMA), and they have sinced moved to Charleston, WV because they got such a warm reception from the people here during and after this incident.

If you doubt my story or the story of the people who were arrested, you can read the news reports about it on my blog, where I wrote about it at the time. If you think it's stupid to get this upset over a "minor" incident, then I do not think you truly appreciate the importance of the right to free speech.

(The above was not edited and was written by me while slightly enraged and after one glass of wine. I apologize.)

The bottom line is: every event is not a chance for whiners to disrupt proceedings. If you imagine that the 1st Amendment is a 'right' to act poorly and disrupt other people's civil gatherings, you are an idiot who doesn't understand the constitution. Quick tip for those too lazy to study on their own: free speech includes the right of the organized speaker to speak free of disruptions by folks who wander in.

b!x - "I don't think anyone here called Bush Hitler"
My bad. The protest whiners often do, so much so that it's part of the conversation. I don't like it, and I hope you don't either. But complain to the leftists that started that thought.

red -" The First Amendment gives me the right to attend a speech by my President in a public venue while wearing a t-shirt with a message that expresses my disapproval of that President."
It doesn't actually. Being disruptive isn't something you get to do with child-like glee when it suits your needs. The First Amendment lets people criticise the gov't - but not at any place they want to. The Left really needs to learn this.

Scott, the problem with the last bit is you equate simply wearing a t-shirt with causing a disturbance. While it's certainly true that at least some of the other alleged t-shirt incidents were accompanied by actual disruption or heckling, in the case that sparked this thread, as far as anyone has reported (and it's been long enough now for other details, if any, to have come out), all these teachers did was wear a shirt that wasn't even expressly anti-Bush. So even if one were to believe that an overtly anti-Bush t-shirt, with no other action, constitutes disruption (which it isn't), it still doesn't apply in the case in question.

"you equate simply wearing a t-shirt with causing a disturbance"
Wrong, but nice try. I equate it with the likely chance of causing a disturbance. How great was the chance that there would be a disturbance? That was for the police to decide.

"it still doesn't apply in the case in question."
Still wrong, but nice try again. The police had to decide if the folks in question would cause a problem, or incite others to action. That was for the police to decide - and they did.

A reminder for the class - disruptive behavior (even wearing snarky t-shirts while in a crowd around the President) isn't covered by the First Amendment.

Please tell us what specific disruptive BEHAVIOR these three women engaged in.

(Oh, and that "class" you're referring to, I already took it, thank you very much. It's called Constitutional Law, and I got a big fat A.)

"Please tell us what specific disruptive BEHAVIOR these three women engaged in."
They weren't, yet. But the police made the decision to remove them before they could begin. Would they have actually caused a problem? We don't know, but it's up to security to make that call, and they made a call for everyone's safety.

Another lesson for the class - wearing clothes which paint you as disruptive puts you under suspicion. And as we all know now, we don't wait for bad guys to do something before we take them out. If you go out of your way to appear suspicious (and these 3 quite intentionally did), there are consequences.

Just remember, this was a Bush event - not a protest. The t-shirt folks can display their feelings at another time. Bush has a First Amendment right to speak without being interrupted. Oh wait, the left doesn't believe in that.

The women at the event in Medford weren't removed by the police--though the free speech violation would've been worse if they had. What you're advocating, Scott, is called prior restraint of speech. Endorsing our civil liberties--which is what those shirts did--hardly comes within the realm of "fighting words." And if our president or his minions think that those words do present such a clear and present danger that the women wearing the offending message need to be ejected from the event (which, when you're a sitting president not charging $$ as an election fundraiser event, is hard to avoid characterizing as public, unless you actually believe he's only president to 40-some percent of this country who agrees with him!), then the sooner they're out of power, the better. They fundamentally undermine what this country is about when they work so hard to suppress dissent, or in this case, what really isn't even dissent, but in fact support of the rights we all share.

Preemption didn't work for Iraq, and it doesn't work for the First Amendment.

A reminder for the class - disruptive behavior (even wearing snarky t-shirts while in a crowd around the President) isn't covered by the First Amendment.

This is so patently false that we should all probably just stop hashing out this point because Scott will never get it.

As for who removed the teachers, my understanding, Amanda, is that they were removed by police officers, at the request of some GOP flunky.

b!X, you make a wise suggestion. You can't argue with someone who refuses to acknowledge reality. Wow, now I know what it feels like to debate George W. Bush.

B!x--wow, that's even worse! I just read the Bend.com link, and it looked like campaign officials did it (didn't do KGW 'cause I'm tired of messing around w/ site registrations every time I turn around...). You're right, Scott's characterization of what is protected speech and what is not is so far off that it's probably not worth even trying to engage him on the topic.

It's the Oregonian article which specifies that they were removed by cops: "The three women were ejected from the rally and escorted from the Jackson County Fairgrounds by state police officers who warned them they would be arrested if they tried to return."

"This is so patently false that we should all probably just stop hashing out this point because Scott will never get it."

- The First Amendment doesn't let folks crash whatever gathering they want.

- If it was felt the women were going to cause a disruption (the case here) the call to remove them is for public safety reasons.

Simply crying "First Amendment!" when someone doesn't want you around is something that died out in kindergarten. For us adults, anyway.

Remember the 2000 election? Remember the people that were asked to leave the Gore/Lieberman rally at the U of O in Eugene when they showed up with their Bush/Cheney signs? They were threatened with arrest if they didn't leave or take them off.

Remember the Kerry Rally at Waterfront Park where no one was allowed to bring in their own signs?

I happen to work with some of the people that provided security in Jacksonville. They were uniformly underwhelmed by the protesters. Many wondered why they brought small children to the protest and then provoked a confrontation with the police.

Interestingly the Bush supporters at the Edwards appearance in Eugene had none of the problems of the people in Jacksonville. Democrat protesters seem to always show up determined to cause an altercation.

Look at the Union goons that have been shooting up and breaking up Bush/Cheney offices around the country. There seems to be a large brownshirt element on the left.

John: You twist the facts so well, you should apply for a job in the Bush administration. Better hurry, though. 8c)

"Democrat protesters seem to always show up determined to cause an altercation."
Reminds me of the 'Critical Mass' involved Bush protest a couple years ago, when some protesting folks got beaten for blocking traffic and resisting arrest. That level of 'civil' disobedience and obnoxiousness never happened when folks protested Clinton.

Oh please.

I'm really SO DONE with this whole argument, but I just wanted to point out one little fact that is being overlooked by the knee-jerk Bushies who are trying to make a case that Democrats are the ones who are always trying to cause trouble.

The three "rabblerousers" in this case were all BUSH supporters (therefore most likely Republicans) who got tickets to the event from the Republican Party. They just happen also to be people who think for themselves, so they decided to express their disagreement with the candidate whom they support by wearing a t-shirt that expressed that disagreement.

Casting this as a group of Democrats trying to disrupt a Republican event completely ignores the facts.

Hmmm, completely ignoring the facts is a Republican speciality, isn't it?

Well, I hope Scott is in Japan at least until November 3, with no absentee ballots nearby.

Scott said:
"Just remember, this was a Bush event - not a protest. The t-shirt folks can display their feelings at another time. Bush has a First Amendment right to speak without being interrupted. Oh wait, the left doesn't believe in that."

First amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I don't see anything in there about freedom of speech WITHOUT INTERRUPTIONS.

superfooz74 - The folks weren't "petitioning the gov't" for anything. They were crashing a public event.

An event held for your friends and supporters is (essentially) a private event. If you aren't invited...throw your own party.

Only a Leftie would assume there is an implicit right for The Left to crash any private event. Hold another traffic-stopping protest if that will make you feel better.

Heil Bush!

Scott, they were Republican Bush supporters with tickets to the event.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference George Bush's America:

» Calling George Orwell from Raging Red
You know, I didn't think it could happen, but the Bush/Cheney campaign has reached a new low. (And that's saying something, my friend.) [Read More]

» Dissenting Viewpoints not allowed in a Bush democracy? from Jon's Corner of the Whirled
Jack Bog's Blog links to two separate news stories that describe the experience of three teachers at a Bush rally in Oregon. They were removed from the rally for wearing shirts that said "Protect Our Civil Liberties". This quote, from the The Bu... [Read More]

» When Bush was in Medford... from chuggnutt.com
I'm very, very surprised this story isn't being picked up nationally (or if it has, I haven't seen it anywhere yet except locally): during Bush's visit to Medford, three schoolteachers were removed from the rally for wearing offensive T-shirts. How [Read More]

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