We are the 99%

August 20, 2009

Wise Words From EJ Dionne

Remember this?

EJ Dionne continues the idea:
Try a thought experiment: What would conservatives have said if a group of loud, scruffy leftists had brought guns to the public events of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush?

How would our friends on the right have reacted to someone at a Reagan or a Bush speech carrying a sign that read: "It is time to water the tree of liberty"? That would be a reference to Thomas Jefferson's declaration that the tree "must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Pardon me, but I don't think conservatives would have spoken out in defense of the right of every American Marxist to bear arms or to shed the blood of tyrants.
A few paragraphs later:
This is not about the politics of populism. It's about the politics of the jackboot. It's not about an opposition that has every right to free expression. It's about an angry minority engaging in intimidation backed by the threat of violence.
And that's all they have left.

5 comments:

Heir to the Throne said...

What would conservatives have said if a group of loud, scruffy leftists had brought guns to the public events of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush?
Media Barely Noticed Legal Gun-brandishing By Leftist Black Panthers in 2000 Protest

Of course progressives give the Black Panthers a pass because the are a oppressed minority and incapable of intimidation backed by the threat of violence. That is why the Obama Justice Dept dropped prosecution for a case of voter intimidation against them.
Obama Justice Official Nixed Black Panther Prosecution

EdHeath said...

When I read this post, the first thing I thought is that I have not heard any conservatives and/or Republicans defend the gun tote-ers. Of course, politicians will always hesitate to either defend or attack fringe people, for fear of offending more people. That said, Tom Coburn (on Meet the Press on Sunday) did say the government had “earned” the wrath of the extreme protestors at town hall meetings. But Coburn is a bit extreme himself (honestly I can’t decide whether I admire or despise him, although he acted none too bright on MTP).

Dionne raised the issue of racial intimidation in his piece. It’s hard to know how valid that is. I should point out that some people might find the presence of guns at town hall meetings where our President is racially intimidating even if that is not what the people carrying the guns intended, given the history of racially motivated violence in this country.

Do the screamers at town hall meetings actually think that Obama is plotting to carry out genocide, in the guise of health care/insurance reform?

Meanwhile, HTTT has trotted out the Black Panthers (again) as his example that the left is much worse (and much more hypocritical) than Conservatives. Personally I probably do not agree with many of the stands the Panthers might take (I don’t know, I’m not that interested) and I would consider them currently to be a largely marginal group politically speaking. I would hesitate, though, before I mocked their status as an oppressed minority. I say that because of the history of first slavery and then oppressive racism in this country. Now, I believe it might be reasonable to say that African Americans currently bear some responsibility for their situation. But even if every African American child immediately fell silent in the classroom, was not disruptive and studied hard, even if every African American job applicant showed up for job interviews (the few they get) dressed conservatively and spoke without colloquialisms, even if African Americans started giving evidence about every crime they might witness, even if … I doubt that would stop the government from giving African American neighborhoods less money and crappy schools, that African Americans would stop being passed over for jobs, that the police would stop profiling African Americans.

Even that article HTTT linked to claimed the Black Panthers were screaming racial epithets and threats while standing in front of the polls. When I played the video I kept the volume down a bit to avoid giving offence to people around me, yet all I saw where two Panthers standing quietly, one of them talking in a slightly raised voice to the camera operator who stood some distance away (slightly raised because the camera man deliberately stood some distance away).

Dayvoe said...

If you look carefully, HTTT, you'll see the flaws in your argument.

Assuming you haven't, I'll spell them out for you.

Go look at the Fox "News" report again. First off, The New Black Panthers were NOT protesting an appearance of Then-Governor George W Bush. As this report:

http://quest.lubbockonline.com/stories/061700/gen_taped.shtml

explains, Bush was NOT AT the convention center at all. He addressed the Texas Republican Convention BY VIDEO TAPE. It was his wife who addressed the crowd. And as it was mid-June of 2000 (about 5 months before the election) I am pretty sure he didn't have Secret Service protection then (not being within 120 days of the election day 2000)

Secondly, the New Black Panthers were protesting the upcoming execution of Gary Graham and (again, according to the above report from Lubbock) and a "Confederate display" at the convention.

Which is enough, I should think, to push this into an official "apples and oranges" argument.

Bush - not yet president
Bush - not even present
Bush - Secret Service protection??

Obama - president
Obama - present
Obama - DEFINITELY under Secret Service Protection

See the difference? You probably don't - but that's to be expected.

I'll have to admit this is better than your usual drek. Not that much better (and of course you're still wrong) but better nonetheless.

Someday you might even make a point.

the Other Ken said...

I disagree Dayvoe. Since no one (that we know of) ever came to a Bush appearance with a weapon we have to change the question to “how would conservatives react to people showing up with weapons at an event where Republicans have gathered.” That’s the closest actual scenario that we have. The real problem here is that we still don’t know, the article only covers the entirely predictable response by democrat supporters (i.e. blame Bush.)
On the other hand, Bush was constantly being threatened by all sorts of crazies. Far more, I think, than anything that’s happened to Obama so far. The indispensible Zombie explains the issue far better than I ever could:
Death Threats Against Bush at Protests Ignored for Years
BTW, for the record, I think that it is incredibly foolish for anyone to show up with a weapon at an event at which any president is to appear.

EdHeath said...

Ken, #1, we know about the guns at Obama events because they are being carried openly (except for the concealed handgun that fell out of a holster). No one knows the intention of those carrying them, but I think other people are feeling intimidated. Any reaction conservatives might have to guns carried in a concealed fashion at Bush events would be pointless because nothing ever happened at those events or elsewhere to Bush. We don’t know whether anything will happen to Obama.

#2 As far as the ratio of threats against Bush versus Obama http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5967942/Barack-Obama-faces-30-death-threats-a-day-stretching-US-Secret-Service.html

#3 I appreciate and agree with your last remark.