From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Bush Lied, People Died -- update
September 6, 2004 2:25 PM
A friend of June Brashares, the protester that crashed the RNC, emailed me about how June pulled it off:
I am a friend of June Brashares, one of the protesters hauled off during the Bush speech at the GOP convention. I've known her for 26 years. You've discussed this on your blog, and I saw that you were guessing that June had prepared for this for months, infiltrated the GOP etc. Not so. The security at all the Convention events was so lax that June and several other likeminded friends attended many convention events without difficulty SIMPLY BY DRESSING AS STEREOTYPICAL WELL-HEELED REPUBLICANS. She did not know anybody in the Calif delegation, and yet someone freely offered her a floor pass. The fact that June got such an excellent seat that night was due to luck, flukes, whatever you want to call it. Simply put, there was no true security system operating. I find this terrifying given that Bush is running on a platform of keeping America safe from terrorism -- and a few weeks ago we were all told the conventions were targets!
Bush Lied, People Died -- update
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Read the 19 comments.
Tue Sep 7 2004 1:57 AM
Right Wing Robby:
What exactly is she so proud about?
Protesting is fine. Its the American way. Crashing the RNC did no good at all. I am not sure what exactly she was hoping to accomplish if it wasnt just to make the news. One thing I am certain of, she didn't change any minds. I highly doubt any of the protests served to change one mind. Its more likely just the opposite happened. According to the poll numbers, that may have been the case.
Trying to draw some comparison between security at the RNC convention and the terrorist threat is a weak case to make at best. Bush didnt run security for the convention. The fact is that the convention was a huge success and the message that was sent by the speakers was heard loud and clear. Again, the poll numbers support this opinion.
Democrats getting naked on the streets of New York
is self defeating the same way gay pride marches full of half naked people making out in public helps there cause. It doesnt.
Tue Sep 7 2004 7:20 AM
Actually I think all the protesters helped Bush and hurt Kerry. Who is the average American going to associate themselves with - some people walking around naked or attacking police officers in the street? Or sneaking into the convention and pictured with their face screwed up in fury and hate as they scream obscenities on the party floor? Average American's distance themselves (with good reason) from flakes like that. The more those loons are perceived to be linked (hardly) with Kerry and the democrat party the more it hurts them.
Tue Sep 7 2004 8:20 AM
Tom from Madison:
I totally agree--protesters are generally not going to help the Kerry cause. If some Nader voters are persuaded, there could be some marginal benefits.
Kerry needs to re-focus on what Bush is doing with OUR resources--namely wasting them on a foolish Iraqi campaign and charging it on our collective credit card.
If W can keep people's mind on protestors, swift boats, or ANYTHING else, he'll DO JUST FINE. Iraq is a bloody, expensive mess that is getting worse day by day. The person to blame is the guy who put is there.
The Bush-Cheney message of war without sacrifice will come back to bite them. The only question is whether it will happen before or after the election.
Tue Sep 7 2004 9:35 AM
Loons? Flakes? I consider myself to be a pretty average American, and I'm proud to associate myself with the RNC protestors.
What I saw in NYC the day before the convention started were nearly half a million people walking in front of Madison Square Garden for nearly 5 hours, with only about 35 people being arrested. I am thrilled that this enormous, peaceful crowd was there to express not only their personal political dissent, but mine as well.
In our representative form of government, sometimes the only way to express one's distaste for those representatives is to get out in the street and scream one's head off. It's an important part of our democracy - that's why when the framers protected it in the Bill of Rights, they put it FIRST.
To view the protests in such a narrow fashion - whether they persuaded anybody to vote for Kerry - misses the larger point.
Tue Sep 7 2004 1:07 PM
What the protests in New York have illustrated is the absence of dialogue in the media at large on this administration. Why do people resort to "getting naked on the streets?" Because there are few other forms within which ordinary citizens can sound off on anything Bush has done (or hasn't done).
To me, protests show a certain amount of civil unrest. Despite the "business as usual" mentality of this administration, things are, quite simply, not okay. Couple that with the Democratic party / Kerry campaign, celebrity support and media activism (like this blog) and the picture is pretty clear: a majority of (presumably) voting Americans feel that the Bush Administration is out of step with the American people (and perhaps the world).
I do think that June's "friend's" point about security is a reach and somewhat beside the point. Perhaps the commentary here should be that the only credentials June needed to join up with the RNC were the color of her skin and her clothes. How's that for a tired reach?
Tue Sep 7 2004 1:09 PM
Right Wing Robby:
Getting naked in the streets doesnt send any message. Other then the fact that they are Anti-Bush, I have no idea what they are protesting against, but I do know they got naked. Thats all Americans will remember about them. Not their cause, not their message, just their nudity.
No one is questioning your right to protest. In fact, I encourage it. I have noticed that whenever the left is questioned about their protests, the first answer they always give involves the Bill of Rights. "We did it because we can." Like someone is trying to take away that right. The protests, in and of themselves, went well. They were treated fairly and accommodated as best as possible which is exactly how it should go.
Celebrities? New flash. Celebrities arent a sign of anything. They get one vote just like me.
And Red, if you havent seen the latest poll results, the majority of voting Americans are going to vote for Bush. Apparently, its Kerry thats out of touch with the voting Americans.
Tue Sep 7 2004 1:56 PM
"..I saw in NYC the day before the convention started were nearly half a million people walking in front of Madison Square Garden for nearly 5 hours, with only about 35 people being arrested. I am thrilled that this enormous, peaceful crowd was there to express not only their personal political dissent, but mine as well.
To view the protests in such a narrow fashion - whether they persuaded anybody to vote for Kerry - misses the larger point"
I see nothing wrong with the peaceful protestors, and I agree that they serve a purpose within the rublican form of government, an occasional march in the streets grabs the attention to a subject that needs addresed. BUT, the people that grabbed the headlines where the violent anarchist who attacked people and police who failed to agree with them and violated state and city ordnances. Peaceful demonstrators don't get much face time - you have to be throwing rocks & bottles to get a splash on the evening news.
It is indeed a narrow view to look at this in terms of Bush -vs- Kerry but that is all we have to choose from in this election with Nadar playing spoiler in a few states.
Tue Sep 7 2004 2:06 PM
I realize that nobody here was questioning the protestors' right to protest - that's not why I mentioned the Bill of Rights. I only mentioned the BoR in emphasizing that political speech, particularly expressing dissatisfaction with government, is at the CORE of all of our fundamental rights as citizens (that's why it is the FIRST thing the framers protected).
So, in evaluating the success or failure of a protest, it's misguided to focus on whether they swayed any voters. The fact that their voices were heard means it was a success.
And though I know people here weren't questioning the right to protest, the statement "Like someone is trying to take away that right" does demonstrate that you're possibly misinformed about what Bush is doing to the first amendment. I witnessed two people being removed in handcuffs from a Bush Presidential visit (NOT a campaign rally) simply for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts. They weren't protesting, they were just watching Bush like everyone else, yet apparently the Secret Service couldn't handle two people out of thousands wearing anti-Bush t-shirts. So yes, someone is trying to take away that right.
Wed Sep 8 2004 7:14 AM
Right Wing Robby:
Dear Raging Red,
The DNC put the protestors in a cage. I am missing the outrage from the left about that. But thats beside the point.
Have you ever been in the presence of a President? Do you know what the job is of the secret service? I have. I spent about 2 hours with Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton by myself for business purposes. I can assure you of one thing, they dont screw around. You dont have a right to do what you want when near the President. You think it would have been fine for me to where a "Clinton happens' tee-shirt? I would have been removed so fast from that situation your head would spin. Their job is to protect the President at all costs; up to and including giving their own lives.
There are too forces at work. One being the benefit of doubt giving to the protestor, the other being the importance of protection of the President. Guess who wins and should every time?
They are trained for one purpose. Its not personal and its not political in anyway shape or form. Its in protection of the most powerful man on the planet. So, if youre wearing a tee-shirt with an anti Presidential slogan on it and youre in close proximity to him, youre gone. Period.
Its not politics and its not about the BOR. It has nothing to do with Republicans, Democrats, Liberals or Conservatives.
Wed Sep 8 2004 8:11 AM
Dear Right Wing Bobby,
People are being arrested all across the country for wearing anit-Bush clothes, whether or not the President is in the same state! When you add invasion of privacy, courtesy of PATRIOT, then I get a little worried that my first amendment rights are slowly slipping away. The short truth is people are not being picked on by the Secret Service to protect the President, citizens are going to jail when they express their political opinions.
Wed Sep 8 2004 10:38 AM
Name an instance where this has taken place please. If people where going to jail for voicing political dissent, why is Mikey Moore walking around (or George Soros for that matter).
Wed Sep 8 2004 11:14 AM
Right Wing Robby:
That is by far the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.
Have a nice day!
Wed Sep 8 2004 11:49 AM
FYI all, it is NOT 10 points. don't believe the hype please.
Wed Sep 8 2004 2:30 PM
opps here's the link.
Wed Sep 8 2004 2:31 PM
How can you people say that Bush lied without saying that Russian Intelligence lied, Israeli intelligence lied, French intelligence lied? Do you honestly believe that any human being no matter how power hungry would sacrifice the lives of innocent soldiers for political gain? How absurd!!
Fri Sep 10 2004 7:01 PM
Two protestors in a crowd of thousands wearing anti-Bush t-shirts and standing nowhere near the President are NOT a threat to the President's safety. Unless and until they actually DO something that indicates they are a threat, the Secret Service cannot remove them without violating their First Amendment rights.
The Secret Service knows this, and they know that when people like this are removed and charged with a crime, the charges will be dismissed (as they were in the case I'm referring to). Of course, the Secret Service has already "won" by simply removing the people from the crowd.
Bush has made it clear that he does not want people with dissenting opinions to be present at his events, even if they are undecided voters who will not sign an oath confirming their loyalty to him. (That's one easy way to lose undecided voters.) He doesn't want to attend a debate where citizens will ask questions, because some of them might be "partisan." Shouldn't the President be able to answer any question that any citizen might have for him, even "partisan" ones? What is he so afraid of?
Sat Sep 11 2004 12:42 PM
To Raging red
There are two facts that punch holes in your statement about protestors infiltrating the RNC. 1. The RNC convention was held on private property. 2. The security of the president is a priority of national security.
She did have a right to speak her mind, which is protected by article I. However, she did not have a constitutional right to be there. Your claims about secret service being restricted by the first ammendment are fundamentally flawed. Your first amendment rights are not limitless - perjury, contempt, death threats, espionage, inciting riot and treason are all offences that restrict our freedom of speech in public. But property rights, not speech limitations, the reason why she could be tossed out. No one has the right use private property without consent, even for the purpose of expressing free speech; contrary to belief, this does not violate the first amendment. Free exercise of the first amendment right does not give license to violate constitutional property rights. Private property is protected under the constitution in articles II, III, IV and V. Specifically the line nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation forbids the public from using private property without consent of the owner. This is one of the reasons why pro-life activists cannot enter the private property of an abortion clinic and animal rights activists cannot enter a McDonalds and protest.
She received an invitation to attend the convention and passed the security gauntlet and given privilege to enter the convention. If she were identified as undesirable prior to the outburst, she would have been justifiably denied entry. In overly simplistic terms, the lady has the constitutional right to speak her mind in accordance to article I and the RNC (tenant of the private property) has the right to toss her out according to article V. She could not be arrested for speaking out. However, if she refused to leave when asked, she could be arrested for trespassing.
Right Wing Robbie is right, the President is always within a strictly enforced executive security perimeter; you are NOT within a public zone when the president is present. The president is like a mobile military installation, the secret service has the authority to remove, detain and question anyone within that zone. The president is the highest value target for assassination in the world. Our history is littered executive corpses that illustrate the importance of maintaining a secure perimeter. It is one of the highest matters of national security to insure the safety of the President; keeping in mind that the nuclear football is ever present. Any potential for disruption or riot in the vicinity of the president is a threat to national security.
As far as suppression of dissent in public campaign appearances, that is part of the game of rallying support during a campaign. I suppose that you believe that Kerry openly embraces dissenting hecklers at his campaign events. Of course not! Try wearing a Bush-Cheney pin around at a Kerry campaign appearance, see if you are let into the event. Also, attend public protest events in any democratic stronghold state and wear that same pin, see how you are treated. (just wear a business suit, that has the same effect) Clinton used to have problems with protestors too, I remember Fox News replaying a clip over and over on the campaign trail where a lady shook his hand and said those boys died
you suck. They should have put it in the trailer for the movie Black Hawk Down. Fact is all campaign appearances are staged events, regardless of party affiliation.
On that same note, why do you think the DNC convention was held in Boston? Boston is not exactly known for its conservative politics. It was chosen because Boston IS the American Mecca of liberal intellectualism (...and, of course, to showcase the nations most expensive public works project in history) If they were interested in reaching out to moderates and independents, they would have picked a hotly contested state like Florida to hold the convention. There are many facilities in that state that could have hosted the convention. Fear of grass roots political opposition from anti-Castro Cubans probably stopped that state from being picked. Remember Clinton's deportation of Elian Gonzales? I would have loved to see Kerry and Edwards sporting Mickey Mouse. Picking Boston was politically myopic in my opinion; I still think they would have clinched FL if they held the convention there. It also would have caused some conflict of interest with Dubyas brother; DNC would have brought his state money and democrats. RNC choice was perfect for their campaign, the backdrop of NYC is the living symbol the war on terror.
A curious question is:
Where are the republican and conservative activists during this campaign? Given the far left profile of the Democratic ticket, there is definitely an incentive for them to make an effort. Why are they so ineffective at disturbing the Kerry and Edwards campaign events? Maybe they dont like the smell of patchouli.
Fri Sep 24 2004 2:02 PM
I guess there is not too much to say since you all lost so bad. And patchouli smells like shit, whatever th hell it is. Stank?
Tue Jun 21 2005 7:56 PM