Saturday, August 8, 2009

Re: Mr "Insta-" Reynolds: Protest is still patriotic, and rudeness is still rude.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Remember when protest was patriotic?

No, Insty... Protest is still patriotic, and hooliganism is still hooliganism. To whatever extent the same people and media organizations who cheered disruptions of congressional hearings and Republic party member events are decrying the same behavior now--or decried that behavior then, but are applauding it now--you have a point about hypocrisy. I agree. Anyone who's using one standard to judge friends and another to judge foes is a hypocrite. Like my statements above about protest & hooliganism, that hypocrisy standard remains the same, left or right.

To the extent you're trying to make some kinda point about this monolith you call the left, though--kind of a "if one does it, they all support it" kinda thing--your piece here falls flat. Judging these "citizens" one way or the other while being a member of one party or another isn't enough to make one a hypocrite.

Good try, but no dice.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the "Tea Party" protesters Nazis..."

Not so much, actually... She said some of them were carrying signs with swastikas or other Nazi symbols, which some were (& continue to do). I can post the pictures, if you really need to see 'em again.

As far as the rest, people know bad behavior when they see it. Anyone who feels it's justified to shout down and shut down town hall meetings should keep on doing it, and if at all possible, videotaping it, too. Because while many on the right are slapping each other on the back and gloating over having heckled this or that Democrat into closing the meeting early or saying something foolish, I'm not so sure it's playing as well outside of your little circle. People know rudeness and hooliganism when they see it.

Updates, revisions, and extensions:
8/9/09: memeorandum link to Reynolds' post


Anonymous said...

Honest protests should not be labeled "mob" by any sense of the word. I think that opposition to this health care bill is real and many are showing their dislike of it. I don't think Obama was expecting it and his handling of it wasn't very good. Even going so far as to create a site that people can report those against the health care plan.

People that go to extremes are hurtful to the ones that have legitimate concerns. :-)

repsac3 said...

I don't know, Jenn...

I mean, I have no issue with folks yelling in the streets, but town hall meetings are not the streets. Yelling and chanting at these meetings is rude. There's nothing wrong with using your indoor voice indoors. There's nothing wrong with engaging in two way dialog, where people ask questions or make statements, and then listen to the responses. When the room is at capacity and a fire marshall or other person running the meeting says you cannot enter, banging on the doors and windows is not going to help.

I have some question about how much of the opposition is real and how much is ginned up, but I don't know how much that matters. Whether people are getting paid or legitimately believe healthcare reform is bad, the fact that these shouting matches and door poundings are taking place in so many places simultaneously, strongly suggests coordination.

The site isn't for reporting people against healthcare reform, it's for reporting dishonest propaganda against healthcare reform. It isn't that " Jennifer said that if we pass healthcare reform, it'll become law that we have to send our grandparents out on Alaskan ice floes when they reach age 70," but that such a dishonest thing is being said, at all. It's about what's said, not who said it.

(Of course if it's a public figure making such crazy & obviously dishonest statements in public, all bets are off. I have no problem with the White House pointing it out if it's Rush or John Boener making such statements.)

I'm with ya on that last sentence, though... The most extreme people often ruin it for the rest of us.

dmarks said...

Protest in itself is not patriotic. It all depends on the content of the protest.

repsac3 said...

The "protest is patriotic" line is meant to refer to the fact that this country was founded by those who spoke out & refused with word and deed to accept what those in power were telling them. Questioning authority was then and remains to this day an American value that should be applauded and used whenever necessary by all American patriots.

That said, you are correct. While the act itself is a tool in any good patriot's arsenal, not every cause for which people protest is patriotic. (And sometimes, loyal patriots extolling one American value will attack loyal patriots extolling a competing--but no less American--value.)