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  • Protestors Surprised by Opposition

       January 21, 2005

    This article in today's Capital Times reminds me of the classic post 9/11 article in The Onion entitled "Hijackers Surprised to Find Selves in Hell". Now, I certainly don't mean to compare protestors to terrorists, but they are both so sure that they're right that they barely stop to consider that rational people could disagree with them. Yesterday's protestors from Madison seem to live in their own little world:

    After a 14-hour bus ride, a long subway trip, two hours waiting in a security line and lingering long after in the cold air, Tracey Sperko was frustrated.

    Sperko knew a thing about adversity and disappointment: The Milwaukee Gulf War veteran was the local director of Veterans for Kerry. But upon her arrival in Washington, she was shocked at the massive police presence and hostility of those around her.

    Yes, it's shocking that the police would be out in force for an open air event featuring the President and his closest protestors. Shocking. It's equally shocking that some people would be hostile to those protestors. I mean, it's not like a majority of American voters chose the President or anything crazy like that. Sperko strikes me as yet another Pauline Kael who couldn't believe Nixon won because no one she knew voted for him.

    Too many of these protestors cannot fathom that not everyone agrees with them. Unfortunately, it looks like their trip to DC just reinforced their impression that everyone but a few nasty, evil Karl Roves is with them:

    "It is quite the production," said Megan Toal-Rossi of Milwaukee, noticing that police were lined in two or three layers in front of her along the parade route. She said she was amazed that more supporters of Bush were not visible along the route.

    "To me, it looks like there are a lot of angry people out here," she said. "It's good to see people standing up for what they believe in. But it is frustrating for us to be standing here and say, this is still our president."

    It's funny that one protestor is "shocked" by the opposition, but another protestor is "amazed" that more Bush supporters didn't turn out. Just for the record, there were specified "protest zones", so it's quite likely that the looney lefties only saw each other. My guess is that there naturally weren't a lot of Bush supporters in the protest zone and that the various left wing groups were just being hostile to each other!

    I'm sure it was for their own good, but in many ways it's really too bad that protestors from liberal enclaves like Madison won't have their eyes opened to the mass of America that was damn proud to be standing there and saying, "this is our President."

    One protestor summed up her experience by saying, "I'm glad we kept trying to give people a symbol, a sign of hope that we can go forward. We're here, we're not going to go away. We made it."

    What symbol or sign of hope did protestors bring? I've seen nothing but hatred from these protestors. I know they despise President Bush, but what are they for? What do they believe in? What is their vision of the world?

    Yesterday they chanted "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!". So, I guess they still believe in some 60s utopian vision of the world where all problems can be solved with healthy does of "peace" and "love". Unfortunately for them, the real world is, um, real, and its problems can't just be solved by wishing them away.

    Update: Bill Wineke, in the Wisconsin State Journal, explains just perfectly what's wrong with so many of the anti-Bush protestors in a column today:

    A number of people, including some from Madison, traveled to Washington for the sole purpose of turning their backs on Bush when he passed by.

    That was their civil right, but it was also stupid. During a great civic ceremony like this, if you turn your back, you don't turn your back on an individual but, rather, on the office he holds. The protesters were telling the country they reject the decision the voters made. Those of us who are Democrats ought to be as offended as those who support the president.

    His whole column is just excellent. Since doesn't keep articles on their site for long, I'll save it in the extended entry so you can click the link below to access it.

    Wineke: Inauguration shows why country's great
    00:00 am 1/21/05
    Bill Wineke Wisconsin State Journal

    As the television cameras panned the crowd behind President Bush Thursday, I couldn't help thinking what a great thing it is to be an American.

    Sitting more or less behind Bush were Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Sen. John Kerry sat off to one side, as did former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton sat beside her husband.

    Political rhetoric gets so mean and so abusive that, sometimes, we can forget just how civil our society is at its core.

    I have a feeling that the Bushes, the Carters, the Clintons, the Gingriches and the Kerrys probably don't really like each other all that well. No doubt each of them - with the possible exception of George Bush and his father - probably thought the wrong person was taking the oath of office.

    But, they were all there being gracious because they understand one simple thing about what was happening: The office of the president doesn't belong to an individual, but to the country.

    I guess that's what made me feel good as I watched the ceremony. Kerry wasn't out staging a coup. Carter wasn't boycotting the ceremony. They were there congratulating the president, just as most of them were there 12 years ago congratulating Clinton when he took office.

    They were giving silent testimony to the organizing principle of this republic: The voters can elect anyone they wish.

    A number of people, including some from Madison, traveled to Washington for the sole purpose of turning their backs on Bush when he passed by.

    That was their civil right, but it was also stupid. During a great civic ceremony like this, if you turn your back, you don't turn your back on an individual but, rather, on the office he holds. The protesters were telling the country they reject the decision the voters made. Those of us who are Democrats ought to be as offended as those who support the president.

    The president's speech was both eloquent and inspiring. I don't know if it was more alarming to the rulers of Saudi Arabia or to conservatives who feel the United States shouldn't be interfering in the sovereign affairs of other lands. But Bush made a statement more clearly than any president since Woodrow Wilson that he wants to make the world safe for democracy.

    We'll see how far he goes in that regard. But, certainly, having an American president proclaim the values of democracy as he begins his term cannot be seen as a bad thing by any of us who love freedom.

    There were some jarring elements to the inauguration, too. There is something sad about the new presidential limousine. It is, when you look at it, a tank painted black. The windows look as if they came from a Brink's armored truck. I'm sure it's necessary, but it is necessary because not all Americans are quite as civil as those attending the inaugural.

    The blocked streets and the snipers on the roofs all bore testimony to the fact that even in the nation's capital city, the president isn't safe. And I wish that weren't true.

    Overall, though, Thursday was a great day for our land - as is the day of every inauguration when Americans prove once more they can entrust their government to men and women who, when their time comes, will give up power and applaud their successors.

    Posted by at January 21, 2005 01:54 PM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: bushwhacked at January 21, 2005 03:20 PM

    Those Iraqi's are learnin' DUMMOCRACY- Texas-style!!!:

    DUBAI (Reuters) - Iraq's interim defense minister said on Friday the government would arrest Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi after the Eid al-Adha holiday for allegedly maligning the defense ministry.

    "We will arrest him and hand him over to Interpol. We will arrest him based on facts that he wanted to malign the reputation of the defense ministry and defense minister," Hazim al-Shaalan told Al Jazeera television, adding the measures would start after the Muslim holiday which began on Jan. 20.

    If ya don't like what they say...throw 'em in jail!!
    Now, personally, I think Chalabi should have been in a jail a long time ago...but, really- "malign the reputation of the defense ministry and defense minister".
    I'll bet there's at least 10 guys in Gitmo that called Rummy names!

    George Bush...spreading Freedom around the world like so much manure.




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