Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hosting The Tea Party

It seems so hard for some people to understand. The First Amendment is not exclusive property of any gender, race, group, organization, or political party. It’s there for everyone’s benefit. The founding fathers were wise enough to know that popular speech doesn’t need much protection; it’s the unpopular speech that needs protection.

When you’re in Madison, the majority is decidedly left-leaning. Some lean farther left than others, some make a bigger noise than others, but the speech of ALL is protected. That includes Sarah Palin. What’s so hard to understand about that? Palin’s speech Saturday afternoon definitely reflects a minority view in Madison, and it’s fair to call it “unpopular speech.”

A Facebook friend of mine (John Roach) who writes a monthly column for Madison Magazine posted an update on Sunday morning saying “It would have been smarter for the unionists to remain silent and let SP talk all day”. This engendered a string of amazing and revealing comments, some of them from people who apparently think it’s just fine to try and shout down Palin.

Roach made another comment, midway through the string of responses to his initial post, that the Unionists have had the pulpit on the Capitol Square for two months, and no one has shouted them down. Someone then posted that the Palin folks had better audio equipment than the anti-Walker forces could afford (???), which apparently was stated as some sort of justification for trying to shout Palin down.

This is exactly the sort of thing that’s so troubling to the folks who are “in the middle”, so to speak. First, the affordability argument is absurd. Second, it’s the folks in the middle who are going to decide what happens next in Wisconsin, regarding recalls, the budget battle, and a zillion other political things. No one is going to change hearts and minds of the right or left. They’ve made up their minds a long time ago. Trying to shout down Palin sends a message to the folks in the middle that the left doesn’t really believe in free speech.

Allowing people like Palin and Trump to speak freely (although I’m convinced AFP gave Sarah a few bucks to show up in Madison) allows their views to be examined by all, not through the filter of Tweets or Facebook posts, and to be evaluated on the basis of their public pronouncements.

I’m a firm believer that the folks in the middle will make all the difference, and they have a right to hear voices on both sides.


  1. Oh, what the hell.

    The LeftOWackies are into breaking/entering (Green Bay Hansen recall), criminal damage to property (Milwaukee tire-slicing on election day),
    and threatening livelihoods (AFSCME Sturtevant), not to mention even more mafia-esque threats ("Professional" Policemen's Union/Firefighters' Union letters and statements.)

    So what's a little interference with the First Amendment?

    The problem, good sir, is worse than you imply on this blogpost. We now EXPECT this behavior from the Left.

    In fact, we expect that the behavioral problems from the Left will escalate.

    Not very encouraging, is it?

  2. The Tea Party set the tone. I wonder which side is going to take the high road and start elevating the discussion so we can move this country forward? I have little faith in the right, left, or the complacent middle. Dad29, stop pretending your side lives by the Golden Rule and instead start talking about how to co-exist. Here's less than two minutes of googling as a refresher.




  3. You don't expect me to take your scribbles seriously, do you?

    Go ahead: tell me about the "tone" the TEA Party set a year ago in Madison. Then, in 200 words or less, compare/contrast to the occupation of the Capitol and the rudeness at Saturday's event.

  4. As my companion noted. If you don't want to get heckled, rent a hall. Surely there are a couple venues in Madison - a Culver's, perhaps - that would have held the 125 Tea Party supporters and their idol Saturday. The Square is a public place. You can't go out in the rain and then whine about getting wet. In my opinion, after attending rallies, demonstrations. gatherings, large and small for all manner of causes, from police memorials to smoke-ins, in Madison since 1969, the TP organizers got exactly what they scripted.
    And imagine, writing an entire paragraph without calling names.

  5. As our host noted:

    Trying to shout down Palin sends a message to the folks in the middle that the left doesn’t really believe in free speech.

    Imagine writing a whole paragraph without defending rude and obnoxious behavior!

  6. Or you could look at the oh-so-civilized "dialog" shown here:

  7. George H... Your boorish antagonist mocks only himself and, in his befuddlement, denigrates the very causes he believes he is defending.

    BTW ... The failed governor of the client state of the far north gets $100K for a "free" appearance. Whose money, do you suppose?

  8. Let me apologize for using all old video. Here's a video of a Tea Partier on March 15, 2011 trying to smash his camera into someone's face.

  9. HK: Not sure if or why you are addressing this to me.

  10. Because HK's fraternity-issued computer has a very, very small screen. Accomodates him perfectly.

    He's back writing term papers for his DEEEK mates now...