Free Speech! 1st Amendment Rights! Honest Dissent!

Via YouTube

A brave man walks through the teabagger protest on the National Mall in Washington, DC, with a large sign that reads "Public Option Now". If not for the cops that escorted him through the crowd, they probably would have eaten him alive.


Anonymous said... / Sep 14, 2009, 8:04:00 PM  

Great video.

You know how it goes when people are just getting their feet wet in a new area, just learning it: they make lots of rookie mistakes. I'm just glad to see that the conservatarians apparently no longer believe that protesting is an illegitimate means of participating in democracy. I remember too many protests and rallies I attended which were either dismissed as "useless" or "evil, anti-American" by probably many of these same newly-minted slogan-screamers.

Of course, they're currently preaching with the zeal of the convert to their new means of political expression...which often includes the usual "for me, but not for thee" clause. It'll be a while - if ever - that these clowns realize that the freedoms which allow them to demonstrate like they did this weekend are the same ones which allowed the much-larger ones like the million-man march and the anti-Iraq war protests (to say nothing of the original march on Washington, etc). And it's not just the laws which provide the freedoms, but the spirit of the electorate which holds that dissent (provided it's non-violent) is at least tolerable, if not actually healthy in a pluralistic society.

I'm sure the teabaggers would leap to point out that it's simply stupid to wander through a crowd of people who feel strongly one way about an issue with a sign supporting the complete opposite position....but then, that's kind of what I meant by "getting their feet wet" and "making a lot of rookie mistakes" with this whole dissent thingie. If they HAD ripped this guy apart, absent a police escort, I've no doubt that many would already be engaged in a strenuous workout of the ol' "blame the victim" defense of the actions of the specific teabaggers who'd actually done the deed the entire crowd was probably wishing for.

Thankfully, both this guy and the capitol police (who're old hands at this by now) appeared to know full well what he was about to get himself into, thus providing him a phalanx of protection -- saving the teabaggers from themselves. Or, as I'm sure they'd refer to it, had the worst happened "a few, isolated bad apples within the group." ;-)

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