Could it be that the most relevant story to come from yesterday’s wankfest was Cindy Sheehan’s t-shirt? Probably not, despite our best efforts here at Sheehan Central. It is worth pointing out that these guys seem to have an ongoing problem with t-shirts.
If sheehanology isn’t your thing the LA Times went on a fact-checking rampage this morning. No turkee for left-coast communists who don’t believe in stenography.
This just in, a possible friendly-fire casualty in the t-shirt wars! Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R – FL10), also got the boot for wearing a shirt that read, “Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom.” Maybe the Capitol bans all messages on t-shirts.
“They said I was protesting,” she said in a telephone interview with the newspaper Tuesday. “I said, ‘Read my shirt, it is not a protest.’ They said, ‘We consider that a protest.’ I said, ‘Then you are an idiot.'”
Glenn Greenwald points out that both ejections are illegal as hell. A clear example of pre-9/11 thinking if I’ve ever seen one.
The Constitution was written in the 18th century. We’re having this discussion in 2006. It’s a different world. And the First Amendment is still an important tool. It’s an important tool. And we still use that tool. But also – and we – look – I said, ‘Look, is it possible to conduct this speech under the old law?’ And people said, ‘It doesn’t work in order to be able to do the job we expect us to do.’
Carpetbagger forgot one incident in that roundup…
The Denver Three
And the LA Times still isn’t thinking about the fact that the AUMFs against either terrorism in general (Sen. J. R. 23) or Iraq in specific (H. J. R. 114)[pdf] do not meet the constitutional definition of a declaration of war.
Does it REALLY take a blogger to get any real journalism done these days?
The Other Steve
Poor terminology. It’s not a protest per se, but it’s clearly political sloganeering, and I think that’s what they were trying to prevent.
But really it’s no different than what Sheehan was wearing. Had they ejected Sheehan, but allowed this woman through, I believe it’d be more than appropriate to use the words Gestapo, or Stalinists.
So I’m glad that they were fair and balanced, however I do think it’s an infringement upon people’s right to express their opinion. As long as it didn’t say “Fuck Bush!”, it’s ok.
However, in both cases it is disrespectful of the gravitude of the event. It’s like turning church into a rock concert. Oh yeah, I forgot. The Evangelical idiots do that too…
I had the same reaction, but the D3 were busted for a bumper sticker. If we start listing anybody busted for any of the many possible apparently-innocuous indicators of political preference it’ll become a pretty long blog post.
Um, maybe it’s just the dress code. You know, t-shirts are kinda casual to visit the Capitol Ya oughta dress up abit for the occasion.
I’m hoping that the most important story will be Bush’s promise to double the budgets of NSF, NIST, and DOE over the next ten years. We’ve heard similar promises before, but maybe this time. . .
Tee-shirts with slogans are not allowed in many schools or other venues. It would be inappropriate for many social occasions (wedding, funeral) – and I would be turned away from my favorite eatery for wearing a Tee with a simple Nike logo.
WTF is wrong with someone when they think it is appropriate apparel for the SOTU? They should throw you out not for protesting or sloganeering – but for failure to show the slightest sign of class or respect.
I’m happy to see it was enforced consistently.
With that said – the Congresswoman who gave Sheehan the ticket knew full well that she would most likely disrupt the event. She should be censored by her colleagues (yeah right).
You don’t have to respect the man – but dammit show some modicum of respect for the office, the institution, and the event.
The Other Steve
You forget. We live in a day and age where people think going to church should be a trip to see a rock concert.
Why? He shows no respect for American institutions or laws. He shows little to no respect in his method of speech or his references. In fact, I think it would have been wholly appropriate for members of the audience to have called him on his disprespect for honesty and integrity on his many lies during the SOTU.
Let’s be real, although I grimace at the thought of relitigating the t-shirt thread a third time. She was arrested for displaying a controversial slogan. She wasn’t arrested for violating the dress code.
The First Amendment protects lots of things I would consider way more inappropriate than this.
Was it fair and balanced? Were they both handcuffed and arrested? Or just Sheehan?
The Other Steve,
I don’t even see how it’s political sloganeering–although heaven forfend that we bring politics into Congress. Look, Cindy Sheehan supports the troops, and Beverly Young doesn’t want to see more of them die either. And I think they’d both agree that protecting our freedoms is vital. They might as well have worn shirts that said “We don’t support Nazis” or “$2.39/gal – how much more?” or “I like apple pie” — I don’t see anything controversial here, let alone anything that isn’t obviously protected speech, ‘political sloganeering’ or no.
Just Sheehan. They were being as “fair and balanced” as Fox ever is, anyhow.
The Disenfranchised Voter
Oh go fuck yourself OCSteve.
Since you like authoritarianism so much, move to fuckin North Korea while you’re at it.
We aren’t talking about getting thrown out, we’re talking about getting arrested. I sure as hell hope that we aren’t arresting people for failing to show “class or respect” yet.
Too bad it wasn’t. Unless the Congressman’s wife was arrested?
And if you don’t, it’s a misdemeanor? That’s pretty harsh.
Tim, you’re talking to me here. My idea of a “short” blog post is 10k of HTML and an hour of supportive research, plus typing. Long blog posts are 25k and 3 hours. And extended posts take all night long, finally clicking the publish button an hour after dawn and 2 pots of coffee later.
What’s the issue again?
Who said anything about authoritarianism? My main point was about respecting the occasion. If you have no respect for this country’s traditions than move to a country whose traditions you do respect.
But you are right of course. Arresting a well known dingbat whose obvious intent is to disrupt the event is authoritarian and right on par with NK. The only catch is, here she was posting about her trauma on dKos a couple hours later. In NK she would never have been heard from again.
Try reading one more time. I said:
You respond with He, He, He…
The Disenfranchised Voter
You Gotta show the fuckin’ Respect!”
Start packing already OC.
Years ago student were kicked out of class for having Beatles hairdos. That too showed a ‘lack of respect.” How does that look to us now?
I’m in the Capitol every day or so. I don’t think it was ever consecrated as a church. Hell, Strom Thurmond once beat up a Texas Senator in a Capitol elevator. John C. Calhoun caned people in the Rotunda. LBJ ravished nymphets in the closets. That was my America.
Today there is talk of banning flag burning of course. And wiring Quaker anti-war meetings. No unmonitored calls abroad. Now no sloganed T-shirts.
Show respect for the building that Jack Abramoff made a home away from home. Bow, defer, genflect! The SOTU is like the halftime flyover at the Superbowl.
Whatever became if the small government conservativism of my father? Who are these Roman Foederati who are posting on this blog?
OK… I’ve personally attended the SOTU 2 times (during slick Willie’s regime). The security at those is fockin’ serious… I was there with a member and that is not an event that I would try and make a political statement at. It is crowded, tense, and exactly the kind of place where nothing bad better happen. The wifie pooh and sheehan got what they deserved.
It’s absurd that either was made to leave, but it’s chilling that only Cindy was arrested.
Too bad the Capitol police are now backpedalling and declaring that they screwed up and neither person should have been ejected from the event. Here
I particularly like this part:
I don’t think I’d have a problem with surpressing political statements of any stripe at the SOTU if the administration weren’t so busy doing the same thing in every other corner of the country.
The establishment of cordoned-off and out-of-the-way “free speech zones” as designated zones of protest at political events is just Orwellian. And now the new revisions to the Patriot Act include measures which would make it a criminal offense — punishable by five years in prison — for anyone to stage a protest outside the “free speech zone” when a major official is in the area.
Funny, but I always believed the entire country was a “free speech zone.” As long as the administration is making that a pipe dream, and keeping President Bush in his hermetically-sealed bubble where he only comes into contact with pre-screened, pre-approved, patriotically-correct audiences, then free speech seems worth fighting for at the SOTU.
Bush can have the decorum and respect traditionally afforded to a SOTU address when he starts showing some respect to First Amendment rights in the rest of the country.
Well, look, the idea of free speech zones is that when you’re dealing with large mobs of people, you have a better chance of keeping the peace if you don’t let the anti-abortion protesters commingle with the pro-choice ones. It’s not so irrational, although we can disagree about the details. Now, the term “free speech zone” is pretty Orwellian, sure.
The problem here is that we’re taking arguments about stuff like unfurling gigantic banners, screaming “NO BLOOD FOR OIL!” in a legislator’s face, and applying them to the situation of a lady sitting there wearing a t-shirt. It’s just silly.
Not all of it. But apparently three evangelical ministers came to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room before the Alito hearings and anointed the seats and tables with holy oil.
One room at a time, people. One room at a time.
The “free speech zones” aren’t meant to keep different sides apart; they’re meant to keep the entire realm of protest apart from the object of their protest. I agree that hostile sides should be separated, but this is about separating protest from the object of protest.
The “free speech zones” outside the Republican convention here in NYC were so far away from any of the entry points that they were out of sight. Same with the DNC in Boston, where protesters were around the corner in a razor-wire cage. In both instances, protesters were allowed to speak their mind, but the FSZ made sure that no one heard them.
There’s nothing in the first amendment that requires a captive audience for each and every view, but then again there’s also nothing there that requires captive speakers either. Far from it.
Greenwald is in error when he states without qualification that both ousters were “illegal as Hell.” In fact the Capital Hill police were merely enforcing what the Supreme Court has termed a “reasonable time, place or manner” restriction on speech, a rather well accepted doctrine.
So you’re going into in the Capitol Building in your dress suit. Then all the sudden you rip open the suit to expose your T-shirt. If you are Cindy Sheehan, the Capitol police are thinking, “Shit! Not again!”. But what if you’re someone the police does not recognize? Gee, a person exposing the contents on his/her chest in a public area (and probably chanting something). Where in Israel and Iraq have I heard that before? Thank the Capitol Police for showing restraint relative to what could happen to a lesser known person doing the same thing.
Great! The tradition for 122 years (the majority of this country’s existence) was for the President to write out his SOTU and mail it to the Library of Congress where it was summarily ignored and forgotten, pretty much like last night’s speech will be within the next 24 hours.
Let’s respect the tradition of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and go back to that. Then, we don’t have to hear boring political speeches and you won’t have to worry about the threat to the Republic of someone wearing a t-shirt.
You obviously haven’t been paying attention to this thread. See the post upthread that states the police are saying, “oops”. If it’s legit, charges would stand. You apparently also missed the point that one individual was hauled out, cuffed, and arrested (allegedly – but consistently from both sides – without scuffling or resisting) while the other was ejected only (in this case however WITH verbal resistance and complaint). The inequity of the actions is not going to sit well in the eventual courtroom.
And yes, frankly, I figure this is headed to court despite the attempt to defuse by dropping charges on Ms. Sheehan. If she intended to have an effect, the police played into her hands. They’d have been a lot better served by following their own rules (referenced in another thread) that Tee-shirts do NOT meet the standard of “demonstration”.
Oh – I want to hit that last point really hard. When I worked in a prison, I was protected as long as I followed the rules, even if the rules were stupid. Violate the rules and “personal liability” comes into play. The initial seizing officer and possibly those officers who assisted in the actual process of arrest are going to have an unpleasant time. So not only will Ms. Sheehan have her day in court, but she’ll almost certainly win. Idiots.
The Disenfranchised Voter
You must have a low body temperature.
Or, alternatively, what if you sit down in your assigned seat and take off your jacket. I assume you can get away with that in Israel.
Mr. Spencer, I wish Ms. Sheehan luck, which is what she will need in very large quantities. Many objective witnesses have reported a sharply different version of what happened than that which Sheshit and her friends have been passing around.
Looks like your wish has been granted, or perhaps Ms. Sheehan won’t need that luck after all
I’d love some actual citations to the stories of those “objective witnesses.” I wonder how many people in attendance at a State of the Union speech are objective when it comes to Cindy Sheehan, for that matter.
It does seem odd that the police would say they screwed up and that no law or rule was broken when it was, in fact, Cindy Sheehan who was in the wrong, but I wouldn’t want to question the credibility of all those unnamed objective witnesses.
If this really did happen, then was wrong on both accounts, IMO. But, my bullshit alarm wont stop going off. I’m really wondering if the other incident, with the congressman’s wife, ever occurred. Is there a picture of the congressman’s wife getting “ejected”? Video? Why did this come out today and not yesterday? Was she also detained for several hours and put in cuffs? You would think if it actually happened at all, Repubs would have been beating their drums last night to counter any negativity generated by Sheehan.
I agree with this. Free speech does not mean speech free from consequence. Sheehan should rightly be derided (as too should Mrs. Young) for not respecting the decorum of the occasion, but that doesn’t mean she should be treated criminally. If they want to impose a ‘dress-code’ on the event, I’m all for that (and somehow, I expect that some poor protocol officer is doing just that, as we speak.)
Jeebus, if sloganeering were illegal during the SOTU Bush would have been frogmarched out before he finished the first paragraph.
The next time Pamela Anderson testtifies in that PETA T-shirt I, with Karl Rove’s blessing, will personally remove it.
“Or, alternatively, what if you sit down in your assigned seat and take off your jacket. I assume you can get away with that in Israel.”
Sure–if you’re an Israeli. Indeed, you can do this in someone’s else’s seat–if he’s an Arab.