Pete Stark- Still an Asshole

So it appears the Capitol Police were simply following thje law against sloganeering/demonstrating in the Capitol, a law that seems to make no sense but which appears to be answered pretty uniformly. That makes this comment all the more inappropriate:

Some other members were upset about Sheehan’s arrest. “I’m still trying to find out why the president’s Gestapo had to arrest Cindy Sheehan in the gallery. … It shows he still has a thin skin,” said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont.

That would be the nonpartisan Capitol Police he is calling Nazi’s.

*** Update ***

Drudge has a recap of a man wearing an anti-Clinton t-shirt being detained. Apparently they do seriously enforce this. Who knew?

*** Update #2 ***

The Drudge story is of, umm, dubious reliability. Isn’t that always the case, though?

*** Update #3 ***

Al Maviva, with the definitive comment on the controversy:

SHIRT GETS TEACH A DRESSING-DOWN Daily News (New York) February 11, 1999, Thursday

WASHINGTON A Pennsylvania school teacher was yanked out of a VIP Senate gallery and briefly detained last week during the impeachment trial for wearing a T-shirt with graphic language dissing President Clinton.

Dave Delp, 42, of Carlisle, Pa., and a friend had just settled into their seats last Saturday when four Capitol security guards approached them. Delp said yesterday he was ordered to button his coat and follow the guards. Outside the chamber, he was told “several people felt threatened by your shirt,” which said, “Bill Doesn’t Inhale He Just S—s.”

Even after establishing that Delp was a guest of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), the guards wouldn’t let him back in and escorted him to a basement security area, where they questioned and photographed him.

After being given one of the photos as a souvenir, Delp said he was banned from the Capitol for the rest of the day. “They were polite and professional,” Delp added, “but they really did scare me. I think I should have been given the chance to cover up.”

Capitol police declined to comment.

I know. I’m a shameles right wing Bush Fellater so this must be just made up right wing lying lies. Here’s another right wing lying lie about a lying right wing activist liar who was ejected prior to the SOTU address last night: (If you accuse somebody of lying often enough, it makes it true enough, for all practical purposes, right?)

Florida Rep.’s Wife Says She Was Ejected From State Of Union

POSTED: 7:07 am EST February 1, 2006

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. AP — The wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, told a newspaper that she was ejected during the State of the Union address for wearing a T-shirt that says, “Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom.”

Beverly Young told the St. Petersburg Times that she was sitting in the front row of the House gallery Tuesday night when she was approached by someone who told her she needed to leave.

She said she reluctantly agreed, but argued with several officers in an outside hallway.

In a telephone interview with the newspaper, Young said she told them her shirt wasn’t a protest but a message of support.

Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said Young wasn’t ejected from the gallery and she left on her own. She couldn’t provide additional details.

Young’s husband found out about the incident after Bush’s speech and called it unacceptable.

As if anybody here cares, the time manner place restrictions on free speech in legislative halls is frequently described as a limited forum or limited purpose forum. I can’t recall which one it is off hand, but based on the number of First Amendment experts posting around here I’m sure somebody has the answer at their fingertips. Legislatures generally have the ability to limit the topics of discussion and debate on the floor and in the gallery of their meeting places. If your local school board wants to discuss textbooks, they can expressly discriminate against you for attempting to voice your anti-abortion or pro-choice message – they can even tell you to shut up before you try to voice it, and have you removed for being a disorderly presence. They can greatly constrict your ability to speak out, usually in the interest of the smooth operation of government. The rationale works across government branches. Speech is speech is speech; doesn’t matter if it’s speech on a T-shirt, a poster board, or coming out of your mouth. If the legislature has the power to exclude in this arena based on viewpoint, it also has the power to include, determining at its discretion what is a permissible topic or manner of speech, such as tiny little flags, or elephant ties. Moreover, the fact that two people with opposing views were ejected for the same activity – mere wearing of communicative T-shirts speaking out on the war – indicates a viewpoint neutrality that might even pass muster outside of the limited forum tests as non-viewpoint discriminatory, but merely restrictive of speech on a particular topic.

So I’ll defend to the death your right to grow your white boy dreadlocks and march around in sloganed T-shirts and with signs on the Capitol steps, but your right to do that ends at the Capitol’s front door. Or the Supreme Court’s front door, for that matter. As much as I’d like to see Fred Phelps, Ralph Neas and Ralph Reed in a screaming and bloody Steel Cage Death Match (compleat with folding chairs and strippers) on the floor of the House during a SOTU, it’s not appropriate, and giving people the right to stage political theater would invite further disorder into the shambles of a legislative process we now have. I know, I know, the very first thing Hitler did upon taking power was to throw a Jewish guy wearing an anti-Kristallnacht T-shirt out of the Reichstag

This sort of ends the whole thing for me.

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158 replies
  1. 1
    Otto Man says:

    What a maroon.

  2. 2
    Pudentilla says:

    according to will bunch the law you refer to is probably unconstitutional. doesn’t anyone find it ironic that he inaugurates a speech at least partially composed in honor of freedom and democracy abroad by supressing the free speech of a citizen at home? and by supressing, i mean arresting someone who dared to publicly challenge his policies. doesn’t anyone read tacitus anymore?

  3. 3
    neil says:

    Arresting people for political subversion against the ruling party is what the Gestapo did. It would have been more accurate to call it Dennis Hastert’s Gestapo, but I think he can be excused for eliding that detail.

  4. 4
    neil says:

    I know, this is really just too easy, but just go look. And then think about how many people were arrested for wearing t-shirts at Clinton speeches.

  5. 5
    neil says:

    The man on Drudge’s page was not arrested. Just ejected. Sheehan was arrested, detained for four hours, released on her own recognizance, and faces six months in jail or a $500 fine.

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    Neil- I don’t know what you think that link proves. That a few wingnuts said Clinton has a Gestapo? And none of the people were congressmen and referring to the nonpartisan Capitol Police.

    You are right about one thing- it really was just too easy. You proved nothing.

  7. 7
    Otto Man says:

    And none of the people were congressmen and referring to the nonpartisan Capitol Police.

    Agreed. The Capitol Police are there to protect Stark and his colleagues. He can get mad about Sheehan getting the boot, but there’s no reason to toss Nazi rhetoric at the cops.

  8. 8
    Steve says:

    She says she wasn’t even given the chance to put her jacket back on, which may or may not be the case, but it’s not like we’ve heard a credible “other side of the story” either. Heck, when we originally heard about this, she was unfurling a gigantic banner.

    I find it easy to believe the Capitol Police would be super-hyped up at an event like this and might tend to overreact. That doesn’t make them Gestapo, but it doesn’t mean they did everything appropriately, either.

    One other point that I think is pretty important. The Drudge story is supposed to spread the meme that both sides do this, etc., but it’s not a partisan issue. As John points out, the Capitol Police aren’t some kind of Republican goon squad. The real point is that both cases are the SAME – both people were thrown out for wearing t-shirts with an anti-administration message. Both of them were thrown out for dissenting.

    If you want to make a point that the Capitol Police do their job evenhandedly, you have to show me someone who was thrown out for wearing a “Support the Troops” t-shirt, in other words, a politically popular slogan. Good luck finding such an event.

  9. 9
    neil says:

    The cases, unfortunately, were not the same, Steve. The provocations were the same, but Sheehan was punished much more severely than the Republican guy. Of course, that may end up being a good thing, because it gives her more standing to sue, especially if she can prove her treatment was disproportionate, which seems likely. Everyone I’ve been able to find who was arrested for the misdemeanor of “demonstrating at the Capitol” was actively trying to get arrested.

  10. 10
    neil says:

    “The EPA, the Gestapo of government, has pure and simply been one of the major clawholds the government has maintained on the backs of our constituents.” — Congressman Tom DeLay

  11. 11
    Blue Neponset says:

    A protest T-shirt at the SOTU is a cheap, amatuerish publicity stunt. You are right to file it under Democratic Stupidity. I am now firmly in the “Cindy is hurting us more than she is helping” us camp. As Anderson said yesterday someone needs to give Ms. Sheenhan the Sister Soldier (sp?) treatment.

  12. 12
    feral1 says:

    Neil, that was a pretty good find.

  13. 13
    Pb says:

    John,

    it appears the Capitol Police were simply following thje law against sloganeering/demonstrating in the Capitol

    No, they weren’t. Show me the law, show me where it applies, show me where it gives them that authority, and then show me how it trumps the First Amendment. You can’t.

    Also, do you honestly think that a shirt that lists the number of American soldiers who have died in Iraq–and speculates as to when this will stop–constitutes an “anti-Bush” shirt? What, is he pro-suppressing-casualty-figures, or just anti-taking-responsibility-for-his-actions? Or perhaps he just doesn’t wish to acknowledge the fact that American soldiers–like Cindy Sheehan’s son–are fighting and dying in Iraq? And what would be the Clinton equivalent to this–“0 Dead, How Many More?”

  14. 14
    Spin Doctor says:

    So it appears the Capitol Police were simply following thje law against sloganeering/demonstrating in the Capitol, a law that seems to make no sense but which appears to be answered pretty uniformly.

    Except it did not violate any law as t-shirts are specifically excluded (.pdf warning):

    Believing that the Capitol Police needed guidance in determining what behavior constitutes a demonstration,” the United States Capitol Police Board issued a regulation that interprets “demonstration activity” to include: parading, picketing, speechmaking, holding vigils, sit-ins, or other expressive conduct that convey[s] a message supporting or opposing a point of view or has the intent, effect or propensity to attract a crowd of onlookers, but does not include merely wearing Tee shirts, buttons or other similar articles of apparel that convey a message.”

    Pete Stark is still an ass.

  15. 15
    Rationalist says:

    I just did a Google search for Dave Delp Clinton (and David Delp Clinton).

    The *only* reference I could find was in a post on freerepublic from 2003 that claims, without a link to any source,

    “Whenever I sit in the Senate Gallery I think back to our FRiend Dave Delp, who was thrown out of Clinton’s impeachment trial for wearing a tee-shirt that said, “Clinton Doesn’t Inhale – He Sucks.” We stayed in the Gallery for about 45 minutes and then went off to have dinner with our friends.”

    A comment in the thread says this was reported by the NY Daily News, again without a link to a source, so I did a search of “Delp+Daily+News”, and came up empty there as well.

    Why do you report uncritically something Drudge posted, without doing even the most minimal research yourself? Did you note that Drudge does not cite a single source? A personal anecdote on freerepublic.com is hardly a credible news source.

    One partisan source citing another in a circular reference is a great way to spread rumor and give a veneer of credibility, but it doesn’t serve the truth. It is a popular tactic, incidentally, on both the Left and the Right. The truth seems to mean less and less these days for all concerned.

    It is quite possible that Drudge is right. It is quite possible my search was somehow incomplete. It is quite possible that this happened.

    But, it is also quite possible that it did not. But whose interests are really served by this kind of sloppiness? Certainly not our Republic, certainly not the people.

    I like this site, John, because you attempt to bring reason into irrational discussions. It is one of the few sites on the Net where people from genuinely distant ends of the spectrum can have an open debate. It can’t happen on dailykos, and it can’t happen on freerepublic. So all I ask is that you treat ALL information with equal skepticism, as I am sure you would ask others to do. Trust, but verify.

    We may all come to different conclusions and political positions, but we should do so by thinking about things, and trying to examine different arguments–and ALL the facts.

  16. 16
    Kirk Spencer says:

    As I said in the other thread, both the law Dodd cited and the one I found that may be more applicable both have a certain something that’ll make this a bit tricky – and Neil caught the essence.

    intent.

    “With the intent to…” can sometimes be difficult to determine. See, the whole law applies not just to the capital ground but much of DC, with the mayor of DC given authority to adjust some of the strictures. But you don’t see tourists that are strolling along the mall between the monuments arrested. You don’t see people arrested when they visit any of the war memorials just for wearing a t-shirt. You see them arrested when they conduct an action that demonstrates the intent – and a message on a t-shirt is tricky. Yes, she wore a t-shirt to an event for which most people were dressed up a bit. That raises the likelihood of intent. Heck, given the right prosecutor, defense attorney and court it’s a shoo-in for conviction. But… I don’t think it’s clear-cut. And it’ll be interesting to see.

    As jeff said in a couple of places, in part we’ll have to see if the charges are actually filed. That event determines how the rest of the dance plays out.

  17. 17

    […] And more here from the Pete Stark thread above: […]

  18. 18
    neil says:

    Yow, excellent catch, Spin Doctor. I get the feeling there are some lawyers just itching to sink their teeth into this one.

    Whoever ordered the police to arrest Cindy Sheehan is definitely a much bigger asshole than Pete Stark. The Capitol Police is ostensibly under the control of the legislative branch, but one imagines that they would work closely with the President while providing security for his speech.

  19. 19
    LITBMueller says:

    OK….Just so I have this straight:

    Its OK for me to wear at a courthouse a t-shirt that says “Fuck Cheney” (or something to that effect, per Cohen v. Calif.)…. But, I can’t wear a t-shirt which accurately reflects the number of soldiers that have died in Iraq, accompanied by a question, while within the Capitol.

    Hmmm….

    Just like I can go to a museum and see statues and paintings of naked women…. but I can’t see Janet Jackson’s boobie during the Superbowl….

    I’m so fucking confused now.

  20. 20
    kl says:

    Arresting people for political subversion against the ruling party is what the Gestapo did.

    If they were really the Gestapo, we’d never see Cindy Sheehan again. Don’t be such a tease.

  21. 21
    Par R says:

    Are any you jerks capable of processing a normal thought without first filtering it through your mindless Bush-Is-Hitler rants? Obviously not….so proceed to make yourselves and your political idols, such as Cindy Sheehan, as visible as you can. The vast majority of Americans are not whack jobs like yourselves, and the country will greatly benefit from your rapid marginalization.

  22. 22
    neil says:

    It takes some time, kl. A few years ago it was controversial whether the President could order people arrested extrajudicially on secret evidence or not. Now, no problem.

    How long can it take?

  23. 23
    kl says:

    It takes some time, kl.

    Again with the teasing!

  24. 24
    Stormy70 says:

    I think the Democrats should keep her out front, especially with her saying things like Bush is ten times the terrorist Bin Laden was, and kissing crazy dictators at the commie festivals. She is doing a heck of a job.

  25. 25
    Blue Neponset says:

    There is some truth to Par R’s wingnut rantings. Most people don’t pay close attention to politics. When they see someone who they associate with the Anti-War left getting thrown out of the State of the Union Address they don’t think about that person’s motives too much. They just associate the Anit-War left with someone who was disrespectful during the SOTU address.

    Cindy Sheehan hurt the Democrats last night, and I think more and more Democrats are realizing this.

  26. 26
    Rationalist says:

    Par R, are you referring to “whack jobs” like The American Conservative Magazine?

    http://www.amconmag.com/12_15_03/feature.html

    “Is the administration seeking to stifle domestic criticism? Absolutely. Is it carrying out a war on dissent? Probably not—yet. But the trend lines in federal attacks on freedom of speech should raise grave concerns to anyone worried about the First Amendment or about how a future liberal Democratic president such as Hillary Clinton might exploit the precedents that Bush is setting. ”

    Think before you jump. Freedom is not a liberal or conservative issue.

  27. 27
    Par R says:

    Rationalist – Actually, I wasn’t thinking so much about The American Conservative Magazine (although I think Pat Buchanan clearly qualifies as a Whack Job) as I was about those of your ilk.

  28. 28
    Steve says:

    Cindy Sheehan hurt the Democrats last night, and I think more and more Democrats are realizing this.

    It is a Democratic trademark to obsess over whether doing such-and-such will help the Democrats or hurt them. “If we say the President illegally spied on Americans… will it make us look weak on national security???” That’s why the Right gets such a kick out of watching our circular firing squad.

    You, my friend, sound like a very good Democrat.

  29. 29
    Ancient Purple says:

    Cindy Sheehan hurt the Democrats last night, and I think more and more Democrats are realizing this.

    I will wait and see on this. As I drove this morning to run errands, I flipped over to one of the local conservative talk stations and the hosts were ripping Sheehan apart for being Sheehan, but were even more angry that someone was ejected for wearing a t-shirt.

    I don’t think Sheehan will garner sympathy, but I do think that people are scratching their heads wondering why a t-shirt about the number of war dead was such a threat to the Republic.

  30. 30
    Pb says:

    You know what? I don’t give a good goddamn whether or not Cindy Sheehan’s actions and the news coverage of them might help or hurt the Democratic party in the minds of millions of Americans. The fact is, she’s an American citizen, and she can do whatever the hell she wants to do under the law and the Constitution. That is what recognizes that she had the right to wear her t-shirt at the SOTU. She doesn’t lose those rights the moment she starts to ‘help’ or ‘hurt’ one political party or another, and I would not advocate taking them away for that reason. Illegally suppressing Cindy Sheehan’s bedrock Constitutional rights is wrong no matter which party does it.

  31. 31
    Rationalist says:

    as I was about those of your ilk.

    Interesting. I have posted a total of two comments, neither of which express a political position, yet you are quick to pigeonhole me merely because I disagree with you on a single matter that happens to be about freedom of expression in a democracy, something that used to be considered a core Conservative value.

    This is the real problem in our society–intolerance of dissent, even minor dissent. It is supposed to be the role of the people to hold our elected leaders to account, and to withhold our consent from them when they threaten our liberties.

    Now, we can legitimately disagree over whether or not this is the case with this administation, but you seem to be saying that the mere disagreement with *anything* done by our elected leaders is tantamount to disloyalty to America.

    You know, many staunch Conservatives in our history have defended the rights of dissenters to speak, even and most especially when those dissenters expressed opinions we considered most offensive. And, many staunch Conservatives have recognized that a healthy opposition is essential to keeping those in power from falling prey to absolute power’s tendency to absolutely corrupt.

    Before you apply your knee-jerk pigeonholing to everyone who dares express an opinion slightly different than your own, you might want to read some Barry Goldwater.

  32. 32
    demimondian says:

    Rationalist — Par R is a nom de plume for DougJ, one of our EvilClown trolls. Listen to him carefully — but don’t take him too seriously.

  33. 33
    demimondian says:

    John — you really ought to update the story to add some caveats about the Drudge report. It’s single-sourced from an unreliable source — which cites documentation that doesn’t actually exist.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say that it sounds like the kind of prank DougJ would pull.

  34. 34

    […] Drudge story is of, umm, dubious reliability. Isn’t that always the case,though? […]

  35. 35
    Steve says:

    Someone asked, hypothetically, what would you think if someone showed up at a Clinton SOTU with an aborted-fetus t-shirt.

    Leaving aside the fact that it’s not exactly a comparable message, big deal, I say. It’s not like people have no idea that an anti-abortion movement exists, and why would I want to stifle extremists who make their cause look bad? Most people, if they even heard about it, would think it was in poor taste. So I say, go for it, all you aborted-fetus t-shirt wearers.

    The overriding goal should be to allow free speech without letting everything degenerate into a circus. Stopping people from waving banners or flags, I have no problem with that. But someone sitting there quietly in a t-shirt simply doesn’t disrupt anything. Let them have their opinion.

  36. 36
    neil says:

    There are a few comments on FreeRepublic giving more details about the January 1999 t-shirt incident.

    Here is a place you can buy a copy of a New York Daily News article on the subject, although I suspect it was written from old Freerepublic posts. I’m not going to shell out the $4, anyway.

  37. 37
    neil says:

    I suspect ‘Dave Delp’ may not be the guy’s real name, also. There are a few Delps listed as Santorum donors on newsmeat, but not a Dave. (Is it possible that Santorum would’ve given a ticket to a constituent who wasn’t a donor? Maybe…)

  38. 38
    too true says:

    The provocations were the same, but Sheehan was punished much more severely than the Republican guy

    Actually, I suspect that the arrest was not a result of the t-shirt itself, but of the fact that she was starting to shout slogans.

    She’s an idiot who’s entitled to express her opinions, but not to disrupt a televised session of Congress to push her personal viewpoint.

  39. 39
    Al Maviva says:

    SHIRT GETS TEACH A DRESSING-DOWN Daily News (New York) February 11, 1999, Thursday

    WASHINGTON A Pennsylvania school teacher was yanked out of a VIP Senate gallery and briefly detained last week during the impeachment trial for wearing a T-shirt with graphic language dissing President Clinton.

    Dave Delp, 42, of Carlisle, Pa., and a friend had just settled into their seats last Saturday when four Capitol security guards approached them. Delp said yesterday he was ordered to button his coat and follow the guards. Outside the chamber, he was told “several people felt threatened by your shirt,” which said, “Bill Doesn’t Inhale He Just S—s.”

    Even after establishing that Delp was a guest of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), the guards wouldn’t let him back in and escorted him to a basement security area, where they questioned and photographed him.

    After being given one of the photos as a souvenir, Delp said he was banned from the Capitol for the rest of the day. “They were polite and professional,” Delp added, “but they really did scare me. I think I should have been given the chance to cover up.”

    Capitol police declined to comment.

    I know. I’m a shameles right wing Bush Fellater so this must be just made up right wing lying lies. Here’s another right wing lying lie about a lying right wing activist liar who was ejected prior to the SOTU address last night: (If you accuse somebody of lying often enough, it makes it true enough, for all practical purposes, right?)

    Florida Rep.’s Wife Says She Was Ejected From State Of Union

    POSTED: 7:07 am EST February 1, 2006

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. AP — The wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, told a newspaper that she was ejected during the State of the Union address for wearing a T-shirt that says, “Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom.”

    Beverly Young told the St. Petersburg Times that she was sitting in the front row of the House gallery Tuesday night when she was approached by someone who told her she needed to leave.

    She said she reluctantly agreed, but argued with several officers in an outside hallway.

    In a telephone interview with the newspaper, Young said she told them her shirt wasn’t a protest but a message of support.

    Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said Young wasn’t ejected from the gallery and she left on her own. She couldn’t provide additional details.

    Young’s husband found out about the incident after Bush’s speech and called it unacceptable.

    As if anybody here cares, the time manner place restrictions on free speech in legislative halls is frequently described as a limited forum or limited purpose forum. I can’t recall which one it is off hand, but based on the number of First Amendment experts posting around here I’m sure somebody has the answer at their fingertips. Legislatures generally have the ability to limit the topics of discussion and debate on the floor and in the gallery of their meeting places. If your local school board wants to discuss textbooks, they can expressly discriminate against you for attempting to voice your anti-abortion or pro-choice message – they can even tell you to shut up before you try to voice it, and have you removed for being a disorderly presence. They can greatly constrict your ability to speak out, usually in the interest of the smooth operation of government. The rationale works across government branches. Speech is speech is speech; doesn’t matter if it’s speech on a T-shirt, a poster board, or coming out of your mouth. If the legislature has the power to exclude in this arena based on viewpoint, it also has the power to include, determining at its discretion what is a permissible topic or manner of speech, such as tiny little flags, or elephant ties. Moreover, the fact that two people with opposing views were ejected for the same activity – mere wearing of communicative T-shirts speaking out on the war – indicates a viewpoint neutrality that might even pass muster outside of the limited forum tests as non-viewpoint discriminatory, but merely restrictive of speech on a particular topic.

    So I’ll defend to the death your right to grow your white boy dreadlocks and march around in sloganed T-shirts and with signs on the Capitol steps, but your right to do that ends at the Capitol’s front door. Or the Supreme Court’s front door, for that matter. As much as I’d like to see Fred Phelps, Ralph Neas and Ralph Reed in a screaming and bloody Steel Cage Death Match (compleat with folding chairs and strippers) on the floor of the House during a SOTU, it’s not appropriate, and giving people the right to stage political theater would invite further disorder into the shambles of a legislative process we now have. I know, I know, the very first thing Hitler did upon taking power was to throw a Jewish guy wearing an anti-Kristallnacht T-shirt out of the Reichstag…

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    If they were really the Gestapo, we’d never see Cindy Sheehan again.

    I can see the slogan now: George Bush, not as bad as the Gestapo. It’s quite a ring to it.

  41. 41
    Brian says:

    Al pretty much explains in detail what I said in my comment on the “WTF?” post. Free Speech sometimes has its place, and the SOTU is not one of the places where sloganeering and protest is welcome. It belongs outside the Capitol, and should not be disturbed there.

    But I don’t count on anyone on the Left having the presence of mind to think about this while suffering from BDS.

  42. 42
    kl says:

    George Bush, not as bad as the Gestapo.

    WINGNUT!

  43. 43
    neil says:

    So, Al Maviva, the other woman was arrested as well? I’ll look forward to seeing that court date, I can tell you!

  44. 44
    neil says:

    In fact, Al, it seems like those two little tidbits you ferreted out prove rather effectively that Sheehan _was_ being treated more harshly because of the content of her message. A Rep’s wife wearing a political shirt is asked to leave under her own power; Sheehan gets physically hauled out of her seat, handcuffed, arrested and detained.

    If the jackboot fits, wear it.

  45. 45
    Steve says:

    Flags, banners, demonstrations, I have no issue with. But you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that there’s anything wrong with someone sitting there wearing a t-shirt, even if it, heaven forbid, has a “slogan” on it. There’s nothing disruptive about a slogan. I have a feeling our republic can take it.

  46. 46
    kl says:

    A Rep’s wife wearing a political shirt is asked to leave under her own power; Sheehan gets physically hauled out of her seat, handcuffed, arrested and detained.

    Which concentration camp is she in?

  47. 47

    So it appears the Capitol Police were simply following thje law against sloganeering/demonstrating in the Capitol,

    Bullshit.

    These fuckers are abusing this law.

    It was wrong of them to kick that guy out from Clinton’s SOTU too. With that said, that guys slogan could be offensive to some people (the word sucks really offends older people for some reason). So kicking him out is slightly more understandable–but it’s still fucking wrong.

  48. 48
    Mac Buckets says:

    Shorter Libtrolls: The law should not apply to nutter leftian pub addicts, only to Jack Abramoff. Anyone who enforces the law against a lefty is a Nazi.

  49. 49
    Ancient Purple says:

    This sort of ends the whole thing for me.

    Except that it shouldn’t. Our legal experts here have done a great job of demonstrating (no pun intended) that the mere wearing of a t-shirt may not be grounds for removing someone from the Capitol rotunda. If Sheehan litigates the issue, then, and only then, would we have a fairly definitive answer on the issue.

    As far as Maviva’s post, the facts in both cases are in the midst of a he said/she said vetting. If Sheehan was arrested for her shirt while Mrs. Young was simply asked to leave, then I don’t see how you can say that they were handled equally.

  50. 50
    Mac Buckets says:

    Besides, John, no one cares about Cindy Sheehan anymore except for you and the Bush War Machine. It’s not like a Democratic Congressperson would invite that nutter to the SOTU so she could protest the war! She’s nobody to the Democrats — they pay her no attention. If you stop mentioning her, she will go away — you, John, are the only person in the world talking about Cindy Sheehan.

  51. 51
    Brian says:

    Steve,

    It is disruptive because it would certainly distract from the purpose of the gathering. TV cameras are everywhere, and she would become, if nt the center of the event, a significant part of it. To add to her detention, she has been actively harassing the president by camping out at his ranch and campaigning against our country abroad. She may be a pussy cat wearing Che Guevara bling, but she’s someone who needs to be taken seriously when it comes to the seriousness of the SOTU speech. She’s proven herself to be a gratuitous grandstander, always trying to one-up herself as Queen of Moonbatia. Shirt or no shirt, her mere presence would give me concern, as any reasonable person would believe, based on her history, that she would somehow, some way, disrupt the event for her own selfish purpose. But the event is bigger than her, or any anti-war or anti-Bush protest. He’s the president, and it was his speech that we were entitled to view in an uninterrupted fashion.

  52. 52
    Brian says:

    It’s not like a Democratic Congressperson would invite that nutter to the SOTU so she could protest the war!

    She was invited to the event by a Congresswoman. And, yes, she is loved and adored by Democrats. She’s their symbol, for cryin’ out loud!

  53. 53
    Cyrus says:

    I know. I’m a shameles right wing Bush Fellater so this must be just made up right wing lying lies. Here’s another right wing lying lie about a lying right wing activist liar who was ejected prior to the SOTU address last night: (If you accuse somebody of lying often enough, it makes it true enough, for all practical purposes, right?)

    “Ejected” and “asked to leave” and “told her she needed to leave” and even “briefly detained”. You know, I’m looking, but I just don’t see the word “arrested” anywhere in what you’ve quoted. Maybe I’m missing it. (“Briefly detained” might be nudging the line, But the line is still there.)

    Personally, I wouldn’t complain if she were “asked to leave” or even “ejected”. But that’s not what we’re talking about and you know it. Unless you can show that Delp was charged with a misdemeanor?

    And no offense, but your article about someone getting ejected for a pro-administration t-shirt seems dubious. First of all, as I said, it doesn’t look like she was charged with anything. Second, someone who supported the administration was willing to wear a t-shirt to such an important formal occasion? Wouldn’t she have been honored to be invited? Well, maybe that’s an inappropriate way to put it if she’s a Congressman’s wife, but wouldn’t she have taken it more seriously?

  54. 54

    The wife of a Congressman was asked to leave for wearing a support the troops t-shirt.

    What the fuck is going on? What the hell is this country becoming?

  55. 55
    chefrad says:

    Ah yes, I believe it was at Dreilinden at the city limits of Berlin in 1986. The kid in front of me was wearing a T-Shirt that said “question authority.” The East German STASI arrested him for “Majestätsbeleidigung” (insulting the majesty of the state) and beat the crap out of him for half a day. The next time I saw him he was limping through Alexander Platz playing an Inca pan flute.

    A peril every bit as dangerous ad Cindy Sheehan. Every note he played gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

  56. 56
    neil says:

    From the other thread:

    [Beverly Young] tells the St. Petersburg Times she was sitting about six rows from Laura Bush when she was asked to leave, and that she then argued with police in the hallway. She says they told her they considered her shirt a “protest,” and that she responded, “Then you are an idiot.” And she says they told her she was being treated the same as Sheehan.

    AP

    Sheehan was arrested around 8:30 p.m. on charges of unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.
    She was handcuffed and held in the Capitol building until she was driven to the Capitol Police headquarters for booking. According to her blog, she was released about four hours after being arrested.

    CNN

  57. 57
    Ancient Purple says:

    TV cameras are everywhere, and she would become, if nt the center of the event, a significant part of it.

    So? I didn’t know that we restrict people from exercising their rights because TV cameras are rolling.

  58. 58
    Ancient Purple says:

    And, yes, she is loved and adored by Democrats. She’s their symbol, for cryin’ out loud!

    She is? Since when? Care to provide a link where the Democratic Party has said she is the symbol of the party?

  59. 59
    Steve says:

    It is disruptive because it would certainly distract from the purpose of the gathering. TV cameras are everywhere, and she would become, if nt the center of the event, a significant part of it. To add to her detention, she has been actively harassing the president by camping out at his ranch and campaigning against our country abroad. She may be a pussy cat wearing Che Guevara bling, but she’s someone who needs to be taken seriously when it comes to the seriousness of the SOTU speech. She’s proven herself to be a gratuitous grandstander, always trying to one-up herself as Queen of Moonbatia. Shirt or no shirt, her mere presence would give me concern, as any reasonable person would believe, based on her history, that she would somehow, some way, disrupt the event for her own selfish purpose. But the event is bigger than her, or any anti-war or anti-Bush protest. He’s the president, and it was his speech that we were entitled to view in an uninterrupted fashion.

    This argument deserves to be replicated in its entirety. The only way it could be more glorious is if we found out John Cornyn wrote it.

  60. 60
    LITBMueller says:

    Legislatures generally have the ability to limit the topics of discussion and debate on the floor and in the gallery of their meeting places.

    Yes and No, Al. The rules of decorum on the floor of a legislature and in galleries are constitutional because they have as their aim preserve an appropriately decorous atmosphere, i.e., prevent disruptive behavior that would disturb or prevent the government from conducting its business.

    But, it cannot be argued that wearing a t-shirt is per se disruptive behavior. That fact is made perfectly clear by Cohen v. Calif., which concerned an anti-war protestor who wore a t-shirt that said “Fuck the Draft,” but was otherwise undisruptive.

    But these words of the Court in that case are most relevant to the whole Sheehan Debacle, IMHO:

    The constitutional right of free expression is powerful medicine in a society as diverse and populous as ours. It is designed and intended to remove governmental restraints from the arena of public discussion, putting the decision as to what views shall be voiced largely into the hands of each of us, in the hope that use of such freedom will ultimately produce a more capable citizenry and more perfect polity and in the belief that no other approach would comport with the premise of individual dignity and choice upon which our political system rests.

    To many, the immediate consequence of this freedom may often appear to be only verbal tumult, discord, and even offensive utterance. These are, however, within established limits, in truth necessary side effects of the broader enduring values which the process of open debate permits us to achieve. That the air may at times seem filled with verbal cacophony is, in this sense not a sign of weakness but of strength. We cannot lose sight of the fact that, in what otherwise might seem a trifling and annoying instance of individual distasteful abuse of a privilege, these fundamental societal values are truly implicated.

    With all of the current argument over the laws/regulations/rules concerning decorum in the House, and with all of the disparaging of Cindy Sheehan, and pointing out similar cases that seem to indicate neutrality, there is one point that is being lost – the one that concerned the Court when this case was decided in 1971:

    That allowing people to express their points of view, even if in ways that may violate certain peoples’s sensibilities or conceptions of decorum, is vital for a functioning democracy.

    Her conduct was, in essence, petitioning the government, was it not? We fought a Revolution because England refused to listen to our concerns. Now, the rights to free speech and to petition the government exist with the intention to prevent those in power from casting out or arresting those who do not agree with them.

    And, despite any appearances of neutrality, there can be absolutely no doubt that the sole intent of the rule is to prevent speech. That is plain as day, because the officer, upon seeing Cindy’s shirt, declared “protestor!”

    She was not being disruptive. She was not yelling “fire” in a movie theater. She was not wearing anything obscene. She was not using the infamous “fighting words.” She was expressing her viewpoint through a t-shirt, while in the gallery of the people’s house.

    If that is not worthy of protection, then we are all in trouble.

  61. 61
    neil says:

    Steve, there are many people on the Free Republic board who are shocked that the capitol police would let a mentally unstable person with an arrest record into the SotU anyway. I won’t bother linking because it is easy enough to find.

  62. 62
    Steve says:

    Well, that’s stupid. Who would give the speech then?

  63. 63
    muddy says:

    The gods forbid we recognize the dead by stating their number. Far better we sweep them under the rug.

  64. 64
    Mac Buckets says:

    the capitol police would let a mentally unstable person with an arrest record into the SotU anyway

    But he was giving the speech, so they had to let him in.

    Was I first with this?

  65. 65
    neil says:

    Sadly, no. But points for effort!

  66. 66
    EL says:

    I want to say right off the bat that I think Cindy Sheehan has gone off the deep end.

    That out of the way, in contrast to what Mac Buckets says, I don’t care if it’s Cindy Sheehan or Sally Smith – she apparently was treated differently from the other case cited in that she was arrested instead of being asked to leave.

    More disturbing to me are Steve’s comments, and the idea that the most important thing is to provide a flawless photo-op for the president.

    To add to her detention, she has been actively harassing the president by camping out at his ranch and campaigning against our country abroad.

    Again, I don’t like her, but since when is exercising her first amendments rights considered “harassing the president?” Steve, you can’t be advocating that this be a crime, or advocating that we always protect the president from contrary views, however disturbingly expressed.

    She’s proven herself to be a gratuitous grandstander

    I agree with this. Then again, lots of people fall into this category, including Pat Robertson. So?

    Shirt or no shirt, her mere presence would give me concern, as any reasonable person would believe, based on her history, that she would somehow, some way, disrupt the event for her own selfish purpose.

    This sounds as if you’re advocating pre-emptive detention. But you can’t be, since this country is based on arresting people for what they do, not what you think they might do. Or so I always thought.

    But the event is bigger than her, or any anti-war or anti-Bush protest. He’s the president, and it was his speech that we were entitled to view in an uninterrupted fashion.

    And if all she did was wear a t-shirt, that in no way interrupted the speech. As well arrest all the people on the floor who interrupted the speech repeatedly with that nasty distracting applause.

  67. 67
    EL says:

    Oops, sorry, Brian’s comments, not Steve’s. Steve merely quoted them – my apologies.

  68. 68
    Steve says:

    Just shoot me if I ever mindlessly defend a Democratic president against the right to give a speech without seeing a dissenting t-shirt. I don’t want to end up in a partisan vegetative state like Brian.

  69. 69
    RSA says:

    Shirt or no shirt, her mere presence would give me concern, as any reasonable person would believe, based on her history, that she would somehow, some way, disrupt the event for her own selfish purpose.

    I’ll agree to the extent that I think Cindy Sheehan with no shirt would indeed disrupt the event.

  70. 70

    Steve, there are many people on the Free Republic board who are shocked that the capitol police would let a mentally unstable person with an arrest record into the SotU anyway.

    Jack Abramhoff was at the SotU!?

  71. 71
    Brian says:

    Hah! Partisan, maybe, but this was no garden-variety, run-of-the-mill speech last night. Our entire government was on hand for the annual speech on the state of the country. Have we lost all sense of decorum that this important event can’t be taken seriously, and no deference be given to the members of our government and all sensible citizens, in favor of someone’s lame protest statement on a t-shirt?

    The whole point of her presence is to get attention. Period. The shirt is another in a long line of stunts and political theater that the Left has perfected since the Vietnam era. It was not meant to be some silent protest. Everything about Cindy has been about raising the tenor of her protest, or garnering attention from anti-American (you can’t call it anything else) campaigning across the globe. She CRAVES attention, and she gets it. She wanted to get laughs and back slaps from the anti-Bush side by pulling another stunt during the SOTU speech!

    No one, including me, wants to deny Cindy the right to make an ass of herself, but do it outside the Capitol, not inside where the speech is happening. Some of us take it more seriously than she does. BTW, ‘m sure that cindy is happily enjoying her freedom today after her run in with the gestapo thugs.

    As for her symbolism with the Dem’s, here are many examples. You wanted a link, you got it.

  72. 72
    Kimmitt says:

    The differential between how the two were treated says everything one needs to know about how this Administration (and its allies in Congress) view the American right to dissent.

  73. 73
    Lines says:

    Isn’t it amazing the amount of hate, vitriol and mindless ranting that Sheehan can bring to a thread?

    Its almost like she’s Bush’s better twin.

  74. 74
    Thad says:

    This sounds as if you’re advocating pre-emptive detention. But you can’t be, since this country is based on arresting people for what they do, not what you think they might do. Or so I always thought.

    Yeah, I thought those were our criteria for declaring wars, too.

  75. 75
    Pb says:

    John Cole, Al Maviva, Brian, etc.:

    See above for Spin Doctor’s link to Bynum v. Capitol Police Board. They simply do not have the authority to arrest anyone for wearing a t-shirt–not by policy, not by statute, and certainly not under the Constitution. That “sort of ends the whole thing for me”. Why do you hate America?

  76. 76
    Ancient Purple says:

    Hah! Partisan, maybe, but this was no garden-variety, run-of-the-mill speech last night. Our entire government was on hand for the annual speech on the state of the country. Have we lost all sense of decorum that this important event can’t be taken seriously, and no deference be given to the members of our government and all sensible citizens, in favor of someone’s lame protest statement on a t-shirt?

    I will be more than happy to support your position when you point out where in the Constitution our rights are held hostage to decorum or taste. As for deference to the members of our government, if a t-shirt is so disruptive to the Republic and the members of the government, then I suggest you being your campaign to amend the Constitution to prohibit message t-shirts at the SOTU.

    As for her symbolism with the Dem’s, here are many examples. You wanted a link, you got it.

    Thanks for the link, Brian. Now, perhaps you can point out where any of those items said she is a symbol for the Democratic party. I see they say she should be supported in her efforts to see Bush and she should be heard.

    I support your right to express your opinion. That, however, does not make you a symbol of what I believe.

  77. 77
    EL says:

    Brian, this doesn’t address my point. Whether Cindy Sheehan, Pat Robertson, or the man in the moon craves attention is beside the point.

    Have we lost all sense of decorum that this important event can’t be taken seriously…

    Why are the two as mutually exclusive? If Cindy Sheehan’s t-shirt (or Beverly Young’s t-shirt) were seen, would that mean the event wasn’t taken seriously? In fact, if they weren’t taking the event seriously, why bother to wear clothing that refers to subjects the speech was to cover? I’d say they were taking it very seriously.

    …and no deference be given to the members of our government and all sensible citizens, in favor of someone’s lame protest statement on a t-shirt?

    I suspect this is the key – “deference.” But where does our constitution or law call for deference in the matter of political opinion? Whether the statement is utterly lame or not isn’t the point. ” “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor a crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold,” is just as protected as “Support our troops.”

  78. 78
    LITBMueller says:

    Have we lost all sense of decorum that this important event can’t be taken seriously, and no deference be given to the members of our government and all sensible citizens, in favor of someone’s lame protest statement on a t-shirt?

    I don’t know…. Maybe we should ask all those Congress members frantically waving purple stained fingers at last year’s SOTU????

    Or, how about asking all those Congress members who wore purple band aids to mock John Kerry two years ago????

    None of those people were kicked out.

    What short memories we all have…

  79. 79
    kl says:

    I’ll agree to the extent that I think Cindy Sheehan with no shirt would indeed disrupt the event.

    But what about the Constitution???

    The differential between how the two were treated says everything one needs to know about how this Administration (and its allies in Congress) view the American right to dissent.

    Yeah, if you dissent, you’re somewhat more inconvenienced than if you agree.

  80. 80
    LITBMueller says:

    Sorry. The band aids were at the Convention. Point still stays the same, though.

  81. 81
    Brian says:

    The logic in favor of Cindy seems to be that anything is reasonable at any government event. If a senator wants to wear a “F**K Bush”, or “Clinton S**ks” shirt, in line-of-sight of the TV camera, during the presidential inauguration, that should be allowed. Because, what’s the harm? It’s just a shirt, right?

    You draw no line on such things? You have no sense of respect for these events? You have no sense of pride in presenting your country to the world as one to be taken seriously?

  82. 82
    Sherard says:

    So I’ll defend to the death your right to grow your white boy dreadlocks and march around in sloganed T-shirts and with signs on the Capitol steps, but your right to do that ends at the Capitol’s front door. Or the Supreme Court’s front door, for that matter.

    Fucking-A right. Hopefully anyone that read my comment from last night gets it after reading that. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, at THAT is it.

  83. 83
    Lines says:

    You have no sense of pride in presenting your country to the world as one to be taken seriously?

    Why would I? Bush’s stammering and inability to speak in complete sentences finished off what little pride I had in such events a long time ago. If you think a man that can’t speak more than 5 words without waving his hands in a hugging motion or grinning like a stoned jackass is something to take pride in, well, its a free country for now.

    But you’d still be blaming Democrats if he wore out pants made of live bunny rabbits sewn together, right?

  84. 84
    Andrew says:

    The logic in favor of Cindy seems to be that anything is reasonable at any government event. If a senator wants to wear a “F**K Bush”, or “Clinton S**ks” shirt, in line-of-sight of the TV camera, during the presidential inauguration, that should be allowed. Because, what’s the harm? It’s just a shirt, right?

    You draw no line on such things? You have no sense of respect for these events? You have no sense of pride in presenting your country to the world as one to be taken seriously?

    If we let the fuck shirts on teevee, then the terrorists have won.

  85. 85
    Inspector Callahan says:

    So, I take it that a good majority of the commenters here have no problem with pro-war/anti-war T-shirts being worn at the State of the Union Address. How far down this slope do we want to slide?

    What if the “Big Naked Code-Pink Lesbian Biker Broads Against the War” wanted to come in and disrupt the speech? Would their rights be denied if someone said, “No”? Under what criteria does anyone have (or not have) the right to protest within the Capitol?

    If anything goes, keep in mind that the house chamber can hold only so many people, so some peoples’ rights WILL be denied, based on sheer volume. If so, this must be corrected – the President should do SOTU speeches on the Mall in Washington, so every aggrieved group known to man would have a chance to disrupt the speech.

    For those of you who think Sheehan’s rights were violated – where do YOU draw the line?

    TV (Harry)

  86. 86
    Al Maviva says:

    I don’t see how Bynum covers Sheehan – quite to the contary I believe that while it protects some speech rights in the hallways of the Capitol, it also distinguishes those rights from the power of Congress to control the galleries and floors of the houses.

    The fact that Congress allows the public to observe its proceedings and visit the inside of the Capitol does not make the Capitol a designated public form. The government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that the activities of Congress proceed without disruption, and Congress may enact reasonable statutes, and its agents may issue reasonable regulations, to further that interest. “The government does not create a public forum . . . by permitting limited discourse, but only by intentionally opening a nontraditional forum for public discourse.” Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., 473 U.S. at 802. All indications are that Congress has not opened the Capitol as a public forum for free and open public discourse. . .

    As a nonpublic forum, the government may restrict First Amendment activity in the Capitol so long as the restrictions are “viewpoint neutral” and “reasonable in light of the purpose served by the forum. . . .”

    Bynum, 93 F. Supp. 2d 50 (2000).

    Another court in the District of D.C. read Bynum and observed,

    [T]he outdoor mingling of the public, members of Congress, congressional staff, and the news media on the Capitol sidewalk implies that it is a particularly appropriate place for individuals to express their ideas and to petition the government. This is in contrast to areas in the interior of the Capitol, where heightened decorum is reasonably expected and greater limitations on expression have in turn been tolerated “in order to permit Congress peaceably to carry out its lawmaking responsibilities and to permit citizens to bring their concerns to their legislators.”

    Lederman v. United States, 131 F. Supp. 2d 46, 52 (D.D.C. 2001)(citing Bynum, 93 F. Supp. 2d 50, 55 (D.D.C. 2000)).

    This leads me to believe that Bynum is distinguishable from Mother Sheehan’s case. In Bynum, the District court held that then-extant Capitol regulations were vague for overbreadth, wrongly prohibiting even non-disruptive activities like Bynum’s, which involved leading private, prayer tours of the corridors of the Capitol. Bynum’s small group would periodically stop unobtrusively in the hallways of the Capitol – these are outside the houses and the attached galleries – to pray quietly, in a “conversational tone.” Bynum was not attempting to stage an impromptu prayer meeting in the gallery of the House during the conduct of congressional business. Sheehan’s and Young’s situation is distinguishable, since both sought to publicize a political viewpoint in the gallery, during an official congressional function. Seems to me that is different from walking around in the halls privately praying or talking amongst friends, and attempting to co-opt a legislative function to put your own viewpoint out there. Notably, the Bynum and Lederman courts do not question Congress’ ability to regulate free speech activities within the legislative chambers, and the Lederman court clearly supports that proposition.

    FWIW, the Capitol Police stated that the reason Sheehan was arrested, is that when CP asked her to cover the shirt, she refused to do so, and in response was arrested. This is different from first leaving, then moving into the hallway to argue about the policy; the hallway being a location where Bynum – insofar as a district court holding has precedential value – might recognize one’s right to wear a statement T-shirt.

    Regarding the sometimes inane commentary of congresspersons, they are allowed to do a lot of things under legislative immunity, which protects their political speech, and presumably, their speech acts (like purple fingers or eye rolling) while congress is in session.

    As an aside, before Slide calls me a lying liar of lying lies, both cases cited above have mildly complex appellate histories that makes their reliability as precedent somewhat muddy, not to mention their status as district court cases that appear upon cursory glance to be based initially on brief preliminary injunction hearings.

  87. 87
    LITBMueller says:

    Where do I draw the line? Where the Supreme Court has drawn the line: speech that could incite violence (so-called “fighting words”), unecessarily disruptive speech, yelling fire in a crowded theater, obscenity…

    You see, Cindy is a citizen in the gallery. We wouldn’t even be talking about this if she wasn’t arrested. She wasn’t causing trouble, and all her shirt did was present an accurate figure and ask a question of national importance.

    Sorry if people don’t want to have the cold hard truth face (certainly our President-in-a-Bubble doesn’t), but she was an uinvited guest, and unless she violates the boundaries of free speech that have been a part of our jurisprudence for eons, you just have to see her shirt or turn your head. Your choice. Just like it was her choice to be able to speak her mind.

    Now as for this:

    You have no sense of respect for these events? You have no sense of pride in presenting your country to the world as one to be taken seriously?

    The “seriousness” of the occasion first began to be eroded when Reagan started the whole “human props in the gallery” thing. It reached its low point with the Flying Purple Fingers last year.

  88. 88
    Davebo says:

    Well folks, just like the NSA “terrorist surveillience” issue, the Sheehan T Shirt issue will most likely be decided by the courts.

    It seems fairly clear, Al Maviva’s comments considered, that this could be a grey area.

    And you can bet Sheehan will litigate it as far as possible.

  89. 89
    BadTux says:

    Cindy was arrested. Those other people were simply ejected. Being ejected is what I would expect for wearing something viewed as being disruptive. It happens all the time. Being arrested, on the other hand, is not.

    If you do not know the difference between being ejected and being arrested, you need to go back to school and take Remedial English 101 again…

    The Capitol Police have the right to request people that they view as wearing garments unbecoming the event to leave the event, and arrest them if they refuse to do so. But arresting someone who is doing nothing but sitting in her seat simply for wearing the t-shirt — with no refusal to obey a lawful order, no attempts to call attention to herself or anything like that — is, to put it simply, illegal. Cohen V. California is pretty darned clear about that.

    – Badtux the Law Penguin

  90. 90

    You draw no line on such things? You have no sense of respect for these events? You have no sense of pride in presenting your country to the world as one to be taken seriously?

    LOL @ that bullshit post.

  91. 91
    Inspector Callahan says:

    speech that could incite violence (so-called “fighting words”), unecessarily disruptive speech, yelling fire in a crowded theater, obscenity…

    Ahh, now we’re getting somewhere.

    What is “unnecessarily disruptive speech”, exactly? Is there a standard definition of this? Are you telling me that a woman who attempts to unfurl a banner, and wears an anti-war T-shirt in the US House gallery, DEFINITELY is not being unnecessarily disruptive? This seems like a very subjective concept. You or I may not consider this unnecessarily disruptive, but others may. Who wins this argument?

    Regarding obscenity, I guess “Fuck Bush” t-shirts are out. I would think that some of your fellow posters may even have a problem with that.

    TV (Harry)

  92. 92
    Inspector Callahan says:

    But arresting someone who is doing nothing but sitting in her seat simply for wearing the t-shirt—with no refusal to obey a lawful order, no attempts to call attention to herself or anything like that—is, to put it simply, illegal.

    you need to go back to school and take Remedial English 101 again

    Projection, anyone? Read the below (slowly):

    FWIW, the Capitol Police stated that the reason Sheehan was arrested, is that when CP asked her to cover the shirt, she refused to do so, and in response was arrested.

    Next…

    TV (Harry)

  93. 93
    Steve says:

    The logic in favor of Cindy seems to be that anything is reasonable at any government event. If a senator wants to wear a “F**K Bush”, or “Clinton S**ks” shirt, in line-of-sight of the TV camera, during the presidential inauguration, that should be allowed. Because, what’s the harm? It’s just a shirt, right?

    Uh, this is a no-brainer. Of course that should be allowed. It’s totally inappropriate, but lots of free speech is totally inappropriate. You can’t seriously be contending that there’s an exception to the First Amendment for behavior that makes our country seem rude.

  94. 94
    LITBMueller says:

    Inspector, two things (1) Cindy did not have a banner – that report was incorrect; (2) According to Cindy, she was never asked to cover up her shirt:

    I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; “Protester.” He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like “I’m going, do you have to be so rough?”

    Guess it all depends on who you are predisposed to believe! ;)

    As for this:

    What is “unnecessarily disruptive speech”, exactly? Is there a standard definition of this? Are you telling me that a woman who attempts to unfurl a banner, and wears an anti-war T-shirt in the US House gallery, DEFINITELY is not being unnecessarily disruptive? This seems like a very subjective concept. You or I may not consider this unnecessarily disruptive, but others may. Who wins this argument?

    1st Amendment law is incredibly complex. You can read here, if you want to learn more.

    But here is a question for you: why is her shirt disruptive?

    It is not inaccurate – the number of soldiers that have died was correct. It is not offensive – it doesn’t say “Fuck Bush”, “Cheney,” or even “Condi.”

    The shirt gets a simple message across by asking a question, not even making a declarative statement.

    Is it offensive/disruptive/worthy of being kicked out only because the President wouldn’t agree with it?

  95. 95
    radioactive_7 says:

    You know, I fight for people like Cindy Sheehan. This woman has every bit of right to do whatever the f@ck she wants. Her son was killed, she wants to know why. Why aren’t the rest of you asking the same question? Maybe because today, Americans can”t handle the truth or don”t want to know the truth. And if you are a civilian or don”t have any family member down in Iraq, and you disagree with Cindy Sheehan,I suggest u shut the f@uck up. You don”t know d@ick from a$$. I’ll give you a taste of what you didn”t know from Iraq.

    When the war started the Pentagon was worried about the Republican Guard of Saddam Hussein. They are a ruthless bunch of soldiers. What CNN didn”t tell the public was, when we invaded, Saddam’s sons,Uday and Qusay,ordered them to hide in the crowds. Blend in with the people and when the time was right,they will give the order to attack after the Americans settled in. They already knew we were gonna stay. Soo you think we just wiped out Saddam’s forces?Nope!They’re attacking soldiers with IED’s and other means today.The RUPUBLICAN GUARD(IRAQI SPECIAL FORCES)!!!!!!!!!!Did they tell you Soldiers heads were being sliced off by piano wire? The Iraqis were smart to do that because they would see soldiers stand on the top and back of (un)armored trucks.Did you dumbasses know that?No!!Course not!!You too worried about Nick and Jessica.About gas prices.Martha Stewart Living.Or if Brad and Angelina are having a baby.Who the fuck cares.You too scared to hear the truth.And it’s funny how the Iraqis are just gettn smarter and smarter.Did you ever think someone is funding these so-called terrorist or insurgents?you know,we did fund the taliban and al-qaida against Russia.Hmmm…do you ever think?Nope!This woman wants the truth.Maybe her son wrote her saying he didn”t have body armor like I didn’t when i was down there.Maybe thats why he died.Did you smartasses think of that?But you can write here use all your politcal big words and still don”t know sh!t.And as far as the death toll goes.Come on people!!Do you really think the news are telling you the truth?Ask yourself this.Are they counting soldiers that died after the war. Are they counting the ones that make it to Walter Reed and then die?Are they counting the suicides from when the war is over?I can tell you no.And you wanna talk shit about Cindy Sheehan because she might give dictators a positive feedback.You gotta be sh!tt!ng me top say some bull like that.You mean to tell me a dictator is watchin CNN,MSNBC,BBC,and Al Jazeera just so they can hear someone speak up for themselves and that makes them want to commit more “terrorism”.LOL!!What type of bird flu,SARS,and anthrax were you sniffing on to think this?If anybody is giving dictators right s and wants is the commander in chief.And maybe the CIA(Lord of War buy the movie)The same guy that extended my unit to 15months of what?caused 40 of soldiers from my division to die after the extension.The same guy that ordered planes be turned around to drop soldiers off because of the extension and have then die on the way to their post.Those people died for you and lies.And so did I.Cindy Sheehan’s son died for your belief that freedom has a price.And so did many of other soldiers,marines,airman,and sailors.Including people I knew.Tell you what, why don”t you smarta$$es go to Iraq and fight.And if freedom has a cost to achieve,hey!Maybe we’re not free after all if we have to pay and die for it!!Cindy Sheehan wants the truth.I’ll take the truth before justice anyday.When you have truth,you have true justice.Now maybe you’ll see Ms. Cindy’s point of view.If you don’t.You are equivalent to Darth Vader(Star Wars Ep III).You were lied to,believed it,denounced all that was good, and turned to the “darkside” against your own people.For the “cost”of freedom.

  96. 96
    kl says:

    I just think it’s too bad she didn’t get to watch the speech. Obviously that was the only reason she was there.

  97. 97
    Cyrus says:

    Brian Says:

    The logic in favor of Cindy seems to be that anything is reasonable at any government event. If a senator wants to wear a “F**K Bush”, or “Clinton S**ks” shirt, in line-of-sight of the TV camera, during the presidential inauguration, that should be allowed. Because, what’s the harm? It’s just a shirt, right?

    Neil, Ancient Purple, EL, Kimmitt and myself have all pointed out the distinction between arresting Sheehan and all the similar cases, which as far as we know went no farther than ejecting them. Not to put words in their mouths, but I, for one, couldn’t have complained about her being ejected for all the reasons of decorum you seem so concerned with, but arresting her is an abuse of power. Are you deliberately ignoring the really simple fact that Sheehan was arrested, unlike David Delp or Beverly Young, because it completely ruins your argument? Or are you simply not reading the comments you’re replying to?

    You draw no line on such things? You have no sense of respect for these events? You have no sense of pride in presenting your country to the world as one to be taken seriously?

    Yup, you got it, it’s The Left (TM) that makes our country looks stupid. Uh huh. It was President Gore who tried to box Muhammad Ali while giving him a medal, and President Kerry who enjoyed his vacation by borrowing a guitar from a B-list country singer and posing for cameras while New Orleans flooded. Right. Do you also think it was a conspiracy involving a Leftist mole deep inside the White House to get that reference to Nigerian yellowcake into the 2003 SOTU?

  98. 98
    kl says:

    I can see the slogan now: Gore and Kerry, not as bad as Bush. Actually, didn’t they both run on that? Wonder how that turned out.

  99. 99
    Tweb says:

    I made this same point at Protein Wisdom, but I’ll do it here also,

    There’s another reason to ban demonstrations in the capital: Our elected representatives must be allowed to vote without fear of physical violence.

    If, for example, violent World-Bank-style protesters showed up for a vote on foreign aid, it’s highly likely that some representatives would feel compelled to vote in a certain way to ensure their own safety. (Such protests and their corresponding police responses would also lead to regular riots in the capital itself, which, to put it mildly, would be very bad for the nation’s sense of how the political process should work, but that’s another subject.)

    Even proesters who aren’t tearing the place up could be disruptive enough to intimidate some representatives into voting a certain way.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I belive the standard used by the Supreme Court to limit rights is when the government has a “compelling interest” to do so. If I’m not mistaken, that was the justification for upholding McCain/Feingold’s limitations on political speech. Ensuring an environment where legislators can vote without fear of physical harm seems like a “compelling interest” to me.

  100. 100
    Dodd says:

    Guess it all depends on who you are predisposed to believe!

    Considering that a) Cindy’s own report suggests strongly that the officer who removed her did not know who she was (she states that someone else told him and his behaviour changed afterward); b) that Cindy specifically states that she wore the shirt to make a statement (which means she admits that intended to demonstrate); c) that Sheehan is an inveterate media whore; and d) that a Republican Congresscritter’s wife was also ejected for the opposite message on a T-shirt (the consistent line in the other thread last night was ‘show me someone who got thrown out for the opposite viewpoint’ – the line shifted when it came out that that very thing happened last night) but who, in contrast to Cindy, waited until she was outside the Chamber to argue, I’d say I’m predisposed to believing the cops.

    I remain convinced that Sheehan’s purpose all along was to get herself arrested. That they would shy away from also arresting a Member’s wife is hardly a surprise, but no-one involved in that incident claims she refused instructions or argued inside the Chamber; that they removed her despite the fact that she was a Congresscrittter’s wife is, in fact, a testament to their commitment to evenhandedness in applying this policy (on the appropriateness of which I am making no statement at the moment, mind).

    But, considering how much grief I got last night merely for defending these same career police officers from none-too-subtle accusations that they were acting as GOP stormtroopers squashing dissent against King BusHitler McChimpy, I expect I’ll get more of the same for this observation.

  101. 101
    Jeff R says:

    “Yup, you got it, it’s The Left™
    that makes our country looks stupid.”

    No, Cyrus, it just makes it smell bad.

  102. 102
    Inspector Callahan says:

    LTBMueller makes this point:

    Guess it all depends on who you are predisposed to believe!

    Well, we agree on this one. I can’t be predisposed to believe a woman who:

    1.Goes to an oppressed communist country and shows affection to a dictator;
    2.In same country, bad-mouths her own country;
    3.Calls her country’s president WORSE than a terrorist;
    4.Has shown her propensity for anti-semitism;
    5.Has never met a camera she didn’t like;

    Among other things. The woman is unhinged, to say it nicely.

    The capitol police are a bunch of working stiffs who are charged with a simple job – keep order around the places of work for our legislators. They didn’t target Sheehan because she disagreed; they arrested her because she didn’t comply with the rules in place. The other two complied by covering the t-shirt, or arguing the point in the hallway.

    Any reasonably objective observer wouldn’t automatically take Sheehan’s side on this.

    TV (Harry)

  103. 103
    Lines says:

    Well, Dodd, you’ve shown that your dislike of Sheehan can cloud your judgement of the situation, so why should anyone listen to anything you have to say on the matter. You can just declare her “unhinged” like asshole Calahan and question the objectivity of everyone so your own is unquestioned, or you can step back and ask yourself if this was an appropriate reaction to what happened.

    Unfortunately, both of your opinions mean little because it could have just been stated as “Sheehan is unhinged” and all the rest of the wasted text could have been left behind.

    But I guess both of you need to justify your hatred of her in order to make it seem like your opinion will matter to anyone but yourselves.

  104. 104

    Yea, and Tweb’s a fuckin’ moron.

  105. 105
    Dodd says:

    I never said I hate Sheehan. You projected that onto me. I don’t hate her. But I don’t adore her, either.

    And it is not clouded judgment to observe that a person who has an openly stated – and admitted – agenda might not be as reliable a source as the nonpartisan career police officer who says that the sequence of events in question unfolded differently.

  106. 106

    I guess I should explain my reason as to why tweb is so freakin dumb…

    Following his (her?) logic we should ban all forms of protest as they influence politicians votes.

    Go back to Protein Wisdom retard.

  107. 107
    Jorge says:

    Here is an interesting post on why there was nothing illegal about what Sheehan did.

    There is also a nice photo of a bunch of men during last years state of the union speech waving purple stained fingers in the air. So, I guess it all depends on the kind of demonstration.

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.....eader.html

    In Bynum v. U.S. Capitol Police Bd. (Dist. D.C. 1997) (.pdf), the District Court found the regulations applying 140 U.S.C. § 193 — the section of the U.S. code restricting activities inside the Capitol — to be unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. Bynum involved a Reverend who was threatened with arrest by Capitol Police while leading a small group in prayer inside the Capitol. The Capitol Police issued that threat on the ground that the praying constituted a “demonstration.”

    That action was taken pursuant to the U.S. Code, in which Congress decreed as follows: “It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons wilfully and knowingly . . . to parade, demonstrate or picket within any Capitol Building.” 140 U.S.C. § 193(f)(b)(7).

    As the Bynum court explained: “Believing that the Capitol Police needed guidance in determining what behavior constitutes a ‘demonstration,’ the United States Capitol Police Board issued a regulation that interprets ‘demonstration activity,'” and that regulation specifically provides that it “does not include merely wearing Tee shirts, buttons or other similar articles of apparel that convey a message. Traffic Regulations for the Capitol Grounds, § 158” (emphasis added).

    Nothing Sheehan did could even be remotely construed to constitute a “demonstration.” She was sitting quietly in her seat wearing a t-shirt, an activity which is expressly excluded from the activities prohibited by this statute and, in any event, could not possibly be criminalized consistent with the First Amendment. We don’t have a system of government — at least we didn’t used to — where someone can be arrested for wearing a t-shirt that expresses criticism of the President.

  108. 108
    Tweb says:

    Wow, Disenfranchised Voter, what a logical, succinct response. I stand corrected. You must have been captain of debate club in high school!

  109. 109
    LITBMueller says:

    I’m still waiting to hear someone explain how the t-shirt was offensive/disruptive/wrong/etc.

  110. 110
    Lines says:

    TDV has a point, Tweb. What you are doing is limiting the freedom of speech in order to engender a setting of decorum that is poorly defined and would be open for interpretation. If you don’t like the 1st Amendment or think that it doesn’t apply to areas where Legislation is happening, just say so.

  111. 111
    Tweb says:

    I posted my sarcastic responsto to Disenfranchised Voter before he gave a follow-up post explaining his reasoning.

    That reasoning does’t stand up, however. The threat of immedate physical violence is entirely dependent on location–the location of where protests are being held, as well as the location of where votes are being held. When these two are in the same place, just yards from each other, than the fear of physical intimidation is reasonable.

    The question then becomes how close is too close. Any distance would be arbitrary of course, but that that’s just the way these things work. Restrianing orders typically give a specific distance the restrained person must stay away from the individual who sought the order. I just think in the same building is too close.

  112. 112
    Tweb says:

    I posted my sarcastic responsto to Disenfranchised Voter before he gave a follow-up post explaining his reasoning.

    That reasoning does’t stand up, however. The threat of immedate physical violence that could intimidate elected representatives is entirely dependent on location–the location of where protests are being held, as well as the location of where votes are being held. When these two are in the same place, just yards from each other, than the fear of physical intimidation is reasonable.

    The question then becomes how close is too close. Any distance would be arbitrary of course, but that that’s just the way these things work. Restrianing orders typically give a specific distance the restrained person must stay away from the individual who sought the order. I just think in the same building is too close.

  113. 113
    Bic says:

    Mueller,
    Cindy’s description of events just defies belief. On a good day she has only the most casual of relationships with the truth, when she’s in full self-promotion mode, I wouldn’t trust her if she said the sky was blue.

    If it wasn’t for her past history with defying law enforcement for the sole purpose of creating a scene she may have a case, but taking that into account, as any unbiased person would, her description of events is probably only accurate to the degree that she was in fact removed from room.

    Personally, I’ll put my faith in the Capital Police force over Cindy Sheehan any day.

  114. 114
    Lines says:

    In Britain and Japan fisticuffs are a yearly event in the halls of Legislation, yet their democracies don’t fall apart.

    I have the feeling that your “threat of physical intimidation” is nothing more than a cop out excuse to dislike the event and its transpiring.

    Because at the end of the day, its nothing more than a limitation of free speech.

  115. 115
    EL says:

    What if the “Big Naked Code-Pink Lesbian Biker Broads Against the War” wanted to come in and disrupt the speech? Would their rights be denied if someone said, “No”? Under what criteria does anyone have (or not have) the right to protest within the Capitol?

    Did they have legitimate invitations to the event? Apparently Sheehan did. If the BNCPLBBAWs have legitimate invitations, they should be admitted. And I want to watch the congressperson involved questioned on it afterward.

  116. 116
    kl says:

    Well, Dodd, you’ve shown that your dislike of Sheehan can cloud your judgement of the situation, so why should anyone listen to anything you have to say on the matter.

    Unlike, say, your completely neutral opinion of Bush.

  117. 117
    LITBMueller says:

    Ugh. The issue is not who to believe, whether or not she was asked to cover up. I frankly don’t care.

    The issue really isn’t the rule, when you think about. There are rules and expectations conerning public forums, etc. That’s fine. That’s part of being in a civilized society.

    And, sure, these rules have a legitimate, constitutional goal: in the case of the rules in the Capitol it is to prevent disruptions of the legislative process.

    But, HOW did/would have Cindy’s t-shirt been disruptive? Is it obscene? Would it incite others to disrupt? Is it false? Is it offensive? Would it spreading false and malicious rumors?

    Would her wearing this shirt IN THE GALLERY, not on the floor, have disrupted the proceedings?

  118. 118
    Lines says:

    Tweb:
    c) that Sheehan is an inveterate media whore;

    I’m sorry if I mistook that for your dislike of Ms. Sheehan, but I found it in poor taste and a probably inclination of your feelings towards her.

    Am I incorrect?

  119. 119
    Lines says:

    Oh, and as for your civility on the floor? Go Cheney yourself.

  120. 120

    TDV has a point, Tweb.

    Don’t I always? Ok fine. Don’t I most of the time?

    Okay, okay. Sometimes?

    When these two are in the same place, just yards from each other, than the fear of physical intimidation is reasonable.

    Uh-huh and let’s follow that up with your most brilliant statement (In my own opinion of course):

    Even proesters who aren’t tearing the place up could be disruptive enough to intimidate some representatives into voting a certain way.

    “We must end disruptive protests!–Vote Tweb in ’08”

  121. 121
    Steve says:

    What the heck does “the threat of immediate physical violence” have to do with a lady sitting in her chair wearing a t-shirt?

    This thread must have been linked someplace weird because all these newcomers keep showing up and queering it.

  122. 122
    Dodd says:

    I’m sorry if I mistook that for your dislike of Ms. Sheehan, but I found it in poor taste and a probably inclination of your feelings towards her.

    Am I incorrect?

    Insofar as you construe a harshly worded criticism as an indicator of “hate,” yes. To repeat: I do not hate Cindy Sheehan. She is nowhere near being worth that much of my energy.

  123. 123
    Lines says:

    Dodd:

    She is nowhere near being worth that much of my energy.

    But evidently, your feelings about her are strong enough that you needed to post. Are you around orange on the Sheehan Hate chart and not quite up to the red it would take for you to get really outraged about her?

  124. 124
    Tweb says:

    To Lines: A couple of points: The decorum I’m arguing for is not poorly defined. I want a clear rule that says no protesting in the capital building itself, period, for the reason I’ve stated. I don’t think that arguing that protest in the capital building are a bad idea proves that I dislike the first amendment. I like it plenty, in fact–so much so that I’m against McCain/Feingold because of it’s limitations on political speech, such as advertisements, before an election. And though I disagree with where Sheehan is coming from, I thought her protests in Crawford were a wonderful testament to our democracy.

    Also, I never mentioned Sheehan in my previous posts and I don’t think she’s a “media whore,” as you imply I do. I think she’s a woman who has suffered a terrible loss, one that, as a father, I can’t imagine having to experience. I don’t believe, however, that I’m compelled to support her political views because of this loss. She has my utmost sympathy, but at the same time, I think she’s been driven a bit crazy by her son’s death (She did call for the U.S. military to get out of “occupied New Orleans” after Katrina, after all).

    Disenfranchised Voter: I’m not against disrputive protests. I’m against disruptive protests in the capital building of the government itself. If you can’t acknowledge the difference between the two you’re either insincere or terribly foolish.

  125. 125
    Lines says:

    You know, Tweb, its a pretty sorry state of affairs for Protein Wisdom when your post was the most thought provoking of the 31 there. I would have expected more of the same challenges that you got here, asking if you really believed that restriction of the Freedom of Speech was necessary for good Legislation, yet all I see are juvenile attacks on Sheehan and gratuitous self-gratification type posts.

    I’d encourage you to post here more often, I think you could actually contribute and carry on discussions instead of getting ignored by the intelligencia of Protein Wisdom.

  126. 126
    kl says:

    “She is nowhere near being worth that much of my energy.”

    But evidently, your feelings about her are strong enough that you needed to post.

    So when you post something, Lines, it’s out of hate? When anybody posts anything, it’s out of hate? You’re not making much sense here, chum. Just relax and take your time.

  127. 127
    Lines says:

    So, Tweb, what we’ve come to is an impass due to the undefined nature of “protest”. A shirt is not a protest, IMHO. Pre-emptive strikes against Ms. Sheehan are a limitation on the first Amendment of all Americans that may become newsworthy or recognized. A gentle reminder that a protest would not be tolerated by anyone in the gallery would have sufficed, and if she acted up, toss her out. Again, my whole argument revolves around the fact that her sloganed shirt is NOT a protest.

  128. 128
    Lines says:

    kl: are you this ignorant in real life or is it just your internet persona?

    Also, do you have something to actually say or are you just trolling for a reaction?

  129. 129
    Tweb says:

    Let me slightly revise my statement to disenfranchised voter: If you can’t acknowledge that a reasonable person can see a difference between disruptive protests and disruptive protests in the capital building, then you’re either insincere or terribly foolish.

    See: I’m not even arguing that you should agree with me, but that you should acknowledge that an opposing view on this subject can be held in good faith.

  130. 130
    Bic says:

    As far as I am aware, the chamber of the House, and the gallery by extension, are not truly public places; meaning it requires a special invitation or clearence to be present.

    As such, you can try and debate the specifics as to what constitutes a disruptive display until you’re blue in the face , but the fact is, it is the rules of the Capital building that set those guidlines, not us. Just like a high class restauraunt or a country club that requires a suit jacket and tie, I’m pretty sure anarchy won’t break out if they allow someone to wear a t-shirt, but they set the rules and as an invited guest, you are expected to follow them.

    Congresscritters may get a bit more leeway in making partisan displays (purple dyed fingers) but it is their house so tough luck. That’s not to say that they still shouldn’t behave.

    The facts of the case here are two people wore t-shirts that could be seen as displaying specific views on the war. That apparently violates house rules, at least during specific events such as the SotU. Both were removed, one voluntarily and one, well there are conflicting reports as to the details of her removal, but the end result was both the pro and anti war t-shirts were removed. That’s it. That’s all.

    Honestly, if it was anyone else besides Sheehan, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  131. 131
    Tweb says:

    Lines: I guess we are at an impass. I draw my line in the sand at a different place then you.

    This has got to be record of some sort: a disagreement on a comment board ends civilly, and not one Nazi comparison was thrown out! Someone altert the media!

  132. 132
    Lines says:

    Ooooh, don’t stop now, Tweb, kl hasn’t broken it yet, and if we both agree to disagree on this, its likely to cause it to explode in unexplored impulsive trollishness.

    Essentially, because I see all statehouses and buildings that are owned by the government as public forums, I would have a hard time limiting any free speech in those places as possibly having the same effect as the threat of physical violence. Decorum got us into a war of aggression and long term suffering, perhaps if Congresscritters were a little more apt to stand up on the podium and shout, America would have a little more awareness of the unattractiveness of the actions being discussed.

  133. 133
    LITBMueller says:

    The debate is over:
    NBC: Charges against Sheehan to be dropped

    WASHINGTON – Charges against antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested after a scuffle over a T-shirt she wore to the State of the Union address, will be dropped, officials told NBC News Wednesday.

    “We screwed up,” a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    He said Sheehan didn’t violate any rules or laws.

    The Capitol Police official said officers never should have approached [Beverly] Young.

    Criticism from Rep. Young
    Holding up the shirt his wife wore, Rep. Young said on the House floor Wednesday morning: “Because she had on a shirt that someone didn’t like that said support our troops, she was kicked out of this gallery.”

    “Shame, shame,” he scolded.

    Amazing…. At least somebody can admit a mistake! :)

  134. 134
    Lines says:

    Hmmm, must not be a Bush appointee, they never make mistakes.

  135. 135
    kl says:

    kl: are you this ignorant in real life or is it just your internet persona?

    I think somebody’s posting out of hate! :(

    Hey, man, just trying to follow your logic. You accused the guy of being a hater, he calmly pointed out that he isn’t, and you said, “Well, you feel strongly enough about it to post, don’t you?” By that standard, this place is the hatiest place on the Internet. Say…

  136. 136
    kl says:

    Also, do you have something to actually say or are you just trolling for a reaction?

    Hey, Sheehan is my idol!

  137. 137
    Mac Buckets says:

    Do the Donks really want to turn the SotU into a multicolored billboard of snarky T-Shirts? They want to devolve a formerly-serious, important speech into a college football pep rally? The no-sense-of-propriety whacktards have won the soul of the party, obviously.

    Let me just remind you — there are more of us than of you, Donks, and we have all the good seats. So if your only idea for better government is to declare all-out, no-holds-barred “T-Shirt Day at the SotU,” be prepared for the silliness for which you are asking.

  138. 138
    Dodd says:

    But evidently, your feelings about her are strong enough that you needed to post. Are you around orange on the Sheehan Hate chart and not quite up to the red it would take for you to get really outraged about her?

    As I have repeatedly said, in this thread and the other, the thing that motivated me to post was the unsupported aspersions being cast on the characters of the Capital Police. Sheehan is merely incidental to that because she was the one they arrested. I really don’t give two figs about Cindy either way.

  139. 139
    kl says:

    Amazing…. At least somebody can admit a mistake! :)

    Typical Gestapo tactic! They’re just trying to get us to drop our guard.

  140. 140
    Steve says:

    They want to devolve a formerly-serious, important speech into a college football pep rally?

    Dude, purple fingers! Your memory is way too short.

  141. 141

    I’m against disruptive protests in the capital building of the government itself. If you can’t acknowledge the difference between the two you’re either insincere or terribly foolish.

    If you can’t acknowledge the difference between a disruptive protest and wearing a political shirt then you’re either insincere or terribly foolish.

    :)

  142. 142
    LITBMueller says:

    Personally, I think “T-Shirt Day at the SOTU” would be a lot more fun to watch on TV than “Purple Finger Waving Day.” I mean, those little pudgy Congressional Purple Fingers are hard to see on the TV! Unless you have HiDef, I suppose…

    It would definitely be better than “Human Prop Day at the SOTU.” That day is SOOOOO 90’s…..

  143. 143
    Mac Buckets says:

    Dude, purple fingers! Your memory is way too short.

    If you don’t see the difference between a few seconds of waving purple fingers and 200 snarky t-shirts, no one can help you. If you’re so upset about the purple fingers, what about all that standing and applauding they do during the speech — they’re (gasp!) demonstrating!

  144. 144
    Mac Buckets says:

    Personally, I think “T-Shirt Day at the SOTU” would be a lot more fun to watch on TV

    ..and that’s really what’s important, right?

  145. 145
    Brian says:

    Uh, this is a no-brainer. Of course that should be allowed. It’s totally inappropriate, but lots of free speech is totally inappropriate. You can’t seriously be contending that there’s an exception to the First Amendment for behavior that makes our country seem rude.

    Steve, I’m so disappointed in you. I thought you would at least see the decency and practicality in my example, but no.

    Note to self: Never put Steve in charge of producing a presidential inauguration.

  146. 146
    Steve says:

    Note to self: Brian can’t tell the difference between a question of free speech and a question of what’s appropriate.

  147. 147
    Female and Technical says:

    All this talk about the tshirt is missing the point. The Washington Post reported that Sheehan was starting to yell as well as make her shirt visible.

    That is simply disruptive and the capitol police were absolutely right to arrest her.

    The congressman’s wife was also wearing a shirt with a slogan, but was NOT yelling, which is why she didn’t get arrested.

  148. 148

    Uhhh, Female:

    the Sheehan was being disruptive schtick has already been shown to be bogus by the fact the the capital police said they were wrong.

    Moron.

  149. 149
    Steve says:

    I think that poster was just lying, or trying to start a rumor. I don’t see anything about “starting to yell” in the WaPo story from last night.

  150. 150

    Bush supporters lying!?

    Say it ain’t so Steve, SAY IT AINT SO!

  151. 151
    HH says:

    “Bush’s Gestapo got them!”

    “Uh, the Gestapo put people in death camps…”

    “The best you can say is that Bush isn’t as bad as the Gestapo? How sad for our country…”

    The debate tactics of the modern left, ladies and gentlemen…

  152. 152
    Peter says:

    Have any Sheehan-critics come up with a mildly-plausible explanation as to why she was arrested?

    She was screaming or some nonsense? I don’t believe that. Certainly no reports of that.

    She was asked to cover it up? No, she wasn’t. The police just came and got her – no questions, just leave.

    Then, she was arrested.

    Why did Cindy get arrested and none of the others?

    And why didn’t the Dem congressperson who sponsored Cindy stand up for her and make sure she wasn’t arrested – that’s what the other lady’s husband did. Sure, they were husband and wife, but what does that matter? If you say the Dem was a coward, I’d agree with you on that.

    Are any of you Sheehan-critics gonna come correct?

    p.s. If any of y’all are interested in bashing totalitarianism, please help me get Falun Gong into the SF Chinese Parade, over the objections of its organizers and, ostensibly, China.

  153. 153
    kl says:

    Have any Sheehan-critics come up with a mildly-plausible explanation as to why she was arrested?

    How about this: A Capitol policeman was overzealous.

    Or: Her arrest order came directly from Bush because he wants to SHOW THE FIRST AMENDMENT WHO’S BOSS!

  154. 154
    skip says:

    “but they set the rules and as an invited guest, you are expected to follow them.”

    The Capitol has a Members-Only barber shop. Members-Only gym. When the little bell rings it’s a Members-Only tram. Yeah, it is their country–you only live in it. Don’t forget to collect their bones as holy relics when they die.

    Tell me, do you war a multi-color hat with bells? Does Denny Hastert place his foot on you head and strike his matches on your ear?

  155. 155

    […] Now one, the article he’s speaking of, from Al Maviva, commenting at Balloon Juice: SHIRT GETS TEACH A DRESSING-DOWN Daily News (New York) February 11, 1999, Thursday […]

  156. 156
    Incredulous says:

    You know, it’s funny how all the lefties here try and try and try with all their little might to make this an issue about Bush opressing Cindy Sheehan. It is to laugh. For those of us who can think reasonably and clearly (which leaves ALL the lefties out), Bush would have something to lose from this incident, since it would be him looking bad in front of the nation for doing what Sheehan is whining about.

    On the other hand, Sheehan has something to gain, as she can use her supposed arrest and dubious bad treatment to score points and for publicity for her, um, cause. It’s pure and simple logic, which is why it goes over the heads of the screeching, caterwauling moonbat left.

    I don’t believe for one second that the cops just automatically grabbed her and dragged her out of there. Nope, I think what really happened is that she was told to cover it up or to leave, and she ignored the request. Sheehan, after all, is that kind of person. She thinks disobeying a police officer’s reasonable request is being some kind of “rebel”. When she ignored them, the cops probably felt that they had no choice but to arrest her and force her to leave.

    This seems a more plausible scenario than the lunatic left’s cartoonish assertions that Bush’s Gestapo thugs arrested a poor innocent woman who had no idead what all the fuss was about.

    Sheehan is a disingenous liar, a cheat, all around despicable character. I have great admiration for her son and I am eternally grateful for his sacrifice to the cause of freedom in the US and in Iraq.

    Cindy Sheehan can rot in hell for all I care.

    Bush haters who would call me hateful for my comments above, just remember, you are vindictive and hateful to us on the right, so screw you.

  157. 157
    Peter says:

    How about this: A Capitol policeman was overzealous.

    This is mildly plausible, at best.

    Or: Her arrest order came directly from Bush because he wants to SHOW THE FIRST AMENDMENT WHO’S BOSS!

    This is more plausible, though, given this Administration’s past behaviour (oh, snap! did he just link to an article in AmConMag that is highly critical of Bush’s Nazi ways?!)

  158. 158
    Tully says:

    To test the reliability of Sheehan’s account of the incident, simply go to Michael Moore’s web site where her personal account is posted.

    HER story is that she was hustled out of the gallery with her arms behind her, and was not handcuffed until they were in the hall by the elevator. The photo above her account clearly shows her being led out of the gallery already in handcuffs, her arms in front of her.

    Who you gonna belive? Mother Sheehan, or your lying eyes?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Now one, the article he’s speaking of, from Al Maviva, commenting at Balloon Juice: SHIRT GETS TEACH A DRESSING-DOWN Daily News (New York) February 11, 1999, Thursday […]

  2. […] Drudge story is of, umm, dubious reliability. Isn’t that always the case,though? […]

  3. […] And more here from the Pete Stark thread above: […]

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