The New Treason

Via Outside the Beltway, this:

In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.

At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Bush.”

By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”

“This isn’t a free-speech issue,” said Jan Martel, president of the United States Bridge Federation, the nonprofit group that selects teams for international tournaments. “There isn’t any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them.”

Saying “we did not vote for Bush” counts as treason in General Wingnuttia. Good to know half the country is plotting to undermine the US.

92 replies
  1. 1
    James Joyner says:

    Heh. Well, I generally ignore the idiots.

  2. 2
    Rudi says:

    We are able to trace the beginnings of Bridge back to the early 16th century, although at that time it was called Whist and was played by the Brits. The first book devoted to Whist appeared in the year 1742, called Edmond Hoyle’s Short Treatise, and, according to all players of the time, became a best seller. The first game of duplicate Whist was played in London in the year of our Lord 1857, and the systems used eliminated much of he luck involved in which card each player was dealt. If you would like to learn more about this early variation, click on the sites below:

    The Brits are now the appeasers, Brown is dragging his feet on bombing the Persians back to Medieval times. Sarkozy is now the Crawford poodle. I say pop the corks on the Merlot and ban Whist and fish and chips.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    First, they came for the Dixie Chicks, and as we were not big fans of Country Music, we said nothing.

    Then they came for the little old ladies playing bridge, and as we did not play the game, we said nothing.

    What’s next, people? The quilters? The auto-body enthusiasts? The waffle iron manufacturers? When will it end?!

  4. 4
    ATS says:

    Longer than any other offense, the charge of “reason” for mere dissent will linger long after this war. I lived 30 years in Washington, through impeachment #1 and myriad bitter political dust-ups, but never suffered the word treason applied to me before the administration of George W. Bush. We have now been accused of “blaming America first, ” “hating our troops,” and “wanting to lose in Iraq,” and “siding with Osama.”

    Yet now many of the Right want bygones to be bygones.

    Like hell, I say. The people who have poisoned the well should be compelled to remember what they have done–and this bridge tournament business is just further evidence of the fact.

  5. 5
    Jon H says:

    Bridge will now be called Freedom Poker.

  6. 6
    Jon Swift says:

    When conservative bloggers publish negative personal information on these women and ruin their lives and small towns make bonfires of playing cards and they are denounced on the the floor of Congress, then they will learn what free expression really means.

  7. 7
    Punchy says:

    Ms. Martel said the action by the team, which had won the Venice Cup, the women’s title, at the Shanghai event, could cost the federation corporate sponsors.

    Where to start?

    That the Prez. of some Nobody Plays Bridge Association is unmarried? Uh…surprise??

    That the “Venice Cup” is both held and run in….Shanghai?

    That MUTHAFUCKIN BRIDGE has corporate sponsors? Who? Metamucil, Buick, and Bob’s Funeral Home and Crematorium?

  8. 8
    cleek says:

    “sedition”… yeah, right. by saying she doesn’t approve of Bush’s policies, that woman is conducting an insurrection against the authority of the state.

    whatta bunch of fucking loons. can we send em to north korea, where they can enjoy the total freedom from dissent they want so badly ?

  9. 9
    yet another jeff says:

    Always remember, when the GOP took Congress in 1994, shouting about how it’d been 40 years out of power, remember what they were doing in 1954 that caused the 40 years in the desert.

  10. 10
    Face says:

    I heard that none of these Bridge players are from Minnesota. They suck at Bridge up there, especially in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

  11. 11

    I say pop the corks on the Merlot and ban Whist and fish and chips.

    And, of course, we will need a Congressional Resolution outlawing the English language. But, American is ok, I suppose. We should have known this was coming–those pansies drive on the wrong side of the road anyway. Jesus! It really is wonderful being fucking superior.

  12. 12
    Nicholas Weaver says:

    “Don’t blame me, I voted with the majority, twice”

  13. 13
    scarshapedstar says:

    Is that enough “crushing of dissent” for you, Herr Reynolds?

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    To be fair, if they came from a Red State, they voted for Bush whether they wanted to or not.

    THANKS ELECTORAL COLLEGE! :) :) :)

  15. 15
    FearItself says:

    What’s next, people? The quilters?

    Egads! I’d better hurry up and finish my red/white/blue batik “Buck Fush” applique before the hammer comes down! How ’bout a little solidarity?

    Thos waffle-iron makers are on their own, though; I’ve always been a little suspicious of them. Aren’t a lot of them immigrants?

  16. 16
    chopper says:

    “sedition”… yeah, right. by saying she doesn’t approve of Bush’s policies, that woman is conducting an insurrection against the authority of the state.

    not even that; all she said was that she didn’t vote for the guy. i assume it’s because she doesn’t approve of the policy, but still.

    tough crowd – you can’t even state who you didn’t vote for without being accused of treason.

  17. 17
    ATS says:

    I have it on good authority that the head of the Canasta Popular Front met briefly with Mohammed Atta in Prague in the year 2000.

    They planned to play a few rubbers but the Chairperson was Roman Catholic.

  18. 18
    jcricket says:

    Not like the “bridge lobby” is all that huge a bloc of electoral voters, but this is just the latest salvo in Republicans never-ending quest for party “purity”. Reagan’s 11th commandment has now really been turned into a commandment and is being used as a cudgel to force everyone into a narrow party stance (ironic, isn’t it).

    Embracing the Southern Strategy permanently cost Republicans the black vote, basically permanently. The over-wrought immigrant hatred will likely cost them the Hispanic votes as well (perhaps Cubans excepted, perhaps not).

    And now, the hatred of anyone young and politically active (starting with Graeme Frost) may cost them the entire next generation of voters.

    “Republicans, party of one? Your table is ready.”

  19. 19
    Hubris says:

    a one-year probation after that suspension; 200 hours of community service “that furthers the interests of organized bridge”; and an apology drafted by the federation’s lawyer.

    Teaching underprivileged kids how to run a simple finesse?

  20. 20
    RSA says:

    From one interested party:

    “While I believe in the right to free speech, to me that doesn’t give anyone the right to criticize one’s leader at a foreign venue in a totally nonpolitical event,” he wrote by e-mail.

    Notice the nice contradictions? “I believe in the right to free speech, but not at non-political events.” and “I believe in the right to free speech, but only if that speech isn’t critical of our President.” Dude, that’s the whole point of free speech–the freedom to say stuff that may be unpopular. (If I were involved, I’d look for someone making pro-Bush statements, argue that I was offended by obvious support for torture, and push for sanctions.)

  21. 21
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    I’m a fairly serious bridge player. (Incidentally, after skipping a generation, the game is picking up from Internet play.)

    Jan Martel is not unmarried. She’s the wife of one of the country’s strongest players. He’s a college professor. Odd to see such groupthink.

    I quit the American Contract Bridge League for years over its simpering admiration for our POWs in Vietnam. Looks like I may be quitting again. But first I’ll write some friends who might help.

  22. 22
    Jake says:

    “Sedition” and “Treason.” The 21st century versions of “Commie” and “N*****r Lover.”

    Funny how no one ever asks why Bush and His Mighty Defenders of Freedom never do anything about all thr growing hordes of traitors in our midst. Isn’t it a bit like a police chief letting father stabbers and mother rapers roam the streets?

  23. 23
    grumpy realist says:

    I think any loud-mouth idiot who bleats “treason!” should be forced to eat, page by page, an entire copy of the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Plus the relevant writings by Bartolus, Baldus, Decius, Andreus, and all those other chaps. AND have a copy of the US Constitution tattooed on his body.

    There’s a bloody good reason why the crime of treason is defined in the US Constitution.

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    I think any loud-mouth idiot who bleats “treason!” should be forced to eat, page by page,

    bah, that’s nothing. they do that in SERE training every other Friday.

  25. 25
    Dreggas says:

    Thos waffle-iron makers are on their own, though; I’ve always been a little suspicious of them. Aren’t a lot of them immigrants?

    I hear they waffle on the issues a lot anyway, and many come from belgium.

  26. 26
    Ninerdave says:

    I guarantee that exactly 0% of people who go around accusing people of treason have actually read the Consitution.

  27. 27
    jenniebee says:

    “sedition”… yeah, right. by saying she doesn’t approve of Bush’s policies

    She didn’t even say that she disapproves of his policies. She’s just reporting that she didn’t vote for him. It couldn’t possibly taken to mean that it’s an official policy of the Bridge Federation because the Bridge Federation doesn’t have the vote (so technically, the Federation didn’t vote for him either, so what are they complaining about?) What’s more, it isn’t an opinion to say that you didn’t vote for someone, it’s a statement of fact.

    Of course, facts do have a well-known liberal bias.

  28. 28
    Xenos says:

    yer. (Incidentally, after skipping a generation, the game is picking up from Internet play.)

    I have wanted to learn for years, but nobody under the age of 90 seems to play anymore. Any recommendation for where a complete newbie should go to learn?

    And what is with the POWs? Has organized bridge always been run by reactionaries? At least with organized Chess you have infamous and certifiable loons in the governing bodies (that link is not for the faint of heart – you can spend hours wandering in the labyrinth that is Sam Sloan’s mind, and you may not be whole when you return).

  29. 29
    jenniebee says:

    Holy cow, there are separate men’s and women’s divisions in professional bridge tournaments. WTF?

  30. 30
    IanY77 says:

    I wonder which method of execution would be more appropriate. Should they get a cowards death by hanging, or should be show them a modicum of respect and put them in front of a firing squad. Hey, the penalty for treason is death.

  31. 31
    canuckistani says:

    So we’ve reached the logical end of the road – failing to vote for George W Bush is treason.
    How Saddam-like.

  32. 32
    Punchy says:

    Jan Martel is not unmarried. She’s the wife of one of the country’s strongest players. He’s a college professor. Odd to see such groupthink.

    Groupthink? I quoted the damn story. “Ms. Martel”…please direct your spittle at the AP or Reuters…

    BTW, what other Professional Orgs are there out there? Battleship? Risk? Hungy-Hungy Hippos (I’d smoke you all at that)

  33. 33
    cleek says:

    I wonder which method of execution would be more appropriate.

    contract killer

  34. 34
    Peter Johnson says:

    First, they came for the Dixie Chicks, and as we were not big fans of Country Music, we said nothing.

    I think the trouble is no one came for the Dixie Chicks. They’re record sales plummeted. The market for tree-hugging skanks who can’t play their instruments isn’t as large as you think.

  35. 35
    Punchy says:

    Uh…that should say “Hungry” upstairs….otherwise, it appears I’m playing with very well-endowed hippopotomi

  36. 36
    D-Chance. says:

    jenniebee Says:

    Holy cow, there are separate men’s and women’s divisions in professional bridge tournaments. WTF?

    Well… you know… women can’t compete on a level playing field.

    /runs, hides.

  37. 37
    John's Minions says:

    Way to class up the joint PJ!

  38. 38
    OxyCon says:

    Just more proof that there is a very loud and vocal right wing minority in America at this moment who are intent to force their draconian views and measures on everyone else in an authoratarian manner.
    These right wingers totally disgust me and are my sole motivation for blogging. They’ve been let out of their caves and need to be sent back to where they belong by decent people everywhere.

  39. 39
    D-Chance. says:

    Punchy Says:

    Jan Martel is not unmarried. She’s the wife of one of the country’s strongest players. He’s a college professor. Odd to see such groupthink.

    Groupthink? I quoted the damn story. “Ms. Martel”…please direct your spittle at the AP or Reuters…

    Now, to be fair, Bridge is played by thousands upon thousands of married couples. Of course, over time many men realize that they’d just as soon be dead than play bridge with their wives anymore; hence, the women’s division.

    Bridge = one reason why life expectancy is shorter for men than women.

  40. 40
    OxyCon says:

    Also, this bridge team should hire a defense lawyer who poses this question in writng to the right wingers who govern this Bridge association, “What if the bridge team made a sign disparaging Hillary Clinton, President Clinton, President Carter or Ted Kennedy, would that have been O.K.”?
    We all know it would have.

  41. 41
    Svensker says:

    The market for tree-hugging skanks who can’t play their instruments isn’t as large as you think

    Wow, I didn’t realize talent was right-wing-dependent, too.

  42. 42
    Horselover Fat says:

    I can’t very well quit ACBL – that would interfere with my online bridge play, and my discounts at BaronBarclay.

    But – I am REALLY REALLY angry about this. Guess I’m just not as GOP as the PTB at ACBL.

  43. 43
    Bombadil says:

    cleek says:

    I wonder which method of execution would be more appropriate.

    contract killer

    November 14th, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    PotD

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    The market for tree-hugging skanks who can’t play their instruments isn’t as large as you think.

    Uh… first, I’m not sure what environmentalism has to do with the Dixie Chicks, so “tree-hugging” seems to be entirely misplaced.

    Second, wow… skanks? Really? Is that the best you’ve got? I guess you’ve got a point though, what with the real market being in people who don’t dress sexy on stage. Like… uh…

    Finally, they’re singers.

  45. 45
    Horselover Fat says:

    XENOS asks: “:Where can a newbie go?” Here is where I find online bridge…

    http://www.okbridge.com/

  46. 46
    cleek says:

    I think the trouble is no one came for the Dixie Chicks. They’re record sales plummeted.

    (yes i know you’re a spoof)

    but just FYI, their last album “plummeted” all the way to double platinum – 2.3M copies sold. that’s less than their previous two records, but it’s the kind of failure most bands would kill for.

    and the big single from that record, in addition to winning three Grammys, was their best-placing single ever. it was called “Not Ready To Make Nice”. guess what it was about…

  47. 47
    Bombadil says:

    As Biggus Dickus says:

    I think the trouble is no one came for the Dixie Chicks. They’re record sales plummeted. The market for tree-hugging skanks who can’t play their instruments isn’t as large as you think.

    However:

    At the 49th Grammy Awards Show in 2007, ‘the Chicks’ – as they are informally known – won all five categories for which they were nominated, including the coveted Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year, in a vote that Maines interpreted as being a show of public support for their advocacy of free speech.

    and

    Despite minimal airplay, Taking the Long Way debuted at number one on both the U.S. pop albums chart and the U.S. country albums chart, selling 526,000 copies in the first week (the year’s second-best such total for any country act) and making it a gold record within its first week. The Chicks became the first female group in chart history to have three albums debut at #1.

    So Biggus Dickus is wrong again. Quel surprise.

  48. 48
    ThymeZone says:

    Well, John, your post takes ’em to task, in spades.

    Sorry, that had to be said.

    So we’ve reached the logical end of the road – failing to vote for George W Bush is treason.
    How Saddam-like.

    The world will be better off without George W. Bush.

    A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll in late September found that 59 percent of people surveyed considered the 2003 invasion a mistake, 63 percent said they wanted to see some or all U.S. troops withdrawn, and only 32 percent approved of Bush’s handling of the conflict.

    In case we missed it, that was from a little over two years ago.

  49. 49
    Bombadil says:

    Groupthink? I quoted the damn story. “Ms. Martel”…please direct your spittle at the AP or Reuters…

    Punchy, the honorific “Ms” was designed expressly not to indicate the woman’s marital status. Do not assume that “Ms” is the same as “Miss”. AP and Reuters made no assumption as to whether she was married, and neither should you.

  50. 50
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Theres all sorts of traitors like the politicians signing all those treaties with the sinsiter UN and the treason of NAFTA and the NORTH AMERICAN UNION and other acts of treason

  51. 51
    Punchy says:

    The market for tree-hugging skanks who can’t play their instruments isn’t as large as you think.

    Tight jeans + boobies = will watch no matter what it is

    Signed,
    Pretty much any heterosexual male

    P.S.–yeah, that market is insignficant

  52. 52
    ThymeZone says:

    Ah, the rare Birdzilla sighting! Makes all that time sitting in the bushes with binoculars and waiting, worthwhile.

  53. 53
    Sojourner says:

    That the Prez. of some Nobody Plays Bridge Association is unmarried? Uh…surprise??

    wtf??? I hope you’re not suggesting that the absence of a husband automatically makes a woman a loser. You can’t really be that stupid, can you?

  54. 54
    gypsy howell says:

    My favorite part of the response from the Bridge Federation:

    3) Certain members of VCW have complained that the USBF apology to the WBF and the Chinese Contract Bridge Association for the VCW’s conduct was unwarranted. This reflects a complete disregard for the fact that the Chinese government, which does not exactly have a history of sympathetic views toward political dissent, provided the bulk of financial support for both the 2007 World Championship and the 2008 World Bridge Olympiad.

    Really, where to begin with that?

  55. 55
    Davebo says:

    They’re record sales plummeted.

    Really? The Dixie Chicks were the top grossing Country tour of 2003, as well as finishing as the top Country Duo/Group of 2003. They did very well on the Billboard Country charts.

  56. 56
    cleek says:

    wow, check out the comments at Malkin’s place (not gonna link). they bounce back and forth between: those ugly seditious traitors should be punished, and: those ugly women are lucky they aren’t Chinese – they would’ve been punished for speaking out against the government like that!

  57. 57
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    “Sedition” and “Treason.” The 21st century versions of “Commie” and “N*****r Lover.”

    Geez…I’d like to disagree, but I can’t fully do so. It seems like you’re really onto something there.

    Also, this quote from Jon Swift is freaking great:

    The First Amendment does not give people the right to yell anti-Bush slogans in a crowded theater

    So wingnutty–perfect!

  58. 58
    jcricket says:

    BTW, what other Professional Orgs are there out there? Battleship? Risk? Hungy-Hungy Hippos (I’d smoke you all at that)

    I see your “Hungry Hungry Hippos” and raise you Candyland, Operation, Mastermind, Cranium, Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit.

    BTW, you do know that the 101st fighting keyboard kommandoes are composed of people that couldn’t win a game of risk even if you spotted them Russia.

  59. 59
    yet another jeff says:

    Yeah, the Dixie Chicks just didn’t get airplay…on Clear Channel stations. Hell, even Toby Keith has spoken out against the war in Iraq.

    AP: People view you as being very outspoken. What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?

    Keith: I supported the ousting of the Taliban (in Afghanistan) 100 percent. My 9/11 song (“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”) was all about that. But the far left won’t allow that to be. They have to plug me into every pro-war thing they can find. I’m not a political person (Keith describes himself as a lifelong Democrat more interested in “right or wrong” than “left or right”). I get painted that way. I never said I support the Iraq war, but I never said I didn’t either.

    AP: Do you support the war?

    Keith: That war has been over since 48 hours after it started. Our military disarmed them in two days. The dictator has been ousted. They (Iraq) need to step up with their oil money and fund it on their own. I don’t say we shouldn’t be in there. I say we should be there and step back and let them have their own fight. The U.S. should stand back and make sure the Syrians and the Iranians and the Saudi Arabians don’t get involved and allow it to unfold.

  60. 60
    jcricket says:

    What’s even better about the John Swift quote is fixing it:

    The First Amendment does not give people the right to yell display a sign with anti-Bush slogans “I didn’t vote for Bush” in a semi-crowded theater room of bridge players

    It’s not even the right metaphor regarding how the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact.

    Right-wingers, determined to be objectively pro “wrong”, 100% of the time.

  61. 61
    Stacy says:

    wow, check out the comments at Malkin’s place (not gonna link). they bounce back and forth between: those ugly seditious traitors should be punished, and: those ugly women are lucky they aren’t Chinese – they would’ve been punished for speaking out against the government like that!

    I’ve been waiting for this to happen. My head just exploded. Sorry about the mess, John.

  62. 62
    yet another jeff says:

    well…sorta. ;)

  63. 63
    Tom says:

    This reflects a complete disregard for the fact that the Chinese government, which does not exactly have a history of sympathetic views toward political dissent, provided the bulk of financial support for both the 2007 World Championship and the 2008 World Bridge Olympiad.

    Really, where to begin with that?

    Mr. Bush is heading that way, right now. His little ‘comrades’ all believe speaking out is treasonous. They want a king, and Bush is their choice for that king. A petulant little loser, guiding the fraidy cat crowd. Wow what a combination. Loser guiding losers…

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    wtf??? I hope you’re not suggesting that the absence of a husband automatically makes a woman a loser. You can’t really be that stupid, can you?

    Do not assume that “Ms” is the same as “Miss”. AP and Reuters made no assumption as to whether she was married, and neither should you

    Looks like humor labotomies are on sale somewheres.

    And yes, I can be really stupid.

  65. 65
    Tax Analyst says:

    Peter Johnson Says:

    I think the trouble is no one came for the Dixie Chicks. They’re record sales plummeted. The market for tree-hugging skanks who can’t play their instruments isn’t as large as you think.

    Well, as usual you are talking out of your ass, Peter. While the Chicks record sales INITIALLY dropped, they have more than made up for it since. Yes, they lost a fair portion of their “country” base in the South…and through all the publicity generated by the brouhaha developed a new base – one that is not dependent on lock-step obedience and believes in Free Speech – and enjoys exceptional music.

    OH…BTW – the Dixie Chicks DO so play their instruments. Emily Robison is an exceptional banjo, pedal steel guitar and acoustic guitar player. Her sister, Marti Seidel (can’t think of her married last name at the moment) is a superb fiddle player. Lead singer Natalie Maines plays a decent guitar, although as a lead singer there are a lot of songs on which she does not play the instrument, but she surely can.

    When the crap hit the fan back in 2003 I already owned the CD. When I heard they were being boycotted I went out and bought another copy and gave it to a friend who was not acquainted with their music – another fan now.

    The loser’s? That’s easy – folks who burned or steam-rollered their Dixie Chicks CD’s back in 2003.

  66. 66
    Jake says:

    This reflects a complete disregard for the fact that the Chinese government, which does not exactly have a history of sympathetic views toward political dissent, provided the bulk of financial support for both the 2007 World Championship and the 2008 World Bridge Olympiad the war in Iraq.

    Fixed.

  67. 67
    Rudi says:

    The Malkin has this today:

    The war on Thanksgiving
    By Michelle Malkin • November 13, 2007 03:57 PM

    The annual war on Thanksgiving begins. Via Orbusmax, the Seattle schools are using the holiday to indulge in oppression studies 101:

    WTF would our asian MJ cheerleader do if:
    1)What would she do if the bridge team and an Australian appeaser wore black lace gloves in protest during the US national anthem.
    2) Brent Bozell is shot in Memphis on April 4.
    Rush Limpbaugh OD’s on Oxycotin in LA on June 6.
    3) The Taliban launch a three-phase military campaign between 30 January and 23 September.
    4) Four Young College Republicans choke and die on tainted Chinese Cheetos on May 4.

    But in this day and time we have bridge protesters and a war on Thanxgivin.

  68. 68
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    By groupthink, I did not mean about ‘Ms.’ I meant that the wife of a University of California Professor should know better than to participate in the groupthink.

    Horselover: I wrote the ACBL intending to cancel my membership if disciplnary action is imposed. Who the hell do they think plays bridge in San Francisco? The three living Republicans? I was going to play a few sessions; now maybe I’ll look for some protest instead.

  69. 69
    demimondian says:

    Phooey. I’d been thinking of picking up bridge again, too. Guess not — looks like it’ll be the USCF for a while longer.

  70. 70
    scarshapedstar says:

    Say, you know who didn’t vote for Bush in 2000? An act of high treason?

    Charles Johnson.

    Do you suppose he’d prefer the gallows or a firing squad?

  71. 71
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    Incidentally, it can be a small world: I also play chess, and I know Soapy Sam Sloan. Didn’t vote for him though.

  72. 72
    The Other Steve says:

    Well, I don’t think they should have held up a sign. It just seems rather inappropriate.

    On the other hand, I don’t see what the fuss is all about.

  73. 73
    Tsulagi says:

    Apparently, in addition not voting for Bush, the bridge player who held up the small sign is also not a values voter…

    “Freedom to express dissent against our leaders has traditionally been a core American value,”

    Must have been playing too much bridge to notice 9/11 changed everything including values. But she can do the math…

    “Unfortunately, the Bush brand of patriotism, where criticizing Bush means you are a traitor, seems to have penetrated a significant minority of U.S. bridge players.”

    Yes, Ms. Rosenberg, that Bush brand of patriotism has penetrated many a double wetsuited patriot.

  74. 74
    El Cid says:

    It also seems such a sad little plea, a helpless little sign, but that little scribble “we didn’t vote for Bush” note is just far, far too much dissent for our Brave Defenders of Western Values and Warriors Against Islamo-Fascism.

  75. 75
    grumpy realist says:

    Hmmm. I see a market for “I didn’t vote for the idiot President” tee-shirts.

    (With a copy of the Constitution on the back with the relevant clause about treason circled)

  76. 76
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Surely ‘two hearts.. three clubs… four no trumps’ would have communicated ‘We Didn’t Vote For Bush’ just as effectively to that particular audience?

  77. 77
    Z says:

    Uh-oh. Having openly bragged about not voting for Bush in either election, I’ve committed treason repeatedly. Worse, I have made that point explicitly when I’ve been out of the country so that foreigners (99.9% of which think Bush is crazy and America has lost its mind) don’t blame me for the last 7 years of seriously f**ked up foreign policy.

    I’m not alone. A guy I know has to travel a lot out of the US for work. In a meeting in the UK, they were talking about American politics. This guy’s American co-worker goes, “Look, I know Bush is an idiot, but I am sick and tired of people treating me like I’m stupid because I voted for him!” My friend (who has also repeatedly committed treason) just laughed at him.

  78. 78
    jcricket says:

    who has also repeatedly committed treason

    Every time you criticize the Preznit, Jesus kills a puppy.

  79. 79
    demimondian says:

    Surely ‘two hearts.. three clubs… four no trumps’ would have communicated ‘We Didn’t Vote For Bush’ just as effectively to that particular audience?

    It would have been more likely to evoke a call for the director of the tournament. “Director! Opposing team failed to use Stayman, even though their bidding sheet says they do!”

  80. 80
    Antonius says:

    I view the sign as a simple statement of fact, much like, “We’re wearing shoes.”

  81. 81
    Dreggas says:

    jcricket Says:

    who has also repeatedly committed treason

    Every time you criticize the Preznit, Jesus kills a puppy.

    damn good thing dogs give birth to more than one pup, otherwise there’d be no dogs left for the number of time I criticized the Sheister In Chief.

  82. 82
    Delia says:

    Uh-oh. Having openly bragged about not voting for Bush in either election, I’ve committed treason repeatedly.

    Ah, but did you ever get around to committing treason in public in front of teevee cameras? I mean, we all know that the Preznit is protecting us by having the NSA read all the blogs and emails, so I expect they’ll eventually get around to reading this thread to root out the confessions of treason and match up screen names and IP numbers, but hell, that sounds like an awful lot of work to keep us safe from terrorists, and let’s face it, Bush and his crew are pretty lazy SOB’s. So I think that at least for the time being, they’re mainly going to go after the traitors that do it in front of the teevee screen or the ones that Michelle or Falafel Man mnanage to dig out.

    Later on, after they get all the easy ones, they’ll start persuading our kids to inform on us and shit like that.

  83. 83
    Shade Tail says:

    Good to know half the country is plotting to undermine the US.

    The “question” is: Which half?

    (Note that question is in quotes for a reason.)

  84. 84
    jcricket says:

    Good to know half the country is plotting to undermine the US.

    I think it’s well over half, if you believe the liberal MSM and their “polls” (“polls have a well known liberal bias”, actual wingnut argument circa 4-6 months ago).

    With Mr. 24-28% riding high on popularity for everything these days, a full 2/3 – 3/4 of the country is treasonous. Oh well, at least sending us all to Gitmo will fix the traffic.

  85. 85
    Zuzu says:

    I think people should join up and show up with their own buttons, signs, and general symbols of support:

    David L. Anderson, a bridge player who supports the team, said it was common to see players at international tournaments sporting buttons bearing the date “1-20-09,” when George W. Bush will hand off to a new president, as well as buttons reading “Support Our Troops.”

    “They don’t go after those people,” Mr. Anderson said.

    A hearing is scheduled this month in San Francisco, where thousands of players will be gathered for the Fall North American Bridge Championships. It will determine whether displaying the sign constitutes conduct unbecoming a federation member.

    NY Times

  86. 86
    Delia says:

    think it’s well over half, if you believe the liberal MSM and their “polls” (“polls have a well known liberal bias”, actual wingnut argument circa 4-6 months ago).

    With Mr. 24-28% riding high on popularity for everything these days, a full 2/3 – 3/4 of the country is treasonous. Oh well, at least sending us all to Gitmo will fix the traffic.

    Isn’t Lord Vader now running somewhere around 17%? (I’d go look for a link except my laptop doesn’t want to follow John’s neat, handy guide to to embedding links and everybody says they don’t want to click on Tiny URL links. Anyhow I heard Ed Schultz say it today, so it must be true.)

  87. 87
    Darkness says:

    They planned to play a few rubbers but the Chairperson was Roman Catholic.

    Oh man. Thanks for that. I always love the comments sections on this blog.

    There is an interesting issue here which Martel brings up but is not followed up on by anyone here… and I was hoping it would be. The constitution does only apply to the government, not to organizations/companies/etc. Confusion over this is useful because accusations of unconstitutional behavior by said orgs/coms/etc gets them to change because somehow they think it does apply.

    But absent some pretty darn detailed guidelines for member behavior, I can’t imagine trying to control expression of any decently sized organization. Really, there’s a difference between some random member standing up and lying and saying: hey, I’m the spokesperson and this is the organization’s official stand on Jesus killing puppies while opening one no-trump, and some random member making an aside. Really, miles of difference, but Martel sounds like Martha and that to mean screams Control Freak. Which is probably a big part of the issue driving Martel’s actions.

    Much better to have chastised them at the time with something like: “well, we would prefer world politics not come into play at an international tournament in the future because the organization does not feel it is at all appropriate, thank you.” And that would have been the end of it. Instead it’s: “We have a right to control what everyone says and think variation from sanctioned speech constitutes an offense you should be executed for.” Foolish.

  88. 88
    jcricket says:

    Isn’t Lord Vader now running somewhere around 17%? (I’d go look for a link except my laptop doesn’t want to follow John’s neat, handy guide to to embedding links and everybody says they don’t want to click on Tiny URL links. Anyhow I heard Ed Schultz say it today, so it must be true.)

    I find your lack of faith disturbing…

    Both Vader and the Deciderer(er) actually view their decreasing poll numbers as positives, sadly. The more people oppose them, the more they can claim to be “steadfast in the face of opposition” which is apparently the most important thing. Sure, poll numbers aren’t inherently reflective of the rightness of what you’re doing, but they certainly are indicative of what the mainstream believes. So it’s no longer ok to claim things like “It’s not mainstream to believe the Iraq War should be over”

  89. 89
    over there says:

    That the Prez. of some Nobody Plays Bridge Association is unmarried? Uh…surprise??

    “Ms.” = unmarried? 1973 just called, Punchy. They’re holding dinner for you.

  90. 90
    Seth says:

    You have to read this one from one of Malkin’s devotees:

    On November 14th, 2007 at 10:42 am, conservativesRus said:
    Sounds to me like she has enrolled in the Michael Vick school of consequences. Seems Vick’s behavior kinda affected his income earning potential too.

    It would appear that free speech and dog torture are equivalent activities.

  91. 91
    Joshua Stark says:

    jenniebee Says:

    Holy cow, there are separate men’s and women’s divisions in professional bridge tournaments. WTF?

    No, it’s way worse than that. There WERE separate divisions on certain days (other days all compete together), but the ACBL historically flees from controversy. When Jill (that would be the person on the left in the picture) tried to enter a Men’s Pairs, that was the last Men’s pairs…Now, there are (on the gender days) Women’s events and Open events…Maybe I should get a dress???

  92. 92
    Deadeye Dick Cheney says:

    I don’t think that they’re guilty of treason or sedition. They’re guilty of exercising their First Amendment rights. Which is not to say that is the authoritarian right wingers got their way that that wouldn’t be a crime. And 50% is too conservative. What percentage of the popular vote do you think Dubya would get today?

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