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Librarian with ‘McCain=Bush’ sign charged with trespassing at public campaign event.
July 7, 2008 5:24 PM   Subscribe

"Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was in Denver, CO, today for a town hall meeting. The event, at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, was billed as 'open to the public.' Yet Carole Kreck, a 61-year-old librarian carrying a 'McCain=Bush' sign, was taken away by police [on orders from McCain's security detail] for trespassing. A police officer told Kreck:
'You have two choices. You can keep your sign here and receive a ticket for trespassing, or you can remove the sign and stay in line and attend this town hall meeting.'
Kreck received a ticket for trespassing and her court date is July 23."*. Video of Kreck's encounter with the police.

Reminiscent of the expulsion of three people from a 2005 George W. Bush event.
posted by ericb (171 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm not sure this would have happened with "McCain = Eisenhower" or "McCain = Lincoln". (Our current president is kinda unpopular.)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:28 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was the pea-pod guy escorted away as well? What's his story?
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:29 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Reminiscent of the expulsion of three people from a 2005 George W. Bush event.

You have two choices. You can keep your reminiscences here and receive a banhammer, or you can have your memory altered and stay on the site and participate in this thread.
posted by DU at 5:31 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


If someone tried to go into an Obama "town hall meeting" carrying a sign that said "BARRY IS A COMMIE!", don't you think they'd have done the same thing?
posted by Class Goat at 5:31 PM on July 7, 2008


That's quite a slap in the face to Bush!
posted by WPW at 5:31 PM on July 7, 2008


Maybe it was short for Burning Bush. You know, like God.

with a little beard action, he'd certainly look the part...
posted by Rhaomi at 5:31 PM on July 7, 2008


I doubt that this will stick, but nevertheless, it is worrisome (especially insofar as it is not an isolated incident). Local law-enforcement should exert their own judgment and refuse to comply with such requests.
posted by Tullius at 5:32 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain = Tigh = toaster
posted by orthogonality at 5:32 PM on July 7, 2008 [42 favorites]


This was the best result.... had they let her in it would have been a non-event...now it will get splashed all over the place...
posted by HuronBob at 5:32 PM on July 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


If someone tried to go into an Obama "town hall meeting" carrying a sign that said "BARRY IS A COMMIE!", don't you think they'd have done the same thing?

No, I don't, and I'm sure that'll be tested before that election is over, and if it happens, believe me you'll hear about it. From Democrats.

Believe it or not, there are people for whom freedom is more than a slogan.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:33 PM on July 7, 2008 [30 favorites]


Class Goat writes "If someone tried to go into an Obama 'town hall meeting' carrying a sign that said 'BARRY IS A COMMIE!', don't you think they'd have done the same thing?"

You sayin' Gee-orge Dubya Bush is a Commie, Mr. Dirty Hippie?
posted by orthogonality at 5:34 PM on July 7, 2008


If someone tried to go into an Obama "town hall meeting" carrying a sign that said "BARRY IS A COMMIE!", don't you think they'd have done the same thing?

One wrong plus one hypothetical wrong do not equal any number of rights.

Also, why is no one else every disturbed by: police [on orders from X's security detail]

Isn't there a word for the style of government where the police take orders from people rich and/or "important" enough for security details?
posted by DU at 5:34 PM on July 7, 2008 [29 favorites]


If someone tried to go into an Obama "town hall meeting" carrying a sign that said "BARRY IS A COMMIE!", don't you think they'd have done the same thing?

But, as she says at the end of the video, wouldn't a "dye-in-the-wool" Republican find the message "Bush = McCain; McCain = Bush" to be a compliment?
posted by ericb at 5:35 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rhaomi writes "with a little beard action, he'd certainly look the part..."

And he's old enough to have met God on Mt. Sinai, with Moses.
posted by orthogonality at 5:35 PM on July 7, 2008


well, you know, 9/11 changed everything. silly woman. didn't she see the buildings fall? doesn't she know muslims carry signs? i say, off to gitmo with the bitch.
posted by quonsar at 5:35 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


...with a little beard action, he'd certainly look the part...

According to Chris Kelly at the Huffington Post:
'Carole Rome, the woman to whom Florida vice presidential hopeful Governor Charlie Crist conveniently just got engaged after 30 years of being single, "inherited - and runs -- one of America's oldest Halloween costume companies. The woman marrying the gayish governor from the sultry southern state actually makes beards.'"*
posted by ericb at 5:39 PM on July 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


This isn't very exciting. "Open to the public" doesn't mean "feel free to treat this space like your living room." I don't get the feeling that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is like a public park, either.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:39 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, why is no one else every disturbed by: police [on orders from X's security detail]

Well, wouldn't the "security detail" in this case be the Secret Service? There are many disturbing things about the slow privatisation of policing in the USA, but I don't think this is an aspect of that story.
posted by WPW at 5:40 PM on July 7, 2008


Feel the excitement
posted by interrobang at 5:41 PM on July 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


weird. What exactly is she trying to say. I mean, shouldn't that sign read McCain == Bush.
posted by dobbs at 5:44 PM on July 7, 2008 [15 favorites]


quonsar writes: well, you know, 9/11 changed everything. silly woman. didn't she see the buildings fall? doesn't she know muslims carry signs? i say, off to gitmo with the bitch.


My thoughts exactly. Signs tend to have sharp edges; she could've tried to kill McCain with thousands of cuts. Or use the sign as a stake. Do we know if she had any holy water or garlic?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:45 PM on July 7, 2008


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America writes "'Open to the public' doesn't mean 'feel free to treat this space like your living room.'"

Thanks Dr. Steve!

And "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" means you can assemble in your living room, and mail in a petition, which no one will deliver, because of the anthrax scare.

This comment brought to you by The Lawyers' Committee to Obscure and Frustrate Your Constitutional Rights.
posted by orthogonality at 5:45 PM on July 7, 2008 [20 favorites]


weird. What exactly is she trying to say. I mean, shouldn't that sign read McCain == Bush.

Hmm. I'd use McCain === Bush. You know, just to be sure.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:46 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Open to the public" doesn't mean "feel free to treat this space like your living room."

I thought "open to the public" means "open to the public."
posted by ericb at 5:46 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


WPW writes "Well, wouldn't the 'security detail' in this case be the Secret Service?"

Secret Service knows better than to get into this mess. It was in all likelihood McCain's advance team.
posted by orthogonality at 5:47 PM on July 7, 2008


This isn't very exciting. "Open to the public" doesn't mean "feel free to treat this space like your living room."

Exactly, my own living room is festooned with all manner of political protest signs, as everyone knows that is where they do the most good. Now that we have responded to Dr. Mr. Lieutenant Octopussy Colostomy Bag Abe Vigoda what say we resume the thread as if he never arrived?
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:47 PM on July 7, 2008 [20 favorites]


Contrary to what Karl Rove has said, you are not entitled to your math.
posted by Poolio at 5:48 PM on July 7, 2008


...because of the anthrax scare.

And we know how that went ... with Bush's "boggeyman" blame game. Oh, wait, what?

U.S. to Pay Millions in Lawsuit Over Anthrax Innuendo
"The U.S. government will pay $4.6 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Steven Hatfill, a former U.S. Army biodefense researcher who was intensively investigated as a 'person of interest' in the deadly anthrax letters of 2001, the Justice Department announced Friday.

The settlement, consisting of $2.825 million in cash and an annuity worth $1.8 million that will pay Hatfill $150,000 a year for 20 years, brings to an end a five-year legal battle.

Hatfill, who worked at the army's laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, in the late 1990s, was the subject of a flood of news media coverage beginning in mid-2002, after television cameras showed FBI agents in biohazard suits searching his apartment near the army base. John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, later called him a 'person of interest' in the case on national television."
posted by ericb at 5:49 PM on July 7, 2008


I know this is done under the umbrella of "we have to protect the candidate from loonies" which is ridiculous on the face of it in cases like this. However, I can't help wonder, who the hell do they think is going to assassinate McCain? These guys?
posted by lumpenprole at 5:50 PM on July 7, 2008


Well, they gave her the attention she clearly wanted; hence, they failed, because now they look like a bunch of douchebags. There's a lesson in this that I would hope participants in this here thread take to heart, yes? I guess what I'm saying is they fed the troll. I guess what I'm saying is they fed the troll who is mysteriously not banned, okay.

This message was brought to you by the Commission for Subtlety
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:52 PM on July 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


A hypocrtical Republican who is against free speech?

SAY IT AINT SO!!!
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:52 PM on July 7, 2008


> Isn't there a word for the style of government where the police take orders from people rich and/or "important" enough for security details?

Yep. The word you're fishing for is "all."
posted by jfuller at 5:52 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


This comment brought to you by The Lawyers' Committee to Obscure and Frustrate Your Constitutional Rights.

Perhaps you never bothered to learn your Constitutional rights? It might be convenient for you to protest at someone's campaign event, and you might very much like to, but that doesn't mean you have a Constitutional right to.

This is a very difficult distinction for someone people to make, but I think it's important. Just because you want to do something doesn't mean you necessarily have a right to. I can go over that again, if it was unclear. I admit, this is a really tricky concept.

I see no reason to think the DCPA is "public" in the way that would allow you to peaceably assemble in it whenever you want, in any manner you please. The phrase "open to the public" does not indicate this.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:56 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


What would have happened if her sign read "McCain Bush?" Would they have welcomed her with open arms?

It's quite telling that Republicans -- and their presumptive candidate -- are fleeing from their previous leader -- who was chosen by "God" to end the tyranny in Iraq, etc.
posted by ericb at 5:57 PM on July 7, 2008


So, Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America, from your perspective what does her message "McCain = Bush" mean to you personally? Is that an insult/negative message? If so, why. If not, why not?
posted by ericb at 5:58 PM on July 7, 2008


McCain = Tigh =

if that's a spoiler I'm going to hunt you down and kill you.

back on topic, IMO this is McCain's event so he has complete control of the "speech" aspect, "public" or not.
posted by yort at 5:59 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


who the hell do they think is going to assassinate McCain? These guys ?

More like these guys.
posted by puke & cry at 6:00 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just because you want to do something doesn't mean you necessarily have a right to

Wrong. My rights are plenipotentiary, subject to the State's powers, as listed in the Constitution(s) and respective laws, to restrict them.

cf the 9th amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people
posted by yort at 6:01 PM on July 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


So, Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America, from your perspective what does her message "McCain = Bush" mean to you personally?

I assumed that she meant that McCain would continue Bush's policies, or something similar to that. I imagine she didn't mean that McCain and Bush are the very same person.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:02 PM on July 7, 2008


Believe it or not, there are people for whom freedom is more than a slogan.

Also, there are people who are canny politicians who recognize that this kind of thing is bad press and wouldn't fuck up an event by having an elderly librarian carted off in full view of the public and press.

I'm getting less confident by the day that there's much overlap between those two groups though.

Crazy-Ass Cynthia McKinney in '08! Change You Can Still Believe In But Are Unlikely To Get!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:04 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wrong. My rights are plenipotentiary, subject to the State's powers, as listed in the Constitution(s) and respective laws, to restrict them.

And she was cited under a state trespass statute, I'm sure. What's your point?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:04 PM on July 7, 2008


McCain))<>((Bush
posted by DanielDManiel at 6:04 PM on July 7, 2008 [12 favorites]


I assumed that she meant that McCain would continue Bush's policies, or something similar to that. I imagine she didn't mean that McCain and Bush are the very same person.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing that McCain will/may continue Bush's policies? Bad? Good? If bad, why? If good, why? -- again from your personal point-of-view.
posted by ericb at 6:05 PM on July 7, 2008


I know this is done under the umbrella of "we have to protect the candidate from loonies"

I'm looking forward to some point in the future when we loonies can be protected from their candidate.
posted by quin at 6:08 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


SO...that wasn't supposed to be a complimentary sign? A reassurance from a Republican that the same wonderful policies will continue?

Sheesh. Who knew?
posted by Kickstart70 at 6:09 PM on July 7, 2008


Something tells me that the Democrats and Obama will allow Republicans and detractors into his 'acceptance of the nomination' speech in the very same city -- Denver. After all, they are expected to fill/exceed the stadium to its capacity of 76,000 people.
posted by ericb at 6:10 PM on July 7, 2008


Thanks DanielDManiel. I literally laughed out loud at that one.
posted by dobbs at 6:11 PM on July 7, 2008


Is that a good thing or a bad thing that McCain will/may continue Bush's policies? Bad? Good? If bad, why? If good, why? -- again from your personal point-of-view.

Seriously? Bush has been a horrible President. Even beyond that war (an idiotic, expensive boondoggle), everything he's done (economy, education, health, etc.) has been wasteful, ineffective, and largely driven by ideology instead of reality.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:13 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


*Yawn* It's no surprise that someone got kicked out of McCain's event for having a sign that had something loathsome on it.

I must say, you know the republicans are fucked when they will kick you out of an event simply for comparing their candidate to their President. I'm surprised they're dumb enough to have him speak at their convention.
posted by mullingitover at 6:13 PM on July 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


That is hilarious. The party of self-hate.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:21 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, I don't, and I'm sure that'll be tested before that election is over, and if it happens, believe me you'll hear about it. From Democrats.

I dunno. Bill Clinton had this sort of policy, during the '92 campaign and after. Protesters were kept far away or ejected from his rallies. I know this, because it royally pissed me off at the time, but it turned out to be an indicator of his views on civil liberties.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:21 PM on July 7, 2008


You can try to pin him down if you like. My ability to care about Dr. Steve Babbling Right Wing Nonsense is about as profound as his ability to care about my civil rights.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:23 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can try to pin him down if you like. My ability to care about Dr. Steve Babbling Right Wing Nonsense is about as profound as his ability to care about my civil rights.

I do care about your civil rights, though. You just don't have the right to crash a campaign event at the DCPA. I'm sorry this is so super-complicated. This whole "what I want to do" vs. "what I have the right to do" distinction is really tricky!

And yeah, crash. The fact is, Bush's approval rating is really low, and if the Republicans want to win any elections, they're going to need to distance themselves from him. The woman with the sign knew this, and that's why she brought it.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:29 PM on July 7, 2008


I'm surprised they're dumb enough to have him speak at their convention.

This would be hilarious.

GOP Thug: I'm sorry sir, you can't go in there.
GWB: But I'm the god-damned President!
GOP Thug: Look, I've had it up to here with you McCain = Bush terrorist sympathizers! First the signs, then the impersonators...
GWB: It's really me!
GOP Thug: We can't take that chance.
posted by DU at 6:31 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


If someone tried to go into an Obama "town hall meeting" carrying a sign that said "BARRY IS A COMMIE!", don't you think they'd have done the same thing?

Well, many of the invitation to Obama public events ask that you not bring any signs. I imagine if someone brought a sign to one of those events and subsequently refused to give it up, they wouldn't be allowed to the event. It's hard to imagine that Obama is not savvy enough to realize that having an older librarian escorted off the premises by cops is a dumb idea. However, it's perfectly possible to imagine that McCain tolerates no dissent at his town halls has no idea what town he is in, and is totally incapable of reading a teleprompter, let alone a crappily hand written sign.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:32 PM on July 7, 2008


Weird.

Open to the public does not mean that a place becomes a public space, with the attendant full fledged free speech rights. Open to the public means that you don't have to be invited to attend. Restaurants are open the public, but you probably couldn't carry a sign into one of those, either.

I don't like John McCain at all, I just don't see where this event being called open to the public prevents someone from being charged for trespassing if they don't follow the rules of the venue and refuse to leave when asked.

If this event occurred on the street I'd feel very differently.
posted by voidcontext at 6:32 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


...they're going to need to distance themselves from him.

Which is why, at their events that say "open to the public", they have to eject a members of the public for having differing view. It's all so simple, Mr Zombie: peace = war.
posted by DU at 6:33 PM on July 7, 2008


The question, though, is - what constitutes a public space? Should we assume that all spaces are non-public until declared otherwise, by a sign? Should we assume the opposite? Is it a public space temporarily if someone says that the event is "open to the public"? Like a welcome mat on your front porch, is that enough of an invitation for the Vampire of Assembly to enter? Okay, weird metaphor, but you get my drift.

Declaring it a "town hall" in addition to "open to the public" sure does seem to open it up. It's entirely reasonable that someone might assume that it is a public space, at least for that time.

Is it the street? The sidewalk? Perhaps a tight little "Free Speech Zone"? What are the ground rules? I'd love to see rulings on this one way or another.
posted by adipocere at 6:33 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


DU wrote...
Also, why is no one else every disturbed by: police [on orders from X's security detail]

I would have been much more worried if the police had taken it on themselves to remove someone from a private venue. As it is, the people who had legally rented the space asked the police to remove a trespasser and they did.

Happens all the time at concerts and sports events. Nothing out of the norm there.

I'd stick with the pictures of the little old lady holding the McCain = Bush sign. Much better outrage material.
posted by tkolar at 6:36 PM on July 7, 2008


The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
-- Teddy Roosevelt

That should also apply to president wanna-bes.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:39 PM on July 7, 2008 [33 favorites]


Isn't there a word for the style of government where the police take orders from people rich and/or "important" enough for security details?

...

And "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" means you can assemble in your living room, and mail in a petition, which no one will deliver, because of the anthrax scare.


The constitutional rights / police state argument is beside the point. The right to assemble includes the right to decide who you assemble with, when the assembly is on your property (as this was for the day McCain was renting it). "Open to the public" is a license, which is freely revokable -- just like if I invite you to bring anyone to my dinner party, and then I don't like your date, I can kick you out.

Similarly, the way the police are supposed to work is, if you refuse to leave my dinner party, I can ask them to eject you. Any person on any scrap of land has this right, not just ones with security details.

The debate about whether McCain should have done this, or whether it reflects well on him, is interesting. A debate about cases where police overzealously enforce what they think the candidate would want, or where non-police act like police, or whether some licenses shouldn't be freely revokable, might also be interesting, if we had links to talk about. But this stuff about police enforcement of private property and assembly rights being unconstitutional does nobody any good.

On preview: What lots of other people said. And, adipocere, there are tons of rulings on public space, most of which I haven't seen, but the gist is that there are traditional forums, like streets and parks, which are very public and hard to regulate; non-forum government areas like courthouses, offices, and airports, that are public but can be regulated for good reasons; and private property, which is totally controlled by its owner. This venue was either the last kind, or a basically private venue that happened to be owned by the state, and either way McCain had every right to revoke the license to be there.
posted by jhc at 6:45 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


She must have strayed outside of her 'free speech zone.'
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 6:47 PM on July 7, 2008


yort writes "if that's a spoiler I'm going to hunt you down and kill you."

All of his Has Happened Before, And Will Happen Again. So Say We All.
posted by orthogonality at 6:54 PM on July 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Questions:

1) Why has this video been viewed only 200+ times? This thing should be in the situation room and huffington post etc. Kitten still loves puppy was posted yesterday, and it's been viewed 64,000 times. Sometimes I wish the internet would just consume itself and choke on the effluence that is kids posting themselves signing sojaboy.

2) Has anyone checked whether if this video was staged by the poster? Or whether or not the Librarian provoked the confrontation? I am not saying this video was staged, but I think people should check.

3) Would we be as outraged if this video focused on the guy in the pea costume? What makes it so special that it was a grandmother? She was was disruptive as the pea pod guy. Probably just more coherent.
posted by phyrewerx at 6:56 PM on July 7, 2008


mullingitover writes "I'm surprised they're dumb enough to have him speak at their convention."

Actually, some are asking Bush to stay away. I was thinking of FPPing this, but, what the hell:
Some, like Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, simply wish Mr. Bush would keep out of it, though few would say so openly.

“I don’t think there are a lot of people who want to see him at the convention,” said Mr. Rohrabacher, who is especially irked with Mr. Bush for his stance on immigration. He said the president “should stay home from the Republican convention, and everybody would be better off.”
posted by orthogonality at 6:59 PM on July 7, 2008


I see your point, but, then, that kitten really seems to love that god damn puppy.

I'm going to watch it again.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:00 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


As it is, the people who had legally rented the space asked the police to remove a trespasser and they did.

Once again for the slow kid in the back: Things that are "legal" are not necessarily "moral" or "ethical" or "right" or even "a good idea".

McCain is running for President of the United States. He's just shown he has no interest in the views of anyone who doesn't already agree with him. And if that doesn't prove the sign right, I don't know what does.
posted by DU at 7:03 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Were they allowing other people with signs in? It's possible that they just had a "no signs" rule.

People are very much capable of dealing with those who disagree with them peacefully. At the recent gay pride parade here, they let the guys carrying "You're all going to hell" signs march around without incident. If someone showed up at an Obama rally carrying "OBAMA=SURRENDUR" they'd probably give him the same treatment: delightful mockery and offers for anonymous buggery.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:06 PM on July 7, 2008


It's kind of depressing watching McCain - the one Republican I dug - morphing into this cranky, hypocritical, irrelevant figure. Sorry, John, but you can't appeal to environmentalists and push for off-shore drilling. You just can't.

This isn't a huge deal, though. McCain is gonna lose and lose bad. Obama would have to make abortions mandatory at this point to make the Democrats less palatable than Republicans. I feel very little anxiety about the coming election.

What I am surprised about, though, is how we got sixty-plus comments deep into a Politicsfilter boilerplate FPP without someone invoking the Bookhouse Rule.

Don't sweat the fortunes of this poor, doomed old man. Enjoy some potentially NSFW kung-foolery instead.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:07 PM on July 7, 2008


weird. What exactly is she trying to say. I mean, shouldn't that sign read McCain == Bush.
Well, yeah, that is probably what she meant, but in fairness, McCain has become Bush in the past several years, so "McCain = Bush" works, too.

She probably should've just been explicit:
(McCain = Bush) == Bush
posted by Flunkie at 7:08 PM on July 7, 2008


IBush McCain = Bush();
posted by Artw at 7:08 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Things that are "legal" are not necessarily "moral" or "ethical" or "right" or even "a good idea".

Or a "story".
posted by Bookhouse at 7:09 PM on July 7, 2008


phyrewerx writes "This thing should be in the situation room and huffington post etc. Kitten still loves puppy was pos"



phyrewerx writes "1) Why has this video been viewed only 200+ times? "

Youtube updates the viewed count once a day. Saves wear and tear the database, and invalidating cached HTML.

"2) Has anyone checked whether if this video was staged by the poster? "

The woman has a court date. That's a public record. Go and check it out for us, and we'll wait here.

"3) Would we be as outraged if this video focused on the guy in the pea costume? What makes it so special that it was a grandmother? "

Democrats and liberals and other weirdos have this idea about extending respect to people who have lived through things and maybe acquired some wisdom doing it. (Kinda like how Republicans respect people who have lots of money, even douchebags, as long as they have money.) Bizarre, I know.
posted by orthogonality at 7:10 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, there's a Bookhouse rule?
posted by Bookhouse at 7:10 PM on July 7, 2008


Man, Tony Jaa loved breaking him some arms.

Still gonna vote for him though.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:12 PM on July 7, 2008


Yeah, I'm as anti-McCain as anyone, but this is totally a non-controversy.
posted by naju at 7:13 PM on July 7, 2008


Bookhouse: Remember that Republican racist buttons thread you accidentally posted a Tony Ja video to? It was the best thing about that thread. Turns out politics posts need kung-fu.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:13 PM on July 7, 2008


orthogonality writes "Actually, some are asking Bush to stay away. "

Bush is now the republican Rosemary Kennedy. They can't exclude him without seeming unkind to the feebleminded, which politically is never good, but by appearing he really can do nothing more than deepen their shame.
posted by mullingitover at 7:14 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


In fact, I have it on some good authority that the security folks feared that any semblance of protest or the unusual might cause the "elder" statesman to have stroke.
posted by Postroad at 7:16 PM on July 7, 2008


Remember that Republican racist buttons thread you accidentally posted a Tony Ja video to?

Yeah, I just didn't know I'd been codified. Finally, something to call Mom about.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:16 PM on July 7, 2008


On May 9, a young woman wore a T-shirt that said. "John McCain doesn't care about our future" to a town hall meeting in Michigan (she hid her shirt under a jacket to get in). Instead of kicking her out, McCain said town halls "are for people who agree and for people who disagree" and asked her the first question. That makes a much better impression than looking like he's afraid of a librarian.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:20 PM on July 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


It's a pooch cafe, I need a disguise, which of these Presidents was the most trustworthy.

That's what she needed.
posted by alicesshoe at 7:21 PM on July 7, 2008


*sigh* I kind of wish people weren't so trigger-happy with all the police state 'OMG first they came for the signs' hysteria. It devalues the currency of sensible debate on the very real, very grave reduction of civil liberties under the Bush administration. I've got no love for McCain but I think it was entirely reasonable not to allow her to bring a sign into the meeting.

What was her intent, anyway? Did she think attendees would weigh up her nuanced political message and all the supporting evidence she provided, then shift their views? We live in a world with too many placard-wavers and not enough intelligent dialogue.
posted by RokkitNite at 7:22 PM on July 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain = Tigh = toaster

Isn't there already a cylon in the White House?

And by that, I mean Cheney.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:23 PM on July 7, 2008


Meanwhile, the person with the "McCain = Harding" sign was left alone.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:24 PM on July 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now that we have responded to Dr. Mr. Lieutenant Octopussy Colostomy Bag Abe Vigoda what say we resume the thread as if he never arrived?

Holy fucking signature pony request time!
posted by The Straightener at 7:27 PM on July 7, 2008


McCain = {Republicans} ∩ {old white men} ∩ {Presidential candidates who have not won}
Bush = {Republicans} ∩ {old white men} ∩ {Presidential candidates who won}

Gotta be careful with those negations.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:32 PM on July 7, 2008


The woman has a court date. That's a public record. Go and check it out for us, and we'll wait here.

Oh snark! My question is about whether or not thinkprogressive and the protester foresaw, before hand, that her sign would evoke some sort of response from the organizers and therefore, in anticipation, they should film the entire thing. Just incase, you know, they can stir up some outrage.

"3) Would we be as outraged if this video focused on the guy in the pea costume? What makes it so special that it was a grandmother? "

Democrats and liberals and other weirdos have this idea about extending respect to people who have lived through things and maybe acquired some wisdom doing it. (Kinda like how Republicans respect people who have lots of money, even douchebags, as long as they have money.) Bizarre, I know.


Now you're just imposing a point of view I didn't say. My questions aren't designed to slight one side or the other. Give me an intelligent and critical response: does anyone think that this is just too perfect - an old lady getting kicked out for holding a sign? Did she provoke this? Were the videographers there knowing something like this would happen? Did the republicans walk into a trap?

If not - shame on advance team and the rest of the campaign.
posted by phyrewerx at 7:35 PM on July 7, 2008


Also, why is no one else every disturbed by: police [on orders from X's security detail]

Isn't there a word for the style of government where the police take orders from people rich and/or "important" enough for security details?


I don't see a problem with that. The police would take orders from you too, should you ask them to remove someone who's trespassing on your property.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:38 PM on July 7, 2008


Were the videographers there knowing something like this would happen?

Well, seeing as how this marks the twenty billionth time someone has been hustled out by cops for daring to disagree with a Republican candidate, I'd have to say that it was a near certainty.

Another reason to videotape things is because often police officers at those events will use weapons on peaceful protesters.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:42 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Denver Post:
"Kreck, a former Denver Post reporter who works part-time as a librarian for an education think tank, said she was removed as she quizzed a police officer about whether he could deny her free speech 'on city property' by taking away her sign, while McCain supporters wore buttons inside.

Jenny Schiavone, a spokeswoman for the performing arts center, said the venue is city-owned rental property, but is not legally defined as public

...A McCain spokesman said no one, including McCain supporters, were allowed to carry signs.

Detective John White, a spokesman for the Denver Police Department, said officers acted as they would for any complaint on private property."
posted by ericb at 7:44 PM on July 7, 2008


Jenny Schiavone, a spokeswoman for the performing arts center, said the venue is city-owned rental property, but is not legally defined as public.

It will be interesting to hear the judge's interpretation of such at Kreck's July 23 court hearing.
posted by ericb at 7:46 PM on July 7, 2008


I was actually going to say that in this particular case I agree with Doc Steve that "open to the public" is not the same as "protected speech in a public place" for all the various values in play. However acts of protest are often carried out with the expectation that arrest might follow, it's often the point, I assume so here as well (unless homegirl hasn't picked up a newspaper since 1840 or so, in which case, whatever). I just knew how the thread would go after he made his point, he's so... method, you know?
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:46 PM on July 7, 2008


American democracy.
Let's show those Third World fucks how it's done.
posted by brevator at 7:50 PM on July 7, 2008


Remember -- she was removed from the 'city owned' space -- and not the interior 'town hall...open to the public' event. She was also arrested on city owned property merely for carry a sign which some would view as being complimentary to the Republican message/agenda (i.e. "Stay The Course; 100 Years in Iraq, etc.).
posted by ericb at 7:53 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Kreck: "All I did was carry a sign that said McCain = Bush. And for everyone who voted for Bush, I don't see why it's offensive to say McCain = Bush."
posted by ericb at 7:55 PM on July 7, 2008


Hmm, my earlier comment can be countered by saying that McCain's security doesn't own the convention center and thus doesn't have the right to have people removed for trespassing (especially when they are peacefully protesting). But my reading of what happened is that this is a campaign event, and I assume the organizers of such events have the right to prevent people from entering or to have people removed; anyone who runs any private event has the same rights. It's certainly not encouraging that the campaign is suppressing dissent like this but I don't see the police's involvement as inappropriate.

On preview:
Was it actually city land? I thought she was kicked out of the event. That makes it a little murkier.

and furthermore: McCain=Bush is an anti-McCain talking point and everyone knows it; to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. It's obvious the point she is trying to make and I think it's pretty obvious why Republicans might be offended, even if they had voted for Bush.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:01 PM on July 7, 2008


I assume something that is "city owned" is an asset/property/venue that has been paid for by city, state and/or federal taxes, such as sales, income, excise, property, etc. taxes. If such is true, isn't that asset/property/venue considered "public?"
posted by ericb at 8:04 PM on July 7, 2008


At least they didn't taser her bro'.
posted by vronsky at 8:04 PM on July 7, 2008


Was it actually city land? I thought she was kicked out of the event.

It appears that she was kicked out of the main entrance venue ... and not the auditorium for which folks were waiting in line.
posted by ericb at 8:07 PM on July 7, 2008


*...but is not legally defined as public property.*
posted by ericb at 8:12 PM on July 7, 2008


IANAR, but include me with those who thinks 'This = Non-event.' As has been stated, just being government-owned doesn't automatically make it a 'public space.' Otherwise, whenever the Denver Center for the Performing Arts performs 'The Nutcracker', I'm showing up with a boom box and a 3-foot tall rainbow afro wig.

I really hate 'The Nutcracker'.
posted by skammer at 8:16 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Democrats and liberals and other weirdos have this idea about extending respect to people who have lived through things and maybe acquired some wisdom doing it. (Kinda like how Republicans respect people who have lots of money, even douchebags, as long as they have money.) Bizarre, I know.

It's a damn good thing we were able to have this discussion without resorting to ridiculous generalizations that exposed us for the childish, sanctimonious keyboard warriors that we are.

Oh, right. Carry on then.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:16 PM on July 7, 2008


Oh, those troublesome librarians! Always worried about our rights and stuff.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:17 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Related -- this event brings to mind when Cindy Sheehan was wrongfully removed and arrested from Bush's State of the Union address for wearing an anti-war T-shirt and the federal employee who was hassled by Homeland Security for antiwar stickers on his car in 2006.
posted by ericb at 8:22 PM on July 7, 2008


Slightly off-topic, and certainly not FPP-worthy, but did you know that yesterday was also the day that McCain said he "Hates the gooks"? Not too terribly smart, whatever the context.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:23 PM on July 7, 2008


Carole Kreck, a 61-year-old librarian carrying a 'McCain=Bush' sign, was taken away by police [on orders from McCain's security detail] for trespassing.

What a meanie. John McCain should pick on someone his own age.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:23 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


This isn't very exciting. "Open to the public" doesn't mean "feel free to treat this space like your living room."

That's true. Nothing about McCain is very exciting. His security detail having unruly dissenters removed by cops is about as exciting as his campaign gets.
posted by blucevalo at 8:26 PM on July 7, 2008


Also, the next time McCain is in town, I'm meeting him with a big sign that says MCCAIN=TRUCK NUTZ!!!. Totes. I really mean it.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:30 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wrongfully arrested? I followed the link. She was arrested because she wore a shirt with an anti-war slogan in the house gallery and regulations prohibit demonstrations in the gallery. The same article describes a politician who was outraged because his wife got the same treatment for wearing a 'Support Our Troops' shirt.

I will grant you the bumper sticker story, but not the Sheehan story, and not this one: they are overreactions. Don't you see that playing the victim makes you weaker? It encourages people to write you off as reactionary, unreasonable, over the top. It builds barriers. It isolates you. It's the opposite of what you need.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:48 PM on July 7, 2008


STALIN = HITLER!

Double godwin
posted by Artw at 8:54 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Would she have been kicked out if she declared it performance art?
It was the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
posted by Balisong at 8:58 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I assume something that is "city owned" is an asset/property/venue that has been paid for by city, state and/or federal taxes, such as sales, income, excise, property, etc. taxes. If such is true, isn't that asset/property/venue considered "public?"

Well, sure, for some purposes. But I wouldn't suggest trying to enter Lambeau Field on a game day without a ticket.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:02 PM on July 7, 2008


As someone who knows more than a few people who went from rah rah Bush to no no Bush inside of a two year period, I just think that it's hilarious that the sign "McCain = Bush" is considered negative even to those that used to support Bush. Would it still be negative to them if it said "McCain is the new Bush"? How about "McCain will continue what Bush has begun"? Or perhaps "Bush supports McCain", or "McCain shares Bush's values", or "McCain stands for what Bush stands for"? Really, where is that line drawn, and how did it flip so quickly?
posted by davejay at 9:36 PM on July 7, 2008


You just don't have the right to crash a campaign event at the DCPA. I'm sorry this is so super-complicated. This whole "what I want to do" vs. "what I have the right to do" distinction is really tricky!

People fell for this troll? Again? The Denver Performing Arts Complex isn't a public space even when it is made up of City- and county-owned facilities paid for with public tax dollars, one of which is managed by a publicly funded not-for-profit? And holding a sign that makes no particular positive or negative statement is equivalent to "crashing" a campaign? Have Americans really become this cowardly and stupid to swallow this garbage?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:40 PM on July 7, 2008


PercussivePaul writes "Don't you see that playing the victim makes you weaker? It encourages people to write you off as reactionary, unreasonable, over the top. It builds barriers. It isolates you. It's the opposite of what you need."

Yeah, Gandhi would've gotten results a lot quicker if he'd just hit a few soft targets to show people he meant business.
posted by mullingitover at 9:41 PM on July 7, 2008


This isn't very exciting. "Open to the public" doesn't mean "feel free to treat this space like your living room."

MONEY QUOTE!!!!!!

I try to make sure that my (OUR) living room is a civilized, friendly, basically clean and safe space (a challenge, to be honest). It is very important to me that our living room is a space that people can relax in and not worry about getting their shit stolen or wrecked.
SO on your advising, "Open to the public" will no longer be like my living room. For you, Mr. Dr. President Captain Elvis President, I will make sure these "open to the public" places are not like my slightly clean and mostly secure living room; I will make these places unlike my living room. You better lock up your bike, including your wheels and even the little bolt that holds your seat on, because "open to the public" no longer means I treat your shit like it is in my living room anymore.

How does that make you feel?
posted by fuq at 9:41 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wrongfully arrested? I followed the link. She was arrested because she wore a shirt with an anti-war slogan in the house gallery and regulations prohibit demonstrations in the gallery.

Umm, no ...

Charges against Sheehan dropped
“Capitol Police dropped a charge of unlawful conduct against antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday and apologized for ejecting her and a congressman’s wife from President Bush’s State of the Union address for wearing T-shirts with war messages.

‘The officers made a good faith, but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol,’ Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said in a statement late Wednesday.

‘The policy and procedures were too vague,’ he added. ‘The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine.’

The extraordinary statement came a day after police removed Sheehan and Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. ‘Bill’ Young, R-Fla., from the visitors gallery Tuesday night. Sheehan was taken away in handcuffs before Bush’s arrival at the Capitol and charged with a misdemeanor, while Young left the gallery and therefore was not arrested, Gainer said.

‘Neither guest should have been confronted about the expressive T-shirts,’ Gainer’s statement said.

Gainer added that he was asking the U.S. attorney’s office to drop the charge against Sheehan. The statement also said he apologized to the Youngs and ‘share the department’s plans for avoiding this in the future.’

‘A similar message has been left with Mrs. Sheehan,’ Gainer said.

For his part, Bill Young said he was not necessarily satisfied.

‘My wife was humiliated,’ he told reporters. He suggested that ‘sensitivity training’ may be in order for Capitol Police.

A foreign-born American citizen who was the guest of Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., also was taken by police from the gallery just above the House floor, Hastings said Wednesday.

The congressman met with Gainer and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., about the incident.

‘I’d like to find out more information,’ Hastings said in an interview, identifying the man only as being from Broward County in Florida. ‘He is a constituent of mine. I invited him proudly.’

Different messages expressed
Sheehan’s T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: ‘2245 Dead. How many more?’ Capitol Police charged her with a misdemeanor for violating the District of Columbia’s code against unlawful or disruptive conduct on any part of the Capitol grounds, a law enforcement official said. She was released from custody and flew home Wednesday to Los Angeles.

Young’s shirt had a message with a different tone: ‘Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom.’

‘They said I was protesting,’ Young told the St. Petersburg Times. ‘I said, ‘Read my shirt, it is not a protest.’ They said, ‘We consider that a protest.’ I said, ‘Then you are an idiot.’’

The two women appeared to have offended tradition if not the law, according to several law enforcement and congressional officials. By custom, the annual address is to be a dignified affair in which the president reports on the state of the nation. Guests in the gallery who wear shirts deemed political in nature have, in past years, been asked to change or cover them up.

Rules dealing mainly with what people can bring and telling them to refrain from reading, writing, smoking, eating, drinking, applauding or taking photographs are outlined on the back of gallery passes given to tourists every day.

However, State of the Union guests don’t receive any guidelines, according to Deputy House Sergeant at Arms Kerri Hanley. ‘You would assume that if you were coming to an event like the State of the Union address you would be dressed in appropriate attire,’ she said.”
posted by ericb at 9:43 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, that's kinda telling.

Barack Obama is going to speak in Denver to 78,000 people...
Hillary Clinton spoke to about 5,000 during her campaign...
Bill Clinton attracted a crowd of 2,000 back in January...

Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff spoke to 300 people awhile back...

...and John McCain spoke to 250 in a free event, open to the public.

So... you think he's running for city council or something?!
posted by markkraft at 9:45 PM on July 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


90% of the people in this thread would never vote Republican anyway, so all you all are biased!

Of course, I am in the 90%.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:48 PM on July 7, 2008


OK fine, ericb, I'll grant that she was wrongfully arrested, even though your first link didn't say so. But reading the new article you just posted, it seems clear to me that while Sheehan had broken no law, the intent of the authorities was not to silence dissent but rather to maintain decorum according to tradition. This thread and some of your comments, ericb, have left me sour because the outrage seems disproportionate. It's like crying wolf.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:03 PM on July 7, 2008


Don't you see that playing the victim makes you weaker?

It encourages people to write you off as reactionary, unreasonable, over the top. It builds barriers. It isolates you. It's the opposite of what you need.


Don't you see that standing for Constitutional Rights for all makes you stronger?

It encourages people to support you for the 'reactionary, reasonable' rights for which our nation's Founding Fathers risked their lives.

It builds bridges (not barriers).

It connects you (not isolates you).

It's just what you need (and not the oppostie of) to build a nation inclusive of all --- one in which all are created equal -- "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
posted by ericb at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2008


wolf = sheep!

Am I doing this right?
posted by maxwelton at 10:08 PM on July 7, 2008


PercussivePaul writes "This thread and some of your comments, ericb, have left me sour because the outrage seems disproportionate. It's like crying wolf."

When does our outrage become justified? Only after we get a boot-heel in the face? Or not even then? Americans seem to be willing to passively sit back as our rights are whittled away, and it seems there's always an apologist ready at hand to pooh-pooh any outrage as long as it's not perpetrated by a guy in a brown shirt with a toothbrush mustache and an Austrian accent.
posted by orthogonality at 10:15 PM on July 7, 2008


OK fine, ericb, I'll grant that she was wrongfully arrested, even though your first link didn't say so.

Ummm ... my "first link" was to a previous MeFi thread. If you took the time to read it you'd have noticed that the thread resolved the issue:
"We Screwed Up" -- Police say Sheehan Didn't Break the Law at Bush Speech
"Capitol Police will ask the U.S. attorney's office to drop the charges [against Sheehan]. 'We screwed up,' a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said Sheehan didn't violate any rules or laws."
posted by ericb at 10:21 PM on July 7, 2008


Why is this post still here? Flap my jacks! November cannot come too soon.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:23 PM on July 7, 2008


... the deleted post about George Bush editing Thomas Jefferson was slightly more interesting and a better topic of discussion (whether historical quotes can be ethically altered) ... I'll guess just skip the political threads like the other, smarter folks.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:33 PM on July 7, 2008


My thoughts exactly. Signs tend to have sharp edges; she could've tried to kill McCain with thousands of cuts. Or use the sign as a stake. Do we know if she had any holy water or garlic?

The sign could have been brimming with secret Al Queda messages. You can never bee too sure. Personally, I was a little disappointed that tazers weren't employed.
posted by mattoxic at 11:09 PM on July 7, 2008


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America writes "I assumed that she meant that McCain would continue Bush's policies, or something similar to that. I imagine she didn't mean that McCain and Bush are the very same person."

Though that would explain Bush's "service" record.

davejay writes "As someone who knows more than a few people who went from rah rah Bush to no no Bush inside of a two year period, I just think that it's hilarious that the sign 'McCain = Bush' is considered negative even to those that used to support Bush. [...] Or perhaps 'Bush supports McCain',[...]?"

Well that part is unequivocally true and McCain accepted his support.
posted by Mitheral at 11:18 PM on July 7, 2008


... the deleted post about George Bush editing Thomas Jefferson was slightly more interesting and a better topic of discussion (whether historical quotes can be ethically altered) ...

I liked the kittens post, but it was butt.
posted by homunculus at 11:57 PM on July 7, 2008


When does our outrage become justified? Only after we get a boot-heel in the face?

No, it becomes justified when actual laws are broken (and trust me, there are plenty of examples to sift through during Bush's last 8 years, if you're looking for outrage.)

While the Performing Arts Center is city-owned, it was leased to the McCain campaign for the event, much like Lambeau Field is leased to the Packers (see above.) I will now list several scenarios; please explain to me how they're not also equivalent:

* Someone leases the local Civic Center for their wedding reception. Fred Phelps and his family show up with their "God Hates Homos" signs.

* Some jackass fratboys heckle at a Hillary Clinton rally with an oh-so-clever "Iron My Shirt" sign.

Are we arguing that these people should be allowed to stay? Are you crazy?

I'm sure when some dickhead conservative is ejected from an Obama rally for a 'Barack > Jesus + Mohammed' sign, you'll all be equally outraged. Yeah, right.

(I never in a million years thought I'd be on here defending the McCain campaign. Damn you people.)
posted by skammer at 12:17 AM on July 8, 2008


If someone tried to go into an Obama "town hall meeting" carrying a sign that said "BARRY IS A COMMIE!", don't you think they'd have done the same thing?

In fact, people wearing t-shirts critical of Obama have been kept out of his rallies.
posted by MetaMan at 12:30 AM on July 8, 2008


Damn, but I'm disappointed that some of you are such retards. I mean, FFS, MPDSEA is making more sense than some of you. I know some of you have a mad hate-on for McCain and Bush and Republicans and all that, but fer chrissakes, you don't have to throw your brain out the door. Not everything that happens at a McCain event is purest evil.

Being such dipshits is harming, not helping, your cause and political party.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:42 AM on July 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


People fell for this troll? Again? The Denver Performing Arts Complex isn't a public space even when it is made up of City- and county-owned facilities paid for with public tax dollars, one of which is managed by a publicly funded not-for-profit?

What, are you stupid? There are many, many taxpayer-funded facilities that aren't public spaces in the sense that would allow anyone to come and go as they pleased. Seriously, stop typing, stop being outraged, and just think for a second.

Think what the world would look like if all government-funded facilities were open to unfettered access to any and every member of the public. Now, try to remember... Does the real world actually look like that?

No, of course not. You're being an idiot. The rule that has supposedly been violated, leading to your outrage, has never, ever actually been the rule.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 1:07 AM on July 8, 2008


weird. What exactly is she trying to say. I mean, shouldn't that sign read McCain == Bush.
Hmm. I'd use McCain === Bush. You know, just to be sure.
I believe you're looking for this: McCain ≡ Bush.
McCain = Tigh =

if that's a spoiler I'm going to hunt you down and kill you.
Dude, that was like half a season ago. Hell, the DVDs have been out for about 3 months. Where have you been?
posted by mystyk at 1:12 AM on July 8, 2008


definitely in agreement with the good Dr. Mr. Lieutenant Octopussy Colostomy Bag Abe Vigoda here (can we call you DMLOCBAV for short? thanks. ooh, even better -- DIM-LOC up in this piece!).

a place that is open to the public, such as any business, can also exclude any person they wish to exclude from the premises. if a person refuses to leave when asked then they are trespassing. i deal with this on a weekly basis at work, and i must say it's surprising how few people actually understand this. there are prohibited reasons for exclusion like race and (in most cases) gender. but just because it is a town hall-style event does not make the venue a de facto town hall.

with all that said, this was an idiotic move, emblematic of the kind of doomed-to-failure campaign mccain's running. one gets the sense that the candidate himself has barely enough enthusiasm for it.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:00 AM on July 8, 2008


This is some inane shit right here. I mean seriously, is this the shit we want to discuss during this election? Or is it some function of an inevitable Obama victory in November that this is the type of crap people get fixated on?

I'm a fan of political posts on mefi... often because the commentary is informative and occasionally funny... but man... this post...

It makes me want to scour North America and kill all the kittens. You don't deserve kittens.
posted by monkeyx-uk at 3:32 AM on July 8, 2008


What, are you stupid?

Facepalm. That's a lot of credit you're doing your argument there.

There are many, many taxpayer-funded facilities that aren't public spaces in the sense that would allow anyone to come and go as they pleased.

But if one is being used for a public display, then it's obviously not the same thing as storming into the post office and doing the Lambada through the mailroom, is it?

And if it's not okay to protest in such a place, then when the heck is it okay to protest a candidate? In designated hateful "Free Speech Zones*?" Anywhere else? Never? I'd say that if your answer is never, or is effectively never, then you must be mistaken.

If it's open to the public, then that would seem to imply that law-abiding members of the public can attend, without restriction. If it doesn't, then to me it seems that the law is not in line with reason.

If you are trying to convince people here, as opposed to just antagonizing or providing for a cheering section, I suggest that you're going about it the wrong way.

*Go Sonic! FREE SPEECH ZONE, Act 1!
posted by JHarris at 3:46 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


In fact, people wearing t-shirts critical of Obama have been kept out of his rallies.

Ah, MetaMan, I was wondering when you would re-emerge. Same old tricks, I see. Please provide credible substantiation for that claim, and then we'll talk.
posted by psmealey at 4:02 AM on July 8, 2008


There have been a number of comments to the effect: "This is unimportant, save your outrage for something that matters." I prefer that people be fiercely protective of their rights. The above view, wherein we ignore lesser offenses, threatens to lead to a graduate erosion of those rights as the bar for what counts as an intolerable intrusion is likely to be continually, but imperceptibly, raised.
posted by Tullius at 5:00 AM on July 8, 2008


For the record, the Democratic Party has a less than stellar reputation for welcoming political dissent at their public forums.
posted by LakesideOrion at 5:14 AM on July 8, 2008


"there are people for whom freedom is more than a slogan."

What an excellent slogan!
posted by Eideteker at 5:46 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Time for another Bookhouse break. After the splendid bone-snapping virtuosity of Tony Jaa, I present the finely-aged smelly cheese of Ninja 3 Domination.
posted by PsychoKick at 6:02 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


If it's open to the public, then that would seem to imply that law-abiding members of the public can attend, without restriction.

I don't care about convincing you, because you're not approaching this with a shred of honesty. Hint: Try looking at what "open to the public" actually means, instead of what it would "seem to imply" (i.e., what would support your outrage).

"Open to the public" means that admission is not limited to a particular group of people. It does not mean that there are no restrictions on attendees. For example, a library at a state university may be "open to the public," but this does not mean that members of the public aren't subject to various restrictions when visiting the library.

And if it's not okay to protest in such a place, then when the heck is it okay to protest a candidate? In designated hateful "Free Speech Zones*?" Anywhere else? Never? I'd say that if your answer is never, or is effectively never, then you must be mistaken.

I must be mistaken? Because you really want to protest wherever you want, and you just can't bear to think reality doesn't line up with your whim?

You can protest in public (which is not the same thing as an event "open to the public"--I realize that to the outrage-clouded mind, the similarity of the two phrases is really confusing, but you can get through this), and you can protest in your own facilities and any facilities you're allowed to. The First Amendment does not guarantee you an audience. The fact that McCain chose to hold his campaign event in a facility in which he had the right to exclude people does not mean your rights were violated.

As a matter of fact, you can protest all over the place, so your "effectively never" concern is complete nonsense. You just want to read a right to maximum media impact into the First Amendment, but it just isn't there.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:34 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I read through the thread before watching the video. It was humorous to know in advance that she was a reporter before she was a librarian, because she demonstrated some behaviors known to journalists.

First, to argue that a space is public because it is city property, or at least to argue that free speech ought to be permitted in a public space, is something all journalists know. And secondly, when she was being led off, someone asked if she was being arrested, and she wanted to be more clear than that: she was being removed, not arrested. Getting it right is something journalists also try to do.

I have no idea what they will decide regarding whether the space is public or private or somewhere in between. (I would imagine that calling it totally public would prevent the city from celling tickets to events, and I would also imagine that calling it totally private would be an unfair use of tax dollars to privatize a space. So I am guessing the answer is something in between.)

By the way: The Democrats likely would have done something like this, too, if 2004 is any indication.
posted by bugmuncher at 6:38 AM on July 8, 2008


You have two choices. You can keep your sign here and receive a ticket for trespassing, or you can remove the sign and stay in line and attend this town hall meeting.
That's one choice. Two options, but one choice. Dumbass.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:45 AM on July 8, 2008


It makes me want to scour North America and kill all the kittens. You don't deserve kittens.

Just leave the dogs alone.

"An AP-Yahoo News poll found that pet owners favor McCain over Obama 42 percent to 37 percent, with dog owners particularly in McCain's corner."
posted by ericb at 6:45 AM on July 8, 2008


Time for another Bookhouse break. After the splendid bone-snapping virtuosity of Tony Jaa, I present the finely-aged smelly cheese of Ninja 3 Domination.

Blowdart in the gun muzzle! BLOWdart in the g...yall don't hear me.
posted by cashman at 6:57 AM on July 8, 2008


Oh shit, he said 'choices' instead of 'options'? Now I'm really outraged.
posted by the other side at 7:32 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would have tasered her...
posted by tadellin at 7:35 AM on July 8, 2008


Pure and simple.....McSame = Bush....and every voter in the US of A with one ounce of common sense (about 12 people) know that to be the case. A vote for McSame is simply a vote to continue with failed global and domestic policies. On the other hand.....welcome to Obama land.....he talks a good talk....has a great speech writer but has absolutely no substance about him. Poor us.....screwed yet one more time.....it's like a choice between dumb and dumber.
posted by malter51 at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2008


I dislike McCain for a whole variety of reasons, but this is hard to blame him particularly for. Democrats, including the ones I like, have been up to the same shenanigans for a while now.

It upsets me from both sides because it seems to contribute to the echo-chamber politics that pass for public debate these days.

That being said, I don't actually think this would change that much if you let protesters into campaign events. It would just make a lot of those videos where the public speaker looks annoyed.
posted by lumpenprole at 8:38 AM on July 8, 2008


I'm siding with the minority here; I had to look up who Tigh was.
posted by Paid In Full at 9:00 AM on July 8, 2008


Goddamnit, orthogonality. You bastard! I've been saving those episodes for months! Spoilsport!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhsssssssssssssssssshit.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:15 AM on July 8, 2008


Was she actually in the space that had been rented? My quick view of the video seemed to show her outside, with some others passing by, which would seem to make it public space. I can't view the video at the moment so perhaps I'm wrong.
posted by etaoin at 9:18 AM on July 8, 2008


What's John McCain's Technology Policy? Surprise—he doesn't have one. And how does that compare to Barack Obama?
posted by homunculus at 9:42 AM on July 8, 2008


I had to look up who Tigh was.

Anyone else ever notice that his full name is Saul Tigh?

Which is just a minor vowel pronunciation change away from 'Salty'. Considering his character, I can't believe it took me till the last couple of episodes to catch that.
posted by quin at 9:56 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Dissent, no matter how softly murmured, no matter how small it is printed on a poster or bumper sticker, will only get you ticketed, or worse, arrested and in need of bail money when national political figures come to town [Denver]....'McCain=Bush,' was all that Carol Kreck's sign said. And they came for her even before they went for the man wearing a ridiculous pea pod costume plastered with photos of the president and Sen. McCain. Turns out, she didn't even make the sign. It was handed to her, she said....'It was all kind of larky,' acknowledged Kreck, a former Denver Post reporter, of her being there at all. 'Since I only work part time at the library, I thought (attending the news conference) was something I could do to be helpful.' ...She is due in court July 23 when she will be told when her first hearing will be. Carol Kreck insists she will not fold and pay any fine, which she says could be anywhere from $50 to $100. 'I can't imagine a judge for one minute who will not throw this case out.' She has hired an attorney and hints that her legal fight will not end with the criminal charge. 'If the security men or the Secret Service asked Denver police to do something illegal, it is an issue, an argument, a court should address.'" *
posted by ericb at 10:04 PM on July 8, 2008


David Lane, an attorney representing Kreck:
"'I believe we'll be having a lawsuit against the police officers and any Secret Service agents who have violated her First Amendment rights,' said Lane. 'She was on public property and Denver Police officers were censoring her.'"
posted by ericb at 10:08 PM on July 8, 2008


You know, no matter what the outcome, this story would still be a little sad.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:11 AM on July 9, 2008


Prepare to be disappointed.
posted by Eideteker at 5:05 AM on July 9, 2008


John McCain Makes Another Crude Joke About Killing Iranians - AP Misses Real Story
posted by homunculus at 9:28 AM on July 9, 2008


What a twit. Quick, someone see if they can goad him into referring to Vietnamese as Gooks again. I'd wonder how someone with such an insensitive world view could keep a job as senator and then I remember guys like Strom.
posted by Mitheral at 10:05 AM on July 9, 2008


McCain ~= Bush would have saved her.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:05 AM on July 9, 2008


Case may preview August conflicts.
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM on July 9, 2008


Who are the lucky hosts of the GOP convention?
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on July 9, 2008


GOP Convention -- Minneapolis-Saint Paul (September 1 -4).

Larry Craig's stall in one of the bathrooms at the airport is expected to become an even bigger tourist draw that week.
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on July 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


"It was Sen. John McCain's staff who asked security at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to remove people holding protest signs at the venue — not U.S. Secret Service agents, who were not involved in Carol Kreck's ouster from the galleria.

A video of the incident circulating widely on the Internet shows a DCPA security guard saying that he was told by the Secret Service to remove Kreck, who was holding a paper sign that said 'McCain = Bush.'

But Thursday, after two days of being vilified by bloggers, letter writers and others, the Secret Service emphatically denied involvement.

'Contrary to some recent reporting, the Secret Service had no involvement in Ms. Kreck being removed from the area,' said Malcolm D. Wiley Sr., spokesman for the Secret Service. 'It was not done at our request or suggestion. Any assertion to the contrary is inaccurate and inconsistent with our established policies and procedures.'"*
posted by ericb at 7:08 AM on July 12, 2008


Carol Kreck writes about her ordeal.
posted by ericb at 7:10 AM on July 12, 2008


Conservative Rocky Mountain News editorial board: Kreck's rights violated.
posted by ericb at 7:13 AM on July 12, 2008


Another related case in Denver:
"...the Secret Service has been hit several times with lawsuits alleging violations of First Amendment rights when citizens expressed opposition to administration policies. Locally, Denver attorney David Lane is suing them for a violation of Steven Howards' First and Fourth Amendment rights. Howards approached Dick Cheney in a Beaver Creek mall and told the vice president his policies in the Middle East were reprehensible. He was arrested; charges were dropped.

(As the New York Times reported, that issue devolved into 'Secret Service agents -- under oath in court depositions -- accusing one another of unethical and perhaps even illegal conduct in the handling of Mr. Howards's arrest and the official accounting of it.')"
posted by ericb at 7:16 AM on July 12, 2008


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