Friday, June 3, 2011

Putting Protests Into Perspective

On Wednesday, I heard Jeff Wagner, afternoon squawker on WTMJ 620, having a hissy fit about a group of people that gather inside the Capitol every weekday at noon for an hour of singing songs about solidarity, unions and general support for the working men and women of the state. ( @SolidaritySings for the Twitterati.) This was dutifully parroted by the right wing echo chamber.

They were just so upset because people dare to exercise their first amendment rights and show solidarity! If they are intimidated by such a small thing as this, they must truly be in a panic and know they are quite in the wrong in their ceaseless assault on Wisconsin and the good men, women and children who are its citizens.

But the right's selective and hyperbolic outrage doesn't end there.

On Thursday, both Charlie Sykes and Wagner were mewling about the return of #walkerville. The common mewl was do demonize and de-humanize the protesters who will be coming out for the return of the sleep ins, or in this case, the sleep outs.

What these faux complaints really are is just an effort to minimize the damage that will be done to their side when the people continuously see tens of thousands of people standing together in solidarity against the forces that are trying to remove their freedoms and everything that true Wisconsinites hold dear.

Unfortunately, Tuesday evening, a handful of young hot heads gave the right wing squawkers and their unquestioning followers something they can use to beat the rest of the protesters with. The behavior of these is most unfortunate and not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. They have not accomplished anything but to give themselves and the other pro-democracy people a big black eye.

But in the grand scheme of things, really how bad were their behaviors? They were yelling and causing a disruption during a late night hearing of the Joint Finance Committee. Yes, it was uncalled for. Yes, it was in poor taste and not holding with the decorum of a governmental body in action. Yes, it went against everything that the other protesters rightfully pride themselves on, which was having peaceful protests and events.

The supposed horror of people doing a sing-a-long or having a jamboree or even yelling "Shame!" in a crowded committee room pales even further when one considers the way the right wing nut jobs express their displeasure. There is really no way that anyone of either side can condone in way, shape or form the act of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a private citizen's home, just because she protested a local store that advocated (with tongue firmly in cheek, one would hope) shooting people because of their nationality.

I can personally say that if given a choice, I'd rather have some young person yelling at me than to have someone jeopardize my home and my very life.

And if you look at what made these young goofs so upset that they were willing to throw away common courtesy and decorum, their "outrageous" behavior seems rather constrained.

The last time someone tried to take away our rights, make us pay higher and higher taxes to benefit a handful of already obscenely rich people and treat us like serfs, we had a little thing called the American Revolution.

All in all, I would daresay that a sing-a-long, even if it was off key, is a mild event compared to what our founding forefathers would have done. Instead of complaining, the Republicans should be grateful that they aren't getting what they deserve.

Cross Posted at Cog Dis.

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