Constituents Using a Forum to Register Displeasure With Representative: Spooky!* 700 Angry Protesters on a Bankster's Front Lawn: "About damn time"

The Nation's Christopher Hayes has a curious piece up. This excerpt just about covers the narrative arc:

Last September, I was at some off-the-record Washington dinner and happened to be at the table of a Democratic Congressman. He'd just gotten back from recess in his district, where he'd been subjected to the full Tea Party treatment. As he described the rage he'd witnessed, it was clear he was spooked. I remember thinking he was more scared of voting for the healthcare bill than he was of voting against it, and that was going to be a problem.

I thought about that Congressman this past Sunday as I watched more than 700 protesters from National People's Action gather on the front lawn at the home of Gregory Baer, deputy counsel for the Bank Regulatory and Public Policy Group at Bank of America. [...]

I'm dispositionally inclined to cringe at actions like this: I don't like conflict; I feel bad for the dude who's having his Sunday ruined. But I got over that real quick when Trenda Kennedy of Springfield, Illinois, took the bullhorn on Baer's steps. "In America, every seven seconds one of our homes goes into foreclosure," she said. "My home is one of those!" [...]

All of this is part of a nationwide series of direct actions called "Showdown in America," spearheaded by NPA, the People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) network and the Service Employees International (SEIU). The campaign aims to dismantle the entire Wall Street–Washington corporatist axis, which gave us the financial crisis, the bailouts and 7 million foreclosures since 2008, a million of which have ended in repossession.

It's about damn time. We have witnessed the greatest implosion of American capitalism in nearly a century, and the only grassroots movement the cataclysm seems to have birthed is a right-wing populist backlash. [...]

If we're going to get reform on the scale we need, bank lobbyists and members of Congress alike have to be confronted with the terrifying thought that the system from which they profit might just be run over—that 700 angry protesters might show up on their lawn any given Sunday.

The role of police in escorting those protesters to Baer's house (or not) is under dispute.

*UPDATE: Hayes Tweets to me: "never called anyone 'spooky.' Point was that tea party protests at August town halls were effective organizing."

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  • Paul||

    It's about damn time. We have witnessed the greatest implosion of American capitalism in nearly a century, and the only grassroots movement the cataclysm seems to have birthed is a right-wing populist backlash. [...]

    I'm confused as to what he means in this statement.

  • Jeffersonian||

    He thinks people should be clamoring for more and more government to care for them in the wake of the crisis. But people, deep down, see that the crisis was tenderly nurtured and cared for by the Central State and its handmaidens, and are thus demanding the perpetrators of same be left to rack and ruin, not bailout and subsidy. This has left him perplexed.

  • zoltan||

    Because we all know it was not an implosion of capitalism; it was an implosion in state interference into the economy. Of course the statists aren't going to birth a grassroots movement against it.

  • ||

    Jesus, black is white, freedom is slavery, dogs and cats living together. . . .

  • zoltan||

    It's difficult to remember.

  • GILMORE||

    I'm confused as to what he means in this statement.

    Yeah, me too.

  • ||

    He doesn't "mean" anything by it, if you mean "attempts to express an original coherent thought."

    It's just a series of slogans and key phrases strung together, each one of which works like Pavlov's bell on the faithful. American capitalism = they growl dyspeptically. Grassroots movement = they salivate. Et cetera.

    You can easily program a short BASIC computer program to produce screeds like this. Just load it up with the usual slogans, fire up the random number generator, and include a selection of conjunctions and punctuation to seal the gaps.

  • ||

    There's a reason the game is called "MAD LIB[eral]S".

  • Jeffersonian||

    If the SEIU wants a separation of Goldman and State, they need to run this hootenanny past 1600 Pennsylvania.

  • ||

    You've touched upon this sentence: "The campaign aims to dismantle the entire Wall Street–Washington corporatist axis, which gave us the financial crisis, the bailouts and 7 million foreclosures since 2008, a million of which have ended in repossession."

    This is what gets me about the Leftists. Since I was in college (eh, mid-70's), Lefties have been telling me how much they despise the size and power of corporations. Their solution, increase the size and power of government, which has no pressure from consumers in the market. Great, make the situation worse. It's now 2010 and the author here hasn't learned a thing.

    The SIEU's goal is to cement, deepen and strengthen the government-corporate axix (=fascism) and they hope that the government will eventually take over the whole shebang as is the plan with Healthcare "Reform" (=socialism or communism).

    It both cases, the ordinary person loses power, authority, autonomy, options and choices. Somehow, this is "progressive". Somehow, anyone opposed to this is "right-wing", whether populist or not.

    Are they stupid, insane or evil?

  • ||

    Is that a trick question? Duh, all three!

  • ||

    Harry Reid has a bill that make unionizing the Police Departments mandatory, then what? The SEIU then has a Army with in the States beholding to the State for their sustenance and power. Its moving through Congressional Puppets right now.

  • ||

    Personally I would like to see a separation of SEIU and state. I see no reason why government employees should be allowed to unionize.

  • dfd||

    Yes, there's something deeply incongruous about workers needing protection from the very government they think should be running so much of our lives, from health care to the financial industry to the environment. If those workers can't even trust government managers' decisions with respect to the very narrow and limited scope of their relationship, how can they possibly expect the rest of us to trust those same government managers' decisions with respect to the vastly greater scope of all they try to control in our lives?

  • ||

    See: Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Spouse Syndrome.

    Also this lovely quote, "It is better to sit at the right hand of The Devil, than be in his path."

  • ||

    Sean|5.25.10 @ 6:13PM|#
    "....I see no reason why government employees should be allowed to unionize."

    Anyone know anything about this?
    "The statists are trying to attach Amendment 4174 to the latest appropriations bill (H.R. 4899)....."
    Which, according to the source, mandates union representation in police and fire-fighters.

  • Joshua||

    I say let 'em unionize, but drop their anti-trust exemption. No monopolizing labor, assholes.

  • Colin||

    And to think The Nation was once a libertarian magazine. Villard's turning in his grave.

  • marlok||

    Now it's more of a repository for all of the liberal arguments that are too stupid to go anywhere else.
    Even if SEIU started burning down houses, these guys would probably see it as an understandable response to oppression from the great evil of free enterprise.

  • ||

    But I got over that real quick when Trenda Kennedy of Springfield, Illinois, took the bullhorn on Baer's steps.

    She'd take more than a bullhorn if she showed up on my front steps.

  • BakedPenguin||

    That's what I was thinking. Try invading someone's property in Florida or Texas and see how long you live.

  • afmcclint||

    Oh, you guys are so tough! Where are you from?

    As someone blessed to be a natural-born Texan, I'm all for the ability to protect yourself, family, and your property--sometimes with deadly force if necessary. But only an idiot would think, or even suggest, that it's ok to shoot and possibly kill a person with a bullhorn on your front steps. The law certainly wouldn't think so. And even if it was legal, most of us (especially those of us who have actually been trained to use guns) are rational enough to understand that shooting someone is reserved for pretty damn serious situations.

  • RM||

    700 people isn't a protest, it's a mob, especially when they're trespassing. Shooting them immediately would obviously be an overreaction but letting them know that you're armed isn't if they don't leave after you ask them to.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    But turning on the sprinklers would be awesome.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Oh. I see RCD beat me to it.

  • afmcclint||

    Yep. There's so much you can do that in this situation. Just about any court would grant an injunction in this situation. But non-lethal actions that antagonize idiots are completely awesome.

  • Mr. Burns||

    Smithers, release the hounds!

  • ||

    Yeah, I was wondering where their water hose was while this was going on.

  • afmcclint||

    Agreed. But you still need to be pretty fearful for your safety to think firing a bullet into someone is an appropriate or proportionate response.

  • ||

    My safety, my family's safety, my neighbor's safety... And if old clint was really from TX, he would know that the CHL statutes SPECIFICALLY allow lethal force in defense of all of these.

    And 700 protesters? That would use up about 10% of my 7.62x39. Maybe that's why we don't see SEIU cowards in TX.

  • afmcclint||

    7.62x39: penis size? Since I'm (perhaps foolishly) presuming that you're not a sociopath, that's the only other reason I can come up with that you'd think comments about firing extremely destructive slugs into a crowd of people is even remotely reasonable.

    Anywho, if you return to my previous comments, you'll see that all I wrote concerning the law is that it "certainly wouldn't think" "that it's ok to shoot and possibly kill a person with a bullhorn on your front steps." If that statement provides evidence that a) I'm not a proudly born Texan, or b) I don't know what the law says regarding that situation, I don't see it.

    Deadly force in defense of persons requires a REASONABLE belief that deadly force is IMMEDIATELY NECESSARY a) to protect against the use or attempted use of unlawful DEADLY force; or b) to prevent an IMMINENT aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery. There is a rebuttable presumption that the belief is reasonable if someone has, or is attempting to, enter the home (not yard) by force.

    Deadly force in defense of property also requires a reasonable belief, immediate necessity, and imminence. The only acts deadly force may be used to protect against are arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime. Also, a person has to reasonably believe that deadly force is the ONLY way to protect or recover the property, or that less-than-deadly force presents grave risks to himself or others.

    So, in a sense, you're right: the CHL statutes do "SPECIFICALLY allow lethal force in defense of" the things you listed. You're wrong about my ignorance of those matters.

    You're even more wrong in thinking your attack addresses anything I said.

    1) Nothing in the article suggests that anyone could satisfy the legal requisites for the use of deadly force. It doesn't look like anyone would reasonably believe the "mob" presented a threat of the imminent use of deadly force or that they were about to commit any of the listed crimes (against persons or property); and they hadn't entered anyone's home. Barring facts not presented here, I don't see how the law would allow deadly force.
    2) This relates to 1), but it deserves emphasis, since I used the term "idiot" earlier. If you believe that a person on your steps with a bullhorn presents a situation meeting the legal criteria to justify deadly force, you're an idiot. (OK, I'll be charitable and say that you might just be drama queen.) Let's say, though, that the law would find your belief reasonable: You're still an idiot, a sociopath; and, worst of all, you're just looking for a reason to shoot someone. We're a nation of laws. Call the cops. Seek an injunction. Be civilized. Just because the law permits people to act like idiots doesn't mean they should--be they SEIU folks, or those that would purport to shoot them.

    As for the Texan comments: I may not live in God's country right now, but I was born there and spent the first 95% of my life there, so I don't know what more you want.

    So, idiot, anything else to add?

  • ||

    Yeah, we've seen how well the law works now --- from the New Black Panther Party, SEIU, etc. What a moron.

  • afmcclint||

    I honestly have no idea what you're getting at. I have two ideas, though:

    1. You think the law (as in the legal system) has broken down to the point where you need to protect yourself, via deadly force, against people who might harass you. If this is the case, why do you even deign to cite the limited exceptions to murder and other crimes that are listed in the CHL statutes (i.e., laws)? If the system's broken, then it's intellectually dishonest to assert that the laws allow anything. They either work or they don't. If they don't, retreat to your compound and shut your trap while the rest of us try to live by the rule of law.

    2. Or, maybe you think the law--in this case, the CHL statutes--doesn't work against the "New Black Panther Party, SEIU, etc." If this is the case, then you fundamentally misunderstand the purpose (and even the nature) of the statutes authorizing the use of deadly force. The purpose (and I'm talking about the purpose as it's written) is not to scare away the bogeymen who frighten you. Rather, it is to allow you a defense when the State charges you with murder for killing someone. Make no mistake: if you shoot and kill someone in any of the situations listed in the deadly force authorizations, it is murder. The statutes provide a justification defense to murder, and if you prove the elements of the defense, you cannot be convicted. Why is this defense allowed? Because the law (or in this case, the lawmakers) recognizes that some situations are so grave and urgent that legal recourse other than deadly force cannot provide a remedy if you're wronged. Those situations are clearly listed in the statute. Feeling intimidated by people with whom you disagree isn't among them.

    What it all comes back to is that you don't think shooting someone (outside of the war context--that another discussion) is one of the worst things you can possibly do, and should be done only when there's no other viable option. I do. If that makes me a moron in your eyes, meh. So what?

  • ||

    I'd say the logical progression of assertion of one's property rights should go something like this:

    1) Show up at door toting your shotgun.

    2) Politely tell everyone to get the fuck off your private property.

    3) If noncompliance with this request ensues, conspicuously load shells into the shotgun.

    4) If this doesn't get their attention, say "this is your one and only warning shot."

    5) If still no compliance, fire a warning shot into your private property.

  • afmcclint||

    And if they don't leave? Or if one of them pulls out a gun?

    I agree with you that a person should be able to protect his property rights. But if it's ok to threaten someone, or even a bunch of someones (who, by the way, are threatening you with little more than harsh words and anger), with lethal force, and then follow through with it when your life is not in danger, then we've turned into a bunch of savages.

  • tarran||

    Never, ever, ever!... brandish... a... gun... unless you are prepared to shoot the person you are brandishing it at.

    Carrying a gun visibly, of course, is quite fine. Threats of deadly force, explicit or implied, should not be made lightly and without a willingness to carry them out.

  • ||

    I agree. I was one of those Mormon missionaries you see going around in suits door to door, in ohio, and a fellow pulled a big gun on us, telling us to get off his property. It wasn't impressive- just made him seem like a jerk. We left just as fast as we would if he had said he wasn't interested in our message.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You're right - shooting someone on the lawn is neither legal nor moral. When I said "invading someone's property", I was talking about a home invasion. This was due to a cursory reading of the article.

  • ||

    The irony of that situation was that the guy they went there to intimidate wasn't even at home; he was attending one of his kids' soccer game. The only person in the house was his teen-aged son.

    Congratulations, SEIU thugs; all you accomplished was to terrorize a teenaged boy. I'm sure you're all real proud of yourselves for your "courage" in "speaking truth to power".

  • ||


    But I got over that real quick when
    Trenda Kennedy of Springfield, Illinois, took the bullhorn on Baer's steps. "In America, every seven seconds one of our homes goes into foreclosure," she said. "My home is one of those!"

    How about some specifics, Trenda? Like: What kind of down payment did you make? What did you say on your mortgage application? What were your contingency plans? Did you refinance to buy cars, vacations and pay for your credit card bills?

    In other words, do you take ANY degree of personal responsibility for your situation?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Her tirade was utterly banal and incoherent. If this is what passes for a stemwinder at SEIU, they're more pathetic than even I had imagined.

  • dfd||

    Oh that doesn't matter. As we saw in one of those posts yesterday or whenever, low-interest fixed-rate mortgages that can't be foreclosed are a civil right!

  • ||

    Is that under the "It's not my fault" amendment or the "I want it" amendment?

  • ||

    Both. It would be interesting if the paper had investigated what type of mortgage this bullhorn lady had, how much she borrowed, her documented ability to actually make the payments on her load, etc. But that would actually require work.

  • ||

    Uh I mean "payments on her loan." Maybe a Freudian slip there.

  • ||

    Esther Kaplan, in The Nation, writes:

    Take Trenda Kennedy, of Springfield, Illinois, and her partner, Brandy Hensley. Between them, they have six kids, and their home, Kennedy said, "has been a haven for teenage boys." But last year Kennedy lost her job as an office worker; soon, Hensley, a fire fighter for ten years, was laid off too. Suddenly, they desperately needed a mortgage modification to save their home. They saw two different HUD-certified counselors; Kennedy spent hours being lectured by a Hope Now representative about how to manage her finances. But no one actually helped them get a modification. On their own, the couple submitted paperwork three times to their lender, Bank of America, and battled to get Hensley's income from her new job in food services included in the math. (The bank had insisted that only spousal income counted, not that of domestic partners.)

    She took a subprime because her banker said she could refinance to something better in a few years. She didn't marry the guy she lives with (for reasons I won't try to guess), so there was no spousal income to report. Bottom line is, it's all the bank's fault because they wouldn't modify terms for an unemployed single mother. Damn bankers!

  • Mary in LA||

    @Squid:

    She didn't marry the guy she lives with (for reasons I won't try to guess)

    I'll guess it's 'cuz Brandy Hensley's not a guy:

    Hensley's income from her new job in food services
  • ||

    Wonder if Mr. Hayes would mind if I showed up at his house at 7 AM screaming at him with a bullhorn because his column caused me to have a headache as a result of a massive facepalm.

  • marlok||

    But you see, he is a noble young man of the left. The ends justify the means for his side, but for no one else's.

  • Contemplationist||

    Poor Andrew. You don't get it. Rich people don't have rights.

    /proggie

  • ||

    I wonder how I would have reacted if it had been my lawn.

    I bet that house has a sprinkler system in the lawn. Turning that on would have been a good first step.

    Lighting up the 911 switchboard, of course. To be followed with vociferous complaints at every town hall, city council, and police review board meeting at the cowardice, incompetence, and dereliction of duty of the police.

    Perhaps the thing to do would be to go out to do a little gardening. I do have some brush that needs to be cut back. With a chainsaw.

  • MattXIV||

    They'd get off lucky at your place. I have ~1.5kW of amplifiers, industrial ear protection, and a suspicion I'd be in the mood for listening to Metal Machine Music.

  • ||

    I prefer the lawn sprinklers myself.

    Especially if loaded with indelible ink.

  • peachy||

    Or Essence of Skunk (TM).

  • chemist||

    That would be butyl thiol.

  • Some Guy||

    I would play some incredibly annoying children's song in a loop.

  • ||

    Yep, "It's a Small World" at max volume would be just the thing.

  • ||

    Damn, Slopcum, you beat me to it!

  • ||

    And I apologize for misspelling your name. "Freddy Fatfingers" strikes again!

  • ||

    Or the Benny Hill theme song. A Yakety Sax soundtrack would show the mob as the clowns that they are. And any videos of the protest couldn't help but pick up the music. Perfect.

  • marlok||

    I think I'd play "We are the champions", while furiously doing orchestra conductor motions in the window, placing special emphasis on the line "NO TIME FOR LOSERS."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You seem to be completely dismissing the fact that there are 700 angry people on his lawn. I'm not advocating to start blasting, but if I had 700 people on my front lawn I would absolutely let them know that I mean get the fuck off NOW, not when you feel it's convenient. And it would be the "scariest" looking guns I have.

    It's amazing that these people see the bank-DC connection, and jump to the conclusion that the guys taking the money are somehow blameless. It's all the banks' fault. The shit doesn't even pass the 3rd grade aptitude test.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I say that every year when Ichthus shows up in my back yard (literally in my fucking backyard).

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I'd be blasting some Holy Diver up their asses. Ah, Dio you should have lived 670 years, not 67. Satan's secretary fucked up the math.

  • marlok||

    I didn't know until I read your post that Dio died. What a downer. As near as I can tell, he pretty much rocked until the end.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Yeah I saw him last summer with Heaven and Hell (Guys from Black Sabbath). Little did I know it would be the last time. With a career that spanned 6 decades, he was a class act that contributed time and money to charity as well. Maybe those uncultured swine at the rock & roll hall of fame will recognize him post-mortem.

  • Paul||

    Been done. Didn't PETA bitch and moan about some CEO's wife turning the sprinklers on 'em? Of course, it was PETA so the protesters numbered in the three or four.

  • ||

    With PETA, only Irish Wolfhounds are appropriate.

  • ||

    what would happen if someone released some bad@ss dogs on a peta protest? would they defend themselves? or be torn into rapturous shreds?

  • ||

    I myself would be quite interested in the outcome as well!

  • Attorney||

    I think PETAns hold that domestic animals are better off dead than continuing to live as slaves. So my guess is they'd defend themselves -- I mean, save the hounds from a fate worse than death.

  • ||

    I hope it is a populist backlash...

    "All of this is part of a nationwide series of direct actions called "Showdown in America," spearheaded by NPA, the People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) network and the Service Employees International (SEIU).

    ...and I'll try to show up myself the first time populists organize this sort of thing and direct it at SEIU.

    Isn't that the union that represents some 95,000 state employees--just in the state of California?

    Why yes it is!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....Local_1000

  • LarryA||

    The campaign aims to dismantle the entire Wall Street–Washington corporatist axis, which gave us the financial crisis, the bailouts and 7 million foreclosures since 2008, a million of which have ended in repossession.

    Bullshit. The SEIU campaign aims to reinforce “the entire Wall Street–Washington corporatist axis,” only with the government micromanaging the show.

    It's about damn time. We have witnessed the greatest implosion of American capitalism in nearly a century, and the only grassroots movement the cataclysm seems to have birthed is a right-wing populist backlash.

    Translation: Mobs are bad, unless they're our mobs.

  • Maxine Waters||

    Translation: Mobs are bad, unless they're our mobs.

    It's the voice of the unheard! Oh wait.

  • ||

    I anxiously await the Ascended One's vigorous denunciation of these lynch mobs, and I expect him to direct Attorney general Holder to investigate.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • ||

    I believe he stated that he's holding back the pitchfork mobs.

  • ||

    OH wow what a great idea. I like it.

    Lou
    www.complete-anonymity.at.tc

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I am confused as to which side Matt is on here.

  • Jay||

    He's with Glenn Reynolds

  • Rice Bingham||

    I am Confused...

    Tell us something we didn't know, John T.

  • B.P.||

    Is it typical for grassroots groups to all be wearing the same shirt?

  • ||

    That is how they are identified.

    Tea Partiers are all wearing Brooks Brother's. Grass roots will be wearing matching red shirts.

  • ||

    What a dildo. Try actually attending a tea party and note the sartorial splendor...of shorts, t-shirts, and Levis.

  • Some Guy||

    While I'm torn with who I dislike more in this scenario, I have to fall back on the fact that the guy inside the house successfully stole a bunch of my tax money, and the people outside failed to steal my tax money (so far.)

    So this is definitely a case where I am angry at the "successful."

    Though I have to say that you shouldn't be allowed to protest on his lawn. Stay on the sidewalk and you're good.

  • Comrade Zero||

    Maybe this is one of the bailout conditions - using the Big Exec's lawn to promote the SEIU?

    But assuming it is honest, I say a pox on both houses anyway.

  • ||

    Maybe they'll kill each other. This seems like a good time to get some popcorn.

  • ||

    SG...Usually we have trials with juries to determine guilt in these matters...but I guess mob rule is an alternative in these times...if you have to pick sides.

  • DRM||

    You really think the SEIU has failed to steal tax money?

  • ||

    I don't think you should be allowed to protest en masse at a private residence. Even if you're on the sidewalk.

    Call me a tyrant, but freedom of assembly has limits. In Libertopia there wouldn't even be public sidewalks for you to protest on, so I don't see how easy mob access to a location within earshot of a disliked person's home is a right from a libertarian POV.

  • rrr||

    Failed to steal your tax money so far? You've bought into the lie that all the social services are paid for by the good fairy. And whose tax dollars paid for the "escort"? Whose tax dollars paid for the union dues and the time missed work while they protested?

  • ||

    You're kidding, right?

    The "guy inside" is not Bank of America which, by the way, repaid all its TARP money and ahead of schedule.

    And you're nuts if you don't think public sector unions get into the pocket where you keep your tax money. They're in it right now. They take money from the wages of the public employees your taxes pay and use it for spectacles like this and to get their sugar daddies elected and re-elected.

  • IceTrey||

    Of course the only one home was the guys 14 year old son who was so scared he hid in a closet for an hour.

  • ||

    Did he see Tom Cruise?

  • Matthew Tievsky||

    In Hayes' defense, as far as I can tell he's not criticizing the Tea Party protest as somehow illegitimate. He's simply comparing the two protests and favoring the NPA's protest because he agrees with its ideology. There's nothing inconsistent about that.

  • OMG||

    How about the fact that the teaparty protestors were targeting an elected official who, by seeking public office, is answerable to the public versus the SEIU protestors trespassing on the property of a private individual whose corporation enforced contractual provisions against private individuals who voluntarily entered into an arrangement?

  • Marc||

    This.

  • ||

    They also didn't show up at any elected officials' homes.

  • Monty||

    Unleash the hounds!!!

  • ||

    Of course if Trenda's house had appreciated in value and she had made a killing, I am so sure that she would have shared that money with us.

    And of course everyone has a right to live in your home and never pay for it. And those of us who haven't bought homes can go fuck ourselves. We have not right to anything other than to subsidize the Trenda's of the world.

  • alan||

    And they say there is no legitimate reason for anyone to own hand grenades. Our biggest problem is that we don't seize the opportunities to exploit events like the Rahms of this world would have done. Time to advocate the legalization of hand grenades and this event is as good a catalyst as any. If we were like them and jumped the gun with excuses to legislate every time anything hinted to our favor they might be a little more careful about their own actions.

  • ||

    that or .50 caliber machine guns.

  • Coeus||

    I think a couple of claymores would have been useful as well.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Nonsense...just spit on them. Being union goons, they'll be so traumatized they'll be incapacitated for an average of 64 - and as much as 191 - days.

  • alan||

    Spitting doesn't cause gibbing. Even acidic or poisonous spitting is visually tepid.

  • Abdul||

    This is why every bank executive should have a kennel of attack dogs or Pinkertons.

  • ||

    Fun fact about the Pinkertons: they're still around.

    http://www.securitas.com/pinkerton/en/

  • Rearden||

    Further fun fact, that Wikipedia article claims that Securitas' employees are unionized with the SEIU. Oh what grand historical irony.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "never called anyone 'spooky.'

    I read it as him doing so, but I suppose his "about damn time" was meant to signal his glee that the SEIU mob was finally matching the Tea Party's spook-inducing ferver. Perhaps his piece was to show admiration of sorts for the TPM's tactic of showing up en masse, rather than the SEIU's inefficient habit of trying to intimidate the opposition with violence one victim at a time.

  • Ivan||

    Why is this confusing to you people? It is so simple; when you protest against what I am against you are engaged, enlightened and exercising your constitutional right. When you protest against what I am for you are ignorant, unpatriotic and threatening the democratic process. (This is the thinking of any current office holder regardless of party affiliation.)

  • ||

    Of course there is absolutely no comparison between Tea Partiers showing up at health care town hall meetings arranged by Congressmen themselves and these idiots showing up at a private residence uninvited. And trespassing on that property.

    And if it is true that Hayes' "Point was that tea party protests at August town halls were effective organizing," he does a damned poor job of making that point in his piece. He never says anything positive or even respectful about the Tea Party movement.

  • tarran||

    Well, in Hayes' defense, I think many adherents of his ideology fail to appreciate the difference between private property and public goods such as government owned roads.

    I am reminded of my dog, who can't tell the difference between me integrating and differentiating. To him they are one and the same thing - undecipherable scribblings on a piece of paper which prevent me from feeding him his supper at 2PM.

  • hmm||

    A public meeting with publicly elected
    official is clearly synonymous with a private property and a civilian who is not a civil servant.

    Kind of makes you wonder how far the make my day laws will go with you and your family feeling threatened. Who needs police support when you have your own arms. Want to bet the cops would show up if one of the people being protested stepped out on their front porch with an AR15 and kindly asked the people to get the fuck off their property and stop scaring their kids?

    Fuck being scared by them. They'd scatter like roaches with one blank round fired. I'd take the discharging a firearm in city limits charge for the video of just that any day.

  • Apogee||

    The problem is that you would then be prevented by law from owning a firearm again.

    That's the real point of gun control. Incremental dissolution of the right of self defense.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What if one had a gun, and pretended to fire it while setting off a recording of gunfire? Loophole?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Or better yet, skip living in city limits and live in the county where gun regulation is generally far more lax. I border with city property, but technically I can shoot whichever gun I please on my property because I live in the county. It wouldn't preclude me from being a dick, but I can do it.

  • Jimmy "the PR King" Hamfistule||

    The right way for Baer to have handled this would have been to force his 14 year old son to drink 10 cups of coffee so that he was all jittery, cut open an onion and rub it in his eye and then invite the local television stations to come interview him.

  • ||

    It wouldn't help. Reporters only interview sympathetic, innocent, crying, victims if it furthers a lefty cause.

  • Spartacus||

    Hayes Tweets to me: "never called anyone 'spooky.'

    When a person is described as being "spooked" by something, it is perfectly fitting, and follows quite naturally, to describe the something as "spooky."

    Both terms are, of course, racist.

  • Abdul||

    Showing up at some bank executive's house to protest your home foreclosure makes about as much sense as flipping the bird at clouds because you got rained on.

  • hmm||

    Is shaking your fist at clouds angrily acceptable?

  • PR||

    Keep it up SEIU. I want to see the Hatch Act ruthlessly enforced. Any political activity on taxpayer time or equipment is a violation that provides the excellent remedy of firing the employee and loss of pension. School buses?

  • epaminondas||

    Hayes' comment about 'effective organizing' is revelatory.
    The tea party members, a loose conglomeration of variously pissed off people are organized in the same way life organized itself in a pool of primordial soup. It SPRANG into existence as a result of what was THERE.

    These SEIU/ACORN top down THREATENERS who appeared not at a public forum but ON PRIVATE PROPERTY are not in any way comparable to a tea party grouping.

    The political class simply has no idea what the tea party can be specifically because they are no longer OF THE PEOPLE, and have lost that connection by which one can comprehend what is actually in the hearts of the people who vote.

  • The Monster||

    Isn't it fascinating that the Left denigrates Creationism, and insists that life simply sprang into existence, evolution randomly created the wonderful diversity and complex ecosystems we have without any Intelligent Design, but when it comes
    to grassroots demonstrations, they simply must be "astroturf".

    And economic activity, simply must be directed by top-down control. That spontaneous order stuff magically stops working once an organism attains sufficient intelligence to read Das Kapital.

  • Anonymous||

    The tea party is like us. We are legion. We are unstoppable. We have no leader to demonize. Our resolve is unbreakable. Our cause is just. Any effort to smear us cannot work because it is akin to smearing the People. Pee your pants politicians. You have no where to hide.

  • ||

    The simple way to look at this is to imagine what the coverage would be like were it conservatives or Tea Partiers who mounted this style of protest. The indignation and coverage would have been wall to wall from all the usual suspects.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Why, it would be McCarthyism! An echo of the brownshirt movement in Nazi Germany! A lynch mob!

  • DC Observer||

    The sad thing is that the only one at home when this mob showed up was Baer's 14 year old son who was scared out of his mind. Dad was at a Little League game with his younger son. Speak Truth to Power indeed.

  • Mr. O. Point||

    Seems to me this was an act of terrorism, just the sort situation the Patriot Act was designed to address.

  • ||

    Maybe Trenda Kennedy wouldn't be in foreclosure if she spent as much energy finding a job as she does travelling from Illinois to Maryland to protest on a banker's front porch.

    Got a fucking job!

  • ||

    The protest organizers (none of whom actually showed up) wanted an armed confrontation which the MSM would have crafted to show how evil corporate types were harming innocent women and children.

    I would have call a few hunting buddies and read the Riot Act and then opened fire on the crowd; but that's why I don't own firearms...

  • ||

    The correct response in this case is of course to get your wife's aphid spray attachment on your hose and spray for aphids. All around your property just in case the little suckers spread out from the roses. I suspect that would discourage the trespassers from hanging around.

    If anyone tries to physically stop you, then you can consider your life to be endangered and use the .45!

  • ||

    I get it. SEIU-organized protests at bank exec's house good anytime, cuz people are losing their homes. Tea Party grassroots protests at congressman's public meeting bad, cuz voters are allowed to participate only on the first Tuesday of Nov.
    Can we all put on purple shirts and meet up on Chris Hayes' lawn?

  • ||

    The solution is simple: Bank of America need only to forgive the 90 million dollars of SEIU debt, and the SEIU will stop sending mobs to senior executive's homes.

    Seems perfectly reasonable.

    /

  • Invisible Finger||

    The campaign aims to dismantle the entire Wall Street–Washington corporatist axis

    So the unions are happy to dismantle their pension plans and receive nothing in return?

  • Paul A'Barge||

    "bank lobbyists and members of Congress alike have to be confronted with the terrifying thought that the system from which they profit might just be run over"

    Ohhh. I question the eliminationist rhetoric.

    Don't you?

  • ||

    This was an outrage. I can't comprehend any clear-thinking citizen concerned about his own rights defending this type of intimidation tactic. I don't care in what cause - it is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    So trespass on private property is OK? Especially organized, non-incidental trespass with the clear purpose of intimidation? That sounds more like a criminal conspiracy to me. I would bring criminal charges and file a tort against any group leaders who did that sort of organized terrorizing to me or my family. These are tactics less reminiscent of 60's protest and more suggestive of Klan intimidation tactics. What's next, burning a big dollar sign on some bank official's lawn? That law enforcement officials would in any way facilitate the intimidation should make us ordinary folk queasy.

  • Paul A'Barge||

    Here's a comment to The Nation's Christopher Hayes regarding:
    "Hayes Tweets to me: "never called anyone 'spooky.' Point was that tea party protests at August town halls were effective organizing."

    Welch never said you said anyone was spooky. Go back and read the title for this piece.

    Welch makes the point that you describe the forum as spooky. Which you did, when you wrote that the Dem Cong. was "spooked".

    Welcome to English, you moron.

  • Ross||

    Why are you insulting morons? Can't we all get along?

  • ||

    If it is a lefty congressmen, he is "Subjected to the Tea Party Treatment" and "That is a problem", although I have a lot of trouble seeing what is wrong with constituents confronting their own congressman in a public place, not their hime, and complaining about something. But when a private citizen, who happened to be declared an enemy of the state by Obama, is intimidated by 900 SEUI union thugs, trespassing on his personal residence, that is different. "I'm dispositionally inclined to cringe at actions like this: I don't like conflict; I feel bad for the dude who's having his Sunday ruined. But I got over that real quick when Trenda Kennedy of Springfield, Illinois, took the bullhorn on Baer's steps. " and "about damn time". Lefty reporter double standard at its finest.

  • ||

    tea partiers had effective organizing? What about the SEIU bussed in? And out of the 12 incidents of violence, 10 of them were committed by heath care bill supporters, including one incident where a Code Pinker bit the finger off an elderly man?

    these people are so disingenuous it's disgusting. They are afraid of angry people on the right, meanwhile angry people on the left are committing actual violence, noted and respected columnists saying things we need a dictatorship to get things done? Where is the outcry and fear over that?

  • ||

    "'In America, every seven seconds one of our homes goes into foreclosure," she said. "My home is one of those!' [...]"

    I see two legitimate, non-parasitic solutions to this: 1) get a weekend job to make up the gap, 2) get a smaller house.

  • ||

    When will someone blame Barney Frank for destroying the housing market. These purple shirted bags au douche have ruined their credit for decades. Blame someone else and bankrupt their pensions.

  • ||

    Let's do some quick math. How many seconds in a year?

    (365 days/year)x(24 hours/day)x(60 minutes/hour)x(60 second/minute) = 31,536,000 seconds.

    If a house went into foreclosure every 7 seconds, thats:

    (31,536,000 seconds/year)/(7 seconds/foreclosure) = 4,505,143 foreclosures per year.

    Really? Given about 80,000,000 housing units in the US, that would mean that around 5.6% of the housing units go through foreclosure...and that sounds like nonsense. Foreclosuredata-dot-com is noting that a RECORD number of foreclosures...closing in on a MILLION this year...is forecast.

    Ah, what's a factor of 4 among friends, eh?

  • ||

    You aren't counting the three times the government steps in to stop the forclosure. If you correct for that the figure is accurate.

  • ChrisO||

    This was a classic union thug move that has nothing to do with foreclosures. As I understand it, SEIU is deeply in debt to Bank of America, and has been trying to unionize BoA employees.

    Apparently, going after managers personally is a longstanding pressure tactic in these situations. Since the NLRB is now entirely owned by the unions, BoA has no real legal recourse.

    It was distressing to see the cops' reaction to this. They are basically saying there is nothing they can do about this situation. I predict violence will occur at some point because of this.

  • ||

    This episode is so typical of how SEIU thugs operate. Rather than peacefully assemble on public property in a civic manner as the Tea Party has done, they all but storm someone's home. I have zero sympathy for greedy bankers, but allowing this protest on private property is asking for trouble, and is an abuse of one of our most fundamental rights - the sanctity of one's home. Makes a nice argument for allowing private use of tear gas. Further, what's good for the goose is good for the gander; counter-demonstrations on SEIU member's lawns tomorrow!

  • ||

    Man you are a Moron!

  • ||

    It seems to have escaped Hayes' attention that the Tea Partiers hold lawful and peaceable assemblies and are petitioning their government for a redress of their grievances.

    The union thugs are illegally assembling on private property to harass a private citizen who happens to work for their actual target and, judging from his title, has nothing to do with the subject of their grievances.

    Call me crazy, but I see a big difference here.

  • Paul||

    Aren't these essentially the same people who engaged in "direct action" to intimidate the banks into lowering their mortgage lending standards, which caused the financial crisis in the first place.

  • KarenQ||

    The rich avoid taxes through perfectly legal means. Why shouldn't you, if you suddenly have the facility? Here's how. You can pay for your taxes this year with an installment loan.

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