Is That an Empty Seat?

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Apparently Cindy Sheehan, who'd been invited to SOTU as the guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), was arrested and ejected shortly before the speech began under unclear circumstances.

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  1. It’s like, you know, one of Bush’s “town hall” meetings. You know.

  2. All the republicans have to do is say “she caused trouble” (i.e. by her mere presence) and that’s enough to justify forcibly removing someone bush doesn’t like from our nation’s capital. Land of the free, open society, liberty and justice… my ass.

  3. Guessing neither of you RTFA.

  4. Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.

    So, just wearing a shirt with a message is illegal in the Capitol building? That’s messed up.

  5. It’s like, you know, one of Bush’s “town hall” meetings. You know

    Yeah Sage, lots of Republicans with hard hittin questions got into Bill Clinton’s town hall meetings. Of course when someone actually did confront Bill, like the guy who blamed him for the Kobar Towers bombings, they found the Secret Service at the doors pretty much immediately.

  6. Sheenen went in there to make a seen and get arrested so she and every other moonbat can claim oppression. She should send the Capital Police a thank you card. I would like to ask her though, how long someone with an Anti-Chavez shirt would last at one of his speeches, since she is so in love with El Presidente.

  7. Yeah Sage, lots of Republicans with hard hittin questions got into Bill Clinton’s town hall meetings. Of course when someone actually did confront Bill, like the guy who blamed him for the Kobar Towers bombings, they found the Secret Service at the doors pretty much immediately.

    So, you’re saying…um…Clinton would have been worse?

    You’re writing a fallacy primer, that’s the explanation, right?

  8. >Sheenen went in there to make a seen

    Amusing typo.

  9. No Ken, I am saying that going in some place specifically to make an ass of yourself in front of the President doesn’t ussually get you very far regardless of who is the President is. To claim Sheehan getting her dumb ass thrown out is illustrative of anything beyond that simple idea, is pretty stupid.

  10. No, no Ken. He’s saying Hugo Chavez would’ve been at least as bad. Which is a great standard for a liberal democracy.

  11. Sheenen went in there to make a seen and get arrested so she and every other moonbat can claim oppression.

    I don’t know why she went–I suspect she wanted publicity for her cause. So what?

    How do you feel about the tactics used by Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, et. al.? Was the injustice their tactics publicized any less heinous for having been exposed on purpose?

  12. Thoreau, I’m sure it was authorized by the Congressional Iraq Resolution.

  13. What were they supposed to do, let her sit in there and make a scene and disrupt the speech? Jesus can’t the President have a chance to say something or is that privilege reserved for leftist lunatics like Shenenen? Yeah, Shenenen is in the great leftists tradition of shouting down your opponents and acting like a thug. She is not in the tradition of Gandhi or King.

  14. I have previously referred to this sort of thing as being like Kabuki, only more predictable and less entertaining.

    First some incident of left versus right.

    At least one side responds by saying it’s horrible and outrageous, unconstitutional, unbelievably wicked, and whatever other words the talk-shows of the “offended” side can come up with.

    The other side says that the first side is manufacturing or overplaying an incident for propaganda purposes; that the true meaning of the incident is that it reflects on the other side.

    The script just needs a few characters to get plugged in.

    The talking points for the left just write themselves: “. . . egregious violation of the Constitution . . . Bush doesn’t like her exposing his wicked and unconstitutional war . . . thinks he can make her just go away, but the issues refuse to go away . . . WMDs . . . scripted events . . . suppressing free speech . . . grieving mother . . . an invitation from a member of Congress . . . the State of the Union speech is so stale and obviously wrong that Bush wants to make a plea for sympathy by focusing attention on disruption . . .”

    The other side’s talking points also write themselves: “stupid publicity stunt . . . the commie-loving lefty Cindy Sheehan . . . just like any other wacko who disrupts Congress . . . police must take security concerns seriously in this age of terror . . . what about Clinton and people at his meetings . . . the MSM is playing up this farcical stunt because it can’t debate the President’s program on the merits, so it must resort to distracting attention from the wise and wonderful proposals in the State of the Union speech . . .”

    Oops, I fell asleep.

  15. Bonar,

    It was a stupid publicity stunt and they gave it to her. They should have left her alone and let her disrupt the speech. She is a serious nutcase. But to people on this thread and to a lot of Dems she is a statesman. Should have let her have her day in the sun and become the face of the Democratic party. If Bush were half as evil as people on here claim, he would have done exactly that.

  16. Deus-

    Actually, removing people with offensive shirts is an inherent power of the Executive.

    If somebody disrupts a speech, fine, kick her ass out. But don’t kick asses out pre-emptively.

    Maybe I’ll go to one of Bush’s events with a button that says “God Bless Our Fearless Leader.” Once I’m past security, I’ll peel that label off to reveal one that says “End the Drug War”. Or maybe do it with a sign instead of a button. Whatever.

    Somebody explain why I’d deserve to be exiled to the “free speech zone.”

  17. Thoreau,

    You are right, they should have just ignored her. She is like a rash, ignore her enough and she will go away and if not she just embarasses the other side. Maybe they were thinking longer term figured it is better to give some raw meat to the nutcase left and keep up riled up and discrediting the dems than to just ignore her.

  18. She is not in the tradition of Gandhi or King.

    Yeah, I’m sure she’s never even heard of civil disobedience.

    Your use of the words “lunatic” and “thug” are logic primer examples of personal attacks. Surely, you know that. Didn’t you used to be a lawyer or somethin’?

    …I think your use of the word “leftist” is interesting here. You seem to use it just like “lunatic” and “thug”, as if being a “leftist” meant that you must be wrong. …but it doesn’t mean that, John; it doesn’t mean that at all.

  19. So, John, you think that the best way to evaluate this decision is in terms of partisan politics. As opposed to, say, the implications of pre-emptive arrests in a free society. Especially when the pre-emption is based on a mere t-shirt.

    Gee, I remember when you needed to have some aluminum tubes before anybody pre-empted you.

  20. I can not believe that woman. Moore got ahold of her and she wants to be a star. Her son would be ashamed of her as his father is. I have lost a brother who we will lay to rest next week. He wanted a military funeral and was so proud of his service to our country. Woolsy need to be run out of office. We are at war but the Lib. will do and say anything to distort that. Understand that thiese men and women die for Our country. They are fight to keep as much of it they can away from here. Are you all crazy, you think we are ready to fight them here. That is what you want for us to lay down and let them take over.

  21. I can not believe that woman.

    If she said the sky was blue, would you believe her then?

    Moore got ahold of her and she wants to be a star.

    Yeah, he probably used sleep deprivation and hunger.

    I have lost a brother who we will lay to rest next week. He wanted a military funeral and was so proud of his service to our country.

    Argumentum ad Misericordiam

    Understand that thiese men and women die for Our country.

    Who argued to the contrary?

    They are fight to keep as much of it they can away from here. Are you all crazy, you think we are ready to fight them here. That is what you want for us to lay down and let them take over.

    Bifurcation

  22. Katherine, you have my deepest sympathy, and your brother has my gratitude. But arresting Cindy Sheehan won’t do anything to help our troops, and letting her wear the t-shirt won’t do anything to hurt our troops.

  23. Sheehan doesn’t seem to understand the value of understatement. Her mere presence would have said everything a shirt could possibility say, but instead she wanted sheer shock factor.

  24. as if being a “leftist” meant that you must be wrong. …but it doesn’t mean that, John; it doesn’t mean that at all.

    When I use leftist I mean thug and lunitic and wrong.

    Of course now I can say Bush is a leftist for taking sheehan from the sotu.

    It is sort of like stalin putting an ice pick into trotsky.

  25. Sheehan doesn’t seem to understand the value of understatement. Her mere presence would have said everything a shirt could possibility say, but instead she wanted sheer shock factor.

    I think John’s right in that they did her a favor by arresting her. …Her presence there would have been a mere footnote in the front page story tomorrow, but the story of her arrest will be on the front page now–she’ll have a story all her own.

  26. Having known Lynn Woolsey when I lived in Calif, I can say she started out on a good path but got corrupted by Pelosi’s screaming influence and now wants more press herself. Having left the state 5 years ago, I am so thankful to be away from all the conspiracy left. They have NOTHING to run on. KERRY for President! HA.

  27. “arrest”, removal, whatever…

  28. Is this john, good john or crazy john who thinks everyone who doesn’t love everything Isreal does is an anti-semite?

    cuz I sort of defended him.

  29. I think that the rule Sheehan violated is technically a Legislative branch power. Technically the President is a guest of the Congress.

    Secondly, I beleive this is a longstanding rule against any kind of visible political message from the gallery. Basically, it comes down to the public lobbying Congress from the gallery would be disruptive of the business being done. When you think of everyone in the gallery trying to do that instead of just one person, you easily understand why they would have such a rule. Of course, political activists (particularly left wing activists) do not believe that rules of civility apply to them as their Cause is Righteous.

    As to Sheehan herself, while she despises G.W. Bush, she sucks up to Hugo Chavez. If that does not permanently disgrace her political thinking, I do not know what can.

  30. Secondly, I beleive this is a longstanding rule against any kind of visible political message from the gallery. Basically, it comes down to the public lobbying Congress from the gallery would be disruptive of the business being done. When you think of everyone in the gallery trying to do that instead of just one person, you easily understand why they would have such a rule.

    crap that might actually make sense…hey thoraeu you should look here then change your mind.

  31. …You’re writing a fallacy primer, that’s the explanation, right?

    Comment by: Ken Shultz at January 31, 2006 10:07 PM

    Ken: EXCELLENT!

    if Sheehan had actually disrupted his “speech” (sensu lato), then they might have had a tenable reason for removing her. sitting there wearing an anti-war t-shirt just doesn’t cut it for me, house of rep rules or no. still, point well taken that just showing up dressed normally would have spoken volumes.

    John and joshua corning: please do me a favor, so I have a hope in hell of taking anything you write seriously: download the Google toolbar and use its spellchecker for web page forms before you post messages rife with myriad misspellings again. (actually, its unlikely I’ll take anything either of you write seriously anyway, as I personally find your “logic” quite unpersuasive, but it would make reading your posts less annoying.)

  32. joshua-

    I see the point, but I also see a difference between a shirt and a placard. But, most important of all, I see some value in consistency and precedent. If somebody can show me that shirts with slogans have always been banned in the gallery I’d change my mind on that matter.

    But I’d still be repulsed by John’s analysis. It’s one thing to look at this as a matter of keeping disruptions out of the galleries. It’s another thing to analyze this solely in terms of partisan advantage, as John was doing.

  33. When you think of everyone in the gallery trying to do that instead of just one person, you easily understand why they would have such a rule.

    Because how dare the peasantry distract the ruling nobles from their Oh So Important duties of listening to a speech that had to be delivered in writing anyway.

    Were I president, I’d send a fucking letter once a year.

    Dear Congress,

    Nation still mostly okay, please stop trying to solve problems and just go the fuck home. You can keep the salary and kickbacks, just leave the citizens alone for awhile.

    Love,
    Tim

  34. Jesus can’t the President have a chance to say something or is that privilege reserved for leftist lunatics like Shenenen?

    Yeah, if there’s one person on Earth who has difficulty finding an audience or getting any press, it’s the President of the fucking United States. Next!

    Her son would be ashamed of her as his father is.

    So, you can channel the dead now? Interesting. Can you get me in touch with my great-grandparents on my father’s side? I never got to meet them.

  35. t:

    I am all for free speech. But if you leave the gate open for one lunatic, then all the lunatics will show up. What would you think of some asshole who decides to wear a shirt with a huge swastika emblazoned on it?

    The point of the SOTUA is for the president to make a speech in a somewhat civil environment. The focus, in this particular event, should be on him and our elected representatives. If you allow it to be an open forum for the protestors, then the whole thing would become pointless.

    And Sheehan is pathetic. She deliberately hid her shirt until she got to her seat. What courage. If she simply showed up in respectable attire, and acted like an adult, all the cameras would’ve been on her throughout the entire speech. The media would’ve been falling all over itself to present her as a noble resistor.

    And I understand that she will be challenging the Democratic status quo in California and run for office. The Republicans haven’t had this great of a tool since Nader.

  36. MNG-

    1) Like I said, if the t-shirt rule has always been this way then I will put aside my reservations. Consistency counts.

    2) The point of the SOTU is not for the Pres. to give a speech in a civil environment. The point of the SOTU is for him to give a theatrical performance where at least half of Congress stands and applauds like Pavlov’s puppies every 30-60 seconds, and where the cameras swing on cue to some sympathetic figure in the balcony. It’s a circus, pure and simple. And I felt the same way when Clinton was in office.

    3) Nonetheless, I can see the point in not letting a clown in the gallery interrupt the circus already in progress. If somebody does something disruptive then by all means arrest her. But pre-emption? All I can say is that I hope this is standard practice for people wearing t-shirts. I wouldn’t be thrilled, but I see the argument, and I respect consistency.

    4) It was cold in DC yesterday. The fact that nobody saw her t-shirt could simply mean that she didn’t take her coat or sweater off until sitting down.

    5) The best way to neutralize her is to elect her to office. Then The Powers That Be will pay her to do what she’s told, just like they pay all of the other elected officials.

  37. Her son would be ashamed of her as his father is.

    So, you can channel the dead now? Interesting. Can you get me in touch with my great-grandparents on my father’s side? I never got to meet them.

    I think “If he were still alive…” is kind of implied. As a military member, and assuming there is life after death that is aware of current events, I know I would be ashamed from the other side if my mother if she quit her job and went on an anti-war crusade. Does Mrs. Sheenan realize that her son believed that he was doing the right and just thing to protect her right to be a nutbar?

    You know, I’m starting to see enemies to the Constitution everywhere, and on both sides, but I can’t do anything about it.

    Can’t we (Libertarians) get some better candidates?

  38. Coyote, even if he were alive, I still don’t think that either you or Katherine is capable of reading his mind.

    Like or dislike the woman and her arguments and activities on their own merits. But don’t pretend you can discern her dead son’s feelings and motivations, then try to use them as a weapon against her. (Pre-emptively: Yes, but she’s his mother.)

  39. (actually, its unlikely I’ll take anything either of you write seriously anyway, as I personally find your “logic” quite unpersuasive, but it would make reading your posts less annoying.)

    you read my posts bioligist? I feel blessed. Anyway it might be hard but you might not want to confuse me with John…

    is this the crazy john or the good john by the way?

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