Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dissent Is Patriotic

Unless you're protesting the takeover of healthcare, bank bailouts, taxes or the current occupant of the White House....

Apparently. "speaking truth to power" is only for a selected few.

"Robust, wide-open debate." But when it happens to Democrats, it's something different: A threat to democracy, a sign of incipient fascism, and an opportunity to set up a (possibly illegal) White House "snitch line" where people are encouraged to report "fishy" statements to the authorities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the "Tea Party" protesters Nazis, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman --forgetting the events above -- claims that left-leaning groups never engaged in disruptive tactics against Social Security reform, and various other administration-supporting pundits are trying to spin the whole thing as a deadly move toward "mob rule" and – somewhat contradictorily -- as a phony "astroturf" movement.

"Protest is patriotic!" "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism!"
These battle-cries were heard often, in a simpler America of long ago -- that is, before last November. Back then, protests -- even if they were organized by the usual leftist apparatchik-groups like ANSWER or ACORN -- were seen as proof of popular discontent.

When handfuls of Code Pink ladies disrupted congressional hearings or speeches by Bush administration officials, it was taken as evidence that the administration's policies were unpopular, and that the thinking parts of the populace were rising up in true democratic fashion. Even disruptive tactics aimed at blocking President Bush's Social Security reform program were merely seen as evidence of boisterous high spirits and robust, wide-open debate.

On May 23, 2005, the Savannah Morning News reported:
“By now, Jack Kingston is used to shouted questions, interruptions and boos. Republican congressmen expect such responses these days when they meet with constituents about President Bush's proposal to overhaul Social Security.

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