"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Daily Kos: What Really Happened - Cindy Sheehan

Daily Kos: What Really Happened.

I'm not terribly interested in Cindy Sheehan generally, however I did post yesterday regarding her arrest at the SOTU (here and here) the second of which, based on a CNN-QuickVote, garnered a comment that to me, necessitates by reading it.

The Kos entry by Cindy Sheehan, "What Really Happened," is her side of events. I don't really see how the media went too nuts, but that leaves quite a wide latitude.

Short, sweet and to the point, MSNBC has recently reported this '“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,”' I'm not saying this is the end of it, but this is the stance taken now.

As unfair as this may seem to many, I don't think Ms. Sheehan should be too suprised by the reaction of the officer. She has been played up by the press as some driving force in the Anti-Anything-Bush Movement, it doesn't suprise me that the officer reacted as he did with his "vague" understanding of the rule(s). His side, were he allowed to actually speak it as Sheehan has, would likely include something along the lines of "my *ss was on the line if this woman created a disturbance." In all honesty, why would he expect anything less?

In "What Really Happened" Cindy says, "I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later." Which is fair enough, but as I said above, would someone in the officer's place have gambled a warning at the SOTU for any president? Not likely.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle, "2 ejections...." includes mention of the 1946 law regarding demonstrations in Capitol buildings, '"A 1946 law prohibits demonstrations within any of the Capitol buildings. But a subsequent U.S. Capitol Police Board regulation clarified "demonstration activity" to include "parading, picketing, speechmaking, holding vigils, sit-ins, or other expressive conduct ... but does not include merely wearing Tee-shirts, buttons or other similar articles of apparel that convey a message."'

As I said in a previous post (linked at the beginning), I don't think this is stepping on someones freedom of speech, as in the scope of where you can go off on tangents is millions of square miles; which is excluding the airwaves, internet, what have you.

I'm sure those in support of Cindy Sheehan's anti movement would like it, but could you imagine how worthless the SOTU would be if demonstrations like "The World Can't Wait" were allowed in to banter and make noise? Isn't there enough of people not hearing each other as it is?


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