Bush Apologists, Start Your Engines!

Teachers’ T-shirts bring Bush speech ouster

October 14 - MEDFORD - President Bush taught three Oregon schoolteachers a new lesson in irony - or tragedy - Thursday night when his campaign removed them from a Bush speech and threatened them with arrest simply for wearing t-shirts that said “Protect Our Civil Liberties,” the Democratic Party of Oregon reported.

The women were ticketed to the event, admitted into the event, and were then approached by event officials before the president’s speech. They were asked to leave and to turn over their tickets - two of the three tickets were seized, but the third was saved when one of the teachers put it underneath an article of clothing.

“The U.S. Constitution was not available on site for comment, but expressed in a written statement support for “the freedom of speech” and “of the press” among other civil liberties,” a Democratic news release said.

The Associated Press and local CBS affiliate KTVL captured Bush’s principled stand against civil liberties in news accounts published immediately after the event.

The AP reported:

Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and escorted from the event after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Protect our civil liberties.” All three said they applied for and received valid tickets from Republican headquarters in Medford.

The women said they did not intend to protest. “I wanted to see if I would be able to make a statement that I feel is important, but not offensive, in a rally for my president,” said Janet Voorhies, 48, a teacher in training.

“We chose this phrase specifically because we didn’t think it would be offensive or degrading or obscene,” said Tania Tong, 34, a special education teacher.

Thursday’s event in Oregon sets a new bar for a Bush/Cheney campaign that has taken extraordinary measures to screen the opinions of those who attend Bush and Cheney speeches. For months, the Bush/Cheney campaign has limited event access to those willing to volunteer in Bush/Cheney campaign offices. In recent weeks, the Bush/Cheney campaign has gone so far as to have those who voice dissenting viewpoints at their events arrested and charged as criminals.

Thursday’s actions in Oregon set a new standard even for Bush/Cheney - removing and threatening with arrest citizens who in no way disrupt an event and wear clothing that expresses non-disruptive party-neutral viewpoints such as “Protect Our Civil Liberties.”

When Vice President Dick Cheney visited Eugene, Oregon on Sept. 17, a 54-Year old woman named Perry Patterson was charged with criminal trespass for blurting the word “No” when Cheney said that George W. Bush has made the world safer.

One day before, Sue Niederer, 55, the mother of a slain American soldier in Iraq was cuffed and arrested for criminal trespass when she interrupted a Laura Bush speech in New Jersey. Both women had tickets to the event.


FOUR MORE YEARS!!! FOUR MORE YEARS!!!

Nick

Ah, politics.

It’s unfortunate that the story is being spun in this manner, because really it’s about the right to have a private event.

Notice that the whole controversy stems from people wishing to air their viewpoints at the event, rather than outside the event in the protest areas. It also doesn’t mention the charge against the unfortunate t-shirt wearers – my guess is that it’s trespassing.

You see, if you are having a private event, you can restrict access based on viewpoint, or really almost whatever category you want to restrict. People can, and do, protest outside private events – they have no Constitutional right to do so inside the event.

Even possession of a ticket does not give one the right to enter a private event and then do what he wants. Tickets are licenses, and are granted pursuant to certain conditions – if you don’t believe me, try running on to the field during a baseball game – or even being so loud and offensive that a lot of people complain about you to security.

I don’t suppose people think that Swiftvets with anti-Kerry t-shirts should have been allowed on the floor of the Democratic National Convention during Kerry’s speech?

I’m a big proponent of free speech, but the right of free speech does not imply either the right to an audience or the right to trespass.

The_Incubator,

You sound very confident of a Kerry win.

The title to this thread advertises your confidence.

Are you confident enough to bet on his win?

If so, come on over to THE CHALLENGE. Join up.

If not, you are just another bag of hot air like Sump-Pump-Lump/Brother Elk/danh/Roy Batty/Ding-Dong-Dean/tme.

JeffR

BB;

It’s a sad state of affairs when a President would have events such as this so strategically regulated.

What, pray tell, is disruptive about a t-shirt emblazened with the slogan, “Protect Our Civil Liberties” . . . ?

[quote]Vash wrote:
BB;

It’s a sad state of affairs when a President would have events such as this so strategically regulated.

What, pray tell, is disruptive about a t-shirt emblazened with the slogan, “Protect Our Civil Liberties” . . . ?[/quote]

They weren’t supposed to be there, t-shirts or no.

Bush has the right to invite, or not invite anyone he wants to one of his gatherings. Kerry enjoys the same privelage.

Those poor defensless ladies knew exactly what they were doing. So did Bush’s guys. Tough shit for the ladies.

[quote]Vash wrote:
BB;

It’s a sad state of affairs when a President would have events such as this so strategically regulated.

What, pray tell, is disruptive about a t-shirt emblazened with the slogan, “Protect Our Civil Liberties” . . . ?[/quote]

Vash –

What’s wrong was trespassing.

They decided that the event was going to be about the message of the speaker, not the message(s) of the audience, so they made a rule. The ladies broke the rule, and were removed. As I said, given that it’s a private event they have the right to set the rules for entry.

Now as to why they would want to do so, I blame the ubiquity of videorecorders – everything has to be a staged, controlled affair if it’s going to be videotaped and end up on the news.

Of course, the videorecorders are also the reason why people might want to get in and get their message out – however, if they want to do that, they can stage their own event.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
They weren’t supposed to be there, t-shirts or no.
[/quote]

Well, according to the articles they were ticketed and admitted to the event, and then asked to leave when someone later decided their T-shirts were inappropriate. So it depends on what your definition of “not supposed to be there” is. If I got tickets to something and they let me in, I guess I would feel like I was “supposed” to be there, but that’s just me. Assuming they didn’t have the shirts, I’m curious to know what further conditions would have to be satisfied before they would achieve valid “supposed to be there” status.

An interesting question that comes out of this is why were their T-shirts considered inappropriate or off-message at the Bush rally? I would think that all Americans would agree that “protect our civil liberties” is a respectable message for any candidate from any party.

Nick

You gotta admit guys, he’s got a point.

[quote]An interesting question that comes out of this is why were their T-shirts considered inappropriate or off-message at the Bush rally? I would think that all Americans would agree that “protect our civil liberties” is a respectable message for any candidate from any party.
[/quote]

I’m no Bush apologist, so help me out here, crips. Why would that be considered bad? Is it because they “stood out” and were considered a possible nuisance or something? I understand the whole “staged” concept of the videotaping thing, but good lord – “protect our civil liberties” is hardly a disruptive thing to be wearing.

Has anyone from the Bush campaign commented on this, or is this all from the three poor ladies’ side of the story?

Nick:

A ticket is a revocable license. In this case “supposed to be there” just means that they could be there as long as they followed the rules.

As far as the message on the shirt, I haven’t heard why someone on the Bush campaign staff decided he or she didn’t like the shirt, but it’s immaterial – if they had specified all red shirts, and the ladies showed up in blue shirts and then refused to remove them, they could be asked to leave (and then escorted out if they did not comply).

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Nick:

A ticket is a revocable license. In this case “supposed to be there” just means that they could be there as long as they followed the rules.

As far as the message on the shirt, I haven’t heard why someone on the Bush campaign staff decided he or she didn’t like the shirt, but it’s immaterial – if they had specified all red shirts, and the ladies showed up in blue shirts and then refused to remove them, they could be asked to leave (and then escorted out if they did not comply).[/quote]

I believe this is exactly why the thread was called Bush “apologists.” The post obviously wasn’t about the legality of the action, it was about the morality of it. The legality of an American President removing someone from a private event simply for wearing a t-shirt promoting free speech is not in question. The question is, do you think it’s right? I don’t, legal or not. Some would say that as long as it’s legal it’s fair game; so be it.

It’s not really a matter of morality – it’s aesthetic control and message control for a staged event. It’s not as if the President had anyone kicked off the sidewalk on front of the Whitehouse for protesting.

See, free speech implicates the government – it means the government can’t censor you for the content of your message (basically - no need for nuance here). However, at a private event, this isn’t the case. The people in question had no more of a right to impose their message on a private campaign event than they would have to drop a flier into the NY Times printing press so as to include their message on the NY Times editorial page.

Or, at least that’s my take – what moral of yours was offended Moriarty?

Maybe if Bush and gang weren’t so black and white they could do something a little less draconian.

Maybe give the obvious anti-american traitors who have those horribly offensive seditious t-shirts the option to wear something over it or leave.

Maybe the chief apologist in the thread can explain what exactly the clothing rules were and whether or not they were posted in advance?

Personally, I find the administration to be a bit “control freak” oriented. This is not the only “my way or the highway” incident we’ve seen from these clowns.

Regardless, it makes the administration look bad to behave in this way. I hope they keep exercising their right to be uptight assholes. Maybe people will notice and take heed. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should…

Let’s look at this from a different perspective. If I purchased a ticket to listen to the first lady speak and there was someone in front of me shouting “no” at the top of her lungs, I would want her removed! Why should the rest of the group have to put up with loud mouths, or people who might be disruptive etc.

I think that pretty much goes for any event. If I pay to watch a concert and there are people who are disorderly, I want them removed. I didn’t pay to watch them disrupt the event, I paid to listen to the entertainer.

Are the first lady and the President worthy of any less than a rock group?

Some of you liberals need to expand your thought process a bit…

ZEB, I think you’re missing the point, here. Those T-shirts were NOT like shouting “NO!!” at the top of your lungs, they were plain white and said “protect our civil liberties”. Like someone mentioned before, this should not be a message AGAINST any candidate. I would hope that any person of political clout would be more than happy to protect my civil liberties!

So does anybody have any thoughts as to my question before? BB says that they have the right to throw anyone that they want out, and I agree with that. But my question is why would they want to? Hopefully there’s more to the story here that explains this.

'Tis indeed a sad day when the gin-swilling country types ape the speech codes of the Democrat bastions of free inquiry and expression known as institutions of higher learning. Figures the Half-assed Socialists would bitch about it though, being the whiners they are.

Wonder what they have to say about union members and other assorted thugs forcing their way into private property. Is their definition of free speech forcing people to listen to the bile coming out of their mouths?

Why do all of those Lost Cause Lefties have to tag on to the organizational efforts of others anyway? Could it be that nobody wants to take the time to hear what they have to say?

What a shame that the President is so concerned about the wording on a t-shirt. I am very tired of the scripted nature of politics. In the future I would like my president to not be afraid of dissenting opinions.

Private events on either side of the aisle are exactly what is wrong with our political system. When either party tries to take ownership over positions or groups (in an effort to exclude other Americans), this is a very bad situation

Loth to answer your question, and i’m only taking a guess here. Bush has been accused of trampling peoples civil liberties by Kerry and the left via the patriot act. Therefore Someone in charge at the rally (obviously you all know bush himself didn’t make this decision) decided that the women in question were there to protest. Obviously they thought that they could prevent a “possible scene” from occuring and had the women removed. I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal, and i’m sure it doesn’t mean that bush doesn’t support protection of civil liberties. One of his campaign dudes was just looking for trouble makers and thought these women fit the bill.

Vegita ~ Prince of all Sayajins

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
ZEB, I think you’re missing the point, here. Those T-shirts were NOT like shouting “NO!!” at the top of your lungs, they were plain white and said “protect our civil liberties”. Like someone mentioned before, this should not be a message AGAINST any candidate. I would hope that any person of political clout would be more than happy to protect my civil liberties!

So does anybody have any thoughts as to my question before? BB says that they have the right to throw anyone that they want out, and I agree with that. But my question is why would they want to? Hopefully there’s more to the story here that explains this.[/quote]

Lothario:

I don’t have any particular insight into the “why”, but I suspect that we’re looking little too closely at the particular incident in question.

It seems that the Bush campaign has an overall policy of disallowing protest signs, shirts, etc. at private campaign events. I can only guess that the policy was enacted in order to keep the gatherings focused and on-message, to avoid negative news stories, etc.

While Bush and the higher-ups in the campaign team are almost surely aware of the overall policy, the decisions on the ground on how to apply the policy are almost surely handled by local volunteers and/or paid security folks. Bush, Karl Rove, Mary Matalin, et al aren’t reviewing video of participants coming through the door and deciding whom to remove. If I had to guess, I would guess that one of those locals/security folks thought the teachers in the story above were going to heckle the President concerning the Patriot Act, or try to make some sort of statement w/r/t the Patriot Act. Whether they were correct or not is open to speculation.

As to the overall policy, given the ubiquity of TV coverage and the fact that to most reporters a story is something bad, unplanned, or unusual, and given there is a perception, whether one agrees or not, that the mainstream media is biased against the President, I can understand why they would enact it. Political events like this are for getting the candidate’s message out, and they don’t want people with their own agendas to distract from that message.

Lothario, you say that your question is why would Bush’s team want to kick these ladies out? Who cares, and why does it matter? The point is that they have the right to kick out who they want, just as you and I have the right to kick out anyone we want from our homes or private events.
Vroom, give me a break buddy…draconian measures? We have certain freedoms, why do you chastize somebody for exercising them? Why is it that when Conservatives kick someone out it is somehow unconstitutional and the media makes a big fuss about it, but when some liberal wackos kick someone out of their events, it’s no big deal?