During the Bush years, we heard again and again from members of the Democratic Party that “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism.” They were right. Mark Twain put it another way:
The citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth’s political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal; he is a traitor.
Yet now Barack Obama is President. How does that change things?
Well, recently I’ve begun writing about plans for an Inauguration demonstration of people holding signs calling on Barack Obama to keep his oath of office by acting to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” Pretty innocuous, I thought; not even really a protest, but just some Inauguration Day advocacy. But some partisans have been telling me what they think of even the gentlest speech and assembly directed at their hero, Barack Obama:
Okay free speech all around………..
So, lets encourage 911 truters to shout on megaphones, and Pro-lifers with their “Barack is a baby killer” posters.
When will we have an all out label for these folks, the single issue people who care nothingabout change and more about complaining.
Why waste your time…
…and be a downer on everyone else’s parade at the same time?
Timing is everything…
…and by protesting at the celebration of the man you supposedly support for the sins of his predecessor you are showing poor timing, poor taste, and a remarkable degree of political tone deafness. You will irritate the people whose support you need and at best be shrugged off: “Oh he’s one of those kooks who’ll protest
anyeverything”. At worst you get your ass kicked for being a downer on a happy day…
What a bunch of idiots! It is estimated that close to four million supporters will be there to inhale this historic moment. No way will you be heard or seen, and by the way, this is not 1955. People are no longer tolerant of your racist, biased rhetoric. Go crawl back under the rock you slithered out from. It is a new clear day.
It is a shame that the GOP must resort to such low measures as having one of their paid staffers start this forum. Don’t be fooled folks. We finally broke the chains of opression. The goal of this forum is just to give the GOP control again.
To be fair and complete, I’ve also gotten a lot of words of support from people who care about the Constitution, people who voted for Barack Obama but are, like me, distressed at the President-Elect’s apparent indisposition toward resolving. Beyond words of support, I’ve gotten help from people like Jon Pincus of Get FISA Right and Ben Masel of Madison, who’s putting together a similarly-inclined but more specific “Stop Government Spying” Inauguration presence. There are a lot of people who care more about principle than playing politics as if it were a team sport. I recognize and applaud those people.
But I do read the words above, and I do hear words from prominent Democratic Party insiders like Lanny Davis on NPR’s Talk of the Nation today, (responding to a question about people who think Barack Obama’s cabinet appointments are not liberal enough):
Every political party has an ideological core that I call “purist” that are dogmatic and ultimately hates the person they started out supporting when they slightly compromise. So Barack Obama, having the backbone to stand up to some of the more intolerant strands of what Matt has written about is good for Barack Obama and good for the Democratic Party and good for the country.
If you voice a position that doesn’t fit with the party line, you’re a typical biased single issue purist racist intolerant kook downer paid GOP staffer? Yeesh.
I encounter these words and I am reminded: yes, the Democratic Party has its sheep too. Their bleat: “Dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Nowadays, dissent is bullshit.”