Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two Views of a Protest versus Real Threats

The fun thing about protests is the diversity of sanity one can generally find at them. A recent tea party protest in Nevada was no exception, but two diverging opinions of it revealed dramatic differences in how it was portrayed.

The first from Zombie attempted to highlight the apple pie Americana view of it while contrasting it with those crazy California leftist nutters (full article here):

Little Green Footballs had a picture slide show taking a very different editorial approach (full article here):

Probably the most interesting part of looking at both sites on this particular protest is not just the contrast, but the general lack of showing the whole picture by either. Editorial prerogative is always something to keep in mind before jumping to generalizations based on who is cherry picked as representative of the whole.

What is far more concerning to me aren't idiots and hysterical yahoos shouting hyperbole at protests, that's pretty normal. Militant groups preparing violent assaults on America in preparation for the Biblical Apocalypse on the other hand could be just destructive as an al Qaeda sleeper cell:

The Michigan-based militia group charged with conspiring to kill police officers is preparing for battle with the Antichrist, according to a Web site purportedly run by the group.

"Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment," Hutaree.com reads. "The only thing on earth to save the testimony and those who follow it, are the members of the testimony, til the return of Christ in the clouds. We, the Hutaree, are prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren't. We will still spread the word, and fight to keep it, up to the time of the great coming."

Nine suspects associated with Hutaree, which is purportedly a Christian-based militia group, have been charged with conspiring to kill police officers and then attack a funeral in hopes of killing more law enforcement officials, federal prosecutors said Monday. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because the militia members were planning an attack sometime in April.

Members of the militia, including its leader, David Brian Stone, also known as "Captain Hutaree," are charged in the case and allegedly met regularly since at least 2008 to conduct military-style training in Michigan's Lenawee County and elsewhere. An indictment alleges that members of the group conspired to "levy war against the United States, (and) to oppose by force the authority of the government of the United States."

Somehow idiot protesters just don't compare to guys openly preparing to make military strikes on us over their twisted revisionist histories and insane religious nuttery, al Qaeda, "Colonial Christian Republican" armies, or otherwise:

The 2nd Amendment isn't some license to any idiot rebelling against society without consequence. The Militia in the United States is subordinate to the State. These idiots need a primer on the 2nd Amendment.

Narc makes an interesting point about the news coverage over these guys as compared to citizens or foreign actors who were caught planning other acts of terrorism and brings up a proposed law that appears overly broad and unconstitutional on citizen detainment (bypassing habeas) that could potentially apply here. Check it out.


Montana said...

Since their inception the Teaparty crowd (not a movement since they do have the numbers or clout) have been “haters not debaters”. In my opinion this is what the small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. They are good at “Follow the Leader” of their dullard leaders, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although some republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe most of them are just going along and fanning the flames. Lets face it the Republicans had 8 years to deal with health care, immigration and financial oversight and governance and they failed. They could not even win one of the two wars they started, the body bags are still coming in. The Republicans wanted to give Obama his Waterloo defeat over healthcare but instead they gave themselves their own Waterloo defeat by not participating in the debate of ideas and by becoming the party of obstructionist. But they now claim they have changed, come on, what sucker is going to believe that?

Glock21 said...

You regurgitated a lot of talking points and slogans in that comment that I've heard a hundred times before. A bit ironic that you'd be complaining about a herd mentality in the middle of it. But this is why the right generally felt the same way about left wing protesters during the Bush years. Both sides go into hysterics and hyperbole when they're out of power. But the loudest and most vocal nutters are hardly representative of the whole of either side. Your average democrat or republican then or now isn't a raging lunatic, though they generally are either too busy or frustrated with the system to dedicate a lot of time on political nuance.

Both sides also have folks who do what you just did as well, generally smear the other side as insane, bleating, and otherwise delusional radicals with absolutely no real substance. Have you honestly forgotten when the Republicans were tarring Democrats as obstructionist and hysterical sore losers? Instead of being accused of holding up needed health care reforms for political gain it was accusations of politically motivated defeatism in war (among other things).

It's true both sides have their quirks and unique qualities that don't make the situations equivalent (communist revolutionaries in Berkeley may talk the talk, but they're hardly on par with the faux militia nutters). Overall the complaints by partisans on both sides are a gigantic ball of cyclic hypocrisy... where the criticism and indignation flip-flops faster than John Kerry or Mitt Romney.

But thanks for helping exemplify one of the points of this post, even if it was unintentional.