Wednesday, February 01, 2006

There Go Howmany Civil Liberties?

Cindy Sheehan was arrested at the State of the Union address last night because she was wearing an anti-war T-shirt. Holy crap.


Blogger C. F. Blog said...

I think they asked her to put her jacket back on and she refused. But I also know that you are not allowed to protest inside the building, you can protest outside just not inside.

Flashback-In the early days of the Senate's impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in January 1999, a Pennsylvania man named Dave Delp was removed by the Capitol police from the Senate gallery for wearing a t-shirt.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

I understood that she was removed, not arrested. I also heard that a Republican woman got the boot for wearing a t-shirt. Sheehan, unfortunately, has seemingly jumped the shark as of late; there are better ways to get your point across than to hang with Hugo Chavez and call Shrub a terrorist, especially for people who inhabit the middle ground (understanding that the wingnuts will hate her even if she and James Dobson become best friends).

12:37 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

According to Sheehan (her report here) she was arrested. According (again) to Sheehan, she was not asked to put her jacket back on. I am fully aware of the Rashomon potential here--it's Sheehan telling Sheehan's story.

Still, I have to say that it is at very least a really bad piece of handling on the part of the authorities. If they'd just let her sit there without drawing attention to her, she would a) not have the potential for a civil rights lawsuit and b) would not have anything to complain about.

What did Delp's t-shirt say?

1:35 PM  
Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

My mistake. I actually was just coming back here to note that very thing. The other shirt was pro-iraq war. She was told No protest shirts, and she pointed out it wasn't a protest, but they were adhering to the vaporous rules pretty fiercely. Not that she was arrested, mind.


1:53 PM  
Blogger C. F. Blog said...

His shirt said "Clinton doesn't inhale, he sucks."

I think she would have had more power if she did not wear a shirt that showed any kind of statement. Just her being there and not clapping at whatever Bush said would have been a more dynamitic statement. Because you know the cameras would have been on her for any response Bush made.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Again, according to Sheehan, she wore the shirt to the PSOTU (People's State of the Union) address, then had to hurry over to the Capitol without time to change. Again, that's her story. Since I wasn't in the room, I can't verify it.

I think that becoming the Poster Child for Grieving War Mothers tends to go to one's head--posing with Chavez was a bad idea, imho. But I still think that the appropriate thing in all these t-shirt cases would be to ignore them; Free Speech is Free Speech, even, or perhaps especially, in the Capitol building.

Actually, as I recall, it wasn't Clinton who was doing, never mind. I'm going to attempt to be a tasteful, well behaved topic host.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

Read this excellent blog post, which makes me change my mind (although I think Sheehan consorting with Chavez, who is even more nasty than Bushco about stifling dissent, was a major error):


9:02 AM  

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