Breda linked to it first, then Tam; one video in particular caught my attention.
What we have here is small-town police, done up in their bestest riot gear and looking a bit self-conscious about it, sent out to "control" a crowd of Tea Parties outside a venue where POTUS is holdin' forth. Now this unruly mob is a) standing around, b) waving signs critical of FedGov, the President and various gummint actions and c) singing patriotic songs -- inflammatory stuff, like "America the Beautiful;" they are the kind of crowd that takes one (1) policeman to control, using clever sworn-officer tactics like saying, "I need all of you folks to get up on the sidewalk, this side of Maple Street," or better yet, having their own leaders tell 'em.
That's how it went down, too, while the LEOs in helmets and heavy vests stood in a line like a Greek chorus, only silent, perspiring and kinda embarrassed. It was their Moms wavin' signs over there, or the nice ladies from church or the guy that runs the gas station. And it was the Secret Service or some worry-wart minor offical nervous about bein' in a flyover State that sent 'em out geared up to take on rock-throwin' WTO protestors. It worked out; one non-riot-geared officer and a guy with a bullhorn later, the Riot Squad marched away.
But keep it the hell up, idiots, and you will buy this country a mess. It stunk out loud when Presidents Clinton and Bush (respectively) instituted and maintained "free speech zones" at their appearances; now we're callin' out the local muscle over protesters not merely outside the building where the President's at but across the dang road from it and well-behaved to boot -- nary a flung pie or rotten vegetable to be had, let alone an effigy dangling from a pole (Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton inspired plenty of those; consider their absence, the next time some marooon snerks "racist!" about the current round of protesters).
It worked out okay this time; hooray, us and by "us" I mean both sides, the boys in (very very dark) blue and the sign-wavers. Hey, maybe it'll work out next time, too. And the time after that. But how many times must goofily disproportionate force meet well-behaved amateur protesters before some nitwit slips up?
And after that, what next?
1. Quincy, IL; very like the place where I grew up, give or take a major waterway, a good-sized river bluff, a clockmaking school and an abundance of bars.
2. There'll be some ijit shows up an' tells me that term's racist, too. Ask Bugs Bunny; I got it from him and his writers used it in contexts where the implication is clearly one of stupidity. Color in that outline yerself, maroon.
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