Back when Bush was busy running the country into the ground, he had events around the country, kind of like what President Obama is doing today. There are some important differences, not that the corporate media is going to get into them. Among them:
Democrats couldn’t attend Bush events if they wore the “wrong” t-shirt. On more than one occasion, they were removed from the area. Sometimes, they were removed by people who didn’t have the legal authority to remove them. More than one spent time in jail. That’s what “free speech” amounted to in the Bush years: agree with Bush or go to jail.
Right-wing cranks are protesting near Obama events with guns on their hips. Yes, you read the right: a civilian (not a law enforcement person), with a gun on the hip in a holster. Are you freaking kidding me?! Right-wing shock jocks will insist that this person had the undeniable right to exercise his 2nd amendment rights – possibly his 1st amendment rights if they strain really hard. Um, that’s great. What about those Democrats who didn’t show up to Bush’s events with anything but a t-shirt? The Cons didn’t stand up for their rights, did they? I know what would have happened if a Democratic civilian had showed up to a Bush event with a gun in a holster on their hip, and you should too: they’d have been carted off to Gitmo and withheld indefinitely. Such is the hypocrisy of the Cons.
[Update]: Cenk Uygur sums it up quicker than I did. Think a Muslim-American could have been anywhere near a Bush rally with a gun on his hip and a weapons permit?
Bush events were carefully screened so that the Cowardly Boy King didn’t have to face opposition to his bat-shit insane policies. Every single event for years was screened very carefully.
President Obama, in stark contrast, has the courage to face those who oppose his policies. They are in no way screened or prevented access from the President. Again, did any of the “patriotic” Cons stand up for Americans’ rights when they wanted to confront Bush face-to-face? Of course not. They’re all like little kids peeing themselves while they throw a fit. Bullies hate to be confronted – if you expose their b.s. for what it is, they strike out – typically in violent ways.
President Obama’s detractors are being organized by multi-million dollar corporate lobbying firms. The lobbyists that show up to the events to distribute signs and talking point sheets admit to this freely when questioned. Once again, those of us in reality-land know what would have happened if groups force-fed talking points and signs to demonstrators in Bush’s time. They would have been hauled off and held without access to Constitutionally-guaranteed access to counsel. But the hypocrites on Fox won’t ever discuss that, will they?
Are real Americans upset about things? Sure they are. But here’s the rub: they’re being used by the richest right-wing ideologues hiding behind cleverly named front groups. Do any of the protesters know Americans for Prosperity’s Tim Phillips, who was an associate of the corrupt Jack Abramoff? Do any of them know Charles or David Koch, the bank-rollers for AfP? No, they don’t know any of these or the dozens of other real players in this game. It’s these Corporate-Cons that are truly running things, channeling the real fear and anger that a minority of Americans have into an inferno of hate and violence. But those real Americans are being played for fools and they aren’t even aware of it.
If they were being treated like Democrats were treated in the eight long years Bush was playing around, they would have something to complain about. But they’re acting off of a well-funded, highly-organized disinformation campaign. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is they’re being given the spotlight by our stenographer-media, which is trying to convince more rational Americans that they have something real to confront. It wouldn’t make it any more morally correct, but if these nut-jobs were being carted off and held without access to counsel, they would have a taste of what their corporate masters have cooked up. It just goes to show how detached from reality they really are.
At a minimum, these political terrorists should be receiving attention from our law enforcement agencies. Betcha we’d really hear about censorship and 1st amendment rights then. Rubes.