We need to start holding people responsible for mob mentality at Saturday's tea party at the State Capitol. Let's start with Madison Firefighters Local 311, the city's quiescent (and fearful) editorialists, and the leadership of the Democrat(ic) party.
Will someone please stand up to the bully boy tactics?
Security was very tight for featured speaker Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart, Vicki McKenna and the rest. Thank God for the Capitol Police and State Patrol. Because the haters were out in full force and full voice that day -- the most recent in an interconnected series of outrages: boycotts, intimidation, illegal takeover of the Capitol, petty vandalism, death threats, and political break-ins.
But where were Madison police? Monday on Vicki's Up Front radio program on WIBA 1310 AM, we heard firsthand accounts from victims of mob agitation and petty violence committed by Leftwads at Saturday's Sarah Palin tea party rally.
We heard from one caller whose wife took a blast from a bullhorn into her ear, then got whacked in the head with the device. She is suffering hearing loss.
A caller named Greg related that another disrupter rang a cowbell in his ear in addition to the pushing and shoving.
Vicki also took a call during Monday's show from Tricia Willoughby and her mother. Tricia is the 14-year-old from Wyocena who spoke Saturday with the assurance and aplomb of a Hoover Institute economist.
I was stationed up at the stage itself throughout the event but I could hear a continuous din of vuvuzelas, whistles, cowbells, catcalls, booing and jeers from the protestors. It must have been worse up on the stage and unbearable from within the crowd.
We are fortunate to have video taken from the scrum. Please listen and then tell me what kind of man uses such profanity and, apparently, extends the middle finger to a 14-year-old girl? How impoverished must be his intellect? How insecure his manhood?
Young Tricia told Vicki, "I'm not shocked at all (but) it's so immature."
'Right here, honey'
This is what the unionistas look like. Here is the video from Breitbart, another of Saturday's speakers.
Madison police, AWOL
Vicki McKenna is every bit the journalist that John Nichols, Bill Lueders, Scott Milfred, and David Blaska are. The five of us are advocacy journalists. That is to say, we write and speak with a point of view but do so independently rather than as a paid operative of any particular interest group.
Another caller on Vicki's show Monday asked where were the Madison police? Why did they do nothing? "What's wrong with Madison?" asked a caller named Jody.
One need not be a loyal member of Vicki's audience to note the bullyboy tactics of the Left. Chris Rickert in this morning's WI State Journal writes, without a hint of disapproval - just bad luck:
A married couple and their 1-year-old daughter there to hear Sarah Palin had the misfortune of standing next to an anti-tea party protester with a very loud cowbell. ...
The letters are beginning to pour in to the newspaper detailing the cursing and confrontation. What editorial will condemn this activity and please do not denature the verdict with the sin of equivalency by saying that "both sides are doing it." Any "violence" from our side consists of trying to dislodge the bullhorns from our ears.
The Capitol Police and the State Patrol provided professional protection to the tea party program -- and they were needed! But they were stationed with us behind the orange plastic snow fence.
I have cited Madison Firefighters Local 311 because it is one of the ringleaders in the Wisconsin Wave, an umbrella group led by red- and hot-headed Ben Manski, sponsors of the tea party protest. The firefighters' work is public protection; they deserve blame for not controlling their event. Madison Police -- standing across the street with arms folded -- deserve our approbation.
Scott Milfred? Neil Heinen? Bill Lueders? Can you defend this behavior? Mike Tate? Senator Risser? Anyone in the Democrat(ic) Party? Is there an adult in the room?
Because if you justify the misconduct of Saturday's counter protesters, you justify our counter-measures. You force the tea party to provide its own crowd control, whether it is in the form of Curt Sliwa's Guardian Angels or the Hells Angels. There is no right to shout down speakers with whom one disagrees. That is what totalitarianism looks like. Stop it in its tracks.
Firefighters in bad company
The signatories to the Wisconsin Wave of Resistance is a who's whom of the creme of the Lefties. It is larded with Prog Danes, Greenies, and socialists like Comrade Nichols and Havens Center agitators. That is why it is disappointing to see Local 311 firefighter union president Joe Conway's name among them. Here is a partial list:
Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree Foundation
John Matthews, Executive Director, Madison Teachers, Inc. (MTI)
Joe Conway, President, Firefighters Local 311
John Nichols, socialist
Sup. Barbara Vedder, Progressive Dane
Peter Rickman, Vice President, AFT-Wisconsin
Dace A. Zeps, Center for Research on Gender and Women at UW-Madison
Andy Heidt, President AFSCME Professionals 1871
Matthew Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive
Marsha Rummel, Progressive Dane rep to Madison Common Council
Brenda K. Konkel, Prog Dane doyenne
Perennial unsuccessful Assembly candidate Trish O'Neil
Esty Dinur, "state employee"
Kaja Rebane, Co-Chair of the Move to Eviscerate the First Amendment
Joel Rogers, genius
Melissa Mulliken, campaign manager for Kloppenburg and The Kathleen
Patrick Barrett, executive director of the Havens Center
You own it
I must again quote from Libertarian (not Republican) Tim Nerenz:
The Democrats' response to losing an election here has been appalling; disgraceful conduct documented with phone cameras for the whole world to see. Democrat rallies and protests have been marked by profanity, intimidation, death threats, vandalism, trespassing on private residences, anti-American rhetoric, boycotts of neutral businesses, extortion, and fraud.
My dear Democrat friends, that is not what democracy looks like; it is what Democrats look like. Your Party has become vile, disgraceful, and disgusting, and you have lived long enough in denial of what and who you have become.
You folks are so accustomed to hearing yourselves talk (bang drums, make noise, etc.) that I don't think you realize how you look to the folks in Hustisford or Helenville. But we thank you for helping re-elect Justice Prosser and for showing Wisconsin what is at stake in the recall elections, Democrat and Republican.
For the record: Great job organizing the Tea Party by my friend Nancy Mistele, who tells me that Sarah Palin received no honorarium for her appearance. Bupkis.