Yes, you read that headline correctly, and this will probably draw a lot of friendly fire. First off, any of my regular readers know that I have no love for the unions. I’ve argued previously that public employee unionization is mostly unnecessary, and I’d just as soon see the same plague that killed the Twinkie and has spent decades rotting the auto industry should not be allowed to do the same to our public sector. And I am offering no excuses for the slime balls who assaulted the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) tent regardless of who might be harmed inside when it came down or the coward who sucker punched Steven Crowder.
First off, for those of you unfamiliar with the background, the Michigan State House & Senate passed a resolution to make Michigan a right to work state. The union bosses, who believe in high paying jobs for the few and misery for the many, marshaled their forces for mass protests in the capitol. Showing the "civil dialogue" that one should expect from the left, we had Michigan State Rep Douglass Geiss saying "there will be blood" from the house floor, we had trashing of public property, and massive police cordons to prevent further violence. This came to a head when the AFP set up a sizable tent (I heard it could hold 800 people) in the middle of the fray for a counter protest. The union proceeded to civilly start tearing at the tent with box cutters, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder was also on the scene interviewing union members when one decided to exercise his right to free speech by punching Crowder in the face. Part of this was on Crowder, as he tried pleading with some unionistas that there were women and elderly inside the tent while they were busy peacefully pulling up the stakes to bring the tent down on top of the people inside. A good summary, along with plenty of video footage, appears at The Other McCain blog. But my question to the AFP is this – "What were you thinking?"
You know what leftist rallies are like – Last year we had the thieves and rapists found in the Occupy Wall Street camps busy destroying public property, whether by outright vandalism or simply ruining the public spaces that they occupied. We saw in Wisconsin how the public union employees trashed the capitol building – nice to see that these public servants show so much regard for the taxpayers who they claim to serve. And I got to see this manner of peaceful protest firsthand at AFP’s November 2011 Defending the American Dream Summit here in DC. The members of the local occupy movement came out and surrounded the venue, pounding on glass doors and windows and screaming to be let in. They proceeded to peacefully shove to the ground an 80 year old woman who had to be treated at a local hospital, then when those inside asked if they could bring through an elderly blind couple to get to their car the occupiers civilly screamed louder and continued to bang on the windows, not allowing passage. They also bravely placed their children in front of them to act as human shields – hey, it works for the Palestinians in getting world support. The bottom line is AFP knew that they were dealing with a bunch of animals, and intentionally put its own in harm’s way. If you’re a young and attractive woman who wants to raise awareness for sexual assaults, you don’t go jogging in New York’s Central Park wearing hot pants and a halter top until something terrible happens. If you want to expose racism in the black community you don’t walk around Harlem wearing a sandwich board with racial slurs painted on it – that is unless you’re a cop being blackmailed by the brother of the ringleader behind the heist at Nakatome Plaza. This in no way takes the responsibility from those who might commit the acts of violence against the victims in my two examples, but there is also a degree of responsibility that goes with not placing oneself into dangerous situations.
To reiterate, in no way am I excusing the behavior for the union members who committed these acts of violence or the Democrat Party leaders and members of the press who coddle them. Nor do I think that their actions should be unopposed – there’s nothing wrong with standing up for the working people and the Michigan economy as a whole, but there’s a right way and a wrong way. Knowing how leftist protesters react to opposing views and the reluctance of the police to give them the treatment they deserve for breaking the law going in large to one of their rallies just doesn’t make sense. What was gained from this episode? Did they think that the media would expose this violence from union thugs, just like they did with the Occupy Movement? When I first checked on this as the story was developing on Tuesday night CNN’s site made no mention of the violence, MSNBC mentioned some minor scuffles outside a tent, and of course Fox News had full coverage. This is good for exposing the union thugs and firing up the conservative base, but what chance is there of this message getting to most of the country through the MSM firewall? Was this episode really worth putting our people in danger?
What would I have recommended? That’s a tough question. Send in a few reporters like Crowder to do interviews on the ground. There is still a some risk involved, but there is much less without a massive lightning rod for the leftists to focus their hatred. I know local citizens want to get involved – get them in spots closer to the capitol building itself where there will be a strong police presence, have them at home on the phones melting the lines of Democrat & unions leaders, not to mention the local news outlets about why they aren’t condemning the union thuggery. I know there are other constructive methods of resistance that I can’t think of right now. Or do you actually want violence? If you do bring the numbers to be able to fight back when the violence you know is going to happen anyway starts. No, I’m not advocating this last idea in any way, but my point is that if you’re going to do a potentially bad thing do it right.
Last night was the first time I tuned into Hannity in a long time – I did it because I saw that Steven Crowder was going to be on. He gave his firsthand rundown of the action, and also informed us the $6,000 had already been pledged to find the man responsible for assaulting him. Crowder also threw out a challenge if the man wants to avoid prosecution – the two can face off in a ring MMA-style and all of the money raised to find the thug will be donated to the charity of the winner’s choice. I’ll be happy to see either of these outcomes happen, and if the fight were o be on Pay Per View I’d be tempted to buy.
Before I go I don’t want anyone to think that I have an axe to grind with AFP. I’ve done phone banking for them, and as a direct result of that I won a free pass to that Defending the American Dream Summit mentioned earlier. I got to hear some interesting speakers and was lucky enough to get a picture of myself with Andrew Breitbart shortly before his death. I know that the left likes to make out AFP as the shadow organization that fronts for the Eeeevil Grover Nordquist, but they seem to forget that conservatives have their right to their own "community organizers" as well. While I think that his definitions of following the no tax increase pledge are too rigid, having someone hold politicians’ feet to the fire over raising taxes is not a bad thing. And is he really any worse than the ideologues on the left who force their leaders to refuse to even talk about entitlement reform?
I’m all for fighting the powers that be, but let’s be sure that we’re smart about it.
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog