August 12, 2009

Code Punk'd

This little bit of false equivalency is beginning to pop up more and more frequently: "The bad behavior isn't unique to health care opponents or right-wing activists. Liberal anti-war group Code Pink and animal rights group PETA are both known for their rowdy demonstrations. Code Pink supporters are regularly removed from Capitol Hill for disrupting key congressional hearings."

I'm no fan of Code Pink (or PETA, but lets leave them aside for the moment) but there's a major difference between their disruptive activity and the ones staged by the health creeps and tea baggers. Code Pink, and other antiwar protestors, stomp and yell to draw attention to their cause because they have been deliberately shut out of the conversation otherwise. The health creeps are stomping and yelling at events they've been invited to, at which they are given an opportunity to present their case rationally if they would like.

Those "key congressional hearings" Code Pink disrupts feature one-sided, or at best one and a half sided testimony that always broadly supports a militaristic agenda. Antiwar folks are never invited to be heard. That's the whole point of their protest. In the run-up to the Iraq war, polls showed that a majority of Americans opposed an invasion without UN support, but there were no town hall meetings in which sitting congresspeople came to present their case directly to the people and to listen with an open mind to the response. Would some liberals still have made asses of them if that had happened? Perhaps. But many more would have come prepared with civil speeches. Endless and heavy on the Chomsky, but civil. Currently Code Pink is agitating to end the war in Afghanistan. Until Arlen Specter holds a town hall on that subject in which he says he wants to hear from all sides (can you imagine any leading politician even suggesting that there might be more than one side?), the parallel between antiwar protesters and anti health care reform ones should be dropped.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I went to a town hall meeting in 2002. A sitting (antiwar) congresswoman was there. Truthers yelled at her. It wasn't on MSNBC, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

can you imagine any leading politician even suggesting that there might be more than one side?


"Endless and heavy on the Chomsky, but civil."

WTF? Noam's tomes have become dismissible cliché?

"WTF? Noam's tomes have become dismissible cliché?"


Actually, I don't completely think so, but the fact that Daniel can so casually make such a statement does say something about the current cultural context of "Noam's tomes."

@ John. Truthers are the equivalent of birthers, not of anti-health reformers or even tea baggers, who represent the mainstream of their party.

And as much I wish Feingold could be counted as a leading politician (not particularly on this issue, but others), that's a bit of a stretch. But if you like, I'll concede the point.

Any others?

Yeah, thorough objective analysis motivated by human decency is just so passé. And yeah, like John Stewart, Chomsky's a Jew who dares to publicly criticize Israel's apartheid/ethnic cleansing policy toward Palestinians. Mos def, write him off because, um, well, INVISIBLE CLOUD FATHER (or visible media mogul master) says we must?

And I once teabagged a truther. At least I think he was a truther -- he told me I was hot.

Well, actually Dr. Chomsky actually condemns Israel for its war crimes, while J-o-n Stewart at least suggests Palestinians are human. It's a start for a Viacom product.

And actually actually, actually too.

I'm sorry, acting infantile is acting infantile. Maybe Code Pink was shut out of the conversation because of their behavior.

Yelling, stomping, stealing signs, taking your clothes off and pouring liquids on people is what children do to get attention.

That's like all the various Catholic diocese creeps in decades past saying reports of priests raping little boys were too distasteful to merit response.

Upwards of a million dead over six years in yet another illegal war and America gone back to sleep, hypnotized by the easy charm of the current commander of the deadliest war machine in human history. The genocidal ritual blood sacrifice and corporate war profiteering continue with no more legitimacy or transparent purpose now than during Inbred McCokesnort's regime.

The US appears determined to eradicate Islam from the earth, both by direct military incursion and via its proxy Israel. Or vice versa. In the midst of the media propaganda juggernaut, reasonable voices don't make a dent. Elected representatives are bought off or politically blackmailed on the subject. Mass protests are ignored.

Peace-loving activists having the luxury of living in relative freedom don't kill others to get their point across. What's left? Street theater. Civil disobedience. Code Pink has the right idea. Their stunts are the pacifist's equivalent of suicide bombs: all that's left to a people egregiously wronged deprived of any way to seek redress.

Never mind. Go back to sleep America.


Just curious, should we also this season avoid speeches "heavy on" the Eric Alterman and Tony Judt? Hate to have the kids think I'm unhip ...

^the above from me, בְּוַדַּאי.

I read "Chomsky" as metonymy for "extensive quoted material unlikely to persuade a general audience; an act of self-indulgence defeating the purpose of an open forum."

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