Permit? PERMIT?! We don’t need no stinkin’ permit!
We’re progressives! Our superior intellect and morality allow us to play by our own rules! Our constitutional right to speech trumps yours. Happy Constitution Day!
Miles Kristan, also known as “Pink Dress Guy,” pourer of beer over State Rep. Robin Vos and all-around bad actor, comments on my YouTube posting of last summer’s historic and unique Conservative Sing-Along in the State Capitol. Historic and unique because, unlike the leftward Solidarity Singers, we actually applied for and received a permit. (Who is that off-key voice? … Oh, never mind.)
“If you were a real conservative you would know that the constitution is the only permit you need,” says Mr. Kristan who, once again, strains credulity by posing as 1) a constitutional scholar and 2) an expert on political conservatism.
This is also the argument made by oftentimes reasonable Greg Humphrey over at Caffeinated Politics. Greg was encouraging public sector union sympathizers to join him at today’s daily sing-along in the Capitol rotunda, especially now that the Left-leaners have something to sing about, however temporarily. (More on that, anon.)
“The only permit we need is the First Amendment!”
To Miles and Greg I aver that if they were consistent, they would say the Second Amendment is the only permit we need.
Now, it is well established in law and practice that reasonable restrictions as to time, place, and manner may be made to speech. It would not do, for instance, to march past Greg’s home on the Madison isthmus at 3 o’clock in the morning with bullhorns and vuvuzelas blaring, as much as it now seems like a better and better idea.
Already this month, the singers have disrupted a permitted Red Cross blood drive in the Capitol rotunda. They do more than hold up signs, they drape banners over the ballustrades, they chant and they raise a din. It is fair to say that they commandeer the space. If they can do so, why cannot the Tea Party counter, and the Young Republicans, the Federalist Society, and so on and so on?
That is why Eric Shutt, Gov. Walker’s chief of staff, said recently that their visit to Kosovo with the troops was more peaceful than Madison.
It is but a short step from this “we’re above the law” attitude toward the depredations of a full-time protester variously known as “Segway Jeremy” or “Segway Boy.” Here, in a video he himself posted, the fellow taunts a Capitol press corps member, the daughter of the late Dick Wheeler, a respected, non-partisan and objective news reporter, by chanting “Wheeler’s dead” and “she’s a sissy.”
Christian Schneider reports, “The harassment from Ryan got so bad, [Wheeler’s daughter] eventually had to lease office space outside the capitol, meaning protesters had driven her from the press room named for her own father.”
The troubled young man (he rides a Segway around the Capitol as his supposed impaired mobility device) brags about the legislation he and his fellow disrupters have “prevented” by disrupting committee hearings. The new Capitol police chief finally routed his latest ticket through the attorney general after the local partisan district attorney whiffed on the first 30 or so disorderly conduct citations. (Now Jeremy claims to be dying. Coincidence?)
One might try to excuse Segway Boy’s hooliganism as an outlier in the larger movement. One would be wrong to do so. No Leftward publication or website has denounced his disruptions or those of his followers. Not John Nichols or Ed Garvey. Not Blogging Blue or Dane 101. Madison teachers union activists actually praised Segway Boy by name at their outdoor Capitol rally on Friday. (MacIver has the video.)
Making Wisconsin ‘ungovernable’
Matt Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, was on Friday’s Wisconsin Public Radio program Week in Review, hosted by the charming Joy Cardin.
Matt infamously urged, in the June 2011 number, that the unionistas “make Wisconsin ungovernable.” Matt, likeable enough (as Obama once said of Hillary) in person, expressed irritation that I would broach this subject again on the radio. It should be noted, however, that on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, Mr. Rothschild once again passed up an opportunity to recant, amend, or otherwise revise his remarks. Nor has he done so on the pages of The Progressive, dead tree or electronic.
While Matt, Greg, and Pink Dress Guy have not succeeded in making Wisconsin ungovernable, they have made it more difficult to govern.
Four-time losers (in the 2010 general election, the 2011 spring Supreme Court race, the summer 2011 Senate recalls, and again this June 5), the Left has worked tirelessly to delegitimize the electoral process and, in the very halls of government, to defeat the results. They actually brag about it.
Over Friday morning’s airwaves (it is podcast #120914C), Matt Rothschild diagnosed new police chief David Erwin as paranoid for enforcing common-sense rules that have stood since 1979. After all, the Capitol rotunda belongs to everyone, not just the Solidarity Singers, who have commandeered that space without once ever complying with reasonable rules and regs.
Paranoid? I asked Matt if the workers (a favored word in the Lefty lexicon) in the Capitol were paranoid about wanting panic buttons installed in their offices. My question was met with a bit of high-minded sputtering. Paranoid?
This is State Sen. Neal Kedzie:
Over the last year or more, the harassment by these fringe protestors has been ruthless. Visitors to the Capitol – including children – have been taunted, legislators and their staff have been screamed at, and general workers within the building have been subjected to daily episodes of over-the-top shouting matches. People have been cursed at, stalked, and intimidated on a regular basis. Daily legislative proceedings have been interrupted with outlandish behavior, and protestors have routinely disrupted committee hearings, floor sessions, meetings, and even school group gatherings.
This small band of agitators have gone out of their way to create a hostile environment within the Capitol whereby others who may wish to express their opinions here.
Even members of the press corps are not exempt from such harassment. In fact, one such member recently moved their office outside the Capitol building after being harassed daily by a protestor who shouted obscenities and sang songs about their father – a long-time member of the Capitol press corps – who recently passed away. [That would be Dick Wheeler.]
Since 1979, permits have been required of all groups planning to hold an event at the Capitol. In the nation’s capitol in Washington, D.C., no demonstrations, no signs, no nonsense. None. Nada.
A partisan judge makes new law
You may have heard that a Dane County judge has ruled against Wisconsin Act 10. This one individual, appointed by Jim Doyle, seeks to overturn a statute enacted by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law by the elected governor.
"Sadly a liberal activist judge in Dane County wants to go backward and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the Legislature and the governor," was Gov. Walker’s measured response.
Socialist provocateur (and John Edwards fanboy) John Nichols professes to be distraught that Gov. Walker “engaged in cheap-shot invective that is as ignorant as it is shameful.” (“Scott Walker reduced to name-calling.”)
Compare that with John’s own splattering of Justice Antonin Scalia, “R-Supreme Court”:
“Scalia, the most determined activist on a high court that has been redefined by its results-oriented conservative majority … the Tory jurist …”
It is telling that Comrade Nichols does not attempt to defend the Dane County circuit court decision itself, for it is impenetrable, a legal black hole that obliterates the light of reason. Instead, our John engages in, well, cheap-shot invective, ignorant and shameful.
For the Judge Colas ruling will most certainly be overturned, as was Judge Sumi’s ruling that the legislative session was improperly noticed. I have digested a great many legal rulings in school and while reporting on the courts. (Read his ruling here.) What it amounts to is that the Legislature, having granted the privilege of collective bargaining to state and local government employee unions, is somehow enjoined from subsequently revoking them. That, of course, makes no sense. What government giveth, it can taketh away. (Constitutional rights, on the other hand, are not given by government but are derived from “the laws of nature and Nature’s God.”)
Indeed, Act 10 does no more to deprive government employees of their right of association, despite Juan Colas’ assertion to the contrary, than did Wisconsin law prior to 1959, when the AFSCME union was first recognized.
Nor does Act 10 create “distinct classes” of government employees, contrary to the judge’s assertion. The 1959 recognition of unions in the first place created that distinction.
Youthful Republican provocateur Jeff Waksman has secured an exclusive interview with the eminent partisan overturnable jurist. Read it and weep.
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