NEW YORK — Standing in the midst of thousands of protesters Sunday morning, I wondered if any of the individuals in this massive crowd actually believed the self-righteous propaganda.
The catch phrase of the day was, “Dissent is Patriotic.” I saw not a hint of irony on the faces of the mob as they demanded, for hours on end, “Republicans go home!” and “GOP scum, leave our city!”
Let’s think about this for a moment: There are 5,000 Republican delegates in town for the convention. Protest organizers predict the final count will be somewhere around 250,000 and I’ve no reason to doubt the figure. So protesters will outnumber delegates 50 to one.
At what point exactly, I asked several members of the Question Authority Brigade, is one group far enough in the minority that they become, well, dissenters? Sputtering, uncomprehending rage was all I got in response.
But considering the numbers and the fact that any small Republican counter-protest was immediately converged upon on by frothing-mouthed burst of vitriol and obscenity, it would seem those speaking truth to power (i.e., “dissenters”) in New York City Sunday morning were Republicans.
Not once during the Democrats’ convention did I see any large number of Republicans show up to chant, “DNC go home!” Not once did crowds of conservatives attempt to silence Democrats with obscenity or physical intimidation. Not once did Bush supporters question the legitimate right of a political party to gather for a convention. Yet all of this is commonplace at the Republican event.
“This is what democracy looks like!” the crowd chants as they demand that Republicans’ right to assembly and speech be beaten to a bloody pulp.
WHEN I ARRIVED AT press conference for the kick-off of the United for Peace and Justice march, I was met by several dozen of the group’s yellow-shirted “marshals” who herded reporters into a metal pen, which kept us from mixing with organizers and celebrity participants, who had their own separate area to protect them from the rabble.
The girl keeping us from mixing with organizers and celebrity participants was wearing a sticker that read “Free Speech Zone” with a U.S. map next to it.
“So what is this?” I asked.
“The ‘Free Press Zone’?”
Several of the marshals snickered among themselves until I explained that I was not kidding. I reiterated the question.
“It’s too crowded in there,” one of the marshals explained. “There’s a safety issue.”
The irony, the hypocrisy, the hubris! Last month in Boston, the “Free Speech Zone” cage had activists hopping mad. And here the activists had turned around and done the same thing to journalists.
“Are you serious?” I asked.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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