Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Librarians: The newest threat to national security

I mean, not really. John McCain is not actually the president yet (nor, hopefully, will he ever be), so actions taken by his campaign are not made in the interest of national security. Instead, presumably, these actions will be made in the interest of John McCains bid for the presidency.

That is why this particular incident is so odd. At a campaign rally at the Denver Center of the performing arts (a building that is private but was partially paid for by federal funds), police, responding to a complaint about trespassing, removed a 60 year old librarian carrying a McCain = Bush sign from the outside of a McCain campaign event. The full details can be found here.

There are several things worth noting about this action, above and beyond the infringement on this poor woman's right to free speech (I mean if they had pointed out a place for he to stand with the sign rather than ticketing her and threatening her with arrest, he rights would have at least been served to some degree). First, why was only this woman singled out to be removed? I mean, presumably there were many people in line and in the rally wearing pins and T-shirts and other politically expressive media, but they were not asked to leave for trespassing.

Secondly, and somewhat positive in my opinion, if this woman was asked to leave because her sign was offensive to the McCain campaign, how telling is it that McCain's campaign was so worried about their candidate being linked to the sitting Republican President that they created a scandal by removing this woman. I mean, I know his polling numbers are in the toilet, but seriously, when was the last time a campaign so strongly attempted to dissociate itself from a previous administration of the same party. I mean we all know Gore did not like Clinton personally, but I think he would have been happy to have been seen as continuing Clinton's policies.

Well, the campaign has stated that the only reason the woman was removed was that no one at the event was allowed to carry signs. Right. I am sure they would have removed her just as quickly if she had been carrying a "McCain for a better tomorrow" sign. Well, whatever they said they were doing or were actually doing, the result was the unacceptable censure of an Americans right to free speech.

1 comment:

*Carlo said...

LEAVE THAT SWEET LIBRARIAN ALONE! you meanie security guards!

I'm actually wondering what's the deal with that guy in the background carrying the green-bean looking thing with Bush and McCain's faces on it. He gets through, but the librarian gets booted???