Wednesday, October 27, 2010

regular folks

(warning: political stuff after the jump, don't wanna see/read such things, don't click it)

You've all seen the footage of the guy stomping on the lady's head at the Rand Paul rally, right?

Well, here it is:


The media's inability (or, more likely, unwillingness) to "figure out" the mindset of the so-called "Tea Party" is, I've come to believe, mostly an inability to admit that more than one thing can be "true" of a person - or "movement" of persons, for that matter.

Someone who dislikes the "Tea Party" will tell you: "They're ignorant, reactionary, small-minded jerks."

Someone who LIKES them will respond: "No! They represent the voice and face of ordinary, average people."

Who's right? They both are.

One of the worst things that ever happened to human civilization was the moment that being "average," "ordinary" or "typical" were goals... things to be strived for, instead of escaped from. What I see in that video, and this election cycle, is just the latest manifestation of this.

Just my opinion.


Adam said...

I am very frustrated with the current political establishment, but admittedly I have not seen any group or moment that looks like it can honestly change things for the better on either side of the spectrum. I think there's a lot of merit in the basic core of the Tea Party's beliefs (less government; less spending across the board) but unfortunately they can still fall to some right-wing extremism here and there.

On the plus side, it really does seem like people all across America are paying attention to what's happening more than ever before, and the fact that they're slowly becoming more aware and angry at the broken system is somewhat encouraging.

akkuma420 said...

yikes..... scary video.
I hate what politics turns people into.
Regardless of how you feel about things, it almost always seems to bring the worst out in people.
Kind of why I choose to stay away.
I have my opinions, I just choose to keep them to myself...

Q said...

You're a nut.

There's nothing wrong with the system that competent, responsible, logical oversight can't fix. If you believe that this is justified in any way, you're apart of the problem.

Adam said...

I fail to see how my comment is nutty. I seriously don't see how my comment condones what went on in that video as I think what it shows is disgusting to be sure. And I'm not frustrated with what America was founded on; I'm frustrated with the Republican vs. Democrat political headbutting that's got this country in a stranglehold. If you think I'm advocating anarchy or something I apologize but no not at all.

Arman said...

Curious what you'll say about the beating Kenneth Gladney by SEIU thugs. They put the man in a wheel chair for handing out Gadsden flag fliers at a Town Hall....and almost nobody made a peep about it.

Guess this is inevitable. One nut does something crazy and it'll be turned into a refutation of the entire movement. Oh well. We'll see how well that works in November.

Christopher said...

This election cycle is becoming more hate-fueled than the last one. This video is just another instance in a long line of assholes who instead of participating in the democratic process thinks that violence against others is the right solution.

I seriously don't care which party the guys that beat the woman are from. They should be incarcerated and charged with assault and battery. Then hopefully they can get some jail time to have super fun cuddle time with the Skinheads in prison.

Morbid? Yes. Should my punishment be allowed? From a judicial standpoint, no. But is it an appropriate punishment for these assholes? Personally, yeah. These people disgust me, I don't care if they are Liberal or Conservative. These people should not be allowed to contaminate our country any further with their extremist tactics.

Adam said...

Define Irony:

A person ascribing to the 'don't tread on me' ideology stomping a womans head into the ground because she holds a different political belief.

Any legitimate anti-incumbent tendencies the tea party has is generally undermined by the fact that their platform is completely right wing. Their political ideology is a 100% restatement of Republican ideals and so far every tea party candidate has been such a right wing fanatic that they are going to be the subject of much political study in twenty years time.

Q said...

I apologize. You're not a cashew.

But you did touch on something in your former comment that did offend me into a fit of uncontrollable giggles which is to assume that 1) Anyone outside the 100,000 or so youtube viewers will hear about this video (and even less will care being unable to do anything about it) and 2) that the issues facing this country today will be in anyway fixed with people becoming more angry.

That's just not cool, duude. ;)

Arturo said...

I see what you did there

You gotta give credit where it's due. She didn't even scream in pain (as far as I can tell)

Arman said...

@ Adam.

Right-wing fanatic? Fine by me.

Again, this is inevitably going to be used as "evidence" that the Tea party is some violent group of right-wing militia, quasi-terrorists. It was exactly what I feared most. The moment one nut crosses the line was the moment the libs use the incident to "prove" the insane accusations they've been slinging at the movement since day one.

The Shades said...

I don't care what party you support or what belief you have. There is a line that should not be crossed, and it was crossed in this video.

When Violence is what you feel you have to do to get your point across, then you've gone too far. I know that the Paul Campaign will not support this attack, and if they do, they will be called out for it. This was heinous and out of line.

Yes, i'm a Moderate, so i have liberal and conservative vaules. That said, I'm not gonna say this is why these Right-Wing Nuts are wrong. In some cases, their hearts are in the right place, and some of their ideas are worth looking into. Bottom line: it should never go past words, no matter how much you disagree.

Elessar said...

@arman: 1) That video is widely considered a hoax, 2) Gladney does NOT, repeat does NOT take a beating in the video and 3) nothing happens to him to justify the wheelchair he appeared on Fox in. That was just blatant pandering by his lawyer.

As for this video...yikes. The Tea Baggers (Yes I'm sticking to it) are apparently claiming that they were trying to "restrain her" because they thought she was going to attack Rand Paul (she had a gag gift for him). I call bullshit. Rand Paul on the other hand is trying to blame both sides for this.

At this point, I want this whole midterm to be over. Politics has never been this surreal in my lifetime, not even during the Lewinsky scandal.

The fact that Sarah Palin is considered a legitimate political force actively scares me (I was born and raised for 13 years in Alaska, so when she was nominated, I spent 2 weeks explaining "No. She's fucking crazy and she's a moron" and 2 weeks later...well I wasn't too big to not say I told you so.) Beck and Savage actively scare me, Hannity and Limbaugh are getting crazier all the time and O'reily seems to be heading in that direction. I used to have respect for intelligent conservatives, but now I can't seem to find any.

Oh well. The only thing that gives ME hope is that the Tea Party has no power in the Presidential election. The only states where they have enough votes to be considered a legit force is in states that are already going to go Republican, which may be the first time I'm GLAD for the Electoral College.

Oh and you're spot on on the bit about "the average person is something to escape" bit Bob. Well put.

Rarer Monsters said...

@Arman: If you want people not to assume these good ol' boys represent the tea party, then they should stop dismissing the importance of it. The only response Rand Paul has given is that "passions are running high" and you just act like you're the victims in all of this.

Right now, the Tea Party has the burden of PROVING this is not the real you, and you do that by apologizing and publicly admonishing them, not just acting like everyone else should be ashamed for thinking that the actions of Tea Party members represents Tea Party members.

And Bob is spot on about average folks. The Tea Party is just garden variety republican conservatism with nonspecific pretensions to being "average folks" so they don't have to back up their claims with hard facts or evidence.

blockmangamer said...

Now the guy wants an apology!! XoX

Yes, the jerk that stumped his foot on a defenseless woman's head while she was a) on the ground and b) restrained by two other thugs....wants an apology from her?!


Reminds me how Bill Maher ranted that the vanilla men were terrified they weren't #1 and this asshole's "demands" only reaffirms that much greater.

I really REALLY want the lady press charges, sending this guy's sorry butt to jail.

It's long overdue for people to learn their actions have consequences and this guy's a good place to start.

Matt said...

"One of the worst things that ever happened to human civilization was the moment that being "average," "ordinary" or "typical" were goals... things to be strived for, instead of escaped from."

Needs to be said more often. Being bland, uninteresting and throughly just another cog in a machine is not a way to live a fulfilling life.

Call me elitist, but being a blue collar, small-town, dim everyman should not be thought of as being a noble calling.

21st century American society seems increasingly like Harrison Bergeron, except without the handicapping devices.

Arman said...

@ Elessar

The only people I find who argue that the beating was a hoax are leftists. The first page that I found on google regarding the beating being a hoax wa Media Matters. I apologize, but I don't take a left wing front group posing as a media watchdog at its word.

As far as the claim of restraining her goes...well. Another video shows her rushing Rand Paul's car and tried to shove her sign inside. Now you might think this is nothing, but when you're talking about Senators, rushing a car and shoving an object inside is a bit suspicious You see a guy in a suit rush to pull her away, who likely had probably reason to believe harm was about to be done. THen you have another man pull her to the ground and hold her against the floor. That man also likely had probable cause, but used excessive force. Then the volunteer for the Paul campaign decides AFTER she's restrained and no longer a possible threat to stomp on her head/shoulder.

Is the man who stomped her head still in the wrong? Of course. However this notion that she was angelically standing there when vile redneck tea partiers jumped her is a fantasy.

@Rarer Monsters

You have it wrong. The lefties are making the claim that the Tea Party is the KKK lite, so the burden of proof is on them. A single man crossing the line says NOTHING about the Tea Party, who's behavior regardless of politics has been exemplary especially when compared to left wing "protestors" (look at a G20 protest if you wanna know what I mean.) They're peaceful, they don't vandalize, they pick up after themselves, etc.

And what more do you want Rand Paul to do. He already condemned the attack and fired the dude. Is there anything else you can think of that he should do? Apologize? Why? He didn't do anything.

Jonathan said...

A Rebuttal

"Well, I, for one, resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me, the free men and women of this country, as 'the masses.'" -Ronald Reagan

Rarer Monsters said...

This is what's wrong with you people! Your position is "Most of us didn't beat her and that was wrong, but she totally had it coming since she was suspicious and unpleasant." That's like trying to justify a lynching because the black man really did look at the white woman.

And the evidence that you're a violent group is right there, one guy stomped on her while another held her down and others did nothing to stop him. And worse, all you people seem to be doing is trying to dismiss this as being a big deal. Rand Paul should be apologizing and expressing shame, not just trying to cut all ties and act like he is completely above reproach for the actions of his employees.

Arman said...

Correction: Rand Paul is not a senator. He's a candidate. Point still applies, but I felt I should clear up that little mistake.


I haven't heard a single person, conservative or otherwise who as argued that the man who stomped that woman's head was right. Everybody agrees it was wrong. Everyone thinks he should face assault charges.

I didn't justify the stomping. I never did. That's not proper behavior. This is a Republic, and as long as it stays that way it is immoral to use violence to prove a point. The man should be charged with assault, period. Did I make myself clear?

But based on the video evidence, the lady did rush the car and try to shove her sign through the door. I do not care what party you are from, if you attempt such a brain dead, stupid move you deserve to be subdued. I repeat, subdued. Not beaten, not stomped on, subdued. The first two gentlemen did exactly that and nothing more.

And based on the same video, the woman was not simply standing with a sign as she insists, so the narrative that she was randomly attacked for just being there is not true. I'm not saying she deserved a foot in the head, just to be clear.

What happened in that video was nothing like a lynching, and while I normally try to stay emotionally detached from my arguments, as a man who spent a considerable amount of time studying the civil rights movement and actually researched lynchings (if you're in the mood to vomit look up Emmet Till's murder), I find that comparison offensive.

Your evidence is that one man out of thousands crossed the line. That is all. It is not sufficient to prove that the Tea Party is inherently violent. Also, there were people that were telling the man to stop.

The fact is that every incident of violence involving the Tea Party up to now has been instigated by protestors on the left. Beating people for selling conservative memorabilia, biting off a man's finger, etc...Not that I would rush to paint all liberals as violent Marxist revolutionaries ;p

And finally, there was a similar incident when a Jack Conway supporter stomped on the foot of Rand Paul supporter. The woman had a surgical boot, and her incision was re-opened, meaning she suffered more injury than the woman in that video. Should Conway have to apologize? I don't think so. It is an absurd demand for senate candidates to cry "mea culpa" because a supporter does something insane. Both of them condemned the attack. That's good enough for me.

Well this was longer than I intended it to be.

Jonathan said...

TL;DR violence is wrong, the right definitely doed NOT have a monopoly on violence, or deceit.

RocMegamanX said...

I have to comment on the "averageness" of a person needing to be avoided or escaped.

Well, what if being extraordinary or above average ends up corrupting you?

They say that knowledge is power, but they also say that power corrupts and that the love of money is the root of all evil. What about the lobbyists and corrupt politicians that people keep complaining about? They like money and power.

Elessar said...

Point the first: The left would argue that it's not real and the right would argue that it's worse than the Rodney King beating no matter what happened. It's like how Jack Thompson once claimed that Janet Reno assaulted him because she put her hand on his shoulder.

Stop reading articles on the subject and actually WATCH the video. He at most had a bruise or two and then he shows up in a wheelchair too weak to talk on Fox? Yeah, he's full of shit.

Point the second: What the video contains, regardless of context, is 2 at least 150 pound men (probably much more) holding down what looks like a 120 pound woman. And then a 3rd man comes along, puts his foot on the back of her next and presses down. Not attempts to restrain, stomps on her neck. Done improperly, that could cripple or even kill her, and does it casually.

That's beyond being violent. That's down to being cowardly and despicable. That is an unnecessary, vicious and spiteful act of violence against a helpless person and the person involved should be so ashamed of himself he shouldn't even be willing to leave his house.

The last time I saw something that cruel out of a political race was in 2000 when Bush mocked a woman pleading for her life.

erado said...

@ Arman, if you had watched the video closely you might have noticed something. The woman turned her sign when she reached Rand Paul's car. She turned her sign so Rand Paul could read it. That doesn't seem aggressive to me. She may not have wanted to assault Rand Paul. And that's also besides the point; someone stepped on her head. That's unjustifiable. That man was a volunteer for Rand Paul. He should have better control over his people; and when he doesn't, he should apologize. They're his people. This is somewhat over exaggerated but it's still something he should consider. I don't want to feel hypocritical but all this argument doesn't matter that much. Someone stomped on her head. He should be punished. End of story. Or that's how it should be.

Arman said...


Kenneth Gladney's medical records indicate otherwise. He was prescribed painkillers, which seems to indicate that the damage was severe enough to cause considerable pain. The police have charged three men with assault.

Context is important. Context is everything. If there was a reason that the first two men felt she was trying to attack Senator Paul then they are innocent. The final man that stomped her head is guilty regardless, which was my point in my last post. The woman was already restrained.

And as far as Bush mocking a woman who was being executed for murder, I should mention that it was claimed by one individual and that the Bush campaign vehemently denied it. Make of that what you will.


I don't think the woman intended to attack Senator Paul, but it certainly could be construed that way. She rushed the vehicle. Period. And as I said before, the man who stomped her head is DEFINITELY guilty of assault.

I don't know how you could expect Rand Paul to have forseen this. Human beings are chaotic. Unless someone produces evidence that Paul encouraged this behavior I don't see how any blame could be placed on him. And as I mentioned before, a Conway supporter caused even more severe injury to a Paul supporter. Is Conway at fault for this? No.