Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Howard Dean

Yesterday, a group of youngish conservatives showed up outside of a DNC fundraiser featuring an appearance by Howard Dean at the Church Brew Works in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. (Good coverage is provided by both the Post-Gazette and the Tribune-Review.) The fun-loving youths gathered with the intention of holding a Dean Scream contest where, presumably, Howard Dean himself would be able to hear it. Basically, it was a silly and harmless way to poke fun at a silly person.

Naturally, other people just had to show up and try to spoil the fun. From the Trib:

The screaming Deans were surprised to be shouted down by another group, Anti-Racist Action, whose obscenity-laced provocations, huge banner and confrontational style of its half-dozen members threatened the peaceful gathering.

An Anti-Racist Action member grabbed a Bush-Cheney 2004 sign from a Young Republican and ripped it nearly in half. A Pittsburgh police officer lectured the group, threatening to arrest those who did not respect the free speech rights of others.

"We're strong supporters of freedom of speech, naturally," said action member Jules Bonnot, 21, of Bloomfield. "However, we feel we have to get noticed."

Presumably the Young Republican either paid for the sign or received it from someone who paid for it. Either way, the Anti-Racist Action dude vandalized someone else's property. Not that it would matter to him, or any of the other people protesting the contest. From the PG article:
Once the TV cameras were rolling, however, the Republicans' competitive "Scream Off" -- to spoof Dean's infamous yowl after last year's Iowa caucuses -- got upstaged by a group of not-so-funny anarchists, who ripped up their placards and tried to outscream the GOP screamers.
Anarchists! Well, of course they would go around ripping apart people's signs. They don't believe in private property. What were the anarchists doing there? Supporting Howard Dean? Not really. It's not what they are for that matters, it's what they are against:
Just after the first contestant, Griffin Emerson of Fox Chapel, finished bellowing, "We're going to South Carolina and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico! We're going to California and Texas and New York, and we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House, yeaaaaaah!" about six or seven anarchists arrived, shouting profanities and calling the Republicans "racist" and "homophobic."
What proof did they have for these allegations? None, most likely. It just sounds good. Although one screamer did try to incite the protestors:
A Duquesne University student named Dan, holding a poster that said "I [love] the GOP," stepped up to resume the contest. "Howard Dean is gay," he said, and was immediately surrounded and lectured by the anarchists.
In all fairness to Dan, Howard Dean did in fact refer to himself as a "metrosexual" during the primary campaign. It doesn't mean the same as "homosexual", but close enough. It's easy to mistake one for the other.

A policeman at the scene handled things well:
Police Officer John Suzensky had kept his distance, remaining on the other side of 36th Street from the showdown, but at this point came over and told the anarchists to ease up. The protesters moved to different sides of Liberty Avenue. No one was arrested.
As long as no one was hurt, no one should have been arrested either. The policeman did an excellent job of keeping a cool head and maintaining order.

Despite the interruptions, the contest did in fact have a winner:
Holding a crumpled "Republicans Rock" sign, Monica Douglas, executive director of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County, announced that committee member Marky Billson had won the screaming contest.
Monica who? Oh yeah -- that's the chick who thinks she's Qui-Gon Jinn!

Across the street, the anarchists seemed just as certain that they had won.

Preposterous. How can you declare a winner when your belief system has no rules? It's enough to make you scream. YEAAAAAAGHHHH!!!

No comments: