It seems hardly different from the old incivility. I doubt that this election cycle will get as nasty as the election of 1800, or of the election of 1824, but it still looks as if even the minimal level of courtesy between the parties has completely broken down. Consider this story I read in The Hill.
Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.
Presidential candidates have traditionally kept a low profile during their opponent’s nominating celebration, but Democrats are throwing those rules out the window in an attempt to spoil Mitt Romney’s coronation as the GOP nominee.
President Obama, Vice President Biden and leading congressional Democrats have all scheduled high-profile events next week to counter-program the Republican gathering in Tampa, Fla.
Even first lady Michelle Obama is in on the act, scheduling an appearance on the “David Letterman Show” smack in the middle of Romney’s nominating bash.
Political historians say the high stakes of this year’s elections — combined with the rise of today’s 24/7 media culture — have forced leaders on both sides of the aisle to get more aggressive.
“Traditionally, there was a kind of courtesy extended to the party having the convention — the [other] party would basically stay out of the public eye,” said Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University.
But that “gentlemen’s agreement,” Baker said, has been largely abandoned as “a consequence of the polarization of American politics.” He characterized the old tradition as a “quaint code of etiquette” destined to become a “remnant of the 20th century.”
Or, it could be the result of a win-at-all-costs mentality that has pervaded American politics in recent decades. I don’t really know what the Democrats are thinking with this. To start with, I would have thought that they would be doing everything they could to keep Joe Biden out of the public eye. Also, have they not considered that this makes them look a little desperate and uncertain of their chances this November? This is one of those little signs I have been noticing that makes me think that Barack Obama will not be reelected.
Then there are the protestors. Political conventions naturally attract protestors in much the same way that rotting meat attracts flies. Mostly they are harmless, except for the anarchists and nihilists of all types. According to FoxNews, the anarchists and Occupy losers are planning on making a big show.
Federal authorities are urging law enforcement agencies across the country to watch out for signs that extremists might be planning to wreak havoc at the upcoming political conventions — by blocking roads, shutting down transit systems and even employing what were described as acid-filled eggs.
The warning came in a joint FBI-Department of Homeland Security bulletin issued Wednesday.
The bulletin specifically warned about a group of anarchists from New York City who could be planning to travel to the convention sites to disrupt the events by blockading bridges.
Anarchists “see both parties as the problem,” so both conventions are prime targets for them, a federal law enforcement official told Fox News.
The joint bulletin, titled “Potential For Violent or Criminal Action By Anarchist Extremists During The 2012 National Political Conventions,” says anarchist extremists likely don’t have the capability to overcome heightened security measures set up by the conventions themselves. In addition, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said Tuesday that fences have been established around “some of the more attractive government targets.”
Instead, extremists could target nearby infrastructure, including businesses and transit systems, according to Wednesday’s bulletin.
The bulletin mentions possible violent tactics anarchist extremists could employ, including the use of molotov cocktails or acid-filled eggs.
I think that no convention is complete without molotov cocktails. Seriously, what exactly are these people trying to accomplish? They are not going to overthrow the government. No one looking at the news coverage is likely to be impressed with their acts of street violence. All they are going to do is hurt people and end up in jail. Maybe that is the point.
One of the major differences between the Tea Party and the OWS crowd, aside from political ideology and economic principles is that the Tea Party people have been able to move beyond the protest stage with the people in colonial costume and waving those don’t tread on me flags and have, by entering local politics have actually been able to have an effect. The OWS group never did move beyond the campouts and I suppose these protestors are the frustrated die hards.
And, just to be even handed, I read about this sign which was put up in Elkhart Indiana.
I feel I have to say it over and over. Barack Obama is not Hitler. He is not Osama bin Laden. You may disagree with his policies and you may think that is he a terrible president, but comparing him to truly evil men is outrageous and more than a little silly.
- Agencies warn of possible anarchist activity at conventions (edition.cnn.com)
- Anarchists plotting to disrupt party conventions, FBI says (english.ruvr.ru)
- RNC Readies for Anarchy (theamericanconservative.com)
- Anarchists may try to disrupt Republican and Democratic conventions, FBI and DHS warn (nydailynews.com)