How they see us

In my post about Philip Roth, I pointed out that he characterizes Republicans as “brutal” (unlike Democrats, of course). I just saw the same theme crop up in an article about the insanity that promises to envelope Berkeley’s town council meeting on Tuesday as the town considers rescinding its ill-thought out letter to the Marines. To begin with, there may be a lot of people there:

Hundreds of protesters from across the country and the political spectrum are expected to descend on City Hall with bullhorns, drums, banners and plenty of vitriol in anticipation of the City Council’s debate over the Marines’ recruiting station in town.

The ruckus started last week when the council voted to send a letter to the Marines, calling them “unwanted intruders” for opening the recruiting center on Shattuck Avenue last year. At the same time, the council granted Code Pink a parking space and a sound permit to make it easier for the peace group to conduct protests outside the center.

On Monday, Councilwomen Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli introduced an item for this week’s meeting, asking the city to retract its statements about the Marines and clarify that the city is against the war, not against the armed forces.

“We’re starting to get people coming in from all over the U.S.,” said Catherine Moy, executive director of Move America Forward, one of several pro-military groups planning an all-day protest Tuesday at Maudelle Shirek City Hall. “People are pretty upset. We want to avoid clashes, but it could be really, really big. We don’t really know what’s going to happen.”

In other words, conservatives want to be there to exercise their free speech rights and they want to keep it peaceful. But that’s not how liberals see the fellow-Americans they’ll be facing across the picket lines:

Peace groups, disgusted that the council would cave in to pressure from the pro-military groups, plan to host their own rally, an “emergency 24-hour peace-in vigil,” complete with singing, drums and dialogue.

“We want to protect our city from the onslaught of the right wing,” said Code Pink spokeswoman Zanne Joi. “We’re facing people who are willing to kill or send other people’s children to kill to get what they want. We understand the reality of that, and we’re prepared to face that in a nonviolent way.” (Emphasis mine.)

We’ve gone beyond Roth’s “brutes” into Code Pink’s killers. As I pointed out in that same Roth post, though, while violent rhetoric does emanate from both sides (the same article mentions the obligatory death threats), the trend has been for the violent acts to emanate from the left, not the right. I wonder what Tuesday will bring.

UPDATE: I’ve switched to a new server, so you can feel free to look around here or check out my new site, which not only has the old stuff, but also will move forward into the future with all my new material.

5 Responses

  1. Sheeeesh losing your focus . . . so parochial ! Who cares about Berkley-Schmerkley Tuesday when what is REALLY happening TUESDAY is the BATTLE of the POTOMAC (emphasis are mine . . . I always wanted to say that) ? Let’s get ready to Ruuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . .ble, no not with Pink Code vs Move America Forward ya dummies but with The Hildebeast(affectionaly aka as THE BEAST versus The Great Black Hope(we never did get our Great White Hope coming through . . oh sure Jerry Quarry was good and so was JFK but that is not good enough and besides soooooooo yesterday . . . it is so what have you done lately times now) Obamamessiah(also affectionately known as Obambi. Ooh scary stuff THE BEAST vs BAMBI !

  2. Philip Roth. I agree; his books are terrible. His twisted view of sexuality just gives me the creeps.

    I forced myself to finish “American Pastoral” just so I could try to see what is so great (as per his critical acclaim was). In my end of year book review, I think I put it about right.

    “If Philip Roth is a great American writer, then I feel sad for America.”

    Speaking of bad reviews, Mrs. Salamander just got through reading Booker Prize winning “The Inheritance of Loss” …. no plot line, boring, snoozer. To quote Mrs. Salamander; “I don’t enjoy reading about people who suffer because they are poor decision makers.”

  3. What Berkeley really needs to do – if there are enough citizens who are outraged with their City Council – is to recall the present Council, and elect new members. If they _don’t_ , then you have to wonder how “outraged” they really are.
    You get the government you deserve, etc….

  4. I’ll acknowledge Roth’s artistry, though I haven’t read much of his work, but what baffles me is how an astute guy like Roth can see George W. Bush as an inarticulate West Texas hick but can’t see John Kerry as a pompous ass and inflated war hero, a sort of latter day Milos Gloriosus, ripe for parody. I suppose when you put your art in service in ideology, the blinders must stay on.

  5. I have found this whole thing hilarious. My favorite quote was one you provided the other day. One of the Code Pink people said something to the effect that she was shocked that there were recriminations for speech.

    Now the city council is similarly “shocked” at the response to their actions. That is the funniest aspect to this. These folks just cannot conceive that anyone would think differently than they do.

    This goes directly to how these people think of conservatives. If you have an opposing view to them you must be a ravenous beast.

    See articles on military killbots returning from war.

    Don’t you remember the conservative mayhem and murder in Florida in 2000? Well listening to some Congressional Democrats at the time you sure would have thought that happened.

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