This article originally appears on The Moderate Voice
Did you hear? President Obama called out a SWAT team to threaten tea party protestors in Quincy, Illinois yesterday.
Don’t believe me? Ask premiere conservative blogger Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit writing on Andrew Brietbart’s Big Government website who headlines his piece “Team Obama Calls Out Swat Team on Tea Party Patrioits:
The SWAT Team was called in today at the Quincy Tea Party Rally. Obama was speaking at the convention center this afternoon.
Yes Jim - unreal. But not because President Obama ordered the local police to do anything. What is truly unreal is your laughably over the top description of the situation.
Perhaps a calmer, more rational description is in order. From the local Quincy paper:
There were a few tense moments when the crowd moved west down York toward Third Street after the president’s motorcade arrived. A Secret Service agent asked the crowd to move back across the street to the north side.
When the crowd didn’t move and began singing “God Bless, America” and the national anthem, Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street.
The officers, mainly from Metro East departments near St. Louis and dressed in full body armor, marched from the east and stood on the south side of York facing the protesters.
There was no physical contact, and the officers did not come close to the crowd, but there were catcalls and more than a few upset tea party members, including a woman who shouted, “This is communism!”
No ma’am. This is America. And refusing an order from the Secret Service is a serious matter. Imagine lefty protestors doing the same thing and I’ll bet you would be coming down on them like a ton of bricks.
Hoft makes the point that the protestors were not only peaceful, but looked the part as well with many grandmothers and oldsters in attendance. They may have been peaceful but not following the clear, lawful orders of the authorities to move to the other side of the street unnecessarily raised the temperature of those who swore an oath to give their life in defense of the person of the President of the United States. They can be forgiven much when carrying out their duties in that regard, including paying visits to bloggers who joked about killing President Bush.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Sara Jane Moore, the innocent looking 45 year old woman who took a potshot at President Ford. Moore was upset at what she thought was the war being waged on the left and looked no more a threat than my pet cat Snowball. Or how about Reagan’s attacker John Hinckley? The guy looked like some poor dweeb standing around waiting for the rain to fall on his head.
How does the way someone “looks” make a damn bit of difference as to whether or not they are a threat to the president’s life?
As for the president or anyone associated with his administration having a hand in siccing the “SWAT Team” (they were police dressed in riot gear) on the tea party crowd, that’s just plain nonsense. The police, mobilized as a routine part of the president’s security arrangements, moved between the protestors and the venue and stood there looking pretty bored after the tea partiers refused to obey the instructions of the Secret Service. If you want to second guess the Secret Service, I suggest you should have access to the same information that they do, as well as understand the nuances of their security arrangements.
Word is that Secret Service from inside the venue and the presidential team pressured local law enforcement, who were against the idea. Local cops were overruled, I’m told by various sources, including a few members of local press. [Blogger Michelle]Moore reported that she overheard Secret Service telling the riot squad to “push them back, out of sight.“
Loesch isn’t much of a journalist. Here is Moore’s description:
In addition, the Secret Service told the Riot Police to “push the crowd back as far as you can, out of sight.”…..So, this is what your dear leader thinks of YOU America. He doesn’t want to even see your face or know of your existence if you don’t agree with his policy.
Did Moore “overhear” the Secret Service telling the “riot squad” to push the protestors back out of sight? I don’t get that at all from Moore’s report. It sounds like hearsay to me which, if you’ve ever been to a protest, rumors like that sweep through a crowd like wildfire only to be proved bogus a short time later.
And I might add that during a presidential visit, if the Secret Service orders the police to move, they move. If what both Loesch and Moore are saying is true about the Secret Service telling local police to move the protestors - and then failing to do so - it would be a serious breach of protocol. All the more reason to think that both women were repeating rumors, or more likely, exaggerating their paranoid fears for effect.
No SWAT team. No threats to protestors. No phalanx of menacing riot police bearing down on tea partiers with billy clubs - the kind of police threat I experienced several times in my youth. Simple, routine security that you will see the world over when a national leader pays a visit.
But damn, that’s just not good enough. We need drama! We need to be seen as being oppressed! We need to wave the bloody shirt from the battlements! We’re Patriots ready to spill our blood in defense of …something!
Moe Lane calling the riot police “SWAT” also, and writing about the innocent grandmothers in the crowd as well:
You know, I remember a day when we had a President who wasn’t fundamentally afraid of the American people, and so do you.
If he’s talking about President Bush, WTF? Is he brain dead? With Moe, it’s hard to tell sometimes. His mouth moves but nothing intelligible comes out.
I don’t like President Obama. He is a liar, a bully, a radical who sneers at our traditions and history while seeking to fundamentally alter the relationship between the citizen and the government in Washington, D.C. He is the antithesis of everything I believe about the United States, and whose policies are an anathema to prudent government, presidential decorum, and wise policy making. He is a nightmare from which I sincerely hope we awake in 2012.
But lying, exaggerating, getting hysterical - real or feigned - about stuff like this tea party protest makes me ashamed to be a conservative. We can strenuously oppose this president without descending into the muck of idiocy and quicksand of hyperbole. Nothing happened at that tea party protest that threatened anyone’s liberty or constitutional rights.
Making it seem otherwise only makes these bloggers look ridiculous.