Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Well-Dressed Mob

I was doing some research (on political violence) the other day and ran across an old story that was just too good to pass up.

Miami 'Riot' Squad: Where Are They Now?

”As we begin the second Bush administration, let's take a moment to reflect upon one of the most historic episodes of the 2000 battle for the White House -- the now-legendary "Brooks Brothers Riot" at the Miami-Dade County polling headquarters.”

Remember that little scene? Where the mob appeared to be so angry that the crowd trying to count the “hanging chad” ballots was intimidated into stopping the count? Did that count as political violence? Or is their some kind of line you have to cross before we consider it morally wrong? Is it okay to make someone worry that they might be harmed? Can you shake your fist in someone’s face without intimidating them? Can you wave your gun in their face without intimidating them? Where do we draw the line?

I want you to mull over those questions for a little bit and then make sure you click this link. Because I want you to see the picture, see the faces attached to the names and then see where they wound up.

”Matt Schlapp, No. 6, a former House aide and then a Bush campaign aide, has risen to be White House political director.”

”No. 1. Tom Pyle, who had worked for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), went private sector a few months later, getting a job as director of federal affairs for Koch Industries”

”No. 9. Chuck Royal was and still is a legislative assistant to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a former House member.”

I hope my readers recognize some of those names. Delay. Koch. DeMint.

”Sources say the "rioters" proudly note their participation on résumés and in interviews.”

That’s right, they brag about the fact they participated in political intimidation in the form of a riot.

If intimidation is sophisticated, does that make it okay? Is there a difference if you’re wearing a Brooks Brothers suit instead of a white robe and hood?

Don Brown
January 18, 2010

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