No, this is not going to be one advocating "moderation" in the Democrats' position on the war in Iraq. This is not even going to be a critique of the anti-war people in general. This isn't a "Lieberman is right" entry. Without reservation, I oppose the war in Iraq, and agree with Murtha's call to pull the troops out, because, what we feared would happen if we pulled our troops out - a civil war - is already under way in Iraq.
So what is this writing about? It's about what the title says it's about: anti-war and left wing nutjobs. NUTJOBS. I am talking about the inconsiderate anti-war crowd that heckled Nancy Pelosi on Saturday (1/14/05). Here's the SF Chronicle report
about it, and here's the C-Span archive
of the video of the town-hall. In my opinion, what these hecklers did was incredibly stupid, and rude, to be mild.
For those who don't yet know what happened, Pelosi was holding a town-hall meeting in San Francisco on national security. She was answering questions, and all of a sudden these people got up and started yelling and disrupting, demanding that Pelosi immediately support cutting off funds for the war (and hence the troops), and force a caucus position against the war. She refuesed, and the heckling got louder. Now, this isn't about whether you agree with the position of the hecklers of that of Pelosi, it is about demeanor, courtesy, and pure and simple knowing who your friends are.
The hecklers - I hate to call them protesters, because protest is about making a strong statement, not a loud disruption - have an attitude that is too reminiscent of the right wing of this country: my way or highway. That's what they seemed to believe. Pelosi must agree with them on everything and every action plan, or else they had the right to disrupt the whole thing. Never mind that Pelosi was actually answering questions in a pretty straight-forward way. You can disagree with her, but give her the respect and the courtesy to at least listen while she's talking. This "you're with us or with them" attitude is very very bothersome to me. I can't stand it.
Second, the vast majority of the people that were there went to listen to Pelosi, and they deserved the courtesy to be able to listen. They have a right to hear answers to the questions many of them have in mind, without being disrupted with the same thing over and over again. It was an open forum. Pelosi did not screen people out, and she extended every last bit of courtesy to the hecklers. She heard them, their questions, and it was now their f*cking time to hear her. Standing in front of the stage with the signs the way the hecklers did also made it incredibly disruptive for those sitting in the front rows and wanted to actually see Pelosi as she spoke.
This was NOT a protest. This was a bunch of nutcases going out there with "you must obey me, and the hell with everyone else" attitude that only serves to discredit the peace movement in particular and the progressive movement in general. People see this on TV and rightly roll their eyes. In the middle of the whole thing, all liberals get painted with a broad brush and our cause suffers. The one principle founding all of our rights is that no one can use their rights to take away the rights of others. You do NOT have the "freedom of speech" to take away other people's freedom of speech. Other people in the forum wanted their questions asked and answered, and every bit as much right to get those heard and answered without nutcases yelling in the middle.
Lastly, these nutcases also do us a disservice by refusing to recognize who our friends are, and treating our friends like unwelcome foes. Nancy Pelosi, of all people, is not a foe of the peace movement. She is a friend. I don't understand why these whackos think that treating our friends like trash will win us any points or will further our vision. There is nothting wrong with having a strong opinon and expressing it. But I believe that those who truly believe in their advocacy can make the point without being disruptive, heckling asses.
So yeah, I'm pissed. Incredibly pissed. The audience was too. They booed and shouted down these hecklers several times. I'm pissed at these whackos for being self-serving idiots who are so wrapped up in their own emotions or agendas that they don't care about civility, courtesy or the rights of other people to listen to and question their representative in a peaceful environment.