15 February 2008

A Tale of Two Protests

Yesterday, House Republicans, at the behest of Representative John Boehner, walked out of the House in protest of Democratic maneuvers that were about to lead to the issuing contempt of Congress citations against former White House counsel Harriet Miers and the President's Chief of Staff, Josh Bolten. When the Republicans marched out of the chamber, they went to the steps of the Capitol, where they encountered a bank of microphones. They promptly the microphones to use in holding a press conference to point out their unfair treatment at the hands of the Democrats. Here is the AP photo of the Republicans showing their outrage:

What a difference a few months makes. I was in Washington on September 15 of last year for the antiwar rally and march. The march ended at the steps of the Capitol, and there was a very different reception awaiting us. The steps were lined with riot police, ready and willing to arrest any protester with the gall to stand on those steps leading up to the chambers in which the peoples' laws are crafted. Many of those arrested had previously served in the armed forces in Iraq and had joined the march to show their frustration with the pointlessness of the US efforts in Iraq. Here is my photo of the reception these veterans received on the steps of the Capitol:

When the people approach the steps of the Capitol in protest, they are met with riot police and arrest. When Republicans stand on the steps of the Capitol in protest, they get microphones and television cameras. That sums up the state of our country pretty well.

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