Wednesday, February 01, 2006

All About Me: The Sad Spectacle of Cindy Sheehan Continues

The sad spectacle of Cindy Sheehan continues to spiral out of control. The media couldn't get enough of her when she decided to camp out in front of President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch in order to meet with the President a second time to demand the US withdraw from Iraq (and ostensibly because her son Casey was killed while serving in Iraq).

Well, since then, Cindy's hobnobbed with the likes of Hugo Chavez, various anti-American groups, and was give a pass by Rep. Lynn Woolsey to sit in the gallery at last night's State of the Union Address. There are specific rules of conduct that are enforced to maintain decorum and due dignity in the Gallery. The failure to adhere to those rules can mean ejection from the Gallery.

Cindy didn't care about the rules since this is all about her. She tried to take off a sweater to reveal some kind of political statement. When security tried to tell her to cease and desist, she refused, and she was escorted from the Chamber.

Woolsey has previously provided members of the radical group Code Pink seats in the gallery and they proceeded to disrupt last year's Presidential inauguration. So, she knew exactly what she was doing and what to expect when she provided Sheehan with the pass for the gallery seat.

Meanwhile, the wife of Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) claims that she was ejected from the Chamber as well for wearing a t-shirt that says, "Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom."
In a telephone interview with the newspaper, Young said she told them her shirt wasn't a protest but a message of support.

Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said Young wasn't ejected from the gallery and she left on her own. She couldn't provide additional details.

Young's husband found out about the incident after Bush's speech and called it unacceptable.
In both cases, the House security appears to have acted to enforce the rules against such displays without regard to the kind of message.

The Florida Masochist has more on the Sheehanapalooza and Beverly Young's run-in with the Capitol Police. He also happens to have some interesting background on Mrs. Young.

To be clear, it appears that the law under which both Ms. Sheehan and Mrs. Young were removed from chambers before the address was content neutral and applied equally. And for those who think that the First Amendment is without bounds, they would be wrong. Sheehan would like folks to think that she's being treated unfairly. That this is somehow on the Administration. She'd be wrong. Again. And again. Others blogging: Wizbang, Gateway Pundit, Sister Toldjah (who notes that the charges against Sheehan were dropped - and provides some additional context on why:
“The policy and procedures were too vague,” he added. “The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine.”

The extraordinary statement came a day after police removed Sheehan and Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young, R-Fla., from the visitors gallery Tuesday night. Sheehan was taken away in handcuffs before Bush’s arrival at the Capitol and charged with a misdemeanor, while Young left the gallery and therefore was not arrested, Gainer said.

“Neither guest should have been confronted about the expressive T- shirts,” Gainer’s statement said.

UPDATE 2/2/06:
Please see this post for a correction on this posting.

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