the discussion by the media that i’ve seen thus far misses the key point. til now the media focus has been on questions like “is the sign racist”? or “is the sign protected free speech”?
personally, i don’t think reily is a tea partier; i think he must be a closet saboteur in league with the dems, because democrats couldn’t do a better job of motivating african american voters to turn out for an off-election, one that many might have otherwise been tempted to sit out.
what no one has mentioned is that, for republicans running for office in greater
for one example, in the
in a district with about 30,000 registered voters, just over 8,000 are african american. does anyone really think a certain percentage of them are gonna stay at home as long as this sign greets them every day?
i’m pretty sure that, whatever debate about free speech you want to have, the overwhelming majority of those 8,000 have already decided what they think, and it ain’t gonna help any republican.
and if i’m a democratic candidate, i’m redoubling my efforts in the african american community. they don’t have to sling mud or resort to negative campaigning. they need only tell voters via mail and flyers that they’re the party that detests the sign, and remind them of where their polling place is located.
as for the big picture (not the one in the guy’s yard, but the real big picture), reily’s coarse image of the president will have legs over the long haul in the "gret stet of loooosiana".
as democrats try to rebuild their party, this sign will become a rally point for a party in search of sparks to reactivate their base. they will say that the sign is proof that racism still exists in
as for me, personally, i believe that the sign is protected free speech. i also think, personally, that it’s insipid. it isn’t funny or clever; it’s tasteless and goofy. whether it’s “unpopular” depends pretty much on who sees it; it’s in the eye of the beholder.
i am often amused by critics of my writings who object to my coarser commentary on the teabag movement and the evangelical neocon moneygrubbing sexually frustrated hypocrites who populate it. they say that it’s a shame that i don’t engage in “reasonable debate and discourse” of the issues because the teabaggers are so decent.
in response i need only show mr. reily’s sign and hundreds of others from teabagfests around the country, or watch any televised teabag presidential debate audience.
i say, if what you say is true, that most tea partiers aren’t like that, i look forward to the day when i hear a tea partier stand up and call out the viler elements of their movement and eject them without looking around for mass approval first. sewer bullies always cry and squeal the loudest when someone fights back.
is that civil enough for ya?
in such instances i always recall a favorite line of mine from the movie “
so if, today, the sewer happens to be in a yard in uptown new orleans, here i’ll be, guardian of the gutter, making sure that when we’ve disposed of the used teabags and their oh-so-civil signs, all they’ll be left with is… what’s left.
- The end of civility
- Reader comment: Uptown Obama sign is protected political speech
- Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin takes peacemaker's role in Uptown Obama sign brouhaha