Saturday, April 03, 2010


Should we boo him off the stage?

Karl Rove: He was King George’s enabler. Does that make him the devil? Maybe.

Does that mean we shouldn’t be listening to him talk? Maybe. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t go hear him.

Does that mean we should prevent him from talking, prevent others from listening to him?


Protesters heckled Karl Rove, the former political adviser to President George W. Bush, off the stage at a book-signing event on Monday in Beverly Hills. About 100 Rove supporters watched as Jodie Evans, the co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink, walked toward him with handcuffs, calling him a war criminal and saying she was making a citizen’s arrest. Ten protesters interrupted the talk as he promoted his book, “Courage and Consequence: My Life As a Conservative in the Fight.” There were no arrests.

I like the citizen’s arrest bit — that’s clever and appropriate. And it’s appropriate to protest at his speech. But the protest must not go so far as to stop him from speaking. That’s wrong. That’s not the way we do things.

Now, it doesn’t say what the hecklers did, what the audience did, what the organizers did, or what Mr Rove did. It doesn’t say why he left the stage. If his skin just wasn’t thick enough to push through the protest, that’s his fault.

But if the protesters made it impossible for him to speak, that’s their fault. We need to make our points by having good arguments and being right, not by bullying.

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