Danishova dissents from Dollard!
Posted by danishova on August 10, 2009
The “town hall” meeting with Douglasville, Georgia officials and Congressman David Scott (D) Georgia is now national news, well beyond the blogosphere. An angry Neal Boortz had Scott on his show this morning, and Glenn Beck is talking about it as I write this. I wrote about it here, focusing on unofficial video of a black constituent I affectionately dubbed a “mobster”, who urged Scott to “vote no” on ObamaCare. I thought it was amusing that the stereotype the Dems have drawn for us of NAZIS in Brooks Brothers suits was shattered by this man. I also included video of a confrontation between an individual who was constrained from videotaping the event and a Douglasville police officer who called the would-be videographer a “jerk” (as well as comments about Scott’s outburst from some who were in attendance):
Now Pat Dollard has weighed in from the West Coast, and despite Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer’s attempts to suppress dissent, I am going to do the “Un-American” thing and dissent as a conservative from…Hollywood “conservative” Pat Dollard – even at the risk of alienating fellow conservatives.
To provide some context, Dollard’s Wiki bio can be found here. Germane to this discussion, Dollard founded a group called ACTIVE (more on ACTIVE later). The police officer in the above video has been identified as Police Chief Chris Womack. In a description below a photo of Womack, Dollard refers to him an “ACORN enforcer” and goes on to write (emphasis mine):
I want to know if this Police Chief was acting out of political passions, or political pressures (the mayor and other city political thugs were there), or if that night he was on the ACORN/Obama payroll. Civil court discovery motions and a thorough Federal law enforcement investigation of his civil rights violations will allow for a probe into his personal finances, as well as depositions and sworn testimony from all officers on duty as to the Chief’s orders and actions, both that night and during any other occasions of political activity.
As Matt notes below, the rank and file Womack cops were at odds with Womack’s use of their uniformed authority to support his Democrat’s agenda. The real American cops in Womack [sic] have stood up to CAIR. And by the way, we don’t use the term “real American” in some sloppy fashion. ACTIVE defines a real American as one who ardently supports the US Constitution, as Chief Womack obviously doesn’t, given his blatant trampling of it.
Dollard includes this description of the event from “Matt” who is identified as “ACTIVE’s Georgia State President”:
We were at a David Scott (D) town Hall meeting about a highway project in Douglasville. We intended to take the floor and ask him questions on his Health Care position as well as other things, and videotape it. While bringing our cameras into the venue I was stopped by an Acorn type and told that I couldn’t bring my camera. I ignored him. He went over to a cop, a radio call was made, I was approached by Douglasville police chief Chris Womack who threatened me with arrest if I took it in. He also asked for the camera. I refused to give it to him, and told him “I will be using it outside and there is no law against that”, he ratcheted up the attempt to intimidate me at that point, asking for ID. I had nothing to hide. Roger “Screaming Eagle” covertly caught the end of the exchange on his own video.
Throughout the townhall, free speech was shut down. If anyone asked an off-topic (non-highway 92) question, they were cut off and police and security immediately surrounded them.
There were plenty of video cameras in there, but we were singled out. You could also say that we were an obvious minority there.
BTW, it was obvious most of the other cops didn’t agree with the chief’s behaviour.
I don’t like the fact that this sworn officer of the law knowingly and intentionally violated my civil and Constitutional rights for political purposes.
I think from the meeting we got some good lessons learned as to the level these bastards clamp down on free speech and press. I am going to write up a “lessons learned” for future town halls. The town halls have not been going well for these guys and they are starting to resort to brown shirt behaviour.
Here’s the problem with this analysis: Douglasville is by no means a bastion of liberal elites and for the most part its local government would fairly be described as “conservative Republican”, including, for instance, the elected County Commission Chairman and the Sheriff. With this in mind, to describe the mayor and other local officials at the meeting as “political thugs” and “bastards” who may have put “political pressure” on the police chief comes off as a ludicrous smear. The Mayor and others who presided over the meeting were there in their capacity as Douglasville officials concerned with a local highway project, not as like-minded colleagues of Congressman Scott, and as such they should not be held responsible for what Scott himself said at the meeting. Certainly, with the exception of Scott and his staff, none of them have anything at all to do with ObamaCare or the Obama Administration, and they have no discernable motive to stifle speech on that topic.
I do not know how accurate Matt’s description of the event is. I don’t know what he means when he says “we were an obvious minority there”. Is he talking about race? Here is a video that was taken at the beginning of the meeting, which certainly gives the impression that all sorts of people were represented:
It’s possible Matt’s camera was singled out, but it’s also possible that the other video cameras he describes were the cameras for CITI TV who are contracted to film official proceedings. Clearly he is correct that Police Chief Womack confronted him about his camera and we have video to prove it. However, it is reckless to suggest that the police chief of the conservative Douglasville is “on the ACORN/Obama payroll”, and it is illogical to imply that an “Acorn type” person was there in cahoots with the Douglasville officials. Both “Matt” and Dollard seem to be relying on raw emotion when they make these allegations.
Dollard may be correct that as a matter of law the police chief erred in preventing the photographer from filming the event. Certainly, it is reasonable to object to what happened and to demand an explanation (which no doubt will be forthcoming eventually). However, while there may even be cause for a civil action against Womack, to suggest at this juncture that there be a “probe into his personal finances” strikes me as an unwarranted request. In my capacity as a non-lawyer mom, I would venture to guess that merely obstructing someone from videotaping an event would not appear to meet the standards necessary to rifle through financial records. Surely as conservatives we should not make a habit of demanding that the personal finances of individuals (including police chiefs) be probed without iron-clad evidence of collusion and corruption. We have witnessed far too many Clintonesque shenanigans with FBI files and the like, and snooping into the records of private citizens like Joe the Plumber or candidates like Michael Steele to recklessly cheer-on these tactics, even in the guise of a legal probe.
As further clues to Dollard’s mindset, ACTIVE’s mission statement reads:
Active, The American Constitution and Capitalism Defense Front, is a permanent and enduring organization of American citizens dedicated to maintaining the foundational principles of the United States of America, as initiated by its Declaration of Independence and realized by its Constitution and economic system of free-market capitalism.
On the face of it, I agree with that mission (although the use of the word “front” is wee bit too militaristic to my liking, and conjures up unfortunate images of the extremist “Storm Front”). Indeed, ACTIVE has some very admirable causes, like supporting Michael Yon’s essential work reporting on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, there are areas where, in my opinion, Dollard ventures into Looney Tunes territory. Notably, ACTIVE is planning a “November 4th National Strike Against The Dictator”. If they want to mobilize for a strike they have every right to do so (I myself have quipped that I’d like to see a “20 million man march on Washington” in honor of Rush “The Mob Father” Limbaugh’s listeners) but I don’t think it serves them well to call it a strike “against the dictator”. Frankly, I hate the idea of a national strike – that’s how the French routinely operate in their execrable Socialist-dominated state. Instead of a strike, if I had my druthers we’d organize mass gatherings of unemployed Americans who have lost their jobs under Obama, but ultimately it’s not the strike itself, but the way it’s being promoted that I find objectionable and which gives the impression (fairly or unfairly) that Dollard may be slightly off his rocker.
One can successfully use satire and humor to make “dictator” references (as, say, Rush and Glenn Beck do so well) but in this context it just comes off as unhinged. Yes, there are many legitimate arguments (such as those made by Jonah Goldberg in Liberal Fascism) that the “Progressive” Democrats have a strong dictatorial streak, but this is a war of words and how we choose to frame our arguments matters in the P.R. battle.
I leave it to all of you to make up your mind about Dollard’s agenda and tactics. We are at a perilous time in our nation’s history, and there is no doubt in my mind that our liberty is threatened by the Obama Administration and their Democrat comrades in Congress. We seem to be winning the battle against Obamacare but this is just one of many threats we face (in addition to “card check”, Cap and trade, the Fairness Doctrine, and others issues which lurk dangerously just below the radar). As such it behooves us to behave responsibly and carefully as we express our opposition to the totality of the Statist Obama agenda.
While many Americans are understandably frightened and enraged over the Democrat’s agenda, ultimately we need to win the battle of ideas, and hopefully that includes a resounding defeat of the Democrats at the ballot box in 2010. But just as the Democrats sound foolish and rash making broad and ludicrous allegations about conservatives and “teabaggers”, conservatives who use a broad brush to smear wide swaths of people (such as Dollard does when he attacks Douglasville officials who have no political connection to Congressman David Scott) risk turning people off and ultimately losing the argument – something we can ill afford to do at this time in our nation’s history.