Conservatives Heckling Obama

Yesterday, the Romney Campaign Bus circled outside Obama’s Ohio economic speech harassing attendees – with reporters on board. Today, a reporter from the GOP-mouthpiece The Daily Caller loudly heckled Obama in the middle of a speech on the White House lawn.

I’m sensing something more than random incidents. I predict that we’ll continue to see second-grade bullshit like this through November. It’s a reflection of the unhinged Obama-hate coursing through Fox News America right now, as well as the Romney campaign’s effort to harness it.

For debate: Do you share my prediction? Assuming these incidents continue, will the tactic have the desired effect? Is there anything effective Obama can do about it?

Obama dealt with it in good order from when I heard his response on NPR.
Whatever. Republicans will think the “hecklers” are making valid points, Democrats will believe them to be hecklers.

This is the same guy who cut a reporter off when he insisted on asking, “If Hillary Clinton isn’t experienced enough to be President, why did you make her Secretary of State?” :slight_smile:

Arkansas inevitably votes Republican in presidential elections, but I wonder if anyone will remind us of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. :slight_smile:

I share your prediction and raise you – it will, unfortunately, be a two-way street. As I posted in another thread, Romney will be appearing in my town on Sunday, and local Democrats are being asked to show their colors at the Obama campaign office a block away. At least one local Democrat has made it clear that she plans to be out on the street with signs.

As for effect, I tend to think that such actions will just further divide us into hostile camps and serve only to leave the independents feeling that there is no safe haven.

I would be happy if Obama would urge his own supporters (of whom I am one) not to be drawn into this kind of behavior. I don’t know if it will have any impact, but it will certainly make him look like the better person.

I don’t believe we can be more divided.

It would make him look like the better person to Democrats, but like a weak wuss to Republicans.

Josh Marshall’s take on the bus incident: It all sounds kind of weird and erratic. But it’s not. Or at least it’s not accidental.

The Romney camp has made a straightforward calculation that it can make up with appeals to the conservative id the ground it can’t ever make up convincing anyone that Romney is really a right-wing ideologue. Check. This is red meat for the Republican base tossed by a candidate with no political or moral center. Josh Marshall continues: The Romney folks know that pretty much nobody — not the Republican base or really anyone else — is going to be convinced that the candidate is a down-the-line conservative. But he can appeal to them by playing the bad ass card, getting in Obama’s grill, disrespecting him. Not in highly public ways and not the candidate himself — that could be damaging. But in slightly out of the way ways, the sort of stuff that really committed political types do see.

In other words, expect to see a lot more of this. And in purely practical terms, if it can be segregated from the stuff the broad middle of the electorate sees, it’s smart politics. I guess this is a variant of dog-whistling, heard by the loons, silent to the middle.

You could be right on both counts. But then again, I’m not sure there’s much point in trying to win over the committed Republicans. The battle this year is to keep the Democrats and win the independents.

I think you’re reading too much into it.

Heckling seems to have a long and, well, perhaps not honorable but…um, did I say long already? Well, whatever…a long tradition…in American politics. I remember when some Dems crashed some big Republican gathering (RNC? Something like that) during the Bush administration…and he was often heckled. This seems bit more open than usual (i.e. if Romney is coming right out and directly heckling as part of his road show), but nothing new. I predict that Dems will be heckling Romney (though I doubt Obama will be directly involved…or even the official Dem party) as this election ramps up. It’s going to be an ugly one, if the last few elections are any indication.


Why is it to keep the Democrats? What is different about Romney from other Republicans?

Not much, but there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with Obama from the left. Because of this sort of thing, for starters. Lefties won’t vote for Romney, certainly, but will have be coaxed to turn out at all on e-day.

Just wait. It’s going to be a lot worse before November.

I agree. But if what the OP said is true and these hecklers were present at the event as journalists that’s something new.

Either of the Bushes would have sold what was left of his soul for that ability. :slight_smile:

Yeah, it’s an escalation seemingly. At least I’ve never heard of that before, anyway. I think this constant attempt to one up the other guys is just stupid, and is causing serious disfunction in our system. It’s to the point where compromise is seen as a betrayal or treason…and our system requires compromise to work since no one is ever going to have enough of a majority long enough to do things exactly the way they want (even if there was some way to determine what ARE the things even the folks in a single party wants, which there doesn’t seem to be).


Well said, but I believe we are on the way to Hell in a handcart.

Probably…but we all probably can’t agree on the type of cart, let alone the color or seating arrangements…


Just to lay down a marker, I think many of us can agree that there’s a time and place for heckling and snark. Message boards for instance. And the Romney bus prank -if that’s what it was suppose to be- is small potatoes, though interesting nonetheless as discussed in my previous post.

The Rose Garden incident is in another category. Though it doesn’t exactly pin my outrage meter, it does reflect poorly on the character of the modern movement conservative, at least those who do not distance themselves from such innovations.

When the dipshit who yelled “You lie!” during the State of the Union was hailed as a hero by the Right for speaking “truth to power”, I took it as a given that rational discourse and civility was well over even by those who should be held to a higher standard than your typical town hall lunatic. It’s almost not worth worrying about since they just get defensive about it and come up with a dozen ways to justify their behavior. You’re not going to shame these people into acting better because they sold out their sense of shame in the name of their ideology.

Yes, the original plan was that various factions would compete in order to reach the best plan to achieve a common goal they all shared. Now it seems that concept of a common goal has been put aside. Factions now seem to be competing just to beat the other factions.