The Rise of the Thug Left

By J.R. Dunn

Times are tough. Actually, they’re getting tough in a lot of places. They proved very tough for Hamas operatives in the Eastern Mediterranean last weekend. They were tough in poor Balto as well, with seven people shot to death. (Baltimore should be one of the jewels of the East Coast, but of course, it’s no such thing. I wonder who’s been running the place the last century.) It was nearly as tough in Chicago, with twelve shot and three dead. But when has there ever been good news from the Windy City?

But none of these, however bad they may be, have the potential to shake up the political system the way Obama’s more feisty allies have been doing over the past year or so.

On Sunday, May 16, a gang of close to five hundred purple shirts (that is, members of the Service Employees International Union, reinforced by something called National Political Action) surrounded the Silver Spring, Maryland home of Greg Baer, corporate law counsel for Bank of America. They claimed to be carrying out a “protest” of the bank’s foreclosure policies. That was the excuse for surrounding Baer’s home, trampling his lawn, occupying his front porch, and creating an uproar audible throughout the entire neighborhood.

Baer was not home. The only person present was his fourteen-year-old son, who, overcome with fear, locked himself in the bathroom. On returning home, Baer made his way through the mob to rescue his son, suffering near-assault in the process. At no point did the police attempt to control the mob or order them to leave the property. In fact, evidence exists that District of Columbia police actually escorted the mob to the Baer’s home. Coincidentally, the SEIU owes almost $100 million to the Bank of America.

This is the third example of blatant violence — and yes, terrorizing a young boy is violence — by administration supporters since last summer. (While other incidents have occurred, going back to the Black Panthers menacing voters in Philly, these are the most blatantly violent.) The first was the case of Kenneth Gladney, who in St. Louis on August 6 last year was selling buttons and flags (identified as Gadsden flags, with the rattler and “Don’t Tread on Me” slogan, one of the minor ironies of the incident) outside a town hall meeting being held by Democrat Congressman Russ Carnahan. The SEIU, ubiquitous at Democratic events these days, showed up to confront Gladney and demanded to know what “kind of shit” he was selling, along with calling him a nigger. (This from another black, which of course makes it okay.) Gladney’s answers were evidently unsatisfactory, and he was then beaten, knocked down, and stomped on, suffering injuries that required hospital treatment. (The purple shirts were identified from video footage. All of them pleaded not guilty this past April 20 — justice moves frighteningly fast in Missouri.)

Even as the SEIU members were rehearsing their pleas in St. Louis, yet another attack occurred a few hundred miles down the Big Muddy. On April 9 in New Orleans, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference held a dinner at Brennan’s Restaurant in the French Quarter. The event generated a protest, as everything seems to do these days. The responsible organization here was the Iron Rail Collective, an anarchist group. The anarchists chased GOP chairman Roger Villeres as he left the restaurant, but this was only the first act. A short time later, fundraiser Allee Butsch and her boyfriend Joe Brown emerged. They were evidently followed and then attacked a few blocks away by at least five people. Both were badly beaten, Ms. Butsch suffering a leg broken so severely as to require an operation.

While the perpetrators remain unknown, the ringleader was identified from video footage (Beard, dirty t-shirt, ponytail — about what you’d expect). This sense of uncertainty has been used to downplay the political motives behind the attack. Even the Jindal administration played this game, calling the assault an “altercation”, as if the two Republican operatives had stolen the anarchists’ parking space.

None of these attacks made more than the most perfunctory appearance in the mainstream media…much less so than the arrests of the “Hutaree Army”, a strange Midwestern religious group that, whatever their violent and obnoxious rhetoric, have never harmed anybody.

The attacks haven’t drawn media attention because they are in violation of a crucial liberal myth, the one holding that liberals are the leading contemporary apostles of nonviolence and peace, holding the line of rational behavior against the assaults by all manner of rabid elements, almost all of them right of center. We’ve heard that one to the point of exhaustion. It’s an unspoken axiom of American politics. Liberals inhabit the Isles of the Blessed, where the lion lies down with the lamb and Willie Horton is only a ballplayer, wearing white togas and discussing conflict resolution in low, melodic voices. And the rest of us? We’re somewhere off in the depths of Mordor, on a perpetual rampage, following the demagogue of the moment. These days, that would be Glenn Beck waving a musket and Sarah Palin lugging whatever it is you use to shoot wolves from the air. That’s the great divide in American politics, from the liberal point of view, one as sharply defined as the gap between the Eloi and the Morlocks, and as permanent. All they need to do is point to Joe McCarthy (who started out as a New Deal Democrat), Lyndon LaRouche (who helped found the Students for a Democratic Society), and Timothy McVeigh. (A rabid atheist. McVeigh refused to see clergy before his execution and demanded that the old atheist chestnut “Invictus” be recited at his funeral. He actually thought he was going to get one of those.)

What we’re seeing now is that myth beginning to unravel. The type of rhetoric liberals have been indulging in the past ten years, the barely-controlled personal attacks and open menacing of every last individual who opposes them — Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rice, Palin, and Bachmann — serves as its own fuel. The more it’s repeated, the more incendiary it grows, the more it spreads, and the more used to it people become. It’s like a narcotic that you grow habituated to — every time you hit up, you need a bigger jolt. Eventually the threats become so lurid, so wild-eyed, that they begin to take on a life of their own. They become the standard means of expression. And at some definite but unknowable point, they begin to fulfill themselves. Some of your comrades, the more stupid, the more unbalanced, the more fanatical, begin taking them seriously, and start acting them out.

That’s the process we’re seeing at this moment. The left’s civilized elite are still living a delusion, gliding through toga world, while the more unstable elements, the SEIU trash, the anarchists, the ACORN hirelings, are starting to lose it. It will get worse as the Obama dream continues to shred under the pressure of reality. The American left has begun to crack — deterioration has set in, and it is beginning the long slide into goonhood.

It’s all very similar to the events of the late ’60s, where wild rhetoric from the antiwar movement and related “revolutionary” outfits — the Black Panthers, the SDS, the Weather Underground — triggered ever-graver disturbances around the country until the entire cycle was brought to an abrupt halt at Kent and Jackson State universities. Thirteen people were killed in those confrontations — the price of cutting the revolutionary left completely out of American society. Students and casual protestors abandoned the antiwar effort. The movement withered and collapsed. The would-be revos were transformed into little more than armed gangs, to be hunted down and mopped up through the ensuing decade.

The more subdued leftists who had aided in triggering the nightmare dodged the bullet in large part by being shielded by media — at the time effectively a monopoly under liberal control — along with the fact that their political opposition consisted of Richard Nixon and his merry crew. The Watergate saga was on one level a complex and successful effort to paint the political “establishment” as evil enough to justify the more vicious tactics of the antiwar left. All the same, it required quite some time for leftists to live down the excesses of the ’60s.

History may be repeating itself where the left is concerned. But it’s doubtful they’ll duck anything this time around. Union thugs have none of the romantic air of campus rebels, and the beards and filthy tee-shirts of the anarchists lost their shock value long ago. They will get little in the way of protection from a media that’s on the verge of collapse. But even more compelling is the fact that their opposition is no longer a corrupt establishment, but a movement representing Americans as a whole. Conservatives today are no longer the staid, isolated remnant of mid-century, but a tougher, blunter group that comes from a much wider slice of American life. Confront them with people who attack women and threaten children, and it’s easy to surmise who’s going to end up on deck. A violent left is a dying left. If I were on that side of the fence, I would worry.

SEIU Now Owns the Cops?

by Mike Flynn

As you know, last week SEIU staged a protest at the home of an attorney for Bank of America. On a quiet Sunday in the Maryland suburbs of DC, SEIU sent 500 protesters onto the front lawn of the home of Greg Baer, a former Treasury official in the Clinton Administration. Mr. Baer wasn’t at home but, unfortunately, his 14 year old son was. The protesters succeeded in terrorizing the boy.

Let me quickly digress to point out that Bank of America is SEIU’s largest creditor. Under the leadership of Andy Stern, SEIU leveraged itself to the hilt, largely to support Democrat campaign efforts, and now owes the bank around $100 million. The loan payments are likely playing havoc with the union’s finances. (Rich that SEIU thinks it has a credible voice on financial reform, given that their own behavior is a set-piece for much of what went wrong.) Coincidence that the bank is the target of a comprehensive and coordinated protest from the union? (Dear Bank of America, Call the loan. Today.)

There is much to say about this protest, but the most fascinating part to me is the role played by the police. It seems the DC police followed/escorted/shadowed the protesters into Maryland. They may or may not have notified the Maryland police, who may or may not have been on the scene while the protesters stormed private property and terrorized a teenage boy. Yesterday, Megyn Kelly of FoxNews interviewed law enforcement officials from DC and Maryland and asked many specific, hard hitting questions.

I’m not going to say the law enforcement officials are lying in this interview. They parse their words expertly. When Ms. Kelly backs them into a corner, they shift the focus to irrelevant parts of the story. But, saying they aren’t lying here is a distinction without a difference.

There are a few points to be made.

First, the DC police official says emphatically that their police officers did not cross into Maryland…except when they did. It seems one of their officers, according to their official, made a wrong turn and didn’t fully understand the DC/Maryland border and may have ‘briefly’ been inside Maryland. A wrong turn and a brief excursion through the Maryland suburbs is hardly worth mentioning if that is all that really happened. No one would notice, nor remark on, an errant 30 second diversion through Maryland streets. This story has the classic feel of a diversion; a pat, simple excuse to cover up any other behavior that comes to light. Any future eyewitness accounts of DC police cars at the scene? Yeah, that was that one cop who didn’t know her jurisdiction’s borders and was ‘lost’.

Second, the Maryland police official says, contrary to other statements made by his department, that they were immediately notified by DC police that the protesters were entering their jurisdiction. According to the official, Maryland police met with DC police at the border to get a situation report and then proceeded to the protest. When they arrived, the official claims, the protesters were already dispersing.

Remember that the official says that the site of the protest is “one or two blocks from the DC border.” Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot…

Fourteen buses start crossing the Maryland border (at which point we’re supposed to believe the Maryland police were immediately notified), they find parking on residential streets, unload their protesters, assemble 500 people on a private lawn, engage in threatening verbal abuse long enough to force a 14 year old boy to lock himself into a bathroom…and the Maryland police get there as they are dispersing? Is their police headquarters in Delaware?

Thankfully, I don’t live in Montgomery County. This is the kind of public safety and police protection for which they pay ridiculously high property taxes? They get a ’situation report’ that 500 protesters are targeting a private citizen’s home and they send 3 police officers? Really? They could only spare 3 officers on a Sunday in Montgomery County?

I hate to say this, and I will no doubt be attacked for it, but stories like this make one feel that the police are not on our side. A few weeks ago, police in Quincy, Illinois deployed a full contingent of riot police to deal with a couple hundred tea party protesters who where singing patriotic songs on public property. In Maryland, 3 police officers police watched as 500 union thugs stormed private property in an act of intimidation and did nothing because, as the police official notes, there weren’t any “no trespassing” signs at the property. (I wonder if he has “no trespassing” signs at his home.)

Sometimes it is the small story that illuminates the overall narrative. Let’s dispense with all the semantics and timelines and legalese. Last week, 500 union thugs descended on a private home and terrorized a teenage boy. They violated someone’s most personal space, their home. And they attacked their most precious gift, their child. The police in two jurisdictions knew about this. They did nothing.

No more police escorts for union thugs

It is standard procedure across the nation when officers from one jurisdiction cross into another to provide advance warning, but that was not done in the case of Bank of America Deputy General Counsel Greg Baer. (

Examiner Editorial

Imagine you are sitting at home on a peaceful Sunday when you hear buses pull up in front of your house and begin disgorging hundreds of angry people waving signs with threatening messages, shaking their fists and crowding onto your lawn. Soon, hundreds of screaming people are tromping on your flower beds, peering into your windows, and scaring neighbors who nervously begin placing calls to 911.

As the noise levels rise and demonstrators start banging on your front door, you begin to fear that something very bad is about to happen. Then you spot the police cars, and relief floods over you. “At least the cops will keep things under control,” you tell yourself. But your relief is shattered when you realize the cops you thought were there to protect you are actually from another jurisdiction and they are there because they escorted the mob to your address.

Sound like a fantasy, something that could never happen here? Guess again, because that exact scenario played out last week in Bethesda. The demonstrators were from the Service Employees International Union, the target of their anger was the home of Bank of America Deputy General Counsel Greg Baer, and the cops escorting the SEIU-ers were from the Metropolitan District of Columbia Police Department, which, like departments across the country, is represented by the Fraternal Order of Police union.

Although it is standard procedure across the nation when officers from one jurisdiction cross into another to provide advance warning, that was not done in this case. The only person inside the Baer home when the demonstrators and D.C. cops arrived was one of Baer’s young sons, who locked himself in the bathroom until his father arrived to rescue him after bravely forcing his way through the crowd. Eventually, the Montgomery County police appeared on the scene, and the demonstrators later departed.

There are multiple lessons to be gleaned from this highly disturbing situation. Such tactics are standard fare for SEIU, whose leaders think it’s just fine to target the private homes and families of people associated with whatever company the union has decided to demonize. These assaults are clearly meant to shock and intimidate. Congress long ago banned secondary boycotts from union tactics. It’s time to put a stop to all such assaults on private homes and families. And the conduct of the D.C. police highlights another critical question — should law enforcement officers be pawns of union bosses? Collective bargaining should no longer have a place among those sworn to protect and serve the public.

Obama’s Thuggocracy

By Andrea Tantaros-

From the G.M. bondholders, to the Black Panthers at polling stations, to ACORN to the mobs showing up at the homes of private citizens, Obama is running a Hugo Chavez-style thuggocracy.

This past Sunday, in one of the most aggressive and offensive intimidation tactics to date, hundreds of members of the largest union – the SEIU – stormed the front yard of Bank of America deputy general counsel Greg Baer’s home. The angry mob had bullhorns, signs and even broke the law by trespassing to bully Baer’s teenage son, the only one home at the time, who locked himself in the bathroom out of fear.

This is what unions do. They pressure politicians into spending too much. They push government into bad policy decisions. They sacrifice the private sector for the public sector. And now, they trespass and break the law only to scare the children of private citizens to get their way.
If you think the unions are working along, think again.

These protests, the ones storming Wall Street bank lobbies and now the private homes of bankers, are likely being carefully coordinated with the White House to increase their profile against the financial fat cats and help pass disgraced Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s financial regulatory bill.

Remember, when the White House visitor records were finally made public, it was SEIU boss Andy Stern who was the most frequent guest.

There are also no coincidences in politics. The bill passed the Senate last night.

From the G.M. bondholders, to the Black Panthers at polling stations, to ACORN to these assaults on private citizens, Obama is running a Hugo Chavez-style thuggocracy. Like Chavez, he gets non-official “allies” to act as his henchemen and do the intimidation work. Obama provides the narrative and tells the story of “greed” while the SEIU provides the muscle. This is about power, not prosperity.

This time it’s gone too far.

Unions see the writing on the wall. The goose that laid the golden egg is bleeding on the operating table – and they’re the ones who killed it. They are bankrupting local and state governments, and putting a strain on the federal budget. Unions have also put us at a major trade imbalance. The stimulus has gone to create more public sector union jobs. These jobs cost on average, 30K more than their private sector equivalents.

Take New York State, for example, once upon a time there was manufacturing, a robust Wall Street engine of growth, Fortune 500 companies aplenty. That “Empire State” is no more. The unions lobbied to ensure that these companies were taxed to death and made it extremely challenging to do business — so much that it became easier to do business in communist China.

Let’s be clear, I’m not defending Bank of America. I’m defending the American tax payer from organized labor who has bled them dry and the politicians who have been too weak to stand up to their gangster ways.

Unsurprisingly, the SEIU has made no apology for their behavior toward Baer’s family. Their spokespeople argue that the protest was over home foreclosures under Bank of America’s watch, but that still doesn’t give them the right to break the law. It also doesn’t allow them a carve out like they demanded in the health care bill for their costly Cadillac insurance plans. It’s absurd that in a recession, the unions feel they deserve special treatment because they are connected to the party in power. If that’s what they’re arguing they need to stand up and say it.

In this economy, you can’t punch someone without feeling it yourself. Punch the bank, they stop making loans, thus hurting the private sector. Punch the private sector, you hurt the markets. Hurt the Street and you hurt the pensions funds, in fact, the very same ones unions are going gangster to protect.

We now know, there is nothing they won’t do, nobody the unions won’t intimidate. And the president, who promised to preside over an administration free from special interest influence, should be held accountable. As long as we continue to feed the unions, the country will continue to decline. It’s time to stand up to this behavior with the same muscle they’ve used to bully our country all these years and send a message loud and clear: we will not be intimidated.

Andrea Tantaros is a conservative columnist and contributor.

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