A New Kind of Domestic Terrorism

So this is how it’s done now?

Several hundred people stormed the small yard of President Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove, yesterday afternoon, pounding on his windows, shoving signs at others and challenging Rove to talk to them about a bill that deals with educational opportunities for immigrants.

032904-rove_house.jpgThe first bit of education those people need is a lesson in civil discourse. It’s one thing to hold a protest — that’s a right guaranteed by the Constitution. But invading a private home unannounced and making demands while physically assaulting the building is un-American.

As if this wasn’t enough, the Post article goes on to describe the protesters’ increasing aggressiveness:

The crowd then grew more aggressive, fanning around the three accessible sides of Rove’s house, tracking him through the many windows, waving signs that read “Say Yes to DREAM” and pounding on the glass. At one point, Rove rushed to a window, pointed a finger and yelled something inaudible.

CNN picked up the story, but their version is far more sympathetic to the “protesters” and much less sympathetic toward Mr. Rove.

Is this behavior now acceptable? As far as I’m concerned it’s another form of terrorism. As a high profile White House advisor, Karl Rove probably endures death threats as it is. When hundreds of people unexpectedly surround your house and start pounding on it, you’ve got to assume the worst. Note the article’s reference to the Secret Service showing up. The USSS doesn’t provide protection to just anyone.

I read the article with great interest, trying to discern the terrible thing Rove had done to deserve this kind of attack:

The coalition’s leaders, who converge on Washington each year to advocate for various issues, said they targeted Rove because they could not get as close to the White House as they could to his house. Rove also is one of Bush’s main advisers, and he did not reply to their requests for a meeting, leaders said.

So that’s it? He didn’t reply to requests for a meeting? Gee, why didn’t they just lynch him? Imagine the chaos that would ensue if every group (and there are hundreds if not thousands of them, ranging from special interest lobbies to foreign officials to government agencies) that was not able to get a meeting with Rove resorted to these tactics.

  4 comments for “A New Kind of Domestic Terrorism

  1. Jon
    March 31, 2004 at 8:37 am

    That is disgusting to me that this happened. You’re right – this is terrorism. Regardless of whether or not I agree with his politics or his party’s politics, Rove would have been entirely justified if he had started shooting, if you ask me.

  2. John B
    April 1, 2004 at 9:33 pm

    Using the word “terrorism” to describe this behavior cheapens the word and overstates the case, I think. We’re talking about trampling flowerbeds here, not killing people.

    That said, I agree that these protestors behaved disgracefully, and it sounds to me like Rove could and should press charges for trespassing and assault.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if, while condemning this behavior, some outrage could be reserved for others who engage in these tactics regularly, and continue to receive Rove’s support?

  3. Ron
    April 1, 2004 at 11:08 pm

    Who else engages in the tactic of surrounding a prominent politician’s home with hundreds of yelling people and pounding on it with their fists?

    This is the first I’ve heard of it. If you can point to someone else who does this, I’ll condemn them just as loudly regardless of their politics.

    I wouldn’t equate this with 9/11 by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s more than just trampled flowerbeds. You don’t have to kill someone to terrorize them.

  4. John B
    April 14, 2004 at 11:11 am

    Sorry for the long delayed reply. I think if you replace the words “prominent politician” with “doctor who performs abortions”, it’s not so hard to find other instances of behavior like this, and it’s those instances I was referring to. (We’ll leave aside the cases in which the “protest” has actually extended to violence.)

    My post wasn’t intended to call for your condemnation, nor to imply that it wouldn’t be forthcoming. I only intended to observe that this type of “terrorism” wasn’t unprecedented, no matter how repugnant it may be.

Comments are closed.


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: