“Look, the AFL-CIO and others have been organizing Democrats to go to New York to protest,” Karl Rove, the senior White House political tactician, told Fox News last week. “That’s their right. If that’s the face of their party that they want to portray, that’s fine. But look, that’s democracy.”
The Republican party is taking out ads in New York papers this week in which Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie says, “Many of Sen. Kerry’s supporters in the government employee unions and radical environmental movement, and abortion activists and anti-war protesters who support him, will be out in full force.”
The Democrats are doing their best to fight back. “Ed Gillespie is cynically trying to make the connection, but the fact is we want people to watch the convention so they understand how Bush-Cheney have failed America,” said David Chai, a Democratic Party spokesman in New York.
“We can’t control thousands of people who want to protest the Bush administration,” Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe said last week somewhat plaintively.
Actually, they could have: Senator Kerry missed a perfect “Sista Souljah” moment by not saying something like:
I’d like to say a few words to those planning to protest my distinguished opponent’s convention next week in New York.
Many of you going to New York are young and impassioned and eager for change. One thing I learned when I came back from fighting in the jungles of Vietnam and started marching in protests of my own, is that when it comes to protests, violence isn’t the answer. So I urge you, if you’re planning to visit New York next week, carry a banner if you like, but remain calm. Think of what Gandhi would do, and how much he accomplished without violence.
Now, the hardcore would ignore all that and still go berserk. But Kerry would look great. The press would go crazy over a speech like that, and even if Kerry lost the election, he’d have a terrific speech to put in his archives, or trot out for his senatorial reelection campaign.
Instead though, we get Terry McAuliffe making lame quotes like, “We can’t control thousands of people who want to protest the Bush administration”.
Nice try. By playing it safe, you missed a golden opportunity here.
Another Update: Even the liberal Canadian press is noting that “Lefties’ protests may backfire onto Democrats“.