Left Hook, Right Jab: Obama battered from all sides at S.F. stop
Things quickly turned sour for President Obama on Monday in San Francisco at what was supposed to be a stopover in friendly territory. Instead, he was greeted by angry protesters from both wings of the political spectrum. Even independent libertarians expressed their disappointment in a president that seems to be hemorrhaging support with each passing day.
Protesters swirled around the entrance to the Bill Graham Auditorium, tormenting the ticket-holders waiting in line to see Obama and radical socialist musician Michael Franti. What made this particular protest unique was that its participants spanned the entire spectrum of American politics, from conservatives to leftists, from marijuana advocates to the NRA, from the Tea Party to Code Pink, from Occupy San Francisco to "Porn Stars for Romney" to PETA, and everyone in between. Who can unite them all? Only Obama!
This Romney fan (who caucused with the Tea Party protesters) pretty much summed up the mood of the day.
Just steps away, this anti-drone activist (who caucused with World Can't Wait) was even more harsh with his criticism of Obama.
The "states' rights"-minded libertarian marijuana advocates were unhappy with Obama for clamping down on pot clinics, even in states with medical marijuana laws.
They even deployed their most potent weapon, the dreaded Giant Puppet.
Didn't matter where each protest group fell on the political spectrum — they all were unhappy with Obama.
Who else showed up to protest the president?
Occupy Wall Street? Check.
The NRA? Check.
Code Pink? As always.
PETA went the Full Pachyderm with an angry elephant.
Single-payer health care advocates were miffed about the muddled half-measures known as Obamacare.
"Porn Stars for Romney" entertained the crowds with his roller-skate antics and hilarious "I Built It" costume, but most people could not even figure out whose side he was on. Any protester riffing on "You didn't build that" is presumed to be anti-Obama, but Mr. Porn Star later seemed to reveal that his Romney advocacy was sarcastic, bewildering onlookers as to what he was protesting for, if anything.
Most likely he was an ideological counterpart to this guy, who hated everyone equally.
After a quick stop in Los Angeles for some high-toned fundraisers on Sunday, Obama started Monday morning with a short visit to the outskirts of Bakersfield where he unveiled a monument to Cesar Chavez. Then he arrived in San Francisco for a hush-hush fundraiser with unknown individuals at the InterContinental Hotel (seen here surrounded by a security cordon of police vehicles) — an event not only closed to the press, but the existence of which was kept entirely under wraps.
Absolutely no one knew about this event — the tiny handful of people on hand were accidental passersby.
The next stop on his itinerary was the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco's Civic Center, where Alice Waters and all the trendiest chefs in the Bay Area prepared supper for Obama and any other 1%er millionaires willing to fork over $20,000 per person for the privilege of presidential access (full menu from the event visible here).
Then they all moved into the adjacent auditorium, joined by the hoi polloi (seen above waiting in line) who paid $100 each for tickets to see Obama and a concert by socialist performer Michael Franti, who presumably entertained Obama and the cadres and revolutionary vanguard with some of his trademark lyrics like:
I met a black man who became a police officer
officer, officer, officer, officer, officer, overseer
he tried to tell me it was the only job available
either rob or join the mob 'cause I'm not salable
one night he went out on an undercover sting-ing
bought some smack tried to break the heroin ring-ring
Two cops white cops saw juggling goin' down
they spilled his brain like homey the fuckin' clown
Mama Mama Mama Mama I couldn't say no
got sick and tired of seein' people bein' treated ill
picked up my nines, walked up from behind
tapped two of them on the neck so I could meet their eyes direct
I didn't do it for tha payroll
(Also on the bill was someone named "John Legend.")
The Obama voters had to run a gauntlet of protest groups on the way into the auditorium.
Various northern California Tea Party groups made up the largest protest contingent by far.
Larry of the Fund47 blog has an extensive slideshow of Tea Partiers at the event.
Many of the Obama fans in line were wearing large buttons that said "I'm Entitled...", along with some smaller writing that was hard to make out.
I finally got a close-up view of them, only to discover that they read "I'm Entitled...to know how I can get an $87 million IRA in less than 14,500 years. Bay Area for Obama 10/8/2012." This was apparently an attempt to make some kind of political hay about Romney being wealthy and about his comments on the corrosive entitlement mentality, but the buttons were just a disaster. First of all, it was difficult for random onlookers to read the small text, so it just seemed like all the Obama voters were walking around announcing proudly that they feel "entitled." But even if you squinted and were able to read to rest of the message, it still was some kind of Democratic in-joke that made little sense to the average person. As for Romney's sin of being wealthy — what about S.F.'s representatives in Washington, Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein, being among the richest members of Congress with fortunes that rival or surpass Romney's? Ooops. Meme FAIL.