Left Hook, Right Jab: Obama battered from all sides at S.F. stop

While we're on the subject of buttons: Who says that there are no new jobs under Obama? Like this guy, we can all find work...selling Obama buttons! Full employment at last.

This young button entrepreneur found an avid customer in the line. Which one did she choose?

"Once you vote black, you never go back."

The radicals of World Can't Wait had what I consider the best sign of the day, a 12-Step program for Obama voters:

1. Admit you are in a self-destructive relationship with the Democratic Party.

2. Remove conflicting bumper stickers from your collection. “Shut Down Guantanamo” and “Obama 2012” are mutually exclusive.

3. Understand that kill lists and more unjust war is the wrong kind of change to believe in.

4. Stop lying to yourself. The President is not sucking up to the most powerful interests in the world because he loves you.

5. Cut off all contact with Obama, Holder, Clinton and Pelosi. No more phone calls or writing letters. They are aware of what they are doing and they just don't care what you think.

6. Realize Obama is standing up and fighting. Unfortunately, he’s fighting Afghans, Pakistanis, Yeminis, Somalis...in your name.

7. No more excuses. The Republicans are not making Democrats increase domestic spying or deport record numbers of Latinos.

8. Get over your romantic feelings for Democrats and their supposed commitment to poor people. This election cycle, poverty is not on the agenda.

9. Make a list of all war crimes committed under Bush. Cross out “Bush” and write in Obama. Add support for indefinite detention without charge, expanded drone wars, and invasions of two more countries. It’s healthy to gag at it.

10. Come to grips with this: The only thing scarier than the Republican Party (a party full of climate-change deniers, fundamentalist woman-haters and gay-bashers, election stealers and racists) is a party who continually moves to the right to accommodate them and gets Americans to go along in that direction.

11. Forgive yourself for being taken in by promises that were not delivered, and for ignoring troubling signs, because you wanted to believe in change. But remember, insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.

12. As a result of these steps, you can now carry the message to those who still suffer from an addiction to the Democratic Party. Nothing is as liberating as resisting an evil when you know it’s wrong.

Damn that's effective on a San Francisco audience. While the Tea Party was swinging from the right, and the pot activists from below, the radicals were attacking relentlessly from the left. There was no intellectual room remaining for the beleaguered Obama voters in line. Some of the them became visibly annoyed at being politically outflanked on all sides.

In fact, this one Obama fan became belligerent and for several minutes was shouting at the Tea Partiers. His main zinger was that "Romney's granddaddy had four wives!!", conveniently overlooking that Obama's own father had at least four wives that we know about (Kezia Obama, Stanley Ann Dunham, Ruth Nidesand, Jael Otieno), some if not all of them simultaneously. (Furthermore, it was Romney's great grandfather, not his grandfather.) But accuracy was not his goal, which was instead to drive the Tea Partiers away. He was briefly successful, when the police suggested the Tea Partiers move away for their own safety, but they quickly returned and the guy eventually gave up.

The Tea Party had plenty of zingers of their own.

The crowd trapped in line had no choice but to endure the show put on for them by the protesters.

This photo, taken from the other side of the street, shows the long-suffering Obama voters running the gauntlet of anti-Obama messages. The fact that the messages came at them from all political sides left them no intellectual "safety zone."

At least the politically confused Mr. Porn Star elicited some giggles.

As the day progressed, a certain reluctant camaraderie grew amongst the various anti-Obama groups, who under normal circumstances would be opponents. But Obama the Unifier magically sparked connections where none had been before. Thus, we saw...

...a Tea Partier carrying an anti-drone sign...

...Code Pink hanging out with the pot heads...

...PETA doing the funky Elephant Walk dance with the marijuana activists...

...World Can't Wait chilling with Code Pink...

...and the Tea Party making common ground with the pot heads and the NRA.

Most confusingly of all, a member of OccupySF, who was holding up an anti-Obama sign, was at the same time wearing a shirt which proudly bragged of Obama's accomplishments. Sarcasm, or cognitive dissonance?

The crowd waiting to get into the auditorium was mostly in a dour mood — except when a TV camera hove into sight, at which point they would wave and cheer and act happy for a few seconds.

The destination. Needless to say, Obama himself never came outside, so the protesters never got a glimpse of him.

The Tea Party occupied the prime spot at the head of the line, making sure each ticket holder got a good dose of economic realism as they entered the venue.