Thursday, February 02, 2006

Charges Dropped

The Capitol Hill Police have dropped charges against Cindy Sheehan, who appeared in the gallery at the State of the Union address as a guest of California Democrat Lynn Woolsey wearing a t-shirt reading "2245 Dead. How many more?" The wife of Congressman Bill Young, Beverly, whose local home is in eastern Prince William County, was also removed. She was wearing a shirt that read "Support the Troops -- Defending Our Freedom." According to the Washington Times, Mrs. Young (no relation) told the St. Petersburg Times, "They said I was protesting. I said, 'Read my shirt; it is not a protest.' They said, 'We consider that a protest.' I said, 'Then you are an idiot.'"

Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer apologized to both.

I agree with Chief Gainer's decisions on all counts. Both should have been removed, for House Chamber during the State of the Union Address is not an appropriate venue for protest. I would assert that the House Chamber is never an appropriate venue for protest or comment of any kind. And I agree with his decision to remove Mrs. Young. Had he not done so, Cindy Sheehan would have had the basis for a potentially-successful lawsuit for content-based discrimination.

Actually, though, Mrs. Young was partially right, too. There were two idiots in this imbroglio (saying Cindy Sheehan is an idiot is redundant). They were Mrs. Young, and Congresswoman Woolsey.

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