Monday, August 29, 2011

Steve Chabot Meets Norman Rockwell

The other day I posted a piece about Rep. Steve Chabot's (R-OH) recent town hall meeting. During this town hall meeting, Chabot banned the use of cameras (though not media cameras) and even had a Cincinnati Police Officer confiscate equipment of those who tried to record the public meeting. This was all done for, as Chabot claimed, "security purposes" of those in attendance but as ThinkProgress pointed out, the real reason was so that people "didn't make a show" of the event.

The backlash from First Amendment advocates was intense and led to Chabot announcing that cameras would be permitted at his next event.

It is curious why some Conservatives claim to champion "personal freedom" while campaigning, but then deploy Orwellian tactics that are anything but open and honest when at a public event. Remember Ohio State Treasury Candidate Josh Mandel, whose staffer tried to block my camera during a public event in 2010? Or how about Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) who recently distributed a "blacklist" of local activists who may criticize him at town hall meetings?

It appears that Rep. Chabot has fallen in with the crowd who are first to preach love for the Constitution and love for protesters (especially when speaking to them), but who take a much different stance when it is time to put those words into practice.

This leads me to a reader submitted graphic that might make an appropriate campaign sign for Chabot in the future. The artwork on this one is credited to Roger De Bris, "with apologies to Norman Rockwell":

This piece is cross posted here.

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