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March 14, 2016

Campaign News

Clinton still a little ahead in Ohio and Illinois, but Sanders is gaining.

From PPP's press release:

Clinton leads Bernie Sanders just 46/41 in Ohio and 48/45 in Illinois, while narrowly trailing Sanders in Missouri 47/46.

Oh man, oh man. That sounds like Sanders might win. Remember, of course, he was down in the polls by 20+ points in Michigan before winning 50-48.

Trump increases his lead on Rubio in Florida.

As I've previously argued, if there's any hope of stopping Trump at all, Rubio and Kasich need to get out of the race. I'm not sanguine about Trump winning 165 delegates just from Florida and Ohio, but it's necessary collateral damage if we're going to have any hope of winning this battle.

Trump might be under investigation for "inciting a riot" in Fayateville where that Trump supporter sucker-punched the protester. (See update.)

I don't think he can or should be charged in Fayatevile, but he should be on the look-out for this. You actually can be charged in the right circumstance -- if you incite someone to assault someone else, and he does so, that could well be charged.

Lately he's been cooling it on these little missives, but we'll see if he can contain himself.

One thing I'll note: In the past, protesters stood up, shouted a bit, and then were escorted out. They disrupted an event momentarily, got some free exposure at someone else's event, and then stopped.

The new protesters aren't doing that. They have one protester stand up and begin screaming, and no sooner is that protester finally dragged out (resisting al the way) that the next protester stands up and starts screaming, and on, and on, and on.

This isn't just a brief disruption as we're used to -- this is a coordinated, deliberate attempt to completely silence the speaker.

People need to stop talking as if this is just Code Pink standing up for five minutes and chanting. These people go on in this coordinated fashion for a half hour or longer -- and their intent is to shut the event down, completely.

That's not just "protesting." That is attempting to completely silence a speaker.

I don't think it justifies beating the hell out of them, but the media should ask what its response would be if Trump supporters began doing the same to Clinton and Sanders, and rightwingers should begin wondering what their own response will be if BLM and OWS start doing this at Cruz and Rubio events.

If these were Code Pink, old-style "make noise, make your point, and then leave" protesters I'd argue they should be treated indulgently. No, you have no right to trespass and disrupt, but there's an informal understanding in American politics that we are generous about dissent.

However, this new-style "completely shut down the event and silence an opponent" tactic should not be treated indulgently -- and the criminal penalties for coordinated behavior designed to substantially disrupt (say, causing a delay of a half hour of more) an event should be increased up to, say, three months in jail.*

Either the law recognizes a genuine problem, and a threat to other people's rights, or you'll have vigilantism.

It's always been that way. It always will be this way.

* And, I'd add, a private right of action (lawsuit) against any individuals involved in the effort and any organizations helping organize or promote such disruptions.

For money.

Again, I'd restrict this to cases where it can be shown the "protest" was actually an organized, planned conspiracy to disrupt/silence the speaker for a substantial period of time.

But yeah, when a disruption has gone on for 30 minutes or more -- we're not talking about a protest. We're talking about trespassers interfering with someone's protected constitutional rights.

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posted by Ace at 03:46 PM

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