In 2004, a couple, Nicole and Jeff Rank, were arrested in West Virginia at an appearance by GWB. For wearing t-shirts.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A couple arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's July 4 appearance at the West Virginia Capitol filed a federal lawsuit yesterday alleging their First Amendment rights were violated.
Nicole and Jeff Rank were removed from the event in handcuffs after revealing T-shirts with President Bush's name crossed out on the front. Nicole Rank's shirt had the words "Love America, Hate Bush" on the back and Jeff Rank's had "Regime change starts at home" on the back.
Their lawsuit was filed in federal court in Charleston by American Civil Liberties Union attorneys. It names Gregory Jenkins, deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Presidential Advance, and W. Ralph Basham, director of the U.S. Secret Service, as defendants.
WTF? I know we now have an administration that doesn't trample all over our Bill of Rights, but why is this threatening behavior permitted? Can you imagine if I had shown up at a GWB appearance with an assault rifle slung casually over my shoulder? I'd still be in Gitmo, most likely.
This is what WH Press Sec. Gibbs said about it, “There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally,” he said. “Those laws don’t change when the president comes to your state or locality.”
Now, part of me loves that, but most of me does not. The brazen demonstration of firepower is another bullying technique. The unspoken threats made by these gunslingers target not only the President, but are intended to intimidate the rest of us from exercising our right to Free Speech. Not to mention, their smirking self-satisfaction makes me want to throw something at my tv. (like a sock maybe. i can't afford a new tv.)
BTW, the Ranks settled their case for 80k.
P.S. Do we dare hope that "Life During Wartime" is back for good?
* YES, I know it's a band.