The Democrats Really Hate Freedom of Speech!

Laura Kavanagh, via Twitter. Have you ever seen a face which looks more like she just stepped in dog poop?

It should have been obvious that bringing in New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has been trying to persecute former President Donald Trump, was a hugely political move to have at what was supposed to be a promotion ceremony for the Fire Department of New York City, FDNY. That some of the rank-and-file firefighters would see it that way, and the fact that firemen are working-class people who are a major part of Mr Trump’s coalition, was too obvious to have penetrated the brains of Democratic political appointees like Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh:

FDNY boss hunts down staffers who booed NY AG Letitia James, cheered for Trump at promotion ceremony

By Susan Edelman and Rich Calder | Saturday, March 9, 2024 | 6:51 PM EST

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh is hunting down smoke-eaters and other staffers who mercilessly booed New York Attorney General Letitia James – and cheered in support of Donald Trump – during a department promotion ceremony this week, The Post has learned.

There are other forms of protest, not as loud as the ones the firemen used, but which show even greater disrespect. One famously used in the past is to turn their backs to the speaker, and that, too, would make the news and anger the Empire State’s Attorney General even more. But the firemen chose to do what they did, and I see it as within their freedom of speech.

But the Powers That Be within the city are taking this protest in full-Geheime Staatspolizei-mode!

FDNY Chief of Department John Hodges fired off an email to other agency honchos warning a reckoning led by the department’s Bureau of Investigation and Trials was coming over the chorus of boos and chants of “Trump” that James received at Thursday’s event.

“BITS is investigating this, so they will figure out who the members are,” Hodges wrote FDNY chiefs Saturday in the letter obtained by The Post.

“I recommend they come forward. I have been told by the commissioner it will be better for them if they come forward and we don’t have to hunt them down,” he continued.

“(H)unt them down”? Perhaps Chief Hodges might have worded that better, because the way he put it sure sounds like the zeal of the Department of Justice in hunting down the Capitol kerfufflers, tremendous effort to seek out hundreds of protesters, the vast majority of whom were allowed to plead down to a single misdemeanor count, and very little, if any, time in jail.

Actually, it pretty much sounds like the real Gestapo, diligently searching for Jews hiding from the Nazis.

“The [deputy chiefs] shall direct the captain of the company to make a list of those who come forward and send it directly to [FDNY operations]. I realize members might not come forward but they should know that there is clear video of the entire incident and they will be contacted by BITS if they don’t,” he wrote.

A list of talking points for deputy chiefs doing the investigation obtained by The Post said:
“We want the members to come forward. They will come to headquarters to be educated why their behavior is unacceptable.”

“(T)o be educated,” huh? In other words, a serious talking to, that I would hope most would ignore. This is the kind of thing which will generate more sympathy for Mr Trump, not less. The Democrats and the left keep telling us that Mr Trump is an fascist, a Nazi, an authoritarian wannabe dictator, but then those leftist Democrats are the ones trying to exercise authoritarian, dictatorial power over any form of dissent.

I saw, on my Twitter feed, this from Lexington Herald-Leader reporter John Cheves:

Before you do something like assault an effigy of a public official or attack a public building, stop and ask yourself, “Would I be proud if my children saw a video of me doing this?” And make sure the answer is “No.” ^JC

The Editorial Board of what my best friend used to call the Herald-Liberal were naturally aghast when conservatives protested at the state Capitol:

Then to top off this tragicomedy of errors, House officials announced a panel to take up articles of impeachment against Beshear as a bunch of armed thugs circled the state Capitol. This is the same kind of militia movement that earlier this year hung an effigy of Beshear outside the governor’s mansion.

This must stop.

Armed thugs, huh? According to the dictionary, a thug is defined as “a violent person, especially a criminal.” Yet the article the Editorial Board linked bears no mention of any shots being fired. An accompanying photograph shows three state senators, one of whom was a Democrat, walking past the “armed thugs” without an apparent care in the world.

“The same kind of militia movement that earlier this year hung an effigy of Beshear outside the governor’s mansion”? Hanging the hated in effigy has a long history in America, as noted in The Hill:

Americans have a long history of citizens committing violence against president effigies to voice political dissent.

James MadisonJohn TylerAbraham LincolnWoodrow WilsonRichard NixonGerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter were all burned in effigy during their presidencies. And each time this happened, the offending party leaders repudiated the distasteful and disrespectful actions of their constituents.

President Obama was hanged in effigy, and Kathy Griffin posted a picture of her holding President Trump’s severed head.

The Editorial Board again:

But Republicans in Frankfort and Washington, D.C., who have played pattycake with these kinds of extremists for years, have got to stop this wing of the party from hijacking them literally, it seems, and on policy. They have got to become grown-ups and stop with these silly games that end in not so silly ways.

Did the hanging of Governor Beshear in effigy last spring end in violence? It seems that no one was harmed, other, perhaps, than the feelings of his supporters. Did the armed demonstration on January 9th result in injuries, damage or death? If it did, the Herald-Leader had nothing about that.

The Editorial Board appear to be like Twitter and The New York Times and others: they don’t like freedom of speech when it isn’t speech with which they agree.

There was, of course, plenty of freedom of speech exercised by the left when Mr Trump was in office. He was regularly hanged in effigy, the Usual Suspects rioted with frequency, including during his inauguration, but somehow, some way, the left had no problem with that. Heck, they didn’t say much during the “fiery but mostly peaceful protests” during 2020’s summer of hate following the left wing riots in protest of the unfortunate death-while-resisting-arrest of the methamphetamine-and-fentanyl-addled previously convicted felon George Floyd. It’s only when conservatives protest that the left yell for people to shut up, and want to punish them when they don’t.

So, what’s going to happen to the FDNY members who do not turn themselves in “to be educated why their behavior is unacceptable,” and have to be ‘hunted down’ by BITS? Are they, too, just going to get the stern talking to, or are they going to be further punished for exercising their freedom of speech? It would be amusing to see none of the firemen turn themselves in, and then have their union defending them in arbitration. The FDNY employs over 11,000 uniformed firefighting and 4,274 uniformed EMS employees, and the consequences of a union action would be drastic.
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