Friday, April 07, 2006

Harry Taylor's Free Speech Moment

In Charlotte, North Carolina yesterday an unassuming man named Harry Taylor attended a Bush event. It wasn't a Republican sponsored event so the crowd wasn't vetted as ruthlessly as it normally would have been by Republican operatives posing as Secret Service agents. No word on whether the Secret Service vetted the crowd but if they did they let Harry in anyway. Which might in itself be revelatory.

Bush spoke Bush-speak and then opened the floor to questions.

Harry Taylor rose in his place, accepted the microphone and calmly said, "Okay, I don't have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate...And I would hope -- I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself..."

Crooks and Liars has the video.

Rare enough.

Now comes Act 2.

Daily Kos was among the first to bring this to light where an enterprising soul who goes by the name of "grokgov" decided to create a website where he, and tens of thousands of other people, could thank Harry Taylor for speaking up so clearly, calmly and concisely in a hostile environment. They're aiming for a million signees. The site went up last evening, the 6th, and they're just over 9,000 as of this writing. Feel free to sign it if you are so moved.

There's also now scheduled a National Thankyou Event for next Saturday, the 15th.

It's possible, perhaps barely, but possible nonetheless that this free speech moment of Harry Taylor's could have a similar effect to the moment when on the 9th of June 1954, Special Counsel for the Army Joseph N. Welch said to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

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