Demonstrators from both the Tea Party and the left showed up in droves in Madison, WI on Saturday to attend a rally featuring Sarah Palin. The Associated Press covered the clashes:
Capitol Police estimated about 6,500 people converged on the building Saturday, but said it was impossible to tell how many were tea partyers and how many were labor supporters. The Capitol Police is a division of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, a Walker cabinet agency.
The tea partyers appeared clustered in front of the building, waving “Don’t Tread on Me“ flags and signs that read ”Public workers—the party is over,“ ”Thank you, Scott,“ and ”Tax and spend brings the end.”
Counter-protesters surrounded them, banging drums, bellowing into bullhorns and ringing bells. Bitter arguments broke out along the edges of the two groups over everything from the size of government to corporate power.
That’s old news by now. But what you may not have heard is that the leftist, union protesters seem to have mirrored the attitude of their counterparts thousands of miles away in Oregon — they booed during the patriotic gesture known as the National Anthem:
As the video shows, it seems the protesters eventually wised up to their actions and joined in. Eventually. Not before shaking their noise-makers, shouting, and holding up their signs:
But Ann Althouse over at her blog says the booing may not have been as overtly disrespectful as it seems:
I don’t have my own video, because I mishandled the button on my camera, but I was right behind the Tea Party crowd amid anti-Tea Party protesters who were making a lot of noise trying to drown out whatever was coming from the podium. They were, in fact, succeeding in their purpose so well that they could not hear when the national anthem began.
I started walking forward and it took a while for me to recognize the anthem. My observation was that those who could hear it were not booing. The “rockets red glare” line seemed louder, and there was a noticeable hushing that extended back into the anti-Tea Party areas of the crowd.
Outdoors, yesterday, the acoustics were distorted, the anthem began unexpectedly, and the noisemakers were into their thing, drowning out the tea partiers. You cannot infer disrespect for the national anthem.