How Not To Be Politically Effective


When you’ve watched the greatest expansion of rights and acceptance of your minority in two millennia — in the course of ONE Administration — what is the best way to keep it going?

Michelle Obama confronts protester, threatens to leave fundraiser
Peter Wallsten / Post Politics

First Lady Michelle Obama experienced a rare face-to-face encounter with a protester late Tuesday – approaching the activist and threatening to leave a fundraiser if the person did not stop interrupting her speech.


“I said I want your husband to sign the executive order,” Sturtz said. “Her husband could sign this order tonight and protect 22 percent of the work force in this country.”

Sturtz said she paid $500 to attend the fundraiser, part of a protest cooked up by the gay rights group GetEqual, which gained notice in Obama’s first term for hectoring him during speeches and demanding more action on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Sturtz, who gave $5,000 to the Democratic Party and Obama’s campaign in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, said she was devoting herself to full-time activism now pressing the White House on the employment discrimination issue….

Now, is that the way to make friends and influence people?

carrie scream

How to make friends: Just good fun, right Carrie?

Well, let’s look at some of the ‘friendly’ headlines it engendered (from people who LOVE the Administration AND Gay Rights with equal ferocity):


The sign is real; the town’s name has
been changed to protect the guilty …

  • Caroline May / The Daily Caller:   First lady heckler speaks out: Michelle Obama ‘came right down in my face’
  • Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:   Audio: First Lady tells heckler that one of them is leaving the fundraiser
  • Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard: Audio of Michelle Obama Being Interrupted by Heckler
  • Caroline May / The Daily Caller: Michelle Obama heckled at DNC event, threatens to leave* (* yeah, a DIFFERENT article on the same thing by the same Rightie homophobe)
  • ZIP / Weasel Zippers:   Mooch Gets Testy With Heckler: “Listen To Me Or I’m Leaving” …
  • Rick Moran /   Michelle Obama threatens to leave DNC fundraiser unless heckler shuts up
  • Jammie Wearing Fools:  White House Whitewashes First Lady’s Angry Temper Tantrum
  • ZIP / Weasel Zippers:   Gay Protester “Taken Aback” By Mooch Getting In Her Face And Threatening To Leave…* (* yeah, a DIFFERENT article on the same thing by the same Rightie homophobe)
  • Jammie Wearing Fools:   Thin-Skinned Moochelle Gets Testy With Lesbian Heckler: “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving.*  (* yeah, a DIFFERENT article on the same thing by the same Rightie homophobe)

You know, when you pee on your friends and delight their enemies by your actions, you gotta ask yourself whose side are you actually on? Your own, even?


Zip and JammieWearing Fools at a recent meet-up

I’m all in favor of the self-described “an old abrasive lesbian just looking for full federal equality before I die.*” issue. I have always been a friend of gay rights.

[note: that is what Ellen Sturtz “a 56-year-old D.C.-based activist” remembers herself as having said, as she was hauled out, but a gajillion media sources have the transcript reading: …lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.” (First part of the quote was inaudible.)  or the equivalent. Memory is a funny thing.]

But I have never been a friend or supporter of assholes. Speech and audience are a part of the social contract. When ANYone grabs that spotlight, heckles, disturbs, it BREAKS the contract. Do it a lot, with friends, and you have the 1913 riot at the Paris premiere of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.”


There will always be the juveniles who yell “focus” in the back of the theater, but grabbing the spotlight by breaking the rules of the audience gestalt is a form of moral terrorism. You are pushing the edges of the very invisible fiber that HOLDS that room together; that creates the astonishing spectacle of four or five actors on a stage, surrounded by thousands of SILENT audience members. Thus, the famous Justice’s dictum “You don’t have the right to shout “FIRE!” in a theater.”

But if you start unraveling the social web, that same crowd can tear you limb from limb, cook and eat you. Worst case scenario, obviously, but there is a palpable THING there, and you disturb it at your own peril.

Heckling is a mild form of yelling fire in the theater. And I am somewhat glad that the rule of audience, the social contract to behave in a large body, is so RARELY broken that we are angered and astonished when it IS broken by a loud-mouthed lout, whether for nondiscrimination of a class, or any other reason. Unless it really IS a fire, or a matter of utmost urgency, there is almost never an excuse for it.

psycho scream

Not in a theater for fun, kids.

Worse, your cause is linked, in the reptile brain, with that clenching of embarrassment, taboo, socially inappropriate that the vast majority of “audience” viewers feel. You are not just challenging the speaker, but ALL who came to HEAR the speaker. (And in someone’s private home? Ouch.)

And that’s how you  manage to NOT be politically effective.

Then telling the reporter (who, I’m SURE, fact-checked the claim) that one donated thousands of dollars in the last election cycle, etc.

You might gain some sympathy, but most of the patients in those wards aren’t allowed to vote.


And, by the by, “GetEQUAL” the advances in Gay Rights happened DESPITE your actions, not because of them. Leaving a turd in the punchbowl, as a form of protest, only gets you disinvited to parties. Never listened to. For some reason, human psychology tends towards pleasant and away from unpleasant, or, as the cliché you never seem to have heard notes: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

Or, blow off your friends and your enemies STILL won’t like you and you’ll just be all alone, without allies.

snake and mongooses


Now THAT’S what you call “politically effective action” right? Right?

Politics 101: if you want ANYTHING done, you got to have the votes. That’s your Prime Directive. You Know: How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Votes means friends, and friends means making nice. Finding a way to say the same things … NICE.

As the “GOD HATES FAGS” crowd chuckles and chortles at your idiocy. And thanks you for your disservice.

god hates fagzs

Westboro Baptist Hate Factory signs


Cross posted from his vorpal sword.


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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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