The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Dear Governor McDonnell: #OccupyRichmond Is A Great
Leadership Opportunity

Posted on | November 7, 2011 | 9 Comments

by Smitty

Dear Governor McDonnell,

I submit that it may be time to call ‘nonsense’ on the #OccupyRichmond protest.

The Occupy Richmond group, however, as well as many other Occupy groups across America, are not only demanding to be exempted from the rigorous requirements met by any other group before them, they are being given that exemption in city after city — by politicians either too weak or agenda-focused to do their jobs for all their citizenry.
Richmond City Councilman E. Martin Jewell even wanted a resolution that would make the Occupiers’ illegal actions legal — and surely would have done so except for the inconvenient requirement that he actually act within the rules.

Everything about our country is predicated upon the Rule of Law. No one, least of all those of us who’ve voted legally and participated in lawful Tea Party events, wants to see the right of assembly infringed.

Yet, as with illegal immigration, we see what is a slow erosion of the Rule of Law. Thus, it would worth considering having Virginia lead the way by revisiting laws for lawful public assembly, and re-assuring everybody that, in this country, all of our revolutions are conducted in a positive, peaceful way, by valid ballot, at a ballot box.

Let us not kid ourselves, sir: this #Occupy nonsense is nothing short of a prophecy of where the country is headed, on this current ideological course. No, no, no, a thousand no’s, and again: forget this noise.

Yours in service of the Constitution,

Chris Smith

P.S. I suggest that readers of this post also ping their state governors. It is crucial that some executive leadership be located in this country which supports our Constitution.

via Instapundit



9 Responses to “Dear Governor McDonnell: #OccupyRichmond Is A Great
Leadership Opportunity”

  1. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    You’ve got it ass-backward, Smitty. The solution is not to impose the “rigorous[ly unconstitutional] requirements” imposed on others on Occupy. It’s to stop imposing rigorously unconstitutional requirements on everyone.

    The Constitution recognizes a “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    If the assembly is peaceable, and if its purpose is to petition the government for a redress of grievances, any imposition upon it is clearly contrary to the rule of law.

    Only when and if an assembly become un-peaceable (as some Occupy assemblies have) is there even theoretically any legitimate place for a governor’s “leadership” in suppressing it.

  2. SDN
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    If there was no need to arrange to make the area safe for all the other citizens who may want to use it and resolve the competing claims to simultaneously use it, you might have a point. Reality, however, trumps the libertarian ideal… as usual.

  3. smitty
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:01 am

    If the assembly is peaceable, and if its purpose is to petition the government for a redress of grievances, any imposition upon it is clearly contrary to the rule of law.

    Fine. My point is that, insofar as the assembly has arguably overshot ‘peaceable’, reeling it in is needful.
    Your argument is predicated upon peaceful intent, and #Occupy is taking on a whiff of something else.

  4. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:42 am


    Keep in mind here that you’re the constitutionalist (I’m an anarchist). I’m trying to hold you to your declared standards. If I thought that the state could be smashed right now, I’d not hesitate to man the barricades (and indeed I’ve done so even when the prospect looked even more dim than it does at the moment).

    Frankly, I’ve been harder on the Occupy folks than I was on the Tea Party with its Revolutionary War uniform carnies, “Second Amendment remedies” talk, and elevation of convicted war criminals to potential men on horseback. “Whiff of something else,” indeed.

  5. smitty
    November 7th, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    @knappster:disqus , I’m good with being held to standards. I confess that I don’t understand how an anarchist can hold anyone to any standard. Are not the Roman alphabet, English language, and QWERTY keyboard just more forms of fascism?

  6. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    “What do you mean, PUBLIC park?” – punchline to an old joke about libertarians

  7. Adjoran
    November 7th, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    It’s easy:  they make up stuff, then insist YOU have to hold to it.

    There is a very old standard on the actual practice of 1st Amendment freedoms:  “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” – Mr. Justice Holmes.

    There is a difference between liberty and license.

  8. Adjoran
    November 7th, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    The Governor doesn’t have the authority to act if they are on City property.  If they were camping out on Capitol Square, he could clear them out.

    The City of Richmond is a dysfunctional entity.  It’s like the brilliant French comedy “The King of Hearts,” set in a small town at the end of WWI.  Before bugging out, the Germans booby trap the whole place, and the entire town evacuates to escape.  Someone remembers the poor lunatics in the asylum, but there is no time to transfer them, so they just unlock the door.

    A lone Scotsman is sent to defuse the bombs, and comes upon the looneys running around and assumes they are the townspeople.  Hilarity ensues.

    Come to think about it, Richmond just isn’t that funny.  More of a tragedy, complete with self-inflicted wounds.

  9. Quartermaster
    November 7th, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    Much of the south has become a shadow of itself. I was actually freer in SE Ohio than I was in Tennessee, or NC now.

    Rule of law was destroyed long ago. It’s been a long down hill slide from Appomattox Court House, but the left finally got rid of rule of law. Even so called conservatives have trouble with the idea these days.