Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Which one of these stories…

…is not like the other…which one of these stories just doesn’t belong…

Group Plans Campaign Against G.O.P. Donors, New York Times, August 7, 2008

The letter is an opening shot across the bow from an unusual new outside political group on the left that is poised to engage in hardball tactics to prevent similar groups on the right from getting off the ground this fall.

Led by Tom Matzzie, a liberal political operative who has been involved with some prominent left-wing efforts in recent years, the newly formed nonprofit group, Accountable America, is planning to confront donors to conservative groups, hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions.

Colorado Democrats Threaten Delegate's Status, TheDenverChannel.com (7News, Denver ABC affiliate), August 11, 2008

DENVER, Colo. -- An e-mail sent from the Political Director of the Colorado Democratic Party threatened the status of a national delegate, alleging she made "disparaging public remarks" about Sen. Barack Obama. […]

Millstone acknowledged she was frustrated over how the Obama campaign was treating delegates who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and told a fellow delegate, in what she believed was a private e-mail exchange, that she was not sure she could vote for Obama at the Democratic National Convention later this month.

The other delegate apparently filed a complaint with the state Democratic Party suggesting Millstone lose her status as a delegate.

Apparently the Political Director of Colorado's Democratic Party, William Compton, took the suggestion very seriously and told Millstone via e-mail, "You are directed to come in to the Party Headquarters and explain your comments and why you should remain a national delegate..."

Millstone, who worked on the campaign for Hillary Clinton, considered the e-mail a threat.

"I think that one of the reasons I got this letter was to intimidate me," said Millstone. "It sounded very totalitarian. I thought it sounded undemocratic and I was completely shocked." [...]

"I think that it was calculated to have an impact on other delegates and I think this kind of communication does have a very chilling impact on other delegates because people become afraid to speak up. They become afraid to say what they think."

(h/t Slapstick Politics, via Hot Air)

Campaign to silence dissent in West Bank, Gaza, AP, August 12, 2008

NABLUS, West Bank - A West Bank professor is thrown into a police jeep and beaten with pipes. Detainees in Gaza are prevented from seeing lawyers. Club-wielding troops in the West Bank break up a peaceful march, and their counterparts in Gaza keep journalists from covering a police raid.

It's all part of a widening crackdown on political opponents, both by the Western-backed Fatah movement in the West Bank and by the Islamic militant Hamas in Gaza.

Trick question! They all belong. Each of these stories is based on the idea that dissent is an unwanted form of political expression. Other than that, it’s just a quibble about the means to rid oneself of it: do you stifle it, silence it, intimidate it, legally threaten it or violently crush it.

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