CO-04 (Special Election) See Full Big Line

(R) Greg Lopez

(R) Trisha Calvarese

90%

10%

President (To Win Colorado) See Full Big Line

(D) Joe Biden*

(R) Donald Trump

80%

20%↓

CO-01 (Denver) See Full Big Line

(D) Diana DeGette*

90%

CO-02 (Boulder-ish) See Full Big Line

(D) Joe Neguse*

90%

CO-03 (West & Southern CO) See Full Big Line

(D) Adam Frisch

(R) Jeff Hurd

(R) Ron Hanks

40%

30%

20%

CO-04 (Northeast-ish Colorado) See Full Big Line

(R) Lauren Boebert

(R) Deborah Flora

(R) J. Sonnenberg

50%↑

15%

10%↓

CO-05 (Colorado Springs) See Full Big Line

(R) Dave Williams

(R) Jeff Crank

50%↓

50%↑

CO-06 (Aurora) See Full Big Line

(D) Jason Crow*

90%

CO-07 (Jefferson County) See Full Big Line

(D) Brittany Pettersen

85%↑

 

CO-08 (Northern Colo.) See Full Big Line

(D) Yadira Caraveo

(R) Gabe Evans

(R) Janak Joshi

60%↑

35%↓

30%↑

State Senate Majority See Full Big Line

DEMOCRATS

REPUBLICANS

80%

20%

State House Majority See Full Big Line

DEMOCRATS

REPUBLICANS

95%

5%

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
February 19, 2009 05:29 PM UTC

"Swastika Guy" Fracas Enters Backpedal Phase

  • 57 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Good stuff from Westword’s Melanie Asmar:

Malkin suggests to Rocky reporter David Montero that “Swastika Guy,” as he’s come to be known, may have been a “ringer” trying to discredit her by slipping into the mass of people waiting for a Malkin photo-op after the rally.

But if Swastika Guy was a left-leaning operative, he sure wasn’t a secret one. Instead of hiding in the crowd of 300 people, many of whom had strongly worded signs of their own, he stood right at the top of the steps during the protest. He was one of the first people I noticed as a reporter covering the event. Even from within the thick of the crowd, his swastika was plainly visible.

It would be tough to believe that rally organizers overlooked him, especially considering how close he was to the action…

The Rocky story also quotes Colorado Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, who criticized the swastika sign, saying it “badly crossed the line.” But he’s in the ProgressNow Colorado photo too, within finger-wagging distance of Swastika Guy and Hammer-and-Sickle Guy.

So why so surprised, Malkin and Penry?

Responding yesterday to criticism of a widely-circulated photo taken of her at the anti-stimulus rally held by Colorado Republicans at the state Capitol this week, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin was not exactly what you’d call apologetic.

For eight years, we’ve heard “Bushitler” invoked endlessly…

Now, the tables have been turned. Some folks are invoking Nazi allusions against Barack Obama.

…The left-wing blogosphere is suddenly up  in arms over the sight of others mimicking their over-the-top rhetoric of the past eight years. A protester who attended the Denver Pig Roast today had such a sign and asked for a picture with me. The nutroots are having vapors about it.

Sometime between that writing and this morning, however, Malkin’s tune has changed rather dramatically–as the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Courtesy of ProgressNow Colorado

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin said Wednesday she was “mobbed” by fans after a rally on Tuesday protesting President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan and didn’t realize a man she posed for a photo with was holding a sign with a swastika…

Malkin said she couldn’t see the part of the sign bearing the swastika and questioned whether the man was a “ringer” trying to discredit her.

“People stuffed themselves in front of me. They shoved in front trying to get pictures, and I obliged. And this is the reward for that,” Malkin said. “I don’t know who this person is. I would really like to know if he was some sort of ringer or he believed in his sign.”

Okie dokie then. So either turnabout is fair play and this is a non-story, which is what Malkin claimed yesterday, or the guy was a “ringer trying to discredit her,” like she says today. Anybody want to take a stab at, you know, which one it is?

True that, backpedaling is a messy business.

In related news, flacks for the Independence Institute are out in force trying to kill this embarrassing little story as well…not very effectively.

II blogger Ari Armstrong, unlike Malkin, isn’t upset with the still-anonymous “Swastika Guy.” For him, this is all about those pesky troublemaking liberals who crashed their rally and distributed the photo:

Ari Armstrong, editor of FreeColorado.com, said, “Huttner has brought ‘gotcha’ politics to a new low. The organizers of public rallies, whether on the right or the left, cannot possibly keep out strangers. Indeed, Huttner himself complained that his free-speech rights were threatened when someone suggested that he leave the rally.

“I personally witnessed Michelle Malkin being approached by numerous individuals seeking photos with her, as is common with well-known personalities. Would Huttner appreciate it if a random stranger worked a photo op with a well-known leftist using inappropriate imagery or language?

“For Huttner to drag Penry into the debate is absurd. He had nothing to do with it. But, as Jason Salzman, who attended the rally with Huttner, acknowledged to me, he anticipates that Penry will run for higher office. So Huttner is starting in early with the character assassination.

“Obviously, people from the left call George W. Bush and other Republicans fascists or Nazis practically on a daily basis. Why is it news when the right does it, but not when the left does it?

“As Huttner’s own web page demonstrates, the left commonly attacks Republicans and conservatives by likening them to fascists. Has Michael Huttner condemned each of those comments and apologized for them?”

We aren’t here to defend Progress Now, no doubt they can take care of themselves. But we will point out that the examples cited by Armstrong consist of a bunch of anonymous comments and community blog posts from the general public–nothing even written by a Progress Now employee, let alone anything that an elected official or nationally-known pundit would have control over. Certainly no smiley photos with big-name liberals and guys toting swastika signs. The distinction seems pretty easy to us, but for whatever reason this feeble “they do it too” argument–built around blog comments–is the one chagrined Republicans are rallying to. Good luck with that.

Bottom line? There’s a difference between a public blog where anybody can anonymously rant and a stage full of highly embarrassable public figures at an event you organize. And if that difference isn’t stone-cold obvious to you, for the sake of those same embarrassable public figures you should really consider getting the hell out of the event organizing business.

Comments

57 thoughts on ““Swastika Guy” Fracas Enters Backpedal Phase

  1. peter boyles has complained that the sign showing a cycle and a hammer, emblem of communist russia, did not get equal play in the media at the repub “meet up”…. the sign of Der Fuhrer got all the attention…

    Now I don’t know exactly what boyles beef is:

    Stalin killed more people than Hitler, so Der Fuhrer doesn’t

    look so bad in comparison, only the media has a “jones” for Hitler????

    Or, Stalin is entitled to equal time and coverage and the leftist media is protecting him…

    I don’t know….but equal time is equal time….can someone post a sign of cycle and the hammer???

    1. This is the blog for wingnut “elpresidente” who graced us with his presence yesterday…

      http://slapstickpolitics.blogs

      Scroll down about 2/3 the way for swastika guy; hammer and sickle guy is in the same shot.

      Anyway, they don’t have a point on this matter. For all of communism’s evils (and they are many), we have a stronger reaction to nazism, so swastika guy makes better copy. Additionally, ‘pubs have been calling liberals “commie” for decades, so hammer and sickle guy is so much “dog bites man” news.

      1. that folks have focused more on the swastika than the hammer and sickle?  Ok, I’ll condemn the organizers for not removing that hammer and sickle sign also. There, does that make you feel better?

  2. Glenn Greenwald compiled an abbreviated list of Nazi references from right-wingers.

    On his talk radio show last night, Mark Levin labelled MoveOn and Media Matters as “brownshirts.” Michelle Malkin this morning excitedly touted Levin’s attack, cheering the “no-holds-barred Mark Levin” for labelling both groups as the “brownshirts of the Clinton crime family.”

  3. I can imagine two signs that would have been rushed off the stage because even in the crush of the crowd, someone would have noticed them and realized how dangerous they were for the Republicans and right-wingers.

    – An overtly racist message about Obama featuring the N word.

    – Threat of violence against Obama along the lines of the phrases shouted at Palin rallies last fall (“Kill Him”)

    I cannot imagine the crowd wouldn’t have policed itself or one of the organizers or aides to an elected wouldn’t have yanked those signs and ushered anyone displaying them from the scene.

    Why didn’t the swastika excite that reaction from all those media-savvy politicians? Are they really that tone deaf?

    1. If it had just been a public rally, without the Republican elected officials, it might be understandable.  There had to be someone in that crowd who knew those signs needed to be out of there – unless, they just thought they were okay.

      1. It just shows in my opinion  what Republicans have thought for years.

        They are basically hateful hypocrites that have the right to freedom of assembly and free speech like everyone else.

  4. This is really fun to watch. The wingers can’t organize an event, they can’t craft a message and they can’t stay on point. Every time they open their mouths something dumber comes out.

    Kudos to ProgressNow and Mike Huttner. They always seem to manage to catch these idiots with their pants down. The wingers never fail to get completely flustered, flail about and make everything worse. It’s been like watching a slow motion train wreck for the last few days.  

  5. “Bushitler?”  Someone will say something stupid ALL of the time.  I’ve never heard “Bushitler” before you wrote it and I read a LOT.  Maybe it’s been circulating in your world, but not on planet Colorado, where (beleive me) things are weird enough without you.  Anyway, thoughtful descriptions for our former President (Bush) have included more than two-syllables:  I’m thinking of “chronically inexperienced,”  “befuddled,” “not a curious man,” “self-satisfied dimwit,” and a host of others.  

    No serious person, Michelle really, thinks of Bush as a ‘hitler.’  Most critics (and is that okay with you?) have come to think of him as a limited man who allowed himself to be manipulated by his Vice President and Chief of Staff.  Or a hapless and gutless dunderhead who delegated freely to ‘czars’ like David Petreaus and Henry Paulson to permit him to take long vacations and carryon jovial relations with his enablers.  I wish it were true but he’s not even the souless, efficient Eichmann.  He’s unique.

    A caricature in the Hitler neighborhood doesn’t really come to mind… if it did, it would be a fictional creation of my own mind.  And not very useful for public consumption.   Your own defence of Mr. Swastika’s sign on the basis of ‘payback’ for all the unflattering (and sometimes true) said over that l-o-n-g winter of the Bush Presidency strikes me as being too close to the junior cheerleader’s vow to TP the home of a crosstown high school football team’s coach.  Put the pom-poms down.  The world gets more interesting after high school.  

    1. I have compared the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war to the Nazi’s blitzkreig  – invasion and occupation of Poland, etc.

      You may certainly disagree with my opinion, but it is based in a historical framework….not something I suddenly dreamed up out of thin air.  

  6. Who is the leader of the Republican party? In Colorado? Nationally?  Who is controlling the message?  Noone that actually has to be accountable is running the ship.  There doesn’t seem to be any adults left.  The people deciding the message (and deciding who gets on stage) are the self promoting, look at me! types (Caldera, Malkin), and as a result there is no filter of the nuts (swastika guy).  As long as they are led around by the nose by Limbaugh, they are going to operate on the fringe.

    1. …speaking from the stage with Swastika Guy just off to his right, either.

      To his credit, Sen. Penry so far is the only one of the entire crowd that shared the stage with Swastika Guy who has even remotely condemned him. Caldara on the air has tried to justify his presence with the “communists killed more people than the Nazis so why aren’t you complaining about them” bit. Silence from Coffman, Tancredo, Wadhams, Schultheis….

      A silence that perhaps speaks volumes.

  7. On Westword.com:

    Malkin suggests to Rocky reporter David Montero that “Swastika Guy,” as he’s come to be known, may have been a “ringer” trying to discredit her by slipping into the mass of people waiting for a Malkin photo-op after the rally.

    But if Swastika Guy was a left-leaning operative, he sure wasn’t a secret one. Instead of hiding in the crowd of 300 people, many of whom had strongly worded signs of their own, he stood right at the top of the steps during the protest. He was one of the first people I noticed as a reporter covering the event. Even from within the thick of the crowd, his swastika was plainly visible.

    It would be tough to believe that rally organizers overlooked him, especially considering how close he was to the action. Holding his sign, which featured a swastika inside the “O” in Obama, he stood to one side of the podium as local conservatives, including Colorado Republican Party boss Dick Wadhams and former Rep. Tom Tancredo, addressed the crowd. Standing next to him was “Hammer-and-Sickle Guy,” who bore a similar sign.

    In fact, as captured in the photo at the top of this item, the two Guys stood right behind Malkin. They were so close that if she turned around — even for a second — she was bound to see them.

    The Rocky story also quotes Colorado Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, who criticized the swastika sign, saying it “badly crossed the line.” But he’s in the ProgressNow Colorado photo too, within finger-wagging distance of Swastika Guy and Hammer-and-Sickle Guy.

    So why so surprised, Malkin and Penry?

    http://blogs.westword.com/late

  8. Caldara, Penry and Malkin seem to want to make the R’s the permanent minority party.  While they waste their time drooling over dead pig, most Americans are saying Republicans need to start cooperating with President Obama.  As the Post reports:  

    Nearly two-thirds, or 62 percent, think Obama is making about the right amount of effort to cooperate with Republicans in Congress on solving the country’s economic problems. About the same percentage, 64 percent, think the GOP isn’t doing enough to cooperate with the Democratic president. Despite courting Republicans during negotiations on the stimulus bill, it passed with no GOP votes in the House and just three GOP votes in the Senate.

    Instead of politicians, like Penry, trying to secure his fringe base for future political desires, why not try working to solve the problems our previous Republican administration put us in?  The economic disaster is real and not something Penry needs to play his ego games with.  Voters are very aware of their continuing lies.

  9. Obama taught constitutional law for 10 years. Bush did his best to destroy the Bill of Rights in 8.

    Guys that carry swastikas to political rallies should be put on a terrorist watch list and have the Patriot Act used against them.

    That would give them the Bush treatment.

    Obama is trying to shut down the stealth prisons where this guy belongs.The columnist and Caldara deserve the same, but Democrats do believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    As a matter of fact Democrats defend the rights of these hate mongers to practice free speech.

    You’d think that their own sense of decency would stop them. Perhaps they are sociopaths.

     

    1. I think that defending the right of free speech is something that transcends political party affiliation.

      If you think that defending the First Amendment is somehow indecent, I feel sorry for you.

        1. Here’s what I focused on:

          “As a matter of fact Democrats defend the rights of these hate mongers to practice free speech.

          You’d think that their own sense of decency would stop them. Perhaps they are sociopaths. ”

          I am not sure who “they” are.  Pronouns give me heartburn.  If you have a different interpretation, I’m all ears.

          Actually, I’m all nose, but that’s for a different thread.

          1. to Republicans, not calling defenders of free speech sociopaths.

            I wouldn’t say I completely agree with it, but Ray’s post made perfect sense to me. Much better than his diatribes about anonymity in other threads.

              1. but I won’t post my name. I really don’t want to be fired; jobs like mine have been politicized lately, and it’s not hard to imagine some of my superiors disliking my comments.

                Many people have similar reasons for anonymity. If you don’t, fantastic. I wish I were more like you in that sense. But I ain’t.

                1. but Ray is most definitely the slightly less insane arm of the Nancy/skankore/Michael Dorsett sybill thing.

                  It’s really a fascinating way to waste an incredible amount of time.

                  1. Ray’s a little odd sometimes, but if Sybil could actually pull off a good impression of an angry leftist, I’d have a lot more respect for her. So far all her characters have had the same basic right-wing views.

                    Unless there’s evidence I missed or something.

                    1. People here do hide behind their apparent anonymity to say hateful things just like the klan uses the sheet.

                      I don’t know if that automatically makes it sybill, but all of the other sybill characters have made similar allusions to the KKK, and they’ve all made comments on anonymity.

                      Plus, it’s a first and last name combo, much like Nancy and MD. I don’t know, just a theory.

                  2. I’m not insane. I just like to know who insults me.

                    I’ll apologize to everyone that I’ve offended, including Twitty and SPX,  and try to be nice from now on.

                    I really am Ray Springfield, though I was born Ray Haskins. I took my adoptive father’s name.  

                    I learned about 10 years ago when I filed a labor racketeering complaint with the FBI, and had my car totaled and apartment burned down under less than normal circumstances that it really doesn’t matter much to remain anonymous.

                    The only local politician that offered me any assistance then was AG Ken Salazar.

                    He’s a good man.

                    Maybe some of our more liberal set can understand now why I always defended him on this blog.

                    1. I’ve got no interest in arguing with you over your political views or anything. I may be a bit over-concerned with my marginal anonymity here, but it’s important to me, just as your personal history is important to you. So I’ll drop the insulting too, and I appreciate your maturity in proposing it.

                      And by the way, I’m fucking SXP not SPX, godfuckingdamnit.

                      (Just kidding.)

      1. No Democrat is going to put these guys in jail.

        Obama won’t.

        Bush and Cheney had people arrested for less.

        Republicans are hypocrites is the main point,

        and Democrats will tolerate it because we believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

        Bush and Cheney threw people out and threatened with arrest for having John Kerry bumper stickers.

        Nevertheless, the guy with the swastika probably has earned an FBI file.

        Why don’t you file a FOIA request to find out?  

  10. .

    I was paid by the Ron Paul Re-LOVE-ution organization to go there to the protest in character as “Swastika Guy” to discredit the mainstream GOP organization.

    It worked, apparently.

    As an aside, it can really be emotionally draining to play a character that is 80 lbs less of a man than me, not to mention 4 inches shorter.

    I am available to bring my”X”bama sign –

    or really almost any other sign you specify –

    to rallies organized by either of the 2 major parties.  

    I charge more to play a woman or person of color.

    .

    .

  11. It’s that simple. Lot’s of people attack me because I’m  pro Israeli, a centrist  democrat, a Wall of Tolerance honoree in a civil rights monument to which I was invited personally by Rosa Parks, a person who does know how tough politics can be (just check with the Colorado Supreme Court, The DA’s Office, Mayor Webb, and a large union)

    Anonymous people remain so out of fear of reprisal for radical views, or to hide their own hate speech which they would never acknowledge if their names and faces were revealed.

    I was raised and adopted by an African-American. Please name 2 other Anglos in the history of the state of Colorado who can make that claim.

    I know bigotry and have been the target of hate speech.

    Not everyone loves Raymond.

    I can stand the heat.

     

    1. and it starts to seem a little creepy.

      Look, if you could cut down on the paranoia and wild-ass accusations and general nutjobbery, and just post things about politics, you’d be one of my favorite posters. But enjoying your stuff is like eating deep-fried candy bars. You like the stuff inside, but then you wonder why the fuck anyone would cover something good in something so dumb.

      1. I have to say once again we don’t live in Bolshevik Russia. You are a coward. This post shows exactly what I’m talking about. You insult with unsubstantiated crap. You back your positions up with nothing but propaganda. You think racist statements are funny. You are  afraid to expose yourself for fear that you will lose your job.

        Your parrania probably reuires medication.

        Seek a doctor’s help.

        You really aren’t anonymous anyway.

        Want to bet I can find out your name and publish it?

         

        1. I have to say once again we don’t live in Bolshevik Russia. You are a coward. This post shows exactly what I’m talking about. You insult with unsubstantiated crap. You back your positions up with nothing but propaganda. You think racist statements are funny. You are  afraid to expose yourself for fear that you will lose your job.

          Your paranoia probably requires medication.

          Seek a doctor’s help.

          You really aren’t anonymous anyway.

          Want to bet I can find out your name and publish it?

            1. You can’t read. I’m not calling anyone a Bolshevik. Your paranoia of your identity is reminsicent of cowards thinking the Bolsheviks are out to get them.

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments


Posts about

Donald Trump
SEE MORE

Posts about

Rep. Lauren Boebert
SEE MORE

Posts about

Rep. Yadira Caraveo
SEE MORE

Posts about

Colorado House
SEE MORE

Posts about

Colorado Senate
SEE MORE

73 readers online now

Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay in the loop with regular updates!