Meanwhile, Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana who is running a little-noticed, little-discussed bid for president, offers an . . . unusual stance arguing that Occupy Wall Street should be supported simply because they are exercising their constitutional rights:
Governor Buddy Roemer today reiterated his support for the “Occupy” movement and implored activists of all political ideologies to support the basic right to free speech and protest. This comes in the wake of increased arrests, claims of health threats and public nuisance, and now court actions to determine when and where the protestors may demonstrate.
Governor Roemer issued the following statement:
“In the last week, the mainstream media have published even more misleading stories about the war of ideologies between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement. But in my mind, this misses the mark. The more important story is how we as a society treat people outside the mainstream. Politics by its very nature is disruptive.
“The First Amendment rights of assembly and speech are our most important liberties. That is why they are articulated first in the Constitution. The Tea party has done a wonderful job of defending these constitutional rights, as they try to return America to its constitutional foundation. Occupy Wall Street is exercising these rights and should be supported for that reason alone. And the young people smell corruption just like the Tea Party does. They are joined at the Constitution. They will kick the ‘me-first’ corrupt politicians out of a corrupt capitol. God bless America and its Constitution!”
Roemer, who is the only Presidential candidate to both visit the Occupy movement and get standing ovations at Tea Party rallies, recently authored an op-ed entitled “Occupy the White House,” which states that he would invite the protesters to demonstrate at the White House “for as long as politics is corrupt in America.”
There’s a fascinating distinction between “support” and “permit.” It is a free country, and folks can hold (non-violent!) protests in the name of whatever cause they like, keeping with the standard local ordinances for staying overnight, permits, etc. But you can argue that while you defend their right to make their argument, their argument is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. No “support” is needed.