Get Equal, Rachel Lang unclear on fundamental American concepts (Bachmann, Kochs, glitter, Robert Erickson, Minneapolis)

The video below shows attorney Rachel Lang of the LGBT group GetEqual dumping glitter on Michelle Bachmann after her speech at the RightOnline conference in Minneapolis. Another video (from Erickson, see #2 below) is at and their press release is at [1].

Some points:

1. A fundamental American concept is that of speech: if someone says something you disagree with, you respond with speech of your own. You don't throw glitter over them. Throwing glitter isn't an argument, it's not civil, and it only further reduces the low level of discourse in the U.S. Many young children wouldn't do something like that, but here we have a grown woman who's a lawyer acting like only a subset of little kids. It's also counter-productive, portraying gay activists as little kids and ensuring those who might be convinced of their cause that they don't deserve support. It also no doubt increases the resolve of those opposed to their causes.

2. This glittering is part of a coordinated campaign that Get Equal conducts (, and they use to solicit help. One of those involved is Robert Erickson (@CGoHome); see his name's link.

3. The video has a good title ("The State of the Modern Left: Throw Stuff at People With Whom You Disagree") and the person who interviews Lang makes a fairly good point, asking whether it would be OK if the rightwing engaged in glitter or pie throwing. That seems to throw her a bit. Later on, someone else tries to shame Lang. However, the questioning doesn't go far enough; it would have been better to probe why she doesn't understand or support fundamental U.S. concepts regarding speech and why she can't make an argument. She's a lawyer, and she thinks such behavior is acceptable and she can't come up with an argument for what she supports? Do her clients know she has trouble making arguments? One would think that a lawyer would be able to defeat mere bloggers in a debate, but not so.

4. That said, the rightwing hasn't exactly set a good example. While they haven't as far as I know started throwing things at politicians, the tea parties long ago decided to act like little kids too: swarming politicians, shouting down their opponents, smearing people, holding up bunny ears behind politicians' heads, and so on. See all the entries on the last link for examples of those and more, and see also the Glenn Reynolds posts. The teapartiers chose to engage in Saul Alinsky-style tactics rather than engaging their opponents in debate. Not only are almost no teaparty activists capable of engaging others in debate, they don't want to.

5. If those who are generally opposed to Bachmann were smart and grown-up, they'd point out that the Right Online conference is sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. AFP is part of the "Kochtopus", those groups funded or directed by the Koch family. There's a good chance that most of the people at RightOnline would be opposed to the other things the Kochs do, such as funding loose borders advocates like Reason Magazine and the Cato Institute. David Koch even joined with George Soros to give millions to the American Civil Liberties Union. If Lang had any sense she'd point that out to as many attendees as possible in a civil fashion, instead of dumping glitter on politicians.

6. The press release informs us that Lang is straight. Now all she needs is a brain transplant and we'll be all set.

[1] getequal . org/2011/06/lgbt-activists-glitter-bachmann-to-protest-anti-gay-rhetoric