The Glenn Reynolds, Don Surber, Joe Walsh propaganda team (Illinois)

About eight months ago, a congressional candidate conducted an overt publicity stunt, asking why a public meeting wasn't being started with the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, something similar is playing out - perhaps spontaneously or perhaps covertly - involving the congressional campaign of Joe Walsh of Illinois, who's running against Melissa Bean. Spontaneous or not, the latest incident has the hallmarks of a "boob bait for Bubba" GOTV propaganda effort, and that's heightened because one of those involved is Glenn Reynolds [1].

First, I'd like to ask you to read this post about "Allez Java". Then, compare that to this Don Surber post: link. Aside from the French locution, aren't they very similar? The post Surber links to is here. And, as a capper, a Joe Walsh video where he takes advantage of the Pledge incident is at That has a description of "The League of Women Voters hosted a candidate forum featuring Joe Walsh & Melissa Bean running for the 8th Congressional District in Illinois. The League of Women voters got schooled on what it means to be an American".

At this point hopefully you're asking yourself why a pompous, posturing goof like Joe Walsh is questioning the patriotism of the League of Women Voters. They're a leftwing group masquerading as non-partisan and they support amnesty, but that doesn't mean they aren't patriotic. It's valid to question the patriotism of some of those at the other meeting earlier this year, but that's because they obviously have divided loyalties. The same isn't true of the LWV as a whole. It's also valid to question whether Walsh knew the LWV didn't plan on having a Pledge, and whether the person in the audience is a shill who works or volunteers for his campaign. It would also be good journalism for the three sources of this story - including Surber, who works for a regional newspaper - to get the moderator's side of things.

And, one aspect of real patriotism is realizing that Americans have different opinions about various topics. Those in the tea parties orbit take the opposite position: they lie and smear, they put symbolism over substance (causing them to think George W Bush is more a patriot than those who didn't allow 14% of Mexico's working-age population to move to the U.S.), they claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a socialist, they engage in other forms of red-baiting, and they use the "patriot" label as if the rest of us aren't.

And, all to support an agenda that, were voters informed of everything it entails, would be rejected by the vast majority of Americans. Some patriots.

UPDATE: From this:

[Illinois LWV Executive Director Jan Czarnik] said someone is not a better American just by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance... “It's a phony patriotism issue is what it is,” she said. “They must think it helps their campaign.”

She's not helping herself by putting things that way rather than making the points above. Also, the Walsh campaign claims they had nothing to do with the audience member who asked for the Pledge, and a Walsh supporter has come forward claiming to be that audience member. We also learn that none of the campaigns requested the Pledge beforehand, and as can be seen on the video Walsh doesn't request it at the start of the debate. Using his own standards, should we question his patriotism? No, because we don't want to do things his way.

UPDATE 2: Updated to spell "propaganda" right. Doh!

UPDATE 3: The moderator has filed a police report due to death threats she received after Glenn Beck said this about her on his show (link):

We wanted to look at the moderator, Kathy Tate-Bradish, from the League of Women Voters. Oh, she sounds so neutral and everything. I mean, she’s even neutral on the Pledge, apparently — just a typical woman voter trying to get the truth out. No, not so much — not so much... She is on fire for Obama. She is a big-time Obama supporter. In fact, so much so, she’s part of his Organizing for America arm. Hmm. She’s even hosted campaign event in her home in 2007, part of her post on OFA’s, Organizing for America Web site, "Hope Action Change."


Mary Schaafsma, the issues and advocacy coordinator for the Illinois League, told ThinkProgress this afternoon that the only reason Tate-Bradish resisted reciting the Pledge was because it had not been included in the debate format, which the candidates had agreed to ahead of time, noting that the League has been doing candiate forums and debates like the one Beck highlighted "for decades." She also said that following the threats, the League locked the doors to its Chicago offices for several days and alerted the building management of the possible threat. “I’ve been working in politics and nonprofits for a long long time and I never seen this level and pitch of vitriol,” she said.

[1] He links to Surber's post at