April 13, 2014

Why I didn't blog about the shoe thrown at Hillary Clinton...

... but I'm blogging about it now that I see this, in The Daily News:
Before a wig-wearing nutjob threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton... Alison Ernst, 36...  arrived in a Colorado courtroom with her head shaved while wearing a red dress before declaring she held evidence “vital to the defense of James Holmes.”
Holmes, with his wig-like orange hair, shot 12 moviegoers to death and wounded many others back in 2012. After the Holmes hearing, Ernst filed a lawsuit that included this text:
"James enters my head like Dennis Quaid in ‘Innerspace’ and he zooms to my heart and plays with it and forces me to care for him... I seek a restraining order to stop Holmes from entering my mind through subliminal messaging and causing me to be obsessed with him on a daily basis."
None of this is cute or amusing or an occasion for political posturing. There are deranged individuals out and about, and we should try to help them or at least stop them before they do serious violence. When I first heard about the shoe-throwing, I wanted to do what I could to deprive this person of attention. This kind of acting out toward a political figure is a reminder of the risks taken by everyone who offers herself (or himself) up to public service. You may think we should disrespect those who seek power. I do too. But to strike out physically is a different matter. Even when the action seems more symbolic than dangerous — like a shoe-throwing — it is a violent assault, and it is on a continuum with assassination, the threat any political candidate or office holder lives with continually.

I avoided reading other news articles and blog posts about Ernst, but I had the feeling that there would be comparisons to the time someone threw a shoe at George Bush, that there would be efforts to score points claiming that the amusement or justification expressed at the attack on Bush made it appropriate to turn the tables and laugh or cheer at the attack on Hillary. Maybe no one wrote anything like that, but aversion to that kind of commentary kept me away from this story.

For the record, I didn't want to talk about the shoe thrown at Bush either.

I'm writing about the Hillary incident now because the connection to James Holmes brings some focus to the real danger out there.

46 comments:

Bob Boyd said...

A wig is no substitute for a good layer of tin.

Bob Ellison said...

Who throws an orange shoe?

Seems like a publicity stunt. Maybe there will be an Avengers movie with Scarlett Jowhatever throwing an orange shoe to disable the bad guy.

Martha said...

If Ms. Ernst had thrown a stiletto she could be charged with attempted murder?

yes it is dangerous out there-- even with Hillary's massive security detail

m stone said...

So it's possible the shoe thrower at Bush was a deranged Sunni whom no reporter chose to investigate?

PB Reader said...

Yes, there are nuts out there. This woman would easily blend in with the Occupy crowd and seem normal.

Wilbur said...

The only thing noteworthy about the Bush incident was the hyena-pack reaction of the MoveOn crowd.

Pathetic.

Ann Althouse said...

@ the bobs

I really don't think this is funny.

Is Holmes funny? He had orange hair and a costume.

Phil 3:14 said...

Schizophrenia is apolitical.

Amexpat said...

I wanted to do what I could to deprive this person of attention.

I think this is an important point and one that the media should be aware of.

I live in Oslo, near the building that was blown up a couple of years ago. An ex student of mine died in that explosion. After the incident, I found myself becoming angrier at the media than the loser who blew up the building, because the only reason the loser carried out that act was to get the massive attention that the media gave him.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, Hillary thought it was funny. I agree with her.

Michael K said...

This is about the failure, and it is continuing, of the legal system to deal with mental illness. Dorothea Dix became famous for her researches into mental illness in the 1840s. She described families' attempts to control insane members by locking them in a basement or a bedroom. We no longer permit that 150 years later. We prefer to allow them to live on the street and attack passersby with bricks.

There is no prospect of improvement in this crisis as long as the present ruling generation is in control.

Bob Ellison said...

And by the way, Professor:

"This kind of acting out toward a political figure is a reminder of the risks taken by everyone who offers herself (or himself) up to public service."

Offers up? Like a sacrifice? To serve the public, the way Hillary has done?

No. Sucks up. Like a piglet. To enrich herself.

Rob Lowe the other day said it's tough being a pretty boy because people think he's not worthy. Poor pretty boy.

Poor Hillary.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

For schizophrenics, freedom is torture.

They need structure and 24 hour supervision.

Her words in the Holmes case are very sad, doubly so that she was trying to folie a Duex with a lunatic.

How many more innocents need to die for the crazy idea that the insane must be free and we must suffer when they go over the edge?

Hagar said...

It is funny. No one is getting hurt by having a ladies' slipper thrown at them.
Even Hillary! thought it was funny and did not bother to file charges.

Æthelflæd said...

If you are going to throw something, be like Jenny Geddes and throw your chair at a bishop.

SMGalbraith said...

JFK, on the morning of the assassination, said this in a discussion with his top aide and close friend Ken O'Donnell:

O'Donnell:
"[H]e said that if anybody really wanted to shoot the President of the United States, it was not a very difficult job--all one had to do was get a high building some day with a telescopic rifle, and there was nothing anybody could do to defend against such an attempt on the President's life."

rhhardin said...

risks taken by everyone who offers herself (or himself) up to public service.

It's not public service.

They get rich by screwing over everybody else.

Sayyid said...

On a continuum? Now look, maybe your method of shoe throwing differs from mine, but, you know, tossing something off your feet, and stickin' a bullet in her temple, ain't the same fuckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport.

h/t Pulp Fiction.

Gahrie said...

There are deranged individuals out and about, and we should try to help them or at least stop them before they do serious violence.

You can go all the way back to LBJ to hand out blame for this. It was during his administration that we started to empty out the mental hospitals, and the Left convinced Reagan to finish it. By definition, most mentall ill don't seek or want help, and the law no longer allows us to force them to get treatment.

dbp said...

An attack which happened to be harmless but could just as easily have been deadly is no laughing matter.

What is a laughing matter is the blatant difference in reporting between the GWB and HRC events: With GWB, they varied between admiration for the thrower and chiding of the president for kind of deserving it. With HRC there was only cheer-leading at her calm and her fast reflexes. (She actually ducked only after the shoe whizzed by.)

Gahrie said...

.... I had the feeling that there would be comparisons to the time someone threw a shoe at George Bush, that there would be efforts to score points claiming that the amusement or justification expressed at the attack on Bush made it appropriate to turn the tables and laugh or cheer at the attack on Hillary. Maybe no one wrote anything like that, but aversion to that kind of commentary kept me away from this story.

Why the aversion? We all recognize that you are adverse to condemning Democratic or Liberal behavior, and delight in condemning Republican or Conservative behavior and then demanding that all former, current and potential Republicans distance themselves and condemn such behavior....but why? Is it really so simple as partisanship?

madAsHell said...

She was addressing 1,000 representatives from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

ISRI
1615 L Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

Did she talk about transparency, and throwing the lobbyists out of Washington???.......Of course, she did!

I'm guessing she wasn't the only one paid to be there.

EDH said...

Hillary's the one started with the jokes, and she professes to hold those who enter "public service" in high esteem.

Ann Althouse said...

"Well, Hillary thought it was funny. I agree with her."

What are you basing that believe on, her reaction when she was on camera?

She's a politician and bullshitting comes with the territory. If you don't think she has had to worry about physical danger to herself and to her loved ones for the past quarter century, you are a fool. What do you think people who have reason to fear violence are supposed to do? Show their fear?

Now, you maybe be pretending to be shallow and obtuse. Either way, I am calling you out. Think harder/stop lying.

Drago said...

Gahrie: "...and the Left convinced Reagan to finish it."

Reagan had nothing to do with it.

Read Ed Koch to see what he thought of the ACLU and other liberal groups suing in court to obtain rulings that decreed the homeless with their pathologies simply alternate lifestyles.

That's what led to the de-institutionalism of the mentally ill.

And most of those institutions that were ordered to release their charges simply put those folks on buses and sent them into the larger inner cities.

Skeptical Voter said...

I'll go with Michael K and Gahrie. The problem is that our mental health system is tilted all the way over to patient's rights--to sleep under a bridge, go wandering muttering in the streets, throw shoes etc.

But that's the mental health side of this.

As Ms. Althouse says "bullshitting comes with the territory" if you're a politician--and even more so if you're Hillary Clinton.

Come on Ms. Althouse--were there "deranged snipers" shooting at Hillary on that Bosnian airstrip. Or was the whole story just so much more bovine excrement from Shrillary?

William said...

Any vocalized objection to a speech of President Obama just shows how far we need to go to improve race relations in America. Any objection to a speech by President Bush just shows that we're living in a free country.......I have the impression that pie throwing and glitter tossing are almost exclusively tactics of the left.

persiflage mahal said...

"She's a politician and bullshitting comes with the territory"

Which is an excellent reason to throw shit at her. She's a deeply corrupt scumbag and I couldn't care less what happens to her.

The Godfather said...

Back in the '60's, Thomas Szasz became well known for denying that "mental illness" was real illness: Rather, it was a category that society used to marginalize people whose behavior made others uncomfortable.

This argument had some appeal to civil libertarians and to those we would now call libertarians. It also resonated with orthodox anti-communist conservatives, who were aware of how the Soviet Union used psychiatry as a weapon against dissenters.

These ideas played a role in emptying the state mental hospitals. Many of the former residents of those institutions ended up on the streets. Most of the "homeless" today are mentally ill.

Every so often, when a mentally ill person does something really horrendous, voices will be raised saying that we need to do something to prevent crazy people from doing awful things. But we are reluctant to go back to the bad old days of easy involuntary commitments. I see no prospect that any of this will change any time soon.

harrogate said...

"She's a politician and bullshitting comes with the territory. If you don't think she has had to worry about physical danger to herself and to her loved ones for the past quarter century, you are a fool. What do you think people who have reason to fear violence are supposed to do? Show their fear?"

Of course you are right and I detest political violence.

At the same time, given the god-like power wielded by these people for whom you are showing such.... is it empathy?....., one wonders if there isn't also a stong undercurrent of irony. God forbid that people who stand ever at the ready to destroy lives en masse, and who never have to say they are sorry for using that power--yes, God forbid they should have to experience that kind of fear.

William said...

A speaker or politician at the podium has no idea if the thrown object is a shoe or a pie or a bomb. If he overreacts, then he will appear craven. If he under reacts, he will appear dead.....As noted above, this is a tactic used almost exclusively by far left protestors (or, in this case,) by nut jobs.. If it's a sane, calculated act, there should be a stiff sentence. . Pie throwing is not covered by he first amendment.

cubanbob said...

Throwing shoes at Hillary and people like her is a natural impulse albeit one that has to be resisted.

CatherineM said...

This is why I think guns are not the problem in these attacks, it's the way we are not treating mentally ill people. How is this woman out and about?

I remember how people thought the woman who would break into David Letterman's home and steal his cars was funny. She had a child with her one of the times she was caught. Yet they kept releasing her and she would do the same until one day she killed herself.

What is so funny about that?

Humperdink said...

Golly Harrogate, I am with you. Would have thought that was possible?

Saint Croix said...

I thought Hillary acted rather well after the assault. She did not have the quick, cat-like reflexes of a George W. Bush, who obviously has played Dodgeball and is good at it. Hillary was all, "Was that a bat?"

I don't know about mental health issues, but that woman definitely threw like a girl. You don't throw from the elbow, okay?

Saint Croix said...

voices will be raised saying that we need to do something to prevent crazy people from doing awful things.

Jack the Ripper killed five people. Sirhan Sirhan killed one person. Charlie Manson killed seven people. We overestimate the danger of random crazy people.

The Nazi Holocaust killed 11 million people. Communism killed 93 million people. Slavery killed millions. We underestimate the danger of what our authorities might do.

The Supreme Court's killed ten babies while I typed this. Governments don't have to be psychopaths to kill innocent people. They just have to be careless, callous, oblivious, and sloppy.

MayBee said...

I don't think it's funny, and I believe she is probably fearful when she is in public.

But how may public servants have actually been hurt in the past several decades?

Let's compare her risks to the people who have been hurt by the IRS coming after private citizens getting involved, or by out of contol police. Did you hear about the 30 year old Tosh.O assistant who was being held hostage and shot down by the lA County sheriff?

Martha said...

Hillary sort of pranced around in a mincing manner after the shoe flew past her.

Looked weird.

Moneyrunner said...

"...offers herself (or himself) up to public service." I recognize that politicians will say that they are doing their noble work, giving up their privacy, spending countless hours at public functions when they could be with their loved ones (like Bill) at home relaxing, spending even more time fundraising. And then of course there is the constant sniping by the adversarial press (NY Times, WaPo, NBC,ABC, CBS) that Hillary is subject to. But are you seriously saying that you believe that Hillary is making a sacrifice by running for President? That she’s giving up something that she values more? Some people may say that your attitude is delusional. I'm not a psychologist but I am curious why you used that formulation; after all, you are not running for President and don’t have to pretend that the billions of dollars that you will collect and spend to get to that sacrificial altar that is the Presidency is really not what you want in your heart of hearts. Christians believe that Christ died for our sins - literally offering himself up. Is that really what you think is motivating Hillary; to become a sacrifice for the American people?

southcentralpa said...

Unfortunately we have to go overboard pointing out she's a nutjob or various parties will try and make like she's some sort of "reichwinger" h8er...

Robert Cook said...

"...the Left convinced Reagan to finish it."

Hahahaha! So Reagan, the god of the arch-right, could almost do no wrong, but when he did, it was because he was fooled/induced/convinced by "the left" to do it.

Hahahaha!

The reason for mass deinstituionalization of the mentally ill has to do with the cuts in funding to facilities where the mentally ill could be housed or helped. This is what "austerity" (so-called) brings: ever shittier conditions of life for the masses of taxpayers who pay for government, while the rich--the super-leeches who suck up all the wealth they can from wherever they can--get richer...and ever-greedier for more.


Ah...but it's "the left's" fault.

Hahahahaha!

Robert Cook said...

"The Nazi Holocaust killed 11 million people. Communism killed 93 million people. Slavery killed millions. We underestimate the danger of what our authorities might do."

I understand your final sentence covers this, but you left out the genocide of the indigenous peoples of this continent as we swept westward, "civilizing" the joint.

Gahrie said...

The reason for mass deinstituionalization of the mentally ill has to do with the cuts in funding to facilities where the mentally ill could be housed or helped

That is true. But those cuts began under LBJ.

Gahrie said...

ever shittier conditions of life for the masses of taxpayers who pay for government, while the rich--the super-leeches who suck up all the wealth they can from wherever they can--get richer...and ever-greedier for more.


Let us grant your position for the sake of argument.

Name a civilization/government/society that has produced a higher standard of living for it's people than republican(small r) capitalism.

Christ Bolshie Bob...the biggest problem poor people have in the U.S. today is that they are too fat!

Gahrie said...

I understand your final sentence covers this, but you left out the genocide of the indigenous peoples of this continent as we swept westward, "civilizing" the joint.

He also left out the Mongol hordes, the Muslim caliphates, the Vikings, the Barbery pirates, the roman legions and the Huns...so what?

Annie said...

Poor Hillary. I doubt she ever did or ever will feel the fear her ambassador, Christopher Stevens felt, that night in Benghazi, after she continually denied him standard security in a very dangerous place.

At this point, what difference does it make? He's dead and dead men tell no tales. Those are the best kind to a corrupt politician such as Hillary.