the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

July 13, 2007

DCDL Footnotes


It happens every Thursday night at DCDL. I can half-recall an article I read somewhere, but not where I read it, or who wrote it. Here’s my effort to follow up on some of the conversations we had in the back room of Timberlake’s. Think of it as the foot notes for Thursday evening.

In this week’s Footnotes, Lynne Cheney Gets Medieval on China, A Not-So-Silent War Protest, and a Brief look at when Cindy Sheehan Jumped the Shark.

Lynne Cheney and the Invasion of China.
I had been reading that Lynne Cheney was hawkish on China. This article from James Fallows in the Atlantic tells the story:

The commission had 14 members, split 7-7, Republican and Democrat, as is de rigeur for bodies of this type. Today Hart told me that in the first few meetings, commission members would go around the room and volunteer their ideas about the nation’s greatest vulnerabilities, most urgent needs, and so on.

At the first meeting, one Republican woman on the commission said that the overwhelming threat was from China. Sooner or later the U.S. would end up in a military showdown with the Chinese Communists. There was no avoiding it, and we would only make ourselves weaker by waiting. No one else spoke up in support.

The same thing happened at the second meeting — discussion from other commissioners about terrorism, nuclear proliferation, anarchy of failed states, etc, and then this one woman warning about the looming Chinese menace. And the third meeting too. Perhaps more.

Finally, in frustration, this woman left the commission.

“Her name was Lynne Cheney,” Hart said. “I am convinced that if it had not been for 9/11, we would be in a military showdown with China today.”

An interesting question is: Why China? (Others would of course argue: because it’s there.) Here’s what Matt Yglesias points out:

James Fallows, reports that according to Gary Hart and Lee Hamilton, Lynn Cheney wanted to start a war with China back in the pre-9/11 era. According to Francis Fukuyama among Bill Kristol and his circle in the 90s “There was actually a deliberate search for an enemy because they felt that the Republican Party didn’t do as well” in the absence of a pressing foreign threat, and the consensus was that the enemy should be China.

These are crazy people.

Also note that the name of the committe was: “U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century,” aka the Hart-Rudman Commission. Not as I remembered: “The Committe to Select Which Countries to Invade.”

Protesting in Front of the White House

On Wednesday the PBS Newshour did a segment on the life of Lady Bird Johnson. What struck me in particular was this quote from her daughter:

LUCI BAINES JOHNSON, Daughter of LBJ: We heard in all the full agony the protests of the Vietnam War. I went to bed at night hearing protesters on the streets saying, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many boys did you kill today?”

This made me wonder if Bush hears the protests against the Iraq War? Are his daughters and the First Lady affected the same way that Luci Baines Johnson was? While he has famously described protestors as a focus group, perhaps the bubble isn’t completely sound-proofed?

(For the record, the full focus group quote is: “Democracy is a beautiful thing, and that people are allowed to express their opinion. I welcome people’s right to say what they believe. Secondly, evidently some of the world don’t view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace… you know, size of protest, it’s like deciding, well, I’m going to decide policy based upon a focus group.”)

I’m not saying I know the answers to these questions. It’s just something I’ve wondered about. At any rate, this got me wondering if the rules for protesting in front of the White House have changed as a result of the Vietnam protests.

For that matter, what are the rules for protesting in front of the White House? The most reference I could find was from March of 2007 (which would be the right month for a march after all):

U.S. Park Police said they will arrest demonstrators who violate rules covering protests in front of the White House. Marchers must keep moving, for example, and cannot hang signs on the White House fence, said Lt. Scott Fear, a Park Police spokesman. Buses will be on standby in case large numbers of protesters are taken into custody, Fear said.

I’m still trying to find a definitive list of rules for protesting in front of the White House. Another question, as was pointed out last night, is whether the White House has been sound-proofed to keep out the sounds of all those noisy protestors.

Realistically, even if protestors could be heard from inside the White House, they may not be able to reach the president’s ears. According to the NYT’s The Caucus he’s spent 365 days at Camp David. According to ABC’s Political Radar he’s spent 405 days at his ranch in Crawford.

In fairness those 770 days weren’t all pleasant. As the Onion reports in 2005:

CRAWFORD, TX—President Bush concluded his summer vacation by holding an informal press conference Monday to address grieving mother Cindy Sheehan, saying “her damn dead son ruined my whole summer vacation.”

Speaking of Cindy Sheehan
With all due respect to the work she did in sparking the anti-war movement alive in the summer of 2005, it may be time to ask: When did she jump the shark?

Some thought it was as far as back as her appearance with Hugo Chavez. Some thought it was this week’s announcement that she would be running against Nancy Pelosi:

Sheehan, a Californian, officially announced that she intends to run as an independent against Pelosi in 2008 if the San Francisco congresswoman doesn’t move to impeach Bush by July 23, the day she expects to reach Washington.

One thing I’ve got to give Sheehan. I like that unlike the war she’s trying to stop she’s got clear timetables and milestones. Where Sheehan and I part ways is the Pelosi challenge. Nancy Pelosi is no Joe Lieberman.


  1. […] s important to keep asking the questions. Earlier today I put together a blog post at the DCDL blog. The idea was to follow up on things that were discussed last night at Drinking Liberally. […]

    alternative hippopotamus » Blog Archive » DC Footnotes8:41 pm

  2. Sheehan’s not threatening a primary challenge, AH. She says she’ll run as an independent in the general election. Not that that’s any less shark-jumpish.

    Keith12:39 am, July 14

  3. Changed the word “primary” to “Pelosi” in the next-to-last sentence.

    —AltHippo • 8:38 am, July 14

  4. The rules for protests in front of the White House are found at 36 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 7.96….and there are quite a few! All in all the Park Police do an excellent job in balancing the rights of those who want to protest, those who don’t and are there for the tourist attraction and those who have government business to conduct at the White House.

    —JH • 12:03 pm, July 14

  5. Thanks JH, that’s just what I was looking for. I’ll go check it out.

    —AltHippo • 3:43 pm, July 14

  6. JH’s comment is right on the mark. 36 CFR 7.96 (g) spells out just what I was looking for.

    Here’s a set of rules for White House protests.

    Warning: pdf.

    —AltHippo • 11:00 pm, July 14

post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

Upcoming Events

See information on the revived DC chapter (2012).

DCDL Member Blogs

DCDL Speaker Links

DC Links

Liberal (Mostly) Blogs

Liberal Groups

Internal Links


Drinking Liberally

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Search Blog



46 queries. 0.410 seconds