Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

SEIU shenanigans

Posted by Lissa on May 25, 2010

In case you missed it — as several major papers seemed to do — Nina Easton wrote a story last week about the SEIU pouring in to intimidate her neighbor Greg Baer, who is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America.  They didn’t organize a letter-campaign, or a bumper-sticker onslought, oh no; they poured onto his lawn and front porch while his 14-year-old son was home alone.

Used to be that this sort of bile was reserved for bigwigs like John Yoo.  (Who, BTW, wasn’t enough of a “bigwig” to actually meet Pres. Bush.)

Now, Ye Olde Financial Company has a Legal department.  (Duh.)  I’m not sure we have someone with a “deputy general counsel” title, but I’ve met folks that fill that role.  They advise what’s legal for YOFC and what steps must be taken to be in compliance with financial law.  They negotiate with the SEC to make sure that they’re okay with how YOFC is conducting business.

They’re not at the top of the chain of command.

Not even close.

So why in hell would 14 busloads of purple-shirted protesters trek down to this guy’s house to make a statement?  What good did they think it would do? How did they justify it?

While Easton’s coverage was very sympathetic to her neighbor, which I found unsurprising, I took note of her concluding paragraphs:

Of course, HuffPost readers responding to the coverage assumed that Baer was an evil former Bush official. He’s not. A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.

In the 1990s, the Baers’ former bosses, Bill and Hillary Clinton, denounced the “politics of personal destruction.” Today politicians and their voters of all stripes grieve the ugly bitterness that permeates our policy debates. Now, with populist rage providing a useful cover, it appears we’ve crossed into a new era: The politics of personal intimidation.

Was Easton implying that if Baer was an “evil former Bush official” that the protest would have been acceptable? I hope not.  Perhaps she was implying that the HuffPo readership would have reacted differently if they’d known he was a Clintonite.  You be the judge.

I don’t have any kids, let alone teenagers of my own, so I can’t say I’m reacting as a parent.  But if I had to make a guess at how I’d feel if my son were marooned on an island surrounded by screaming bullhorns and waving signs, I’d think of two words:

Castle Law.

Followed quickly by two more:

Rock Salt.

P.S. Media Matters pointed out that Easton had a conflict of interest; she should have disclosed that her husband works for Stevens and Schriefer Group, a strategic communications group, one of whose clients is the Business Round Table, one of whose members is the Bank of America CEO.  Big Journalism points out in turn that the Business Round Table hasn’t been a client of SSG in a decade.

UPDATE: Borepatch and Breda weigh in

3 Responses to “SEIU shenanigans”

  1. Calvin's mom said

    That was not a protest. That was a mob. Imagine that. Union thugs.

    What’s scary is, didn’t Dear leader make a speech in which he threatened bankers, telling them that he was “The only thing between them and the pitchfork-waving mob?”

  2. Jay G. said

    He might think he is.

    John Moses Browning and I beg to differ.

    I’m sorry. These people are pushing civil war as hard and as fast as they can. There’s just one little problem: We’re the ones with the guns.

    Having a son close in age to the young man who was terrified by a mob on his front lawn, I’m far from objective here. Suffice to say, Lissa, that while your choice of rock salt is admirable in your desire to spare these vermin, I’d be loading up some hardball .308 (God’s Own Caliber) myself. Nothing says “Get off my lawn” like a nice clean .30″ wound channel…

  3. totwtytr said

    Rock salt is useless since it vaporizes when fired. No, bird shot is the minimum that you should use and that would probably be illegal in this state. In others, it would be legal, if not encouraged. If you really feared for you life, 00 or #1 Buck Shot would be the round to use. One round into the loudest rioter (that’s what they are) should do it.

    From MA law,


    Chapter 269: Section 1. Dispensing and suppressing unlawful assembly; arresting persons

    Section 1. If five or more persons, being armed with clubs or other dangerous weapons, or if ten or more persons, whether armed or not, are unlawfully, riotously or tumultuously assembled in a city or town, the mayor and each of the aldermen of such city, each of the selectmen of such town, every justice of the peace living in any such city or town, any member of the city, town, or state police and the sheriff of the county and his deputies shall go among the persons so assembled, or as near to them as may be with safety, and in the name of the commonwealth command all persons so assembled immediately and peaceably to disperse; and if they do not thereupon immediately and peaceably disperse, each of said magistrates and officers shall command the assistance of all persons there present in suppressing such riot or unlawful assembly and arresting such persons. For the purposes of this section, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst shall be considered to be a town.

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