On a blog today I found an analogy (responding to this post) which reminded me of yesterday’s “post“:

[Union guys] got their goddam unions–by fighting people who tried to and often did kill anyone who wanted to form a union. Or has Mr Smith forgotten his history? Margolis, by his own account, got into a shouting match with one of the union guys and all but dared him to go ahead and make something of it. Well, anybody from my neighborhood could have told him you don’t challenge union guys to a duel, especially nowadays. They’ve been hammered by 25 years of radcon hatred and abuse. They’ve watched their unions be attacked as Communist, unAmerican, or subsidiaries of the Mob; they’ve had their company pensions stolen by their employers with the help and encouragement of Bush I; they’ve watched conservatives like Bush II disembowel worker protections, advance management powers, and eviscerate labor laws; they’ve seen the Labor Dept turned over to corporate shills who never worked a day in their lives; and they’re painfully aware of how tenuous globalization and the Bush-engineered deficit make thier jobs. This is not the group some pissant, privileged college kid should be deliberately giving the finger to. These aren’t intellectual liberals who talk things over; they’re basically right-wing thugs, tough as nails and not prone to lengthy dialogue.
Not that I condone what they did. I wouldn’t condone a grizzly mauling a camper, either, but if that camper had walked up to that bear while it was minding its own business and poked a stick in its eye, well, it would be kind of hard to work up any real sense of righteous indignation against the bear. Faults on both sides, don’t ya know. Margolis, protected son of privilege as he no doubt is, has learned a valuable Nature lesson: Don’t treat wild tigers as if they’re house cats.

Don’t treat wild tigers as if they’re house cats? Is that advice? According to simple logic, what the blogger must mean is that if you are so stupid as to “provoke” “tigers” (in this case disagreement with steelworkers constitutes provoking tigers), then you must treat them as tigers. Or as grizzly bears?
And how does one treat a charging tiger or a grizzly bear?
That’s not as silly a rhetorical question as it sounds. We are not dealing with humans, right? We are dealing with dangerous, wild animals who were “minding their own business” but then attacked people who “provoked” them by chanting for Bush. (Hardly a house cat sitting on a fence.)
Does this mean that there is no right to chant for Bush?
Or does it mean that if you dare to chant for Bush, you’d better be armed for bear?
I’m surprised at this logic.
(Of course, in my home town of Berkeley, even fence sitting never guaranteed personal safety. In that town, city commissioners have been known to kill each other.)
And in liberal, tolerant San Francisco, mere advocacy of homosexual self defense can get you physically attacked. I bring it up because I saw it first hand. Political disagreement can be dangerous to your health.
I remember an occasion where a city employee in Berkeley charged into a campaign headquarters wielding a baseball bat because he was upset over signs.
I suppose it could be argued that it constitutes “provocation” to publicly advocate anything which people might disagree with. Certainly the above blogger thinks so. And so does this guy (who’s been quoted widely; and here’s Glenn Reynolds’s starting link):

Margolis, enjoying the privilege of an expensive college education, verbally pushed this guy first. The union guy probably didn’t get the same advantage, so he fought back with what he had, his fists – and Margolis is, or should have been, smart enough to know that he was likely to do so.
There’s a difference between voicing your opinion and abusing your First Amendment right by inciting violence and Margolis crossed the line.

Education being an “advantage,” does this mean that if someone knows more than you do, why, you’re justified in attacking intellect with fists?
Back in the 1960s, the “hard hats” used to beat up anti-war protesters, and guys like Spiro Agnew were said to be egging on the former. Well, today, the lefties sound like vintage Agnew:

You have this little smart ass college kid with too much time and money on his hands, all dewy-eyed because his hero, the Great Deceiver in Chief is in town and he gets in the face of burly blue collar worker who is struggling to meet his mortgage because of Bush’s economic policies. What did they expect? That the union guy was going to thank this spoiled brat, whose parents are probably still paying his bills, for his input?

Pure 1960s right wing nostalgia! Both sides love to engage in class war rhetoric, and “smart ass spoiled college kids” are a wonderful target if the kids disagree with you.
But if they agree they’re just fine.
As usual, hypocrisy abounds.
I prefer civility. But when civility fails, self defense is common sense.
Especially when dealing with tigers who consider slogans for Bush to be “fighting words.”
What about a sign saying “SCABS FOR KERRY”? Is humor allowed?