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I just submitted this petition to the White House niche, We the People:

We petition the Obama Administration to Invite Medea Benjamin to the White House for a beer.

On May 23, 2013, President Obama gave an important address at the National Defense University. Near the end, indefatigable peace activist, Medea Benjamin, pled with the President to consider important issues he had not addressed directly in his speech. The President stated, "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to."

We the undersigned believe the same. We encourage President Obama to invite Ms. Benjamin to the White House for a beer or two, so that he may redeem his pledge.

It needs 150 signatures before it goes up on their front page.

For anyone unfamiliar with the subject, here are two excerpts from the May 24th edition of Democracy Now:

The relevant parts of Obama's speech:

Medea Benjamin explaining her actions:

Here's a link to the  petition.

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Comment Preferences

    •  They knew who she was, they let her in. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diogenes2008, FiredUpInCA, Argyrios

      She's famous for heckling, there's no doubt she would heckle Obama and they still let her in. That's pretty amazing all by itself.  The fact that he was answering her questions before she asked them was equally amazing.  The fact that she was acknowledged to be worth listening to is why I continue to trust and admire Obama.  

      He's asking those same questions, you know, but with the added burden of knowing he'll be blamed, loudly and by the same groups of people who hate the GWOT, if there's another large terror attack here.  That line between safety and loss of freedom probably looks a bit different from his chair, the balancing act a bit more tricky when you know the extent of what's happening world wide.  People who hack others to bits with machetes are a little too passionate for me.  Those who promote blowing yourself into pink mist For the Cause are evil, selfish, cold. That's a serious problem for every country these days.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sat May 25, 2013 at 07:10:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So you're from Wasilla? No kidding? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen

    'Cause your eyes are tired & your feet are too & you wish the world was as tired as you." - Lowell George

    by rasbobbo on Fri May 24, 2013 at 09:45:21 PM PDT

    •  I'd set her well above the average (6+ / 0-)

      screaming, slobbering teabagger, but I found it objectionable that she just kept yelling her boilerplate rhetoric at him even after he engaged with her. She came in with the single intention of screaming him down as long as she could before being frog-marched out, and wasn't prepared to have him actually acknowledge her and invite her to listen to him answer the question (well, one of them) she was shouting.

      She would have made far more of an impact, and made less of a stereotypical ass of herself, by responding by saying, "Okay, I'm listening," and been ready to say something else later in the speech. In other words, engage and react instead of scream, scream, scream.

      Never mind that I agreed with almost everything she said. Now when I bring up something like that in conversation with someone who isn't a big Obama fan, I can guarantee I'm going to get, "So, you agree with that crazy woman who got dragged out of Obummer's speech? Are you as far gone as she is?"

      Presentation and engagement counts.

      •  Not likely (0+ / 0-)

        But I could be wrong.

      •  Really? Obummer? How crass. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I wonder why you dignify the intellect of haters even in jest.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Sat May 25, 2013 at 07:14:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a quote. nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Black Max

          I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

          by second gen on Sat May 25, 2013 at 09:36:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

            •  That's " from whom" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Black Max

              It's a typical quote of the type people the commenter deals with. Hence, the opening of the sentence: "I can guarantee I'm going to get. . ."

              It's also a typical quote you'll find in any comments section of just about any internet news article.

              I know, confusing, if you're only looking for something to be outraged about. If you're just reading what people write, and take it in as intended, it's easy to undersatnd.

              I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

              by second gen on Sat May 25, 2013 at 01:26:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I wouldn't be surprised for someone... (0+ / 0-)

                ...who (or whom) describes the woman from Code Pink as "that crazy women" to also refer to the President as "Obummer", but that's not what I was asking.

                I was just curious if that was a direct quote, and if so, where it was pulled from.

                •  Well, the context of the paragraph explains (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Black Max

                  all that.

                  Now when I bring up something like that in conversation with someone who isn't a big Obama fan, I can guarantee I'm going to get, "So, you agree with that crazy woman who got dragged out of Obummer's speech? Are you as far gone as she is?"
                  It's a hypothetical. The quotation marks are to show that someone (even if a fictional someone) said it, or would be likely to say it.

                  I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

                  by second gen on Sat May 25, 2013 at 03:32:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not unfamiliar with the attitude. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    second gen

                    It's a fairly common one, in my experience.

                    I've heard similar comments when she interrupted former President Bush's inaugural address and when she interrupted LaPierre at a NRA press conference after the Sandy Hook shooting, for example.

                    It's the same ol', same ol', as near as I can tell.

                    But your comment, which was the one that I replied to, seemed to suggest that it was a specific direct quote from somebody, which is why I asked.

  •  i'd rather he had a beer (8+ / 0-)

    with adam schiff, who is proposing legislation to repeal the iraq aumf.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri May 24, 2013 at 10:12:12 PM PDT

  •  I'd have to say "No". (18+ / 0-)

    Because if he invites her to the White House after the way she behaved while he was speaking, that sets a very bad precedent.

    How many times do you think he'd be interrupted in the future, by people hoping to get an audience?

    That is the WRONG message to send, and the wrong way to get his attention.

    He was extremely polite, and treated her better than she deserved. Let's not invite others to behave in a similar manner.

    "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

    by Diogenes2008 on Fri May 24, 2013 at 11:10:28 PM PDT

    •  Interesting. Killing people with drones, or (3+ / 0-)

      intervening continually in the affairs of other nations, isn't "behaving badly" or setting a "bad precedent." However, shouting at an elected political official-- an official who isn't a monarch, or at least isn't yet a monarch-- is beyond the pale.
      Presidents should be required to take open qs from the public on regular basis for one or two hours every month or every month.

      “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law”
      ― Martin Luther King Jr.

      I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

  •  I got a better idea (13+ / 0-)

    How about Medea Benjamin talk to Secretary of State John Kerry?  He's the first anti-war Vietnam veteran to serve as Secretary of State and knows a thing or two about serving in war.  You'd think Medea Benjamin would rather talk to him and diplomatically.

    There are many ways Medea could contribute to this world.  Interrupting President Obama when he's got so much crap to deal with at the moment that all got started originally when President Bush was president is just ridiculous.  Seriously, Medea, GET A LIFE.

    And maybe getting involved in world affairs should be a good thing for Medea.  There are peace activists all around and peace conferences around the world.  Has Medea even met Desmond Tutu?  Oh I think not.  That's not what Code Pink does.

    •  does anyone really think that Code Pink (5+ / 0-)

      does their cause any favors. Their behavior, their garb, their refusal to hew to even the most rudimentary decorum do not serve their causes well. The more vile one acts, the less most people are going to sympathize with their position. Even at the height of the Iraq War, when I completely agreed with CP in principle, I cringed whenever they showed up at events. They put people off, and for that reason alone shoul not be admired here.

      •  Yeah, I don't know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA, Black Max

        Code Pink may have been relevant during President Bush's term in office but I really have no respect for the group anymore, particularly Medea.  Even Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, was smarter and more strategic in how she protested.  I never supported her candidacies for political office but I do believe she knew how to fire up the troops and she kept the protesting consistent and persistent.  Hell, even Sheehan wanted to meet with people and hear them out.

        Here's some other history on Medea Benjamin.  She's registered in the Green Party, was a 2000 U.S. Senate candidate on her party's behalf.  Medea's protests are similar to protests made by fellow Green Party member Jill Stein and her running mate Cheri Honkala.  Looking on Wikipedia, Benjamin has been active in raising awareness on fair trade and peace.  However, she doesn't know how to be diplomatic towards world leaders.  She even got arrested in Pakistan at one point.  Yeah, what was Benjamin doing in Pakistan?

        This is why Green Party never wins elections.

  •  I'd like to have a beer with her. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prishannah, Philip Munger

    She's as tough as nails.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Sat May 25, 2013 at 02:51:38 AM PDT

  •  How neatly this fits with today's Disunion piece. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen, HamdenRice

    The NYT's Civil War blog Disunion tells of Anna Dickinson, the 'Oratorical Wunderkind':

    In late 1863, after campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania — swing states then as now, where Republicans feared the loss of the governorships would likely cost them the presidential election the following year — she received an invitation from Senator William D. Kelley to speak in Washington, signed by Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, 23 senators and 78 Congressional representatives. Dickinson accepted, and on Jan. 16, 1864, she became the first woman to deliver an address in the House of Representatives.

    But the occasion was significant for more than just Dickinson’s gender. Even a year after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, Dickinson and other antislavery advocates remained frustrated with Lincoln’s stilted efforts to end slavery and ensure the rights of African-Americans, especially his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, meant to entice Southern states back into the Union at terms some feared would offer inadequate postwar protection to blacks. Speaking in the Capitol, Dickinson lambasted the president before a packed audience made up of the nation’s most powerful Republican elected officials — including Lincoln himself.

    Then, at Kelley’s behest, Dickinson met privately with Lincoln in the spring of 1864, only to mock him during subsequent lectures.

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Sat May 25, 2013 at 03:20:16 AM PDT

    •  I hadn't known about Anna Dickinson, (3+ / 0-)

      but the comparison your quote brings up is interesting.  It is hard to find comparisons to Code Pink in the annals of movements or groups that openly confront our government figures so assiduously over so many years, but the abolitionists contained people as confrontative as Medea Benjamin.

      A person who paid dearly for confronting the spouse of another Democrat other than Obama was Eartha Kitt, who became a CIA target, after confronting Lady Bird:

      Singer Eartha Kitt stunned fellow guests at a White House luncheon and left Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson in tears Thursday when she declared angrily that the Vietnam War was causing American youth to rebel in the cities.

      About 50 white and Negro women invited to the White House to discuss President Johnson's proposals to combat crime in the streets sat at their tables in embarrassed silence as Miss Kitt delivered an emotional tirade against the war.

      "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed," she told her fellow guests. "They rebel in the street. They will take pot...and they will get high. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."

      Mrs. Johnson rose afterward and looked directly at the singer, who leaned against a podium in the yellow-walled family dining room. "Because there is a war on--and I pray that there will be a just and honest peace--that still doesn't give us a free ticket not to try to work for better things such as against crime in the streets, better education, and better health for our people," Mrs. Johnson said, her voice trembling and tears welling in her eyes.

      The President had dropped in on the luncheon briefly, and answered a pointed question from Miss Kitt, but left before her outburst.

      Miss Kitt, her eyes flashing in defiance while she puffed on a cigarette and jabbed a finger at her startled audience, said American youth are "angry because their parents are angry...because there is a war going on that they don't understand." She told Mrs. Johnson that youngsters feel alienated because "they can't get to you and they can't get to the President, and so they rebel in the streets."

  •  Pro-Peace tea bucket carriers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaliope, FiredUpInCA

    Code Pink and others problems, All along, aren't with Obama but with the congress especially the rubber stampers of war costs and not of veterans issues from these wars, especially those who greatly benefited then watered down the law on congressional insider trading, who they, like most, left far behind as they did the whole bushco criminals and not demanding accountability, the teabags thank them for picking up the tea buckets for them before they finally settled on the name 'teabags'!!!!

    They and the other groups lost me long ago, like the teabags before they finally called themselves that,  as the bushco was leavin and before 'O' even took the Oath of office, the gears quickly switched as to any and all real accountability, condemnation laid, like the wars and everything else, on the incoming and extremely little as to the congressional criminals as well!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Sat May 25, 2013 at 04:54:41 AM PDT

  •  code Pink is often correct, but always (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    obnoxious. Barack Obama is not going to have a beer with this woman, and I doubt she even drinks beer. She'd probably ask for a vegan juice, but then not drink it because she's too busy yelling at him. Meanwhile, he'd down a sixpack of beer quickly in order to be able to tolerate her ranting. Really, who would want to have a beer with someone who can't stop shouting?

  •  That will happen right after Obama pardons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    Bradley Manning during the White House sponsored Transgender History and Awareness Month.

  •  I signed the petition! (0+ / 0-)

    I hadn't realized it was Medea Benjamin's voice during that speech. No one else could have gotten away with it for as long as she did.

    But now that Obama thinks we should start a conversation with the patriots in Congress over maybe someday having an end to the War on Terror and the AUMF, I'm betting that the AUMF will be allowed to die someday...

    Probably during the presidency of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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