So the editor of the state news website Alaska Dispatch goes to a public campaign event for Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller being held in a public school. And as the editor, Tony Hopfinger, tried to question Miller, Miller’s private security guards “arrested” Hopfinger and put him in handcuffs. They detained Hopfinger until real police showed up and had him released.
The security company claims Hopfinger was “trespassing” at a “private event.” The event was open to the public and being held on public property.
Hopfinger felt threatened as the thugs closed in on him and shoved one of them. The shoved security guard was unharmed, but naturally bloggers of the Right have seized the shove as proof that Hopfinger, not the security guys, was the real “thug.”
According to the “Gateway Pundit,” “A liberal reporter in Alaska was handcuffed and detained after he harassed Republican candidate Joe Miller after a town hall event. The reporter also assaulted a man.” The headline on the site Conservatives4Palin is “Joe Miller’s Security Reportedly Detained Blogger Who Physically Assaulted Another Individual.”
So in the wingnut’s version of events, the thugs detained Hopfinger because he assaulted them, leaving out the part about how the thugs were threatening Hopfinger.
When other reporters at the event tried to find out what was going on, Miller’s goons threatened to arrest them, too.
Hopfinger has been trying to get Miller to answer questions about alleged misconduct in a past job as a lawyer for a county government. Miller simply refuses to discuss the matter. Miller accused Hopfinger of trying to create a “confrontation.” I guess people running for office may not be confronted. The Miller campaign also called Hopfinger an “irrational blogger” who was overcome with anger.
According to a reporter from the Anchorage Daily News, Miller got testy with some of the audience questions. For example:
Another criticized Miller’s announcement last week that he would no longer answer questions about his character or his personal history. While his opponents have previous records in elective office, he does not, the woman said. “In this instance, you have no record, so it’s meaningful and it’s reasonable that we would want to examine your professional background and your military …”
Miller interrupted her and said he knew she was a supporter of his opponent, write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
And in the larger context, I can’t help but wonder: is this what the Tea Party crowd has in mind for America’s future? In their version of “limited government,” should we expect extremists candidates to hire private security forces with the power to detain reporters who ask candidates about their background?
Is this their vision of American “freedom”?
Why, yes it is, Steve. That’s exactly what their vision of “freedom” is. It’s a place where hard right-wing ideologues have absolute rule, and anyone who dissents will be labeled irrational and shipped away for “treatment,” just as Stalin did with dissidents back in the ol’ USSR.
Oh, and Steve also notes that the centerpiece of Miller’s platform is his love for the Constitution. This would be the Constitution as a tribal totem of the Right, not the Constitution as the charter of our government, the latter of which Miller clearly would like to shred. Keep that straight.