Yesterday, while on the campaign trail stumping for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama was interrupted by protesters.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 11, 2016
“Is somebody hollering again?” he said when he heard the protesters – Trump supporters wearing shirts calling Bill Clinton a rapist, apparently.
“Here’s the deal – try to get your own rally,” he continued as the audience cheered. “If you can’t get your own rally, don’t come up and mess up somebody else’s rally. We’ve got work to do.”
I can understand President Obama’s frustration at being interrupted by hecklers. When that sort of thing happens it’s rude, not at all protected by the 1st amendment, and usually counterproductive to whatever cause the hecklers are promoting.
But I had to laugh when I heard Obama’s comment about having “work to do.” You know who else has work to do? The folks behind the entirely lawful and thoroughly regulated-and-permitted Dakota Access Pipeline.
Yet that work has been incessantly interrupted by environmental extremists who have harassed the workers, trespassed on and damaged private property, and vandalized construction equipment. Extremists enabled by the Obama administration.
These protesters are staging from trespass camps on federal land which the federal government, under President Obama, refuses to do anything about.
That reticence to act against unlawful protest camps has created a dangerous situation for the public and law enforcement. “Hundreds of individuals are continuing to illegally occupy Army Corps of Engineers property adjacent to the Oahe Reservoir at the site of the proposed crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Mercer County Sheriff Dean Danzeisen wrote to Obama’s Attorney General earlier this month. “Lest you think otherwise, these are not peaceful protesters. They are armed, hostile and engaged in training exercises which can only be intended to promote violence, whether on Corps property or elsewhere.”
What’s more, the Obama administration has prolonged this dangerous situation by delaying approval of the pipeline’s crossing of the Lake Oahe reservoir. The claim is that the permit needs more scrutiny, but we’ve heard that song-and-dance from this anti-pipeline administration before.
So yes, President Obama doesn’t like being interrupted in his work by hecklers. That’s understandable, so maybe he could use that frustration to better understand what the pipeline workers and people of south central North Dakota – who are also plagued by hecklers – are going through.