View Full Version : The John Birch Society at Ron Paul’s Rally

09-05-2008, 02:15 PM
Written by Gary Benoit
Friday, 05 September 2008 10:08

Source Link (http://www.jbs.org/index.php/jbs-news-feed/2775-the-john-birch-society-at-ron-pauls-rally)

“Ron Paul Goes Birch — John Birch” proclaims ABC News on its “Political Radar” blog. The story, written by ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf, applies ABC’s spin to the John Birch Society’s significant presence at Congressman’s Paul’s “Rally for the Republic” at the Target Center in Minneapolis on September 2.

The rally, which drew an estimated 12,000 people, was held not far from the Republican Convention in neighboring St. Paul.

As described by Wolf:

There was a hole in the agenda for Ron Paul’s “Rally for the Republic.”

Between anti-war author Bill Kauffman and anti-torture lawyer Bruce Fein was a slot on the agenda for “Special Guest.”

Would it be Bob Barr, wondered some in the media? Perhaps a mainstream Republican to mend fences between Paul’s supporters and the people across the river in St. Paul at the GOP convention.

Nope. Out strolled John McManus. Who? John Birch Society board member — the group also has a booth here — and a former John Birch Society president, McManus announced that Paul would be speaking at their 50th anniversary celebration in Wisconsin this year.

In the interest of accuracy, it should be noted that John F. McManus, “a former John Birch Society president” according to ABC News, is actually the group’s current and longtime president.

ABC News’ Wolf got it right that the Ron Paul rally included a time slot for “Special Guest.” And yes, that slot was filled by McManus, who did “announce” for those who did not already know — which apparently included media watchdog Wolf — that Ron Paul will be speaking at the John Birch Society’s 50th anniversary celebration in October.

But if Wolf found McManus’ appearance a bit odd, the crowd did not judging by their response to McManus’ speech (Part 1 here; Part 2 here), as well as to the hi-tech John Birch Society booth. McManus’ speech was repeatedly interrupted with applause, and the JBS booth was the most popular one at the rally, as evidenced by the large number of people who gathered around and visited it throughout the day.

For rally attendees, the Birchers offered without charge a DVD narrated by McManus entitled Overview of America; and by the end of the day all 4,000 DVDs available were distributed.

Generally speaking, the media provided relatively little coverage of Ron Paul’s “Rally for the Republic” considering the grand scale of the event — and much less coverage of the Birch presence at the rally.

Speaker Tom Woods referred to the Republican convention as the “snorefest down the street.” The Washington Post, which did a craftily-edited video, attempted to depict the Rally for the Republic as the quiet and sparsely-attended snorefest.

In the scant coverage there was, Ron Paul is often portrayed as a bit of an oddity himself, and the few mentions of the Birch Society were often intended to reinforce that tone.

Yet Ron Paul’s message in support of the Constitution, limited government at home, and minding our own business abroad is not odd at all.

What’s odd is the Republican Party’s treatment of his positions, and the major media's complicity, even as they defend or rationalize our country’s almost $10 trillion debt, endless war, lack of border enforcement, debasing the currency, and a host of other problems slowly ruining our nation.

The LA Times characterized JBS President John McManus as a leader of “the ultra-right-wing group,” and summarized his speech as one “that railed against illegal immigration.”

In fact, Mr. McManus’ speech made one small reference to 20,000,000 illegal immigrants as an example of how Congress fails to uphold its constitutional responsibilities.

The rest of his speech covered a number of constitutional principles, peppered with humor and enthusiasm.

09-05-2008, 02:31 PM