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March 31, 2010
Why Code Pink fails
Code Pink has struck again, this time against Karl Rove at a book signing in Beverly Hills.
Code Pink attended the signing, ten members strong, to make a citizen's arrest. Their goal was to make a political statement by making a fake attempt to incarcerate a crucial player in what they feel is the American war machine.
The Code Pinkers found their way into news cycles by doing similarly eccentric things, largely protesting American involvement in Iraq. While American onlookers can't deny their passion and energetic cynicism, we are unlikely to describe them as savvy political pundits. Their ravings appear to be akin to conspiracy theories about America -- rather than the result of study and sound judgment.
Nonetheless, not knowing history does not stop the Pinkers from knowing that America is somehow on the wrong side of it. So they protest avidly.
But for all their perceived effort in organizing protests, Code Pink is largely ineffectual. The most likely reason for this is because there is little to support their message outside of ideological subjectivity, and because their demonstrations do not seem aimed at delivering a message coherently. Rather, they appear to be flamboyant efforts to get attention and gain some kind of self-satisfaction for the group's members.
And this is exactly why Code Pink fails to make a dent with Americans. When set against the more streamlined and successful protests of the Tea Party, the reasons for Code Pink's failures can be easily identified.
The Tea Party became a veritable threat to this administration because it was comprised of informed citizens that opposed the expansion of the federal government, and particularly, they scrutinized healthcare proposals. They asked lucid and relevant questions that representatives touting the healthcare bill were uncomfortable to answer, or did not know how to answer. Some questions were not answered at all, as was the case in Houston when our own Sheila Jackson Lee refused to answer a question by taking a phone call on her cell. People noticed how these questions made these representatives uneasy, like snake oil salesmen being interrogated by consumers that are wise to the ruse, and therefore the tea partiers had an impact on public opinion.
Inversely, Code Pink was never truly a threat to George Bush's administration, and their impotence continues to this day. The Pinkers' strategy does not involve asking questions, or generating any thought whatsoever. Their usual modus operandi would be to just sit in the back of public administration rooms in gaudy outfits and shout their outlandish accusations and juvenile insults at Condeleeza Rice or Edward Liddy or whoever their target was that day. But in the end, the Pinkers were usually just escorted out for the disturbance and ignored by everyone. It wasn't even necessary to defend against the attacks.
Onlookers quickly discerned that Pinkers were just fringe loons spouting nonsensical conjecture before the intended recipient of Code Pink's ire even got the chance to look at the rest of the crowd and circle a pointed finger at his temple to convey "they're lunatics." Everyone could plainly see that.
The real tragedy, though, is the unabashed hypocrisy in the media's treatment of these groups. Many tea partiers are conservatives that are armed with a broad knowledge on key issues. And when they take to the streets as concerned citizens to petition the government for a redress of their grievances, they are lampooned by the media as stupid, uneducated hicks.
Yet a bunch of bona fide idiots can get dressed up in goofy, hot pink outfits and spout ridiculous conspiracy theories while holding a pair of fake handcuffs, and somehow they escape the media's condescending judgment.
Code Pink is comprised of nothing more than zany caricatures of liberal Americans, and because of that, they find their way into the news. But most Americans dismiss the group as uninformed kooks, and any liberal that wishes to be taken seriously would likely distance themselves altogether for fear of being allotted with the Pinkers.
In their latest farce, Rove was forced to leave, apparently because of a lack of security. Undoubtedly, the Code Pinkers will see this as a success. But the only thing they have succeeded in accomplishing is the same result Americans have come to expect from them. They look like absolute fools.
Despite a handful of supporters in the extreme left, Code Pink just serves as a disgraceful sideshow to the political landscape, a source of comic relief amidst a tumultuous political environment.
revised 4:23 PM PDT