A Punch Turns Political in Michigan Labor Protests

Steven Crowder didn't instigate the punch or return it. But he got what he wanted: evidence for the widespread conservative caricature that union members are thugs.

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Steven Crowder went to Michigan in search of a stereotype. “I went out here to prove the left for who they truly are, certainly these union thugs,” Crowder told Fox’s Sean Hannity Tuesday night, a few hours after he was assaulted on camera outside the Michigan statehouse in Lansing. In a sense, he succeeded. He found union protesters and one of them clocked him in the face a few times.

Crowder is a conservative standup comedian and Fox News contributor. He calls himself a social/political commentator, which is a highfalutin label for the level of commentary he offers. (“Liberalism is a disease,” his YouTube account explains.) As protests intensified in Lansing after the Michigan legislature’s passage of a pair of right-to-work bills, he waded into a crowd of angry union workers, asking them basic questions about why they opposed right-to-work legislation, according to the videos posted to the Internet.

Crowder was trying to provoke the protesters — or, failing that, to make them look stupid if they couldn’t muster an eloquent response. He was trolling a bunch of angry people who had just lost a battle that could cost them a big chunk of their salary. He irritated the wrong guy and got hit in the face.

Which isn’t to say he deserved what happened, as some people told him on Twitter, or that there’s any excuse for violence. Crowder didn’t invite the punch or return it. But he certainly got what he wanted, which was evidence for the widespread conservative caricature that union members are thugs. (“Union thugs” yields 2.76 million hits on Google.) He got footage of a small group of union workers supporting a stereotype — yanking down an Americans for Prosperity tent, threatening to shoot people, and so on.

Ideologies and the protest movements they give rise to are easy to caricature, and caricatures serve a political purpose. Promoting the stereotype that union members are thuggish is the right’s way of demonizing a group they ideologically oppose. So when Crowder tells Hannity that he “never went out here to try and be assaulted,” he’s surely telling the truth. He probably never imagined his trolling would work quite so well.

391 comments
paulejb
paulejb

" 'We'll Be At Your Daughter's Soccer Game!'Union protest speaker tells governor that union members will 'visit you' everywhere over right-to-work bill"

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/18063

Just when you believe that union thugs can not get any lower they plumb new depths. Unions have become criminal organizations.

superlogi
superlogi

And, Steven Crowder, found a stereotypical union thuglet, as it turned out was also a cowardly thuglet.  

fitty_three
fitty_three

Here's something for GOPers ponder:

Why in hell is it so bad to give a union monthly dues when it's ok to work for lower wagers so a CEO will just pocket your money and send it to the Caymans?

paulejb
paulejb

The absurdity of the hive mind has increased since the election. This phenomenon is obvious in the comments of 53_3 and MrObvious. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

It's amazing how middle income GOPers will go out of their way to bite their own hand!

superlogi
superlogi

He got what he wanted which was to expose unions for what they are; thugs who have formed a circle jerk with liberal politicians to keep each other in power.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Face it, GOPers!

The only reason you hate unions is that the GOP backs big business.  That is the only reason.  Unions don't have anything to do with smaller government, states rights, or taxes.

It's kinda like the war in Iraq: you've been going after the wrong people.

MikeLacy
MikeLacy

What you failed to mention was the local African American hot dog vendor whose cart was destroyed, turned over, and had racial slurs hurled at him. I come from a union family. Some unions provide value to the market place by providing years of training to their members. The Iron Workers, IBEW, Plumbers and Pipe Fitters all do this. But the UAW? The Teamsters? -- or the Teachers -- they provide no training to their members and no value to the market place; and in fact are responsible for much of the demise of the American manufacturing base. In the private sector only 7% of jobs are union. That number is shrinking. Unions, in many cases, have outlived their usefulness and have become nothing more than political warchaest earners for the Left. The literacy rate for Detroit Schools is 7%. And teachers there took a day off to protest. The protests about "Right to Work" here in Michigan is all about money. The unions won't be able to collect dues if workers unless workers are compelled to join them. As most Unions offer no real value to their members today .. well they will the die the death of all corrupt organizations.

UrTurn
UrTurn

@paulejb        Unions have always been criminal organizations starting back in the 50's and before.  with Ruether & Hoffa.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@superlogi  

No, Crowder went and taunted people who were going to lose wages and benefits.

The coward is anyone who doesn't acknowledge this little bit of truth.

BobSheepleherder
BobSheepleherder

@53_3 The "bad" is not in the fact of it being done, it is in the delusion of the union thugs who believe there is a difference. Thieves are thieves, no matter what you call them. It is quite apparent that there are considerably more union thugs stealing our money than there are CEO's running off to the Caymans with it.

superlogi
superlogi

@53_3 So, don't work for him.  It's a free country unless, of course, you're a union organizer.  But then, your drivel is typical of the green with envy attitude that put your buffoon in office.  

MrObvious
MrObvious

@53_3 

Why is it good to pay for a news magazine subscription? 

What it boils down to is that union by large support Democrats and somehow righties are convinced that by removing that support they also win more elections.

Sane policies most people agree in? Not so much - they rather win and keep their fringe ideas intact.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb 

The absurdity of the hive mind has increased since the election. This phenomenon is obvious in the comments of 53_3 and MrObvious.

Ironic that you comment about my comments and then ignore the drivel you throw up on a daily basis.

Thanks for the laugh bud.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@paulejb "sore loser"? From paulie, the guy who's still complaining about the election?

You're a very amusing person, paulie. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

I wonder if paulejb's really Crowder in desguise....

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb 

Why don't you bring this up to the powers in Wisconsin instead?

fitty_three
fitty_three

Well, next month, when our taxes rise by about $125 a month, do you think Mike and others will see the light?

Oh, crap.  Paulejb just showed up to pee.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@53_3 

Because they assume the rights they have right now is some kind of natural condition of their hard work, and not the blood toils and sweat of those who fought for them so they can have them automatically.

They also forget that what's given can also be taken away.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@superlogi 

But you're not worried about the heavily edited film right - as long as you perceive that he was innocently attacked by some 'thugs'. I find this fascination. You have a version that starts just as the guy gets up from the ground apparently attacked from behind.

You don't have to be a liberal to draw a simple conclusion from that. I'm sure a functioning brain would assume that someone attacked the guy from behind that started what ended up in punching back.

But from righties we get all kind of crazy theories about 'libruls' without factual basis and that to you seems sane.

I'm just wondering; do you always discount your lying eyes?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@superlogi  

As often as you mention circle jerks, stupor, I'm beginning to wonder...

 ...nawwwww

...it can't be!

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@superlogi 

He went out to provoke a fight as a "aha!" moment to catch on edited film and he got it.  Frankly if I was one of those people and some pompous jerk like Crowder started throwing my lowered wages and job problems in my face, I probably would have socked him too.

Arimathean
Arimathean

@MementoMori The Halloween example is pretty stupid, even for a wingnut -- Halloween is already about distributing goods evenly.  Children aren't given candy based upon the quality of their costumes, etc.  They just show up and get some.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@MementoMori 

When people talk about this guy being a Comedian I wonder if it's based on him being funny or him saying he is.

'Cause I thought it should be based on a specific trait that said Comedians display and not unwarranted self promotion. Although given how often we hear about righties being this and that without displaying it I guess that's how it works in their world view.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MementoMori  

I wonder, as much as Crowder has gotten himself beaten up for antagonizing people...

...maybe that is paulejb in real life!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MikeLacy  

There is a lot of corruption in this world, we all know that, and outright racism too.

The problem isn't the union itself, it's part of the checks and balances that exist in this country.  The problem is part of the mainstreaming of misconceptions of the black community. which pervades every walk of life, and unions too.  You can thank the GOP and it's "spokespeople" and "comedians" and "entertainers" for that.  I've watched this go on for 40 years with the GOP..

I'd like to point out that the unions are a bit like the NAACP - both still serve a purpose in checking abuses, but also,  both have suffered in their success at doing so - and - both have suffered at the hands of the GOP.

Yes there's money involved, but the flip side of that equation of the far larger amount of commercial money.

I speak from long experience on all theses subjects.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Of course, I'll answer the market:

I'll pick the higher wage job, but I'll check out the boss.

You can have the lower wage job, thank you...

fitty_three
fitty_three

@superlogi

I propose instead that you turn in a few extra dollars to your CEO so he can send them to the Caymans.

superlogi
superlogi

@53_3 @superlogi Well, isn't that what you guys do?  You jerk off leftist politicians so they'll return the favor.  Right?  Or isn't that how it works?

V8
V8

@Arimathean @MikeLacy Maybe I'd like to work for less and not pay dues which then go to the DNC? You're "pro-choice", aren't You?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MrObvious

I think it's because paulejb tries to drive a truck through every hole he sees.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@53_3 @MrObvious 

It's probably bogus but I wonder why he's not going to Walker instead and require him to look into it.

Seems like when it comes to activism he does nothing for anything but sure like to come here and p!ss on people. Seems like he's lazy to me.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MikeLacy  

Hell, Mike, a couple days ago we had one of your peers drop in to try and convince us that we should accept lower wages and he should get taxed less.

Is that what you want?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@MikeLacy 

BTW - unions protect and help unions members regardless what a person vote for.

It's really not about politics.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Anotehr point to be made:

Since you hate "corruption" so much, why do you favor the architects of Citizens United?

I'm guessing to you, corruption may be only a relative thing, subordinate to a rigid ideology.

Let's hope you don't spend too much time listening to Rush.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@MikeLacy 

Or maybe this is about the ability to collectively bargain and not some nefarious 'onos less money for the democrats'.

You know worker rights?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MikeLacy  

I did, and it leads to big business all the way.  I honestly don't know why you're riding this horse but if you note my comments above, unions have nothing to do with smaller government, lower taxes, and states rights.

Now, let me ask you something:

Just what party is it that has been attacking teachers?  

You choose some lousy bed mates.  Union dues are the least of our problems, and the only reason they are being attacked is because it's on behalf of big business and the effort to reduce wages for workers.

That's where the money is...

MikeLacy
MikeLacy

@53_3 Wisconsin Teachers Union members pay about $1,500/yr....so why did the unions and Left go nuts last year when Gov Walker said the state would no longer collect dues as deductions from teachers pay checks? Maybe because they all knew what would happen and it has. Teachers there aren't writing checks to the union for their dues. Revenu for the Teachers' Union is way down this year. Democrat warchests are smaller as a result. Teachers are keeping more of their own money. If the union provided real value to teachers there -to they would write those checks. Like Woodward & Bernstein did .. follow the money.

fitty_three
fitty_three

FYI, dues are usually only about 30 to 60 a month.

You're the first person I've ever heard say they'd rather work for less, btw.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@V8

...and of course, your money will wind up in the Caymans.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@V8 @Arimathean @MikeLacy 

V8

What does pro-choice have to do with a study about how being part of an union increase wages, benefits and safety?

You do realize that there are conservatives that are part of unions?