"No signs for you!" - Elementary message control at an Obama college rally.

The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star is a little upset over Senator Obama right now:

NOT ALL COUNTRIES guarantee their citizens the right to virtually unbridled freedom of speech. The United States does. Would someone please tell the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama? And the dozing guardians of liberty at the University of Mary Washington?

Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, is scheduled to speak at a rally at the university today. The public is invited to this forum, on property it, the public, owns. However, signs and banners will not be allowed, according to the organizers and compliant campus officials. Suddenly, UMW is a First Amendment-Free, or at least a First Amendment-Crippled, Zone, subject to the self-serving preferences of politicos. Why does an Obama rally–or a McCain rally or a Nader rally–justify taking a little off the top of Americans’ most fundamental rights?

(H/T Michelle Malkin)The article itself is kind of… I shouldn’t be mean; it’s from a school newspaper, and when it comes right down to it I was equally clueless at that age, and probably getting less dates than the author. But pushing aside the breathless evocation of Tiananmen Square (no, really), we are left with the question of why no signs?

Well, not “we:” I already know the answer. Barack Obama will be speaking at a college campus. Which means that there will be a lot of progressives there. Said progressives tend to have strong views on the War in Afghanistan (which Obama tried to distance himself from last night), nuclear power (which Obama tried to look like he endorsed last night), offshore drilling (which Obama claimed that he was for last night), going to fight Pakistan (which Obama tried to look macho about last night), and, of course, the VRWC in general (who Obama is trying to court right now{}). Their typical way of expressing themselves usually involves paper mache puppets, drum circles, megaphones, bad street art, worse street art, execrable poetry, weird costumes, and, yeah, signs. Obama needs the middle class vote right now, and thanks to the general increased media presence from the debate the last thing he wants is to have some 21 year old unshaven communications major shove a crudely-written sheet of paperboard equating Bu$h = I$rael = Hitler into a CNN camera.

So, no signs.

Moe Lane

PS: Oh, progressives can still give him money. And vote for him; he’s cool with that. Just… you know. Let’s keep it quiet. Just our little secret.

That makes it special.

{}Actually, no, not a contradiction. These days the definition can be expanded to fit the DLC, and often is, usually by people who seem to focus at your left eyebrow when they talk at you.