Right-Wing Blogger Tied to Vandalism of Congressional Offices; Calls for "Window War" to Protest Healthcare Passage
A right-wing Southern blogger's responding to the passage of the federal healthcare bill the way a pissed-off 12-year-old might respond when a neighbor hands out crappy Halloween candy.
Mike Vanderboegh of Pinson, Alabama runs a blog called Sipsey Street Irregulars, dedicated to a "strict constructionist, libertarian point of view," and has begun what he's calling "window wars," where he asks citizens to break the office windows of members of Congress who supported the healthcare legislation.
So far, at least three windows have become casualties of this incredibly juvenile war, including the window at the Tucson office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Early Monday morning -- just hours after the healthcare bill was signed -- someone either shot or kicked out the front window of Giffords' office.
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. San Antonio Spurs
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 7:00pm
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. Utah Jazz
TicketsWed., Oct. 5, 7:00pm
Arizona Coyotes vs. San Jose Sharks
TicketsFri., Oct. 7, 7:00pm
TicketsSat., Oct. 8, 7:00pm
Gifford's window wasn't the only target in the offensive -- a member of Congress in New York also found her window broken, as did the Monroe County (New York) Democratic headquarters. The latter rock had a note attached to the brick with a quote from former Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater: "Extremism in defense of liberty is novice."
The window at the Democratic headquarters was reportedly broken on Saturday night or Sunday morning, just a day after Vanderboegh posted a blog alerting fellow hillbillies that "if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows."
We guess that in cracker-speak, nothing gets your message across like the old rock-through-the-window trick.
Vanderboegh credits the idea of busting windows to the Sons of Liberty.
"When the Sons of Liberty wanted to express their opposition to the actions of the King's ministers, they would gather in front of the homes and offices of his tax-collectors and government officials in Boston or New York and break their windows. Glass was expensive. The King's minions were often the most well-to-do. The Sons of Liberty hit them in their pocketbooks," Vanderboegh writes in his call to arms.
We sent Vanderboegh an e-mail to try to see this war from his side of the glass, but he did not immediately respond.
Monroe County Democratic Committee Chairman Joe Morelle is considering asking district attorneys in both New York and Alabama to consider charges against Vanderboegh, but the blogger doesn't seem to care.
Since hearing of the vandalism, Vanderboegh's site has become a shrine to the stupidity he's helped create -- with pictures and stories about the broken windows and an homage to his 15 minutes of fame. He even tells the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that he welcomes a day in court.
"That would certainly give me an opportunity to make my case to a larger public," Vanderboegh says. "I wouldn't enjoy a sedition charge, but I'm willing to accept it. Perhaps that's a more efficient use of my resources than getting arrested for vandalism."
We'd rather hand this guy some spray-paint and a carton of eggs and tell him to go nuts than have him turn a vandalism charge into a political showcase against healthcare, but that's just us.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.