As of Wednesday morning, the following facts have been confirmed:
Allie Bautsch (spelling corrected), a fundraiser for New Orleans governor Bobby Jindal, and her boyfriend, Joe Brown, attended a high-profile GOP fundraiser in New Orleans last Friday.
The event was also attended by some very boisterous protesters who had used some rather inflammatory rhetoric to get people to attend.
After leaving the event, Bautsch and Brown walked two blocks away from the restaurant.
The two were savagely beaten, and ended up in the hospital. Bautsch has a broken leg; Brown was treated for a broken nose, a broken jaw, and a concussion.
Initial reports that the two were wearing Sarah Palin buttons have been denied, and thus reports that they were beaten for wearing those buttons is likewise discredited.
There was no robbery.
Witnesses have described the assailants.
New Orleans police have said very little about the incident, but are investigating.
So far we can safely eliminate a few theories: that Bautsch and Brown inflicted their own injuries or allowed themselves to be injured; that they ran into an out-of-control Tea Party mob; that a horde of Mongol barbarians slipped out of an eddy in the space-time continuum and attacked them before vanishing back into the mists of time; that a meteor struck them; that some anti-government radicals from Tennessee beat them after hanging signs around their necks reading “GOP;” that the two were injured in an auto accident, boating mishap, train wreck, or plane crash; or that the two tripped and fell.
The leading theory — which I am currently buying into — is that the two were followed from the fundraiser by some of the protesters who had organized to picket the $10,000 a plate GOP gathering and beaten in a fit of “righteous outrage.”
I am fully confident that the New Orleans Police, under the calm and competent leadership of Ray Nagin, will conduct a full and fair investigation of this violent crime and capture the perpetrators. I absolutely believe that the New Orleans city government — one of the most corrupt and venal and vile examples of Democratic machine politics extant today, rivaled only by Chicago — will set aside its prejudices and biases and make certain that these Republicans who had attended a Republican event get justice.
Until those series of miracles all occur, however, I am going to continue to believe that this is the latest escalation of “preemptive violence” being waged against conservatives by the righteous left, a campaign that has been going on for years. It started small — attacks with pies and the like of conservative speakers, Code Pink being assisted by Democratic members of Congress to disrupt President Bush’s State of the Union address and assault Secretary of State Rice in a congressional hearing room; the beating of Kenneth Gladney by union thugs at a Tea Party rally; the biting off of a finger of a man protesting the “health care reform” bill; and countless other incidents — here’s a fun little summary from almost five years ago.
I fully expect all those who’ve warned about the dangers of the rhetoric being tossed around by conservative talk radio, conservative leaders, and the Tea Party movement to immediately issue statements urging their followers to ratchet back the violence and violent rhetoric they themselves have been issuing, to make appeals for calm, to denounce politically-motivated violence. Because even if this incident was not politically motivated, the fact that it was so plausible speaks volumes about the current state of political discourse on the left.
I also expect to be bitterly disappointed on that last point.