John Nichols, an associate editor of The Capital Times, once again puts the twit in Twitter. The self-described progressive columnist asks the question, if House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) supports protests in Iran, why doesn’t he support them at the US Capitol?

I realize that Nichols is a big fan of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) who can’t bring herself to criticize the current regime in Iran, supported the nuclear deal under President Barack Obama and benefitted from a group that also supports the current regime, so Nichols is probably a bit confused what kind of regime people are protesting over there.

In Iran, people are protesting for basic human rights. Small things like being free from arrest and being jailed without cause, or free speech, or even the freedom of women to not have to cover themselves in a hijab if they consider it a symbol of their oppression. In other words, they’re protesting against the theocratic dictatorship and hoping for democracy, the same reason they protested in 2009 when their protests were all but ignored by Nichols’ favorite President Barack Obama.

While the protests began as protests against corruption and the poor economic conditions, the protesters are also against Iran’s support of the Syrian government and support for Hezbollah and other terrorists.

What Nichols fails to understand is that the reason Iranians are protesting in the streets is that they have no other means of expressing their opposition to the government. The elections are rigged, from limiting who can participate to the rigged counting of the ballots. There is no free press. A John Nichols in that country would be in prison, not a columnist at The Nation. (Then again, considering this Tweet, Nichols’ might be a regime favorite.)

Now, I can’t believe I have to explain this to Nichols, but here in the United States we have free and fair elections. Nichols might not like the outcomes, but that’s what democracy looks like. We also have freedom of the press. Masses of protesters can gather peacefully and freely in the Mall in Washington just by filling out a form with the Parks Service. Or they can protest almost anywhere they want.

What they can’t do is destroy private property while rioting. Nor should they be allowed to disrupt the legislative process by interfering with a congressional committee’s work. Those are not “peaceful protests” that Nichols is describing. While Nichols may agree with their goals, they are committing crimes.

But then, Nichols also supported the takeover of the state Capitol in Madison and the attempted stoppage of our state government in 2011. So we’ll give Nichols points for being consistent – consistently wrong.

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