CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Bizzyblogger Tom Blumer says today that he couldn't help but notice MoveOn had sent trademark cease-and-desist notices to a satirist who tried to market t-shirts mocking MoveOn. Blumer saw the action as evidence of the Democratic left organization's "radical" nature.
"I am told from time to time that MoveOn is not really a radical organization. Wrong. MoveOn is run by people whose first, second, and third instincts, if given any opening, are to silence opponents. They are petty tyrants in training."
He didn't mention -- or maybe he doesn't know -- that the Republican Party went even farther to silence a critic in Ohio. The GOP took legal action against Michael Dalton, a Democrat who lives in a Cincinnati suburb. Dalton's offense was to set up a Web site in 2005 called "hamiltoncountyrepublicanparty.com." that mocked Republicans. He was sued by the Hamilton County Republican Party for trademark infringement. The GOP sought a temporary restraining order and injunction to shut Dalton down.
A key legal filing in the case is still available online. Ralph Nader's organization filed the brief contending the Republicans were out to suppress free speech. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Ted Winker -- a Republican, by the way -- declined to grant the order sought by his own political party.
At most, the incident smacked of hardball politics. Radical? Or tyranny? Hardly.
Bizzyblog wanted to take a swat at MoveOn -- and many people would agree that the Dem-leaning organization needs a spanking over the Petraeus/Betray Us ad it sponsored last week. But a flap over t-shirts can't be elevated to burning the Reichstag, or an October revolution in Moscow, or Mugabe's assault on democracy in Africa, or Myanmar's junta. Or even an Ohio Republican party's trademark lawsuit against an Internet critic.
Bizzyblog is one of the very best of Ohio's bloggers, talented and a lifetime .300 hitter. This time, he went with his heart instead of his intellect. By the way, the Web site that stirred up the GOP is still around. Wonder if Bizzyblog's Mr. Blumer thinks those radical (just kidding) Republicans were really right to try to shut it down?