Taking the Tomato (or, Let’s Not Call the Whole Thing Off)

December 16th, 2009

As reported by Sarah Palin: Tomatoes Thrown During Book Event, Police Arrest Jeremiah Wobbe (Huffington Post 12/07/09), Jeremy Paul Olson (also known as Jeremiah Wobbe) showed up at a Sarah Palin book signing and attempted to throw two tomatoes at her (one of them hit a police officer assigned to her protection). As reported in Tomatoes Removed for Palin (Political Wire 12/15/09), tomatoes are now being removed from the premises for her subsequent appearances.

Those who protect our public figures are brave men and women.

There’s so much to say, I don’t know where to begin.

By protecting our public officials, they’re really protecting our Republic

By allowing public figures to appear safely in public.

They put their own lives and limbs on the line

To protect the principles our Declaration of Independence and Constitution enshrine.

Of course, it’s not possible all threats of violence to eliminate,

Especially when the world is filled with so much hate.

But at least they provide deterrence

To (hopefully) prevent 1963’s reoccurrence.

America owes these brave men and women an incalculable debt,

And taking the tomato for Sarah may be among their greatest sacrifices yet.

It’s especially tough when you’re the first of something elected,

So Mr. President, please stay protected.

And you tomato throwers (and worse), though we may disagree,

It’s best to resolve those differences civilly.

Because things have indeed come to a pretty pass,

And if we can’t resolve them, our democracy won’t last.

Goodness knows what the end will be

If we can’t resolve our differences peaceably.

Though many of our problems rise above differences in pronunciation,

It’s nothing that should so violently split our nation.

Because though you may at the analogy scoff,

We’re still One Nation, and can’t just call the whole thing off.


Here’s the 12/07/09 AP report.

Here’s the trailer for what I thought was a pretty good movie on the Secret Service, In the Line of Fire (starring Clint Eastwood).

And here’s your theme music for today, Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off from the CD set Ella and Louis Again by two legends, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

PS: Also check out journalist Ronald Kessler’s new book on the subject, In the President’s Secret Service, and please note that in referring to “taking the tomato” I don’t in any way seek to demean or downplay the dedication and actual or potential sacrifice of those who put themselves on the line protecting our public figures. And I hope I made clear in my poem, I don’t condone violence or assault of any kind—even throwing tomatoes at Sarah Palin.

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