ONTD Political

Idaho Billboard Compares Obama To Aurora Shooting Suspect James Holmes

1:16 am - 07/29/2012

An electronic billboard in Caldwell, Idaho that compares President Obama to James Holmes, the 24-year-old man accused of killing 12 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater on July 20, has sparked outrage in the community, reports The Idaho Statesman.

The giant sign on Franklin Road and North 21st Avenue features a photo of Holmes with the words, "Kills 12 in a movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out," written under his picture, juxtaposed to a photo of Obama with the words, "Kills thousands with foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize," written below.

The billboard often features anti-Obama messages, and is sponsored by The Ralph Smeed Foundation, the supporters of the late activist for libertarian causes in Idaho. Foundation member and former state lawmaker Maurice Clements, told The Idaho Statesman the billboard is a response to Obama's 'broken promise' to bring home the troops.

"We’re all outraged over that killing in Aurora, Colo., but we’re not outraged over the boys killed in Afghanistan,” Clements explained to the paper, and added that he's not trying to connect Obama to Holmes, he's just comparing the way society reacts. "We’re not saying that Obama is a lunatic,” he said.

Regardless of what the billboard is really comparing, the message is not going over well with the area's residents, who are outraged, calling it "offensive," "abhorrent," and "pathetic," reports NBC News.

"This billboard is offensive to all those lives lost and affected by the shooting," wrote Fabiola G. Monrroy on the Facebook page of KBOI-TV, which first reported the story. "Just pathetic, even if this is their expression of the 1st amendment."

Most of the messages on the TV station's Facebook page echo Monrroy's sentiment, and Canyon County Democratic Party communications director Judy Ferro, told the Idaho Press-Tribune that she believes that even the late Ralph Smeed would object to it. “There’s no factual basis to it at all … it’s just offensive," she explained.

Posted: 07/28/2012 2:21 pm Updated: 07/29/2012 12:20 am

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layweed 29th-Jul-2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
What exactly do they mean by "Making Statism Unpopular"? Interesting that the billboard has CCTVs on it, never noticed those before.
bord_du_rasoir 29th-Jul-2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
Those "CCTVs" may be lights so the billboard can be seen at night.
flcadam 29th-Jul-2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
Meh. About four years ago, I could imagine the same sign being made about President Bush. This country has completely lost its civility when it comes to politics.
stainedfeathers 29th-Jul-2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
This country has completely lost its civility when it comes to politics.

This country, and most others I wager, never had civility when it comes to politics. I think the two words never have even seriously belonged in the same sentence except when lamenting that there is none. Smearing and slandering and dirty politics is as american as apple pie. Only difference now is that the internet makes the smear more widely and quickly spread.

Some fun examples: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3493277.stm
One of my favourites, its from 1828: "John Quincy Adams was nicknamed "The Pimp" by the campaign of his opponent General Andrew Jackson, based on a rumour that he had once coerced a young woman into an affair with a Russian nobleman when he had been American ambassador to Russia.

Adams' supporters hit back with a pamphlet which claimed: "General Jackson's mother was a common prostitute brought to this country by British solders! She afterwards married a mulatto man with whom she had several children of which number General Jackson is one!!" Jackson won anyway. "
draion 29th-Jul-2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
I think I've gotten to the point where nothing about this country surprises me anymore. I can't wait to leave as soon as I'm finished with school.
morgondag 29th-Jul-2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
Good luck!
martyfan 29th-Jul-2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
but we’re not outraged over the boys killed in Afghanistan

This guy DOES know that Bush started it, right? And as I recall, there's been a fuckton of outrage.
metanoiame 29th-Jul-2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Given the heading about statism, I think saying "Bush started it" misses the point. We should be outraged at a government that perpetuates Aurora-scale mass murders on a regular basis in third world countries. This billboard highlights an absurdity in how our government functions, and I think it's a good effort towards raising that kind of outrage.
hey_spectrum 29th-Jul-2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
lol bush started that shit but ok
mingemonster 29th-Jul-2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
His policies cause deaths. No amount of stanning and wailing about how the other guy is worse will change that fact. The fact that he won the peace prize is a joke and a shame on the whole institution
ceasetoknow 29th-Jul-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
Exactly! I mean the comparison is gonna get peoples backs up immediately but its not completely unjustified.

And all the Bush started it arguments are asinine. That excuse stopped working for me when I was about 5 and besides there are things he's done that are worse (increased drone strikes for example).
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
idletales 29th-Jul-2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
I thought everyone agrees that the Nobel Prize thing was stupid?

The comparison is very inappropriate, but hey that's the libertarians for you.
(no subject) - Anonymous
redstar826 29th-Jul-2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
didn't Obama win the Nobel Prize before he had a chance to do anything foreign policy wise? Which is stupid, sure (and I think many people said as much at the time), but the billboard makes it sound like he got the prize after being president for a while.

edid: huh, looks like he got it in late 2009. For some reason, I thought it was the previous year, when he was still just the President-elect

Edited at 2012-07-29 08:42 pm (UTC)
emofordino 30th-Jul-2012 02:26 am (UTC)
i could have sworn he got the nobel peace prize very shortly after getting elected too. i guess that first year flew by really fast.
beuk 29th-Jul-2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
Okay, a little local history (I'm from Caldwell). Ralph Smeed was some rich guy who had a sign. He would often put up offensive messages on it (I think he did it himself until just before his death). They took his old sign down to widen the road and most people prayed that that was the end of the sign. BUT NOPE another one was put up and now it's all electronic and more hideous than the old one. Earlier in the primary season, there were Ron Paul ads flashing on it. I think most people just try to ignore it.

My college newspaper's editor asked people on campus to define "Making Statism Unpopular". I don't think anyone knows. You'll have to ask Smeed's ghost.

Judy Ferro was my English teacher, ha.
checkerdandy 29th-Jul-2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Sup thr, Sarah.
checkerdandy 29th-Jul-2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
That's my hometown! I agree with Mrs. Ferro: Smeed was offensive as fuck, but I don't think even he would have put that up.

And the digital billboard is a real downgrade. I miss the old plastic letters.
kitchen_poet 30th-Jul-2012 01:27 am (UTC)
I can personally attest that Caldwell, Idaho is the anus of the Universe.
Nothing they say matters.
beuk 30th-Jul-2012 02:34 am (UTC)
pretty sure it isn't
ms_maree 30th-Jul-2012 02:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, but most Americans don't care. I don't see how this will make them.
yeats 30th-Jul-2012 02:16 am (UTC)
this is fucking disgusting. judging the hell out of everyone defending it.

also i am highly amused that these people are throwing around the word "statism," as if they have the faintest clue of what it means.

Edited at 2012-07-30 02:18 am (UTC)
cozmic_oceanz 30th-Jul-2012 03:18 am (UTC)
baked_goldfish 30th-Jul-2012 03:22 am (UTC)
Foundation member and former state lawmaker Maurice Clements, told The Idaho Statesman the billboard is a response to Obama's 'broken promise' to bring home the troops.

He promised to increase troop presence in Afghanistan. Agree or disagree with it, and it is completely valid to disagree with it and be disturbed by it, but don't pretend like he was running as anything but a foreign policy hawk like every other major candidate for president.

There's a lot of shit Obama has done that is horrible and that he needs to be accountable for, but the history of western libertarians and their ties to right-wing militia movements in this country makes me think maybe these guys aren't the ones to be leading that charge. Especially given their little swipe at gun-control proponents in this billboard (I guarantee you they're pissed that the Aurora shooting has revived talk of limiting access to assault weapons, and that's at least one of their reasons for bringing up the fact that Holmes used one).

This is one of the messages they used to have on their billboard. How anybody can think these folks are legitimately angry at American foreign policy and disregard for human life that isn't white and Christian, and not just basic racists pissed off at a black dude in the White House, is beyond me.

Edited at 2012-07-30 03:23 am (UTC)
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