Political Animal


November 27, 2012 4:30 PM Naked Truth

By Ed Kilgore

As you may have heard by now, a group of naked people showed up in Speaker John Boehner’s office to protest the potential impact of automatic spending “sequestrations” on funding for anti-AIDS programs. Here’s some of Sahil Kapur’s report on the incident for TPM:

Seven naked protesters swarmed the office of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday for some 20 minutes of loud chanting against cuts to AIDS funding.
Among their chants: “Boehner, Boehner, don’t be a dick, budget cuts will make us sick.” And: “Fight AIDS. Act up. Fight back.” And: “End AIDS with the Robin Hood tax, no more budget cuts on our back.” And: “Budget cuts are really rude, that’s why we have to be so lewd.”
The screaming, fully-nude protesters stood still in the center of the office, together in a line but facing in different directions. The room quickly filled up with members of the activist groups they belong to, observers taking photographs, a handful of reporters, and, eventually, police….
The protest was organized by AIDS activist organizations Health Global Access Group (GAP), Queerocracy, Act Up NY and Act Up Philadelphia. They say that if sequestration — automatic spending cuts set to take effect in January — goes into effect, funding to combat HIV/AIDS could drop substantially and cost lives.

The protest is notable because nearly all the noise about possible sequestrations has come from those fighting defense cuts. And while the nude protesters were specifically calling for “new revenues” to make the sequestration unnecessary, the more immediate injustice is that across-the-board cuts represent a very explicit abandonment of congressional responsibility to pick and choose among spending priorities. For good (with respect to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and several other key low-income programs) or ill, some priorities have been exempted from the cuts. Advocates of others have to find ways to draw attention to their causes, and those in Boehner’s office found an all-American way to do just that.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on November 27, 2012 5:01 PM:


    I've had enough of this nonsense.

    What ever happened to what was said this summer about changing it?

    Ed, I love ya, but I can't take losing comments anymore.
    I try to carefully craft things to say - and not the first thing that blurts into my empty skull (And yes, I know that may surprise some other commenters).

    I'll still read this great site, but I'll pick and choose which posts I comment on - and that's only IF CRAPTCHA is easy to read. I'd done with trying to guess what that sh*t is!

    Brother Benen, here I come!

  • Joe Friday on November 27, 2012 5:26 PM:

    "Among their chants: 'Boehner, Boehner, don't be a dick'...."

    That ship sailed a long time ago.

  • Mikhail on November 27, 2012 6:05 PM:

    We need more protests like these, I feel. If nothing else, they attract attention, and it's nice when someone other than 1% and religious right gets attention.