“Which side are you on, Tammy?”: Sen. Baldwin’s speech on Syria disrupted by singing at Fighting Bob Fest

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This morning at the annual lefty political convention known as “Fighting Bob Fest”, Senator Tammy Baldwin was interrupted during her speech by a large contingent who urged her to vote ‘no’ on President Obama’s plan to authorize military intervention in Syria.  At the time of the interruption, Senator Baldwin was speaking of the need for deliberation in the matter and offering hints that she may vote ‘no’ but offering nothing firm.

From WisPolitics:  America must not act alone,” Baldwin told an applauding crowd at the annual event honoring Bob LaFollette. “We must engage a larger, broader international community on this, and thus far, I do not believe that has happened.”

Below is video of that moment courtesy of Leslie Amsterdam:

I was not present and I heard a recount of the moment at mid-day from photographer and playwright Callen Harty.  He let me know that the young man who initially interrupted Senator Baldwin politely asked her whether she would vote no.  Callen said she made no verbal response.

As you’ll see in this video, Allen Ruff following asked audience members to stand if they oppose war on Syria.

Callen told me 75% of the crowd stood up.  However,  L.J., a veteran for peace,  later told me 90% of the crowd in the Alliant Center’s coliseum stood up to oppose war.

After the call to stand, a group that had organized under a facebook event created by Allen Ruff sang “Which Side Are You On Tammy” – an updated version of the classic  “Which side are you on?” by Florence Reece. [see lyrics at end of the post]

The end of the video becomes a cacophony of noise as audience members urged the singers to sit down and allow Baldwin to continue speaking.


From the Cap Times: “Baldwin promised the crowd that she had heard their feedback — “now in three-part harmony” — and that she will continue to press President Barack Obama for information and ask tough questions as the debate continues.

She invoked the fest’s namesake, as she asked “WWBD?” (What Would Bob Do?) and quoted from the speech Sen. Robert M. La Follette delivered when he and just five other senators voted against President Woodrow Wilson’s war declaration in April 1917: “If it is important for us to speak and vote our convictions in matters of internal policy, though we may unfortunately be in disagreement with the President, it is infinitely more important for us to speak and vote our convictions when the question is one of peace or war, certain to involve the lives and fortunes of many of our people and, it may be, the destiny of all of them and of the civilized world as well.”

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan was more direct in his take on the issue.

“The playbook has to have more than one page when that page only says military action,” Pocan said. “We are not the only country that can police the world. The use of chemical weapons is reprehensible. The international community, preferably through the United Nations, must discuss and address this but that does not equate to the only option being a U.S. dominated military strike.”

Pocan’s promise to vote against a U.S. military strike against Syria was met with loud applause.” – source

Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, voted against military action Wednesday in the Senate foreign relations committee.


Fightin’ Bob” was from Wisconsin
He was a native son
He stood up in the Senate
And said “No” to World War I

Which side are you on Tammy?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on, on this?
Which side are you on?

Fightin’ Bob he told ol’ Wilson
That war is not the way.
“The whole thing was for Wall Street gain”
Standing tall, he would not to sway.


Obama, he does tell us
‘Cause of gas, he must respond
The double standards are so clear
Leave his ass and Get BEYOND!”


John Kerry, he does tell us
Uncle Sam must intervene
Vietnam, he has forgotten
Now a flak for the war machine


Some people in the Senate
For their votes receive a sop
You will have our backing
If you say “No” to the “Global Cop”


You know the deeper issues
You know what’s right and wrong
Peace is what Wisconsin wants
Don’t buy the war hawk song!


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