Parma GOP Rally Features a Small Kerfuffle (Updated)

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Update: We missed this last week, but there's a whole conspiracy theory about the mano vs. mano handkerchief and water bottle throwdown that occurred at the GOP rally in Parma a few weeks ago. Cleveland.com delves into the mystery of whether these were actually two strangers who let their inner political fires bubble over into a semi-innocent fray, or whether it was staged.

It's long but interesting. And whatever side you come out on, we can all agree 'Murica stands to benefit from distractions like this. Who needs substantive debate and discussion when you can go deep into the issues courtesy of a Three Stooges skit? Where's the seltzer bottle?

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Gather protesters, Romney supporters, and add a dash of good ole Parma, and you have the recipe for something delicious and nutritious.

While President Obama was busing his way around Northeast Ohio, presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney dispatched Tim Pawlenty and Bobby Jindal to Parma to lay the groundwork for his campaign. A mixed crowd gathered to enjoy/decry the event, which is how the little brouhaha got started.

Via Cleveland.com:


At one point, Romney supporter Richard Brysac of Parma confronted protester Al Neal of Canton, who attended with a handful of members of a group called Fight for Fair Economy Ohio.

Brysac, 77, attempted to hush Neal by emptying a bottle of water into the 25-year-old union worker's mouth.

"He seemed thirsty, so I tried to shove the bottle in his mouth," Brysac said. "I thought it was wrong to interfere with [Pawlenty's] freedom of speech.

"I acted out of character and I apologize if I offended anyone."

When the bottle didn't work, Brysac pulled out his handkerchief and gagged Neal.

Neal removed the handkerchief and continued chanting until the group of protesters was escorted from the rally.

Video of the handkerchief portion of the old man vs. young buck "fight" is below. Pics of the water bottle incident are at the Cleveland.com link.

Parma, America: home to civil, high-minded debate.

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