Skip to comments.Tribute to a Conservative Activism Pioneer, Doctor Raoul
Posted on 03/31/2013 6:11:58 AM PDT by kristinn
Tribute to a Conservative Activist Pioneer, Doctor Raoul
A legend passed away last weekend. A legend from a long ago eraat least as time is measured in the Internet Age. As such, most of you reading this have never known of him, but you should.
Doctor Raouls message for the wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
His admirers included the likes of conservative luminaries Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, John Fund, David Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin. His work was appreciated by numerous wounded warriors at Walter Reed. He bedeviled Bill and Hillary Clinton and was sworn at by liberal reporters and politicians for speaking the plain truth to them. Patriotic Americans who witnessed him in action all across the country loved and were inspired by him. He brought a gut-busting sense of humor and theatrics to protesting that made even stone-faced Secret Service officers double-over in laughter at their White House post.
While he had no use for mainstream media reporters, he was always quietly helping out conservative-leaning reporters, news sites and talk radio hosts with tips and story ideas.
YouTube video tribute by tgslTakoma.
His name was Doctor Raoul, aka Raoul Deming. That was his nom de FReep, his real name was a secret, like any superhero. He jokingly told the press he was from the Takoma Park, Maryland Demings (the joke being that is the most liberal town on the East Coast), but he was actually a Jersey boywith a touch of the City of Brotherly Love.
Raoul spent the better part of ten years, from 1998 to 2008 battling liberals , communists, fascists, radical feminists, gun-grabbers, racists and jihadists in the streets, on the airwaves and online. He gave of himself to countless others his time, effort, creativity, support, rides, food, gifts and inspiration. He also was a volunteer crew member for the US Flag hot air balloon. All while raising a family with his wife and keeping a full-time job.
Most of us met Raoul through FreeRepublic.com. Back in the day, Free Republic was pioneering Internet activismbringing together thousands of conservatives who had never protested in the common cause of saving the country by driving the Clinton-Gore regime from power. Raoul was a novice in 1998, as most of us were. Most of us were a bit scared, too. People who stood up to the Clintons ended up with the law, private investigators or worse sicced on them. Some members of Free Republic, (we became known as FReepers) were stalked and harassed at work and at their homes. Raouls secret identity wasnt a game. It was protection.
But that was the only nod to safety Raoul made. Over the years he literally stood toe to toe with bullying politicians and reporters, stared eyeball to eyeball with President Bill Clinton and held his ground sign to sign with liberal barking moonbat protesters. He bested them all with his quick wit, encyclopedic knowledge and determined patriotism.
YouTube video of Raoul standing toe to toe with Bob Kerrey.
Raoul became a regular at the D.C. Chapter of Free Republics Saturday protests at the Clinton White House. Every Saturday from September 1998 to January 2001 we gathered in front of the White House for three to four hours at a time. We educated the tourists, challenged reporters and brought a morale boost to a beleaguered Secret Service downhearted from having to protect what they knew to be a treasonous, criminal regime.
We reported our activities on Free Republic, along with photographs documenting our protests. The reports heartened conservatives across the country, who looked forward to reading them as soon as they were posted. Long before YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, conservatives ruled online activism. Life and declining morale caused a pause in conservative activism just as those forms of social media became dominant. The Tea Party movement arose at a point in time many online activist pioneers like Raoul had to step away to tend to their lives and families.
Raoul was an engineer by trade. Being an engineer meant Raoul was committed to upholding the truth. Facts mattered. Lies and shortcuts could wreck a projector ruin a nation.
Raoul also applied his engineering to sign making. He developed a system of lightweight permanent frames, insertable handles and interchangeable message-bearing sleeve covers that could be carried in a bag in a car trunk. Any of us so equipped by Raoul could stage an instant protest by ourselves or supply others who joined in with signs on any Clinton scandal of the time: Chinagate, impeachment, Juanita Broaddricks rape accusation against Clinton, Elian Gonzalez, the FALN terrorists pardons and on and on.
Raoul would shoot down smug, foul-mouthed (or foul-fingered), nasty liberals who tried to insult our group of anti-Clinton protesters with a sing-song chant of Mean spirited, arrogant, condescending liberal! The chant invariably caused them to slink away as others in front of the White House would turn their attention to the ill-mannered lout.
During that time Raoul also came up with what became known as the Cops Cheer. One Saturday he stood in front of the White House at the gate where the tourists exited. He cupped his hands to his mouth and made like he was talking like a police officer from a 1930s gangster filmdragging out the phrases for maximum effect:
Bill Clintonnnn we have you surrounded Drop the cigar step away from the intern .and come out with your pants UP!
The Secret Service officers at the gate tried to stifle their laughter as Raouls booming voice echoed off the North Portico of the White House. By the time he hit the last line they were doubled over in laughter and had to stagger back inside the gate to compose themselves. President Clinton got to hear the Cops Cheer many times over the years. It never failed to provoke roaring belly-laughs from those within earshot.
Other times Raoul could be quite serious. One evening Clinton was holding a fundraiser at the Hay-Adams Hotel which is located a block from the White House. Raoul and I staged a two-man protest across the street from the hotel on the north side of Lafayette Park. When Clinton exited the hotel, he left thought the front door and walked the few feet to the presidential limousine. Raoul and I started chanting, Traitor! Rapist! Traitor! Rapist! (a reference to Chinagate and Juanita Broaddrick) over and over. Security protocol is for the president to make a beeline for the limo, get in and be driven right away. Not this time.
Clinton stopped getting in the limo, stood leaning on the door and glowered at us from about twenty yards away. We kept calling him Traitor! Rapist! to his face as he continued to just stand there, his face turning red as he continued to glower at us. Finally he got in the limo. The motorcade made a u-turn from the hotel and came near us as it turned east on H St. to return to the White House. We could see Clinton turned around in the back seat staring at us through the rear window like an angry kid.
After 9/11, when Clinton was running around trying to tell anyone who would listen he really tried to get Osama bin Laden (in between dates with Monica Lewinsky and assaults on female White House staffers), Raoul created a brash sign that delivered a devastating rebuttal:
New York City, February 2002.
Early on, Raoul started wearing costumes to demonstrations. One favorite involved him wearing a Bill Clinton mask, carrying a bouquet of plastic flowers and wearing a sign that said, Wanna date? White House tourists would flock to the mockery of Clinton and ask to be photographed with Raoul.
Raoul literally bedeviled the Clintons. In 1999 and 2000, Raoul dressed as the devil to protest Bill and Hillary Clinton. The devil would carry a two-sided sign outside the White House. One side said, My sister married Bill Clinton. The other side said, I sold my soul to Bill Clinton. That bit of street theater was also very popular with the tourists.
The devil went on the road to protest Hillarys 2000 U.S. Senate campaign in New York. His presence bothered Hillary so much she disparaged him in an appearance on The Tonight Show. As usual, Hillary did not tell the truth. She claimed the devil did not carry a sign and that no one knew why he was there, saying that perhaps he was advertising deviled eggs or deviled ham.
The devil was resurrected three years later for Hillarys book tour for her memoir, Living History. Not only would Raoul protest at her book signings, he would mail devil costumes and signs to FReepers around the country who wanted to carry on Raouls tradition for Hillarys appearances.
With Matt Drudge outside the White House Correspondents Dinner
The mainstream media was also a regular target of Raouls humor in a jugular vein theatrics. Over the years at the annual D.C. Chapter of Free Republic protest of media bias held outside the White House Correspondents Dinner, Raoul wore a Minnie Mouse costume to mock Disney-owned ABC News; a full-body rat costume with a sign that said, (Tim) Russert will rat you out; and a Boris Badinov costume while holding a sign that said, Wheres my Pulitzer, during years when the prestigious journalism prize was awarded for reporting that damaged national security.
Doctor Raoul and BStein80
A crowd favorite sign of Raouls over many media protests said, Former Washington Post reporter, will lie for food. When he did a solo weekday protest across from the Posts flagship building holding that sign (across the street rather than at their front door so the Posties could see him from their high-up office windows) the Post sent a reporter and photographer across the street to find out who he was. In keeping with his lying reporter character, Raoul demanded a cookie each time a question was asked of him.
Then CNN White House reporter let Raoul get the better of her one weekend afternoon as she reported live on the air from the Swamp in front of the White House. Months before, a former ABC News reporter joined us in protesting the Clinton White House. He showed us how it was lawful to protest the Clinton-loving media as they worked behind the White House fence. Ill let Raoul take the story from here:
Yo' CNN's Chris Black, You Have To Buy Me Dinner and Movie, and Tell Me You Love Me First
June 6, 1999
Since I had things to do that kept me away from FReeping the White House Saturday, I went solo today. All was kind of routine until about 5 pm when Chris Black of CNN was broadcasting.
I yelled, "The Cox Report is still around, don't we HAVE to bomb somebody?" Followed by "When are you going to tell them that Reno turned down the FBI three times on that wiretap on the nuclear spy." Then I took a real cheap shot, "Tell the truth."
After she was finished her spot, Chris turned to the fence, and in a most ladylike way (considering there were numerous tourists including young children) screamed, "F---, YOU!"
Film at 11.
The next day at the White House, Black swore at another FReeper (Angelwood) who chastised her for swearing at Raoul. Later, Black blamed it on her Irish temper.
Raoul told another story from that time, this one involving Campbell Brown losing her cool.
She's standing on a box" started at the White House. AGreatPer and I were chanting and I decided to lighten the mood a bit with a nonsense cheer. I tell him, "Let's chant 'She's standing on a box.'" He looks at me kind of puzzled and says, "What?" and I say, "Trust me on this." So off we go. Campbell Brown of MSNBC and some young woman from CNN are both doing live reports standing on boxes. The CNN gal starts laughing after she's off. Campbell Brown throws down her clipboard when done, rips the earpiece out of her ear and stomps off. I swear there had to be little footprints embossed in the asphalt of the driveway.
We had fun with this technique, but we also used it for serious purposes. We learned that if we chanted in unison well enough and loud enough we could borrow the airwaves of the broadcasters to get our message out to their viewers.
Raouls bottom line message to the media was: Raoul's First Law of Journalism: BIAS = LAYOFFS
Raoul was a key participant in Free Republics Get out of Cheneys house month-long demonstration at the Vice Presidents residence protesting Al Gores attempt to steal the 2000 presidential election. Raoul came up with a costume of a soldier stabbed in the back to protest Gores efforts to disqualify service members overseas absentee ballots.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the anti-American left mobilized to attack morale on the home front like they did during Vietnam. As a group, Raoul and the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic vowed to not let the left, the media and the Democrats do to this generation of American soldiers as they did to the Vietnam veterans. Raoul worked tirelessly to confront and expose the leftists, their jihadist partners and their allies in Congress. With humor and with facts, and his ever-present bullhorn, Raoul attended countless counter-demonstrations opposing the so-called antiwar movement. He educated himself about the leadership of the main groups, their past political activities, their goals and alliances.
Raoul traveled numerous times to Washington, D.C., New York, Ft. Bragg, NC, Ft. Benning, GA, Johnstown, PA, Crawford, TX and many other towns to stand up for our troops and nation. He bought a portable podium and small sound system that he would lend to anyone who needed them for their troop support rallies.
Raoul wasnt a glory-hound. Several times he gave his speaking slot at troop support rallies to wounded vets or Gold Star parents. I finally told Raoul at the third Gathering of Eagles rally I helped organize, in September 2007 that he was going on stage no matter what. He gave a great informative speech that is preserved by C-SPAN and YouTube.
It was what Raoul did when no cameras were around that endeared him to so many. In 2005, FReepers took to protecting the wounded and their families recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from a regular protest there started by the despicable womyn of Code Pink. We held weekly pro-troops-and-their-mission demonstrations on Friday nights opposite Code Pink at the main gate to Walter Reed.
Afterward, FReepers including Raoul would discreetly go inside to visit with wounded warriors and their families. Over time, bonds were made. Raoul would make extra trips to Walter Reed with hoagies and fresh bagels from Philadelphia delis. Most of the time, he paid for them out of his own pocket. Sometimes we took up a collection for the food. Not only did Raoul remember the troops on the main Walter Reed campus, he would visit a non-descript outpatient dorm across the street to bring food and cheer to troops recuperating there.
One week Raoul met a Polish soldier recuperating at Walter Reed. The next week he showed up with a slew of Polish foods from a Polish deli.
Raoul came up with the idea to have a cookout at Walter Reed. He worked with a Marine vet known as ConcreteBob and Mike Sparling, the parent of a wounded warrior at Walter Reed. The barbeque brought wounded warriors and their families out for a relaxing afternoon. It was so well-received by the troops that as a result of being inspired by Raoul, ConcreteBob formed a group dedicated to continuing the barbeques.
Walter Reed brass was so impressed with the morale boost that they built a patio and installed grills so that the barbeques wouldnt have to be cooked in an old oil drum on dusty grass like the first one Raoul and Bob held.
Raouls love for the troops didnt blind him to veterans who betrayed their country like John Kerry and John Murtha. Or a veteran like 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey who insulted President George W. Bush by walking out of an Oval Office meeting with the president that the commission had demanded so that he could attend a fundraising meeting instead.
When Raoul spotted Kerrey heading in to the press conference for the release of 9/11 Commission report, he asked Kerrey if he would be sticking around for the whole meeting this time. That caused the thin-skinned Kerrey to turn around and bolt down the steps to confront Raoul. I was standing next to Raoul dressed as Sandy Burglar, the Clinton National Security Advisor who had been caught stealing top secret documents from the National Archives when he was reviewing Clinton documents to decide which should be given to the commission for their investigation. Raoul held his infamous If Osama was a piece of ass, Clinton would have nailed him sign.
When Kerrey got close to us he demanded our names, while jabbing his index finger at us. I extended my hand and introduced myself. We shook hands and then Kerrey repeated his demand for Raouls name. Raoul demurred, reiterating to Kerreys face his complaint about him walking out of the meeting, adding that he was a member of the public. Kerrey said that he was a member of the public too and then called Raoul an ***hole. Raoul took off his sunglasses and looked Kerrey directly in the eye, but didnt back down. Kerrey declaimed that he wasnt a politician or senator anymore. He stormed off when we told him he was a public official doing the publics business.
The confrontation was shown on MSNBC right after it happened. I could go on forever telling Doctor Raoul stories. The actions of Raoul inspired so many. His steadfast patriotism, his dedication to holding politicians and the media accountable, his support for our troops and their families, his devoted friendship and his kindness to strangers has brought forth an outpouring of love from those who knew him.
His legacy lives on in conservative activists on Free Republic and in the Tea Party movement. As someone said of Doctor Raoul on his passing, Doc was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool.
Please go to the article at the Gateway Pundit and forward it to your Twitter and Facebook friends. Doctor Raoul deserves to have his story known beyond Free Republic.
Doctor Raoul will be laid to rest on Monday. Many of his FRiends will be there to pay our respects and to say thanks one last time. He was only 58.
See many of you tomorrow.
Wonderful tribute, Kristinn.. America is a poorer place for his loss.
RIP, Raoul. You will be sorely missed.
Thank you Kristinn. Wonderful tribute.
Great tribute kristinn.
I met Dr. Raoul during my first trip to DC. He and Kristinn made me feel welcome and I enjoyed protesting with them and the fellowship they provided. During the time when my oldest son was deployed to Iraq, Dr Raoul called me several times to inquire about Ricky’s well being. He was a man among men and fearless in defending his beliefs.
God bless and keep his family, and bring them peace! Let them know that when he entered those pearly gates, He was greeted with a rowdy cheer and a hearty hug. He will be missed!
Likewise. Ironman, look forward to seeing you.
I'm so sorry to hear this. Best wishes to his family and many friends. He served his country well time and again!
Why do "only the good die young"?
Great article—so much that I hadn’t known or had forgotten.
May you rest in eternal peace, Doctor Raoul.
It was my greatest pleasure to have known (and freeped with) this remarkable man.
A great patriot. May he rest in peace.
Bump for later. Thanks for posting this, Kristinn.
Still, this is about Doctor Raoul - one in a million, if not more. Such men are who we wish to live forever.
Sad news from protest central. I’m a ninety 8er from flyover land, and in those Clinton days the only good news from Washington was the protests put on by those dedicated individuals like the good Doctor, kristinn and the D. C. Chapter. They gave us in the hinterland hope!
God speed Doctor Raoul your skills are obviously needed by the winning side in the coming battles of truth and right.
Kristinn - Thank you for this wonderful tribute. It was my honor to participate in many of the demonstrations you cited above. Raoul will be sorely missed.
It is utterly heart breaking to hear this. Thoughts and prayers to his family and FRiends.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.