Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Still Coddling the President

The following article appeared in today's USA Today (it's short so I re-typed it out):

Probe underway after trio removed from Bush event The Secret Service is investigating whether three people were removed from President Bush's town hall meeting on Social Security last week because of a bumper sticker on their car that read: "No More Blood for Oil". The three said they had obtained tickets to the event through the office of Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo. They had passed through security and were preparing to take their seats when they were approached by a person they thought was a Secret Service agent. The person asked them to leave. Alex Young, 25,who was among the three removed, said officials told them the next day they were identified as belonging to the "No Blood for Oil" group. Lon Garner, the agent in charge of the Secret Service office in Denver, said the agency had nothing to do with the three being asked to leave. He declined to release further details because the matter was under investigation. "We are very sensitive to the First Amendment and general assembly rights as protected by the Constitution," Garner said.
Details from this article are sketchy at best, but, I'm not really inclined to believe the Secret Service spokesperson -- how could 'officials' have later told them details of their expulsion from the meeting if officials weren't actually involved? Besides, why would the activists lie about something like that -- inquiries with an office like the Secret Service are easily traceable and verified. If this story is indeed true, then why is it that Bush's handlers still don't trust the President to have even potential dissentors in his town hall meeting office? Why must the President constantly surround himself with yes-men? Debacles like this do nothing more than give off the impression that the President can't defend his own talking points and positions when challenged. If the President isn't as stupid as liberal comedians like to paint him as, Bush's handlers need to take off their kit gloves, and let the President roll with the punches of a real political discourse. Conservatives complain that we're in an era of cultural decline, what with increasing acceptance of homosexuality and feminism, but to me the Liberals should have a counter-argument: the increasing decline of democracy and real debate. Update: The Washington Post has a more extensive article on this incident. It seems the person who tossed the activists out were Republican staffers (or so the officials claim) and were afraid that the activists might disrupt the event. Disrupt the event because the people in question drove up in a car with a certain bumper sticker which you disagreed with? Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Thanks to DNC: Kicking Ass for posting the article.


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