Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Pre-vetted crowds don't hate freedom

President Bush is coming to Montgomery next week as part of his nationwide mission to convince the American people that a Social Security system that can meet 75 percent of its obligations indefinitely with no changes whatsoever is a gathering, imminent threat to the national well-being and needs massive overhauls.

Fortunately for the majority of Americans who like Social Security just fine, The Birmingham News says Bush's event will be wide open to those whose attendance was "arranged in advance," which I'm sure will result in an enriching free flow of ideas and engaging dialogue about an issue of such national importance.

Well, that, or an echo chamber. I guess either one will do.


Blogger SJ said...

This whole Social Security thing is just a diversion. A diversion from the war in Iraq and its failures. It is also another way to get more money into the pockets of big campaign contributors. Bush has done nothing but look for ways to line the pockets of big business (and his buddies) since he took office.

As for an audience 'arranged in advance,' I have no doubt it will be filled with little Sean Hannity wannabes and young Republicans who do nothing but spout the same talking points ad nauseum. Like you said, an echo chamber.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if such visits have always been open only to those who can recite the party line on command, or if it is just a recent trend. I didn't like it that most presidential candidate visits last year were less than open, and I especially don't like official presidential visits that are open only to pre-arranged audience members, i.e., you got the Republican newsletter.

I'm glad that the First Amendment allows us to voice dissenting views...it's just too bad that dissenters aren't allowed to voice those opposing views because they can't get in the building to voice them.


3:15 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

From what I understand, Bush's public appearances are far more stage-managed than those of any of his recent predecessors, regardless of party affiliation. At Bush's "town hall meetings," dissent is often stamped out using whatever means necessary. The goal isn't to have a dialogue but to repeat the same talking points ad infinitum.

Call me crazy, but I get upset when I hear about protesters being ordered, under threat of arrest, to leave a Bush campaign event because they wore "Protect Our Civil Liberties" T-shirts. Or when I hear about more than 1,500 people being arrested while protesting a political convention. Or when I hear about Vietnam veterans being herded like cattle into "free speech zones" because they dare to disagree with the president publicly.

Then again, I'm just one of those worn-out dinosaurs who's still fond of the First Amendment. I'm afraid my breed is becoming rarer all the time.

2:25 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

Alabamian, your breed isn't getting rarer, that's just what they want you to believe. The mass media has just given the Bully Journalists carte blanche, it's disgusting. (Why aren't we hearing about the president's pot, LSD, cocaine use on EVERY STATION? EVERY DAY? If it was Clinton, be sure we would have impeachment hearings).

We have to keep up our dissent and make noise. We have to get the mainstream media to grow balls again by demanding it.

11:56 AM  

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