Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another Chilling Tale of the Bushtatorship

You've heard the claims before--the Bushtatorship has suppressed dissent and critics have experienced a chilling effect that silences them.

No, really, stop giggling. Some war critics truly believe that the truth only gets out because some Baldwin brother manages to smuggle crudely reproduced tracts from Michael Moore from one organic market to the next in unnamed body orifices as part of a network of safe houses to inform the devoted few who resist the fascist state that suppresses all dissent. Good grief man, one day they might look up your library records! Maybe! Perhaps! Can't rule it out!

One brave man, surely braver than the man who carried out the cheap stunt of standing in front of Chinese tanks in 1989, spoke truth to power:

A man who identified himself as Harry Taylor rose at a forum here to tell Bush that he's never felt more ashamed of the leadership of his country. He said Bush has asserted his right to tap phone calls without a warrant, to arrest people and hold them without charges and to revoke a woman's right to an abortion, among other things.

Bravo Mr. Taylor.

So what happens when some brave Leftist rises up and confronts the man himself? Surely he would be beaten and dragged off. Or silenced with a withering presidential glare while VP Cheney unslings the shotgun, right?

Well no. Even after the audience booed the man:

He was booed by the audience, but Bush interrupted and urged the audience to let Taylor finish.

"I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administraiton," Taylor said, standing in a balcony seat and looking down at Bush on stage. "And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself."

Bush defended the National Security Administration's survelliance program, saying he authorized the program to protect the country.

"You said would I apologize for that?" Bush told him. "The answer is absolutely not."

Damn right the President shouldn't apologize for defending our country. The day we can't listen in on our enemies even if they call someone in America--especially if they call someone in America--is the day we aren't taking this war seriously.

I heard on the television news that the man actually thanked the President for hearing him out. The man may be clueless about the war, but at least he has the sense to realize that he isn't likely to be disappeared. Heck, he'll probably join the Sheehan tour and become a minor celebrity on the Hollywood circuit.

Oh, and is it my imagination that the AP writer wrote with some regret that our President was on stage and that the hostile questioner was in a balcony overlooking the stage but only shot a question at the President? Nah. Couldn't be. The writer would have to know a little history to hint at that analogy.