George W. Bush: President of the United Republicans of America

Froomkin

You might think that a presidential speech on Thanksgiving would be open to all comers. But no, even when President Bush is talking about something as uncontroversial and inclusive as the essential goodness of our country, he wants his audience prescreened for obsequiousness.

Bush traveled to the historic Berkeley Plantation in southeastern Virginia yesterday for an event carefully calibrated to emphasize his compassionate side. In his remarks, he encouraged “all Americans to show their thanks by giving back.”

But, as usual, he wasn’t talking to all Americans. At least not in person. Admission to the event was tightly controlled by White House and Republican party officials….

As I’ve chronicled exhaustively in this column, Bush has adopted a tactic that is barely acceptable during a political campaign and made it standard practice for his taxpayer-funded visits around the nation.

Peter Baker wrote in The Washington Post in August about a White House manual that actually codifies the elaborate procedures aides use to keep dissenters far away from the president.

It’s really inexcusable. When was the last time members of the general public were able to see the president without receiving specific invitations from the White House or the Republican party? Was it the inauguration? Will we have to wait until the next one for it to happen again?
Here’s a question reporters should be asking every one of the candidates running to succeed Bush in the 2008 election: Will you make yourself accessible to all the people, or just to the people who agree with you?

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal

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