James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Friday, October 15, 2004

A few quickies

The lies keep piling up:

During the final "debate," W said again that most of his tax cuts "went to low- and middle-income Americans." Sadly, people who don’t read believe that crap.

As the Daily Mis-lead pointed out Friday (Oct. 15), an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (among others) showed that in 2004, the top 20 percent of Americans, in terms of income, received 69.8 percent of the cuts enacted by Bush and Co. The middle 20 percent in income got an average tax cut of $647, while the top 20 percent got an average cut of $5,055 per year.

The analysis shows that as a result of the Republican tax manipulations, middle class Americans pay a greater share of total federal taxes than they did in 2000.

A happy thought came to me today: Bush and the right wing extremists who support him in Congress are just figments of our imaginations. We’re in some sort of collective nightmare from which we will awaken soon.

I noticed somewhere a reference to the much-used Latin phrase, Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am), and realized that if the statement is true, then, logically, its opposite also must be true.

Ergo, George Bush does not exist. He am not.

It’s very hard to figure out whether the Bush/Cheney campaign is pushing citizens around at campaign events because the candidates are afraid of the public or because their need to control everything and everybody leads them to nutty extremes. Or maybe the candidates’ egos are such that, as Marlin Brando once said, "if there is one person in a room who doesn’t like me, I have to leave."

Whatever the reason, every "public" appearance made by the Republican candidates produces stories of ordinary folks being kept from entering the rally site, or being thrown out, for the most extraordinarily inoffensive behavior. And I do mean every appearance.

A few examples, chosen pretty much at random:

In Traverse City, Mich., a 55-year-old school teacher’s ticket to a Bush campaign speech was taken from her and torn up because she had a small "Kerry for President" sticker on her blouse.
(Reported by the Traverse City Record-Eagle.)

Also in Michigan, a married couple and their son had their tickets to a Bush rally confiscated by three campaign staff members, who ripped them up "violently" and ordered the family to leave the area. Their offense? The husband was wearing a pro-choice tee shirt. The leader of the three Bush staffers said, "If you’re pro-choice, you’re not welcome in his (Bush’s) campaign."
(Reported by the Saginaw News.)

During a Bush rally in Duluth, Minn., Secret Service agents posted photos of people who were not welcome at the rally. Among the pariahs were a Green Party member who had helped organize an entirely legal anti-Bush rally and a local advocate for the homeless.

Got that? The Secret Service. That's pretty scary. And all over the country, police departments are helping the Bush campaign and the Secret Service enforce their lockouts.
(Reported by Minneapolis StarTribune.)

Another not-quite lockout story: The Bush/Cheney campaign insisted on know the race of an Arizona Daily Star staffer assigned to photograph Dick Cheney. The Star refused to provide the information, which Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the campaign, said was necessary "for security purposes." He refused to say whether the request was a bit of racial profiling based on the photographer’s name. She is Mamta Popat.

Three of the newspaper’s editors were asked separately for the information on her race, and all refused to provide it.
(Reported by Arizona Daily Star.)

Such stories number in the dozens, probably the hundreds by now.

Yep, those Republicans really are big on democracy.
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