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Thread: The Presidential Bubble

  1. #1
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    [b]The Presidential Bubble[/b]

    New York Times Editorial
    Published: September 25, 2003

    Four progressive political groups sued the Bush administration this week, charging that the Secret Service is systematically keeping protesters away from the president's public appearances. They make a serious point about free speech rights, but they also point out a disturbing aspect of the Bush White House: the country has a chief executive who seems to embrace the presidential bubble.

    Security concerns make it inevitable that a modern American president will be somewhat cut off from the country he leads. He cannot insert himself into any part of normal life without a phalanx of security guards.

    Protesters cannot be permitted to get close enough to pose a threat, but they ought to be able to get close enough so the president can see that they are there. Sometimes seeing a glimpse of placard-wielding demonstrators is as close as the commander in chief can get to seeing the face of national discontent.

    At Mr. Bush's public appearances, his critics are routinely shunted into "protest zones" as much as a half-mile away. At the Columbia, S.C., airport last year, a protester with a "No War for Oil" sign was ordered to move a half-mile from the area where Mr. Bush's supporters were allowed to stand. When the protester refused, he was arrested.

    Mr. Bush and his aides also seem to go to great lengths to underline the degree to which the president closes himself off from the news media. In an interview with Fox News this week, the president said he learned most of what he needs to know from morning briefings by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and his chief of staff, Andrew Card.

    As for newspapers, Mr. Bush said, "I glance at the headlines" but "rarely read the stories." The people who brief him on current events encounter many of the newsmakers personally, he said, and in any case "probably read the news themselves."

    Some of this may be a pose that is designed to tweak the media by making the news appear to be below the president's notice. During the Iraqi invasion, when the rest of the nation was glued to TV, Mr. Bush's spokesman claimed that his boss had barely glanced at the pictures of what was going on.

    But it is worrisome when one of the most incurious men ever to occupy the White House takes pains to insist that he gets his information on what the world is saying only in predigested bits from his appointees.

    Mr. Bush thinks of himself as a man of the people, but carefully staged contacts with groups of supporters or small children does not constitute getting in touch with the people. It is in Mr. Bush's interest, as well as the nation's, for him to burst the bubble he has been inhabiting, and take a hard look at the real world.

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    Yeah - Bush should follow the advice of the NY Once Upon a Times, whose motto is "Accuracy Schmaccuracy - at least we're diverse."

    The Times' credibility is awesome these days, I'll be sure to listen to whatever they say.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Sep 25 2003, 10:05 AM
    [b] Yeah - Bush should follow the advice of the NY Once Upon a Times, whose motto is "Accuracy Schmaccuracy - at least we're diverse."

    The Times' credibility is awesome these days, I'll be sure to listen to whatever they say. [/b][/quote]
    Attack, Attack, Attack!!

    5-ever... It's an editorial opinion. If you want, state your case. Or do you always feel the need to level rightwing reactionary attacks?

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    there can be no doubt at all the Bush is the most PROTECTED presidents of the modern era when it comes to his contact with the media and with dissenting opinion in general. He's had what, like 8 HEAVILY scripted press conferences. He has to be protected cause the guy's basically a mental midget ya never know what crazy make no sense s**t is gonna pop out there.

    this is not what democracy is supposed to be. Its not even what a democratic republic is supposed to be.

    the bottom line though is it doesn't matter with that man. He's got 8 brain cells and they are all busy at the time, don't have enough excess power to read and assimilate protestors or their signs. He's displayed time and time again he doesn't give a s**t what people think so why should that change?

    unfortunately for the president and his people there are always the POLLS and elections the people will let you know how badly you stink one way or the other.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Sep 25 2003, 09:34 AM
    [b] there can be no doubt at all the Bush is the most PROTECTED presidents of the modern era when it comes to his contact with the media and with dissenting opinion in general. He's had what, like 8 HEAVILY scripted press conferences. He has to be protected cause the guy's basically a mental midget ya never know what crazy make no sense s**t is gonna pop out there.

    this is not what democracy is supposed to be. Its not even what a democratic republic is supposed to be.

    the bottom line though is it doesn't matter with that man. He's got 8 brain cells and they are all busy at the time, don't have enough excess power to read and assimilate protestors or their signs. He's displayed time and time again he doesn't give a s**t what people think so why should that change?

    unfortunately for the president and his people there are always the POLLS and elections the people will let you know how badly you stink one way or the other. [/b][/quote]
    ah...the implication being that YOU are smart and Bush is not. Lovely.

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    cmon i was being sarcastic... obviously bush doesn't have 8 brain cells.

    even a supporter of the man has to admit that he is handled with kid gloves, they NEVER allow him to be in a situation that could cause him even mild distress.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Sep 25 2003, 10:55 AM
    [b] cmon i was being sarcastic... obviously bush doesn't have 8 brain cells.

    even a supporter of the man has to admit that he is handled with kid gloves, they NEVER allow him to be in a situation that could cause him even mild distress. [/b][/quote]
    bit... Don't you realize he's the greatest George to be president since Washington himself?

    Did you see where he said he glances at the headlines but rarely reads the articles? Not exactly Curious George is he. <_<

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators+Sep 25 2003, 10:00 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (tailgators @ Sep 25 2003, 10:00 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--bitonti[/i]@Sep 25 2003, 10:55 AM
    [b] cmon i was being sarcastic... obviously bush doesn&#39;t have 8 brain cells.

    even a supporter of the man has to admit that he is handled with kid gloves, they NEVER allow him to be in a situation that could cause him even mild distress. [/b][/quote]
    bit... Don&#39;t you realize he&#39;s the greatest George to be president since Washington himself?

    Did you see where he said he glances at the headlines but rarely reads the articles? Not exactly Curious George is he. <_< [/b][/quote]
    So you guys have MBAs from Harvard Business School? I know, I know...Bush didn&#39;t earn it, even though Gore got terrible grades too and his daddy was a powerful man and Al Jr. was a genius who had classic lines like "A leopard can&#39;t change his stripes" or getting E Pluribis Unum reversed.


    Look - every politician is handled, even your precious Gen. Clark. And yes, last night&#39;s debate seemed to be an embarrassment, as is that whole mess. But reap it, California, reap the rewards of your ridiculousness. I am partly glad they are such an embarassment, serves them right.

    I agree completely that Bush is "handled." We are foolish to think that we vote for individuals anyway - we vote for parties. A vote for Bush is a vote for DeLay, etc. A vote for ANY Democratic candidate is a vote for Terry McKauliffe, etc.

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    To me the fact that in large measure today&#39;s pols are "handled" is lamentable.

    In my view it discourages independent thinking and bold action. Give me the good old days of Roosevelt,Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy anytime. I don&#39;t think it was possible to "handle" any of those men. And as a nation we were better off for it.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators[/i]@Sep 25 2003, 10:36 AM
    [b] To me the fact that in large measure today&#39;s pols are "handled" is lamentable.

    In my view it discourages independent thinking and bold action. Give me the good old days of Roosevelt,Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy anytime. I don&#39;t think it was possible to "handle" any of those men. And as a nation we were better off for it. [/b][/quote]
    I actually agree with you on this one...someone check hell for ice&#33;&#33;&#33;

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever+Sep 25 2003, 11:51 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (jets5ever @ Sep 25 2003, 11:51 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--tailgators[/i]@Sep 25 2003, 10:36 AM
    [b] To me the fact that in large measure today&#39;s pols are "handled" is lamentable.

    In my view it discourages independent thinking and bold action. Give me the good old days of Roosevelt,Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy anytime. I don&#39;t think it was possible to "handle" any of those men. And as a nation we were better off for it. [/b][/quote]
    I actually agree with you on this one...someone check hell for ice&#33;&#33;&#33; [/b][/quote]
    We&#39;ve agreed on things before, and we probably will again.

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    Again, this goes back to one of my classic problems with Bush well beyond problems I have with the Republican Party. I really wish they had had the balls to nominate McCain. I&#39;m sure he could have still beat Gore with even less controversey in the deciding state.

    If the Democrats can do no better than nominate Lieberman or Kerry, I&#39;ll feel the same way about them too.

    It&#39;s no secret that ALL modern politicians are handled, I agree with that. But at least guys like McCain, Clark, and Dean give you the illusion that they&#39;ve ever written one of their own speeches, care what the country thinks, and at one point worked hard to get where they are.

    Sure some of this is no doubt corroborated by media and pundit impressions, but a truly great President/candidate should be able to overcome that. Instead, Bush limits his press conferences and is carefully groomed.

    I&#39;ve said it before; just as I feel sorry for liberals who have to hail Bill Clinton as a true hero, I feel even more sorry for honest, intelligent, and articulate conservatives who have no choice but to keep Bush II on a pedestal out of fear for the &#39;alternative&#39;.

    Hopefully a few years down the road the Republican party will be back in a position of having to find a real "populist appeal" candidate who is not recycled from the dregs of big money WASP familes and generations of corrupt politicians. When this time comes, the party will be much the better for it.

    People in this country, no matter what their preferred end of the spectrum, shouldn&#39;t have to be constantly electing the "most powerful man in the world" with a Lesser of Two Evils rationalization every 4 years.

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    It&#39;s been a sad reality for a long time now that big money determines who gets nominated and elected. Whoever has the biggest "war chest" automatically has the advantage in getting their spin out on the airwaves and through mass mailings. We all may like to boast that we keep an open mind and don&#39;t let others tell us how to think, but advertisers have long known what political machines merely repeat every 4 years: Advertising sells, and it doesn&#39;t matter if the product is a deodorant or a political platform. Get the slogan out there and pound the public with it. It&#39;s been my contention that this country in my lifetime hasn&#39;t elected the best person available for the job of president because those people weren&#39;t given a chance. In my opinion, that job always goes to the nominal head of the party best equipped to "sell" their man.

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