We reported this months ago, but it takes a while for the big boys to make it down to our little corner of the blognetisphere… better late than never!
Apparently, there is outrage and debate in the conservative community over the “free speech zones” the Administration uses to make sure the President isn’t bothered by people who disagree with him. The American Conservative magazine has a great article on how wrong it is for the Secret Service to be separating out the “good” protesters from the “bad” protesters in the name of security. (“Duhhhh, I got me this here bomb ta blow up the Prez. Ya think I ought not to carry that there Bush=Hitler sign or what?”) And Kim du Toit gives you a real-life version of why this is someplace we don’t want to let any Administration go.
wKen said the same thing a couple of days ago and got the old “you liberals just don’t understand” speech in his comments. But this is not a conservative/liberal issue. What’s good for one party will be just as good for the next one. And, in fact, clearing out protesters in the name of security has been going on for years. But never has it been so blatantly partisan in its approach.
The counter-arguments have all been about security and the President’s right to avoid seeing the protesters.
I’ve already touched on the security issue, and if all the people were sent to a special area outside a danger zone for the Prez, I could understand the argument. It would still be wrong, but I they’d have a case. But to assume that someone meaning the President harm won’t blend in with the pro-Bush crowd is beyond moronic. This is just a blatant attempt to make sure that there are no protesters in the same camera shot as the President.
The cameras are being used by defenders of the policy to say, “See? No one’s being censored. You can still hear them.” But that’s not the point. I’m not the one who’s supposed to hear them. The President is!
One of the core principles of this country is that we take our grievances straight to the government. If we don’t like the results, we have every right to toss them out and start over again. That goes for our local representatives and Congress-people right up to the President.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
We forget we have this power most of the time. Indeed, if I left out the “we hold these truths…” part, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to identify the source of the above quote. (A scary number of people still won’t know what it’s from.) But if we keep forgetting that and letting the government shield itself from us, then when we wake up and want to exercise those rights, we may find it next to impossible.
[ via ***Dave ]