Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Face The Nation

As I read the reports of Vice President Cheney's visit to the troops at Fort Drum today---where he said things like "The only way the terrorists could win is if we lose our nerve and abandon our mission"---something came to mind I'm curious about. When was the last time either Bush or Cheney appeared in front of a crowd that was not pre-selected, screened or handpicked? I've kept a casual running watch on their public appearances for years, and outside of the debates last year I cannot recall a single time when either one has either spoken to or taken questions from a real crowd. Did I just answer my own question? Is the accountability moment once every four years and that's it?

This administration is asking men and women from places like Tulsa and Dubuque and Boise and Newark to give up their careers, families, lives and limbs to fight a war that right now seems without end. Is the president's fear of scorn and ridicule so strong that he can't find it within himself to make a single appearance in middle America to face real questions? Or does his unwillingness to do so betray his own lack of confidence in the mission? If it's the latter, we're in the wrong war. If it's the former, we have the wrong president.

A prime time town hall meeting in Columbus, Ohio, no scripts, random questions with no prescreening by aides, and families of current servicemen in the audience. It's called leadership. What are the odds we ever see it?


Blogger Hume's Ghost said...

Didn't Bush once say that his accountability moment was the election? That in itself should have been a clear sign to anyone listening that he lacks a fundamental understanding of how democracy works.

12/06/2005 7:59 PM  
Anonymous baltar said...

Bush will speak tomorrow to the Council on Foreign Relations, which is an unscreened audience.

The Council changed its own rules so that Bush would not have to take any questions after the event, though Bush wasn't allowed to hang any banners or anything. Still, a few questions from that audience would have been interesting.

That being said, I don't know the last time Bush and/or Cheney spoke to a non-screened crowd. The fact that this one is non-screened and makes the news speaks volumes, I think, in answer to your question.

12/06/2005 8:29 PM  
Blogger DrDave said...

>>When was the last time either Bush or Cheney appeared in front of a crowd that was not pre-selected, screened or handpicked?

TCR: I've got a different, albeit similar, rhetorical question for you:

When was the last time that a presidency's very existance could be measured by daily campaign stops? Five years out and all these guys do is make campaign stops in front of the aforementioned handpicked crowds, standing before Power Point backdrops to spread their propaganda. "We have to stay the course, make the tax cuts permanent, personal accounts will are the only thing that will save Social Security." I can't ever recall a presidency quite like this; one that has never left campaign mode to actually engage in.... what's that word?.....it's on the tip of my tongue......oh, yeah.....GOVERNANCE.

12/06/2005 9:46 PM  
Blogger Innes said...


You mean they did, EVER?

I musta been sleeping.

12/07/2005 12:15 AM  
Blogger mjs said...

Not gonna happen. Bush doesn't know what he is doing. My 15 year old son has a better idea about how to end the war than Bush. The people around Bush know he is an idiot so they don't let him talk to anyone.

12/07/2005 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't remember any unscripted moments, open forums, & non-screened audience. Heck remember that interview he had with Russert where Russert actually asked him a question that he had a hard time asking. The answer he gave was less important than his deer-in-the-headlights reaction.

12/07/2005 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This for me is my biggest problem with the President. I have never been a supporter of his but I have tried to respect the fact that he is the President and he gets to make decisions...but his disdained for the public and I don't mean going out and letting people be rude to him....but his inability to defend his beliefs to people who do not support him is a shame.

12/07/2005 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, now that we know how scripted all Bush appearances are, don't you think that the famous "Can you hear me now" call and response from after 9/11 was pre-planned and used a planted actor?
Stands to reason, doesn't it? Why take a risk when seeding the audience makes the Reichstag speech work so much better.

12/07/2005 10:20 AM  
Anonymous kilfarsnar said...

Potemkin villages for the potemkin president. PR and propaganda are all these guys have ever had. It shows a profound lack of respect for the American people and a shallowness of character and intellect. And it has furthered our politics and government towards being a complete dog and pony show.

12/07/2005 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chances? Um... 100% never. Talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk. Bush talked about being a uniter not a divider, but he says the opposite of what they really mean. Being a divider, gives them their power, and they have appealed to the worst in us: fear and hatred. It is bad enough to have these pre-selected groups, but they don't talk about vision and policies; they whip up fervor and trash other politicians, in a pre-selected military audience no less. And they are like the used cars salemen of politics, when you go to sign the papers to close the deal you find out the price has tripled, quadrupled (i.e., medicare drug plan; Iraq war).

Where is the architect of the Iraq war?

We were sold by the admin it was WMD, Rice and the mushroom cloud, "Shock and Awe", get those terrorists, get Bin Laden dead or alive; but a lot believed it was oil, big business contracts, then it morphed into human rights and then Democracy; WSJ says could it be to fight Iran and Syria and is predicting a 30-year war.

I don't think they'll have a town hall meeting ever, because they really don't like people, or Democracy, and they are going to do what they want, when they want, even if it calls for intelligence manipulation or outing a CIA agent. Our Democracy doesn't matter, doing the job doesn't matter, its all money and power to them and their cronies. Which is why our representatives give defense contracts to whoever lays a sweaty wad of money into their hands (i.e., Cunningham, Delay) and we get people with no skills running critical positions (i.e., FEMA Brown), and why the 911 Commission said we are no safer today.

I would like to see Bush and Helen Thomas have a one-on-one free conversation. I don't think Bush could handle it, and he'd be going for the door faster than a jackrabbit to his hole, or is the hole/bunker Cheney.

12/07/2005 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno, shall we ask Cindy Sheehan?

12/07/2005 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts:
It seems that even our reporters were not asking Real Questions until recently. It had to take a press conference in England or Argentina to provide any serious question.
Also, does this extreme controlling of media interaction remind you at all of the 26 page agreement from the 2004 election debates?
The prior comment about Potemkin villages is so appropriate.

12/07/2005 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last unscreened appearance I can remember was when that guy walking down the street after Katrina reverse Pat Lehey-ed Cheney.

I don't think we'll see another.

12/07/2005 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr.bush is a traitor.

12/10/2005 2:09 AM  
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