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lachoy (1663)


I am actually Chris Winters; I am actually living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; I am actually married and have three cats. (Guess what one of them is named?) I am the "OpenInteract" guy, which could be good or bad.

Journal of lachoy (1663)

Monday March 14, 2005
09:32 AM

If you don't agree with me I don't want to hear it...

[ #23641 ]

From TPM:

It is also true that presidents and cabinet secretaries make all sorts of appearances before private organizations where the public is not allowed or appearances where attendance is restricted on various bases. It is even true that tickets for presidential events are often doled out (under both parties) as a sort of minor patronage for local political supporters and bigwigs. And no one would deny that a White House can take practical steps to manage attendence at presidential events.

But it has become quite clear in this case -- almost old-hat, you might say -- that all the events the president is holding on Bamboozlepalooza are restricted to people who support his agenda. Sometimes disagree-ers (or should we call them dissidents?) slip through. But the White House takes affirmative and fairly successful steps to exclude those who are not supporters.

We got used to this during the campaign. But that's different: Campaigns are private organizations. They have their own money. They can do pretty much what they want in this regard and are only limited by the constraints of public ridicule.

Taken altogether, though, something seems qualitatively different to me about what's happening here -- specifically, the nexus of taxpayer funding and ideological litmus tests for inclusion. Nobody would imagine that the president would or could restrict public White House tours to political supporters. Yet here the administration has undertaken what is quite publicly a taxpayer-funded public advocacy campaign. And yet only those who pass a political test are allowed to attend.

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  • Clinton did the same thing, often. He would do speeches before supporters to promote his agenda. While it is distasteful to me -- not the exclusion of people per se, but just the public relations tour thing -- it is not new with this President, it's been around.
    • True. But I wouldn't be surprised if the current administration might be quite a bit more zealous in their pre-screening.

      This is sad no matter who does it -- sad for the administration and sad for the people who won't listen no matter what they say. We just keep pushing one another into corners.

      • I think something important to keep in mind is that this is all about P.R. It is not about reality, and the more people on both sides think it is, the more it gets in the way. If we can stop it, great, but absent that, I find it is best to ignore it. I agree with most of Bush's positions, and I mostly ignore it, because it is a sideshow.

        I posted about a similar experience [] recently, too. It's annoying, but ... it is what it is.
        • Yeah, it's easy to ignore. But it seems like PR IS ALL THAT'S THERE -- all dessert, no dinner. (grumble grumble bitch bitch, nothing to see here)
          • I dunno, I think there's a lot of substance to talk about. You just won't find it at these PR events.

            The problem is not the PR events, it's that they work. Network news shows soundbites, so they give them soundbites. And it's not even the national news, it's mostly the local news that these events are geared toward. But they work because they fit into the preexisting, lame, news system. Bleah.

            Don't blame me, I watch PBS NewsHour. ;-)