Friday, August 24, 2007

Protecting the Bush Bubble

The Washington Post reports on a manual handed out in advance of George Bush's public appearances, to ensure that the Republican Beloved Leader is protected from dissent and to prevent the ugly reality from intruding on the White House's carefully stage-managed events:
A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential
advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of "deterring
potential protestors" from President Bush's public appearances around
the country.
Of course all members of the audience are carefully screened ahead of such events, as they should be; it is not inconceivable that someone might so actively dislike the Frat Boy President that they would try to hurt him, which would not only be wrong, wrong, wrong, but the ensuing backlash would actually help his party. So I'm not against tight security at public POTUS appearances. And that is also why I'm not surprised that prospective audience are mainly handpicked ticket-holders, i.e., loyal Bushies, and that placard-wielding hippie types are generally not admitted. But, as the WashPost continues:
that does not mean the White House is against dissent -- just so
long as the president does not see it. In fact, the manual outlines a
specific system for those who disagree with the president to voice their
views. It directs the White House advance staff to ask local police "to
designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably
not in the view of the event site or motorcade route."

Adds a new twist to the ages-old cop cliche "Move on, there's nothing to see here." Also, the local event organizers are encouraged to set up Conformity Squads (my own label) to prevent any disruption, i.e. dissent:
To counter any demonstrators who do get in, advance teams are told to
create "rally squads" of volunteers with large hand-held signs, placards
or banners with "favorable messages." Squads should be placed in
strategic locations and "at least one squad should be 'roaming'
throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems,"
the manual says.
However, as the immortal Robert Burns reminds us, even "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men / Gang aft agley". In a worst-case scenario where Islamofascistodefeatocrats have been able to insinuate themselves into a visible spot and are disseminating their heinous opinions, the White House manual recommends that the Conformity Squads move to Plan B:
"These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators," it
says. "The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as
shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the
demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive
chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort,
security should remove the demonstrators from the event site."
Republicans - you gotta love them. Didya hear me, son? You GOTTA love them! Or you're out on your ass!

By the way: The heavily redacted manual was acquired by the ACLU

as part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of two people arrested for refusing to cover their anti-Bush T-shirts at a Fourth of July speech at the West Virginia State Capitol in 2004.
Remember: They hate us for the freedoms we enjoy.

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