Friday, April 07, 2006

Re: Bush interaction [yesterday] at a Townhall Meeting

For those of you who can't see LJ's video, here is some of the dialogue between the president and Mr. Taylor, courtesy of the Seattle Times:

"While I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water," real-estate broker Harry Taylor told Bush at a town-hall meeting.

"I have never felt more ashamed of nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington."

"I'm not your favorite guy," the president said. "What's your question?"

Taylor didn't have one, but he wasn't finished.

"I feel like, despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration," he told Bush. "And I would hope, from time to time, that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself [emph. mine]."

For all their differences, Bush and Taylor agreed on at least one thing.

"I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I'm saying to you right now," Taylor said near the conclusion of his reprimand. "That is part of what this country's about."

"It is," Bush agreed.

That exchange just astounds me. Now, I've never "hated" a president, especially a sitting president so maybe that is why I don't get this. If LJ or Michael were elected president and sought my advice over an issue I thought either had botched badly, I'd tell him so behind closed doors. To tell him he should be ashamed, though, and in public, that I could not do.

As Hugh Hewitt pointed out yesterday in his coversation with James Lileks (you can read it at Radioblogger), the lovely irony here is that he is so frightened by his leadership that he can say this face to face to der Fuhrer himself without fear:

HH: But there's a lot to say about that exchange. I'm just mulling it over, and isn't it wonderful that we live in a country where someone can get up and slag the President, and then pronounce himself fearful of the times in which we live?

JL: Well, you don't know whether or not he was taken out in the parking lot.

HH: We don't. He might never have gotten home.

JL: No, he's gone to that secret camp where Susan Sarandon's been for the last 18 months.

Finally, I would not take James' bet:

JL: ...I will bet you $1,000 dollars that that man has at least 16 bumper stickers on the back of his car.

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