Sunday, April 24, 2005

Endless Hypocrisy

In modern-day America, everything is political ... except politics!

From Time Magazine: Any Kerry Supporters On The Line? The Bush Administration punishes some Democrat backers
The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission meets three times a year in various cities across the Americas to discuss such dry but important issues as telecommunications standards and spectrum regulations. But for this week's meeting in Guatemala City, politics has barged onto the agenda. At least four of the two dozen or so U.S. delegates selected for the meeting, sources tell TIME, have been bumped by the White House because they supported John Kerry's 2004 campaign.


Those barred from the trip include employees of Qualcomm and Nokia, two of the largest telecom firms operating in the U.S., as well as Ibiquity, a digital-radio-technology company in Columbia, Md. One nixed participant, who has been to many of these telecom meetings and who wants to remain anonymous, gave just $250 to the Democratic Party. Says Nokia vice president Bill Plummer: "We do not view sending experts to international meetings on telecom issues to be a partisan matter.
International meetings are not the only things that have suddenly become a "political". Bush's appearances as "president" are being handled with all the openness of his appearances as a "candidate". From The Washington Post: GOP Volunteer Probed on Role at President's Speech: 3 Democratic Observers Were Ejected From Event
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating whether a Republican volunteer committed the crime of impersonating a federal agent while forcibly removing three people from one of President Bush's public Social Security events, according to people familiar with the probe.

The Secret Service this week sent agents to Denver to probe allegations by three area Democrats that they were ousted from Bush's March 21 event. The three did not stage any protest at the rally and were later told by the Secret Service they were removed because their vehicle displayed an anti-Bush bumper sticker.
This was far from an isolated event. Keeping intelligent people away from the president in public is a matter of White House policy, although, like everything else, including officially sanctioned torture, they blame it on others.
This is not the first time the White House has faced scrutiny for ousting critics from Bush appearances or trying to stack audiences with friendly Republicans.

In Fargo, N.D., earlier this year, a local newspaper reported more than 40 residents were put on a list of people who should not be let in the door; the White House blamed the incident on an overzealous volunteer.

Several people reported similar treatment at other Social Security rallies, as well as during the 2004 presidential campaign, when the Bush team reportedly required some people to sign forms endorsing Bush to get into the events, and removed dissenters.
On the other hand, when it comes to hardball politics, the hypocrite who lives in the Oval Office likes to pretend that all the major issues are apolitical. From CNN: Bush: Politics stalling Bolton vote
President Bush urged senators Thursday to "put aside politics" and confirm John Bolton as the country's new U.N. ambassador, calling him "the right man at the right time for this important assignment."

"Sometimes, politics gets in the way of doing the people's business," Bush said in a speech to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America convention in Washington.

"Take John Bolton, the good man I nominated to represent our country at the U.N.

"John's distinguished career and service to our nation demonstrates that he is the right man at the right time for this important assignment," Bush said.

"I urge the Senate to put aside politics and confirm John Bolton to the U.N."
First things first: What?? "Put aside politics and confirm John Bolton??? Did I read that right??? What could possibly be more political than an ambassadorship to the United Nations???

Next things next: Good man? Distinguished career? Service to our nation? Here's the best summary I have seen so far: Bolton: The Armageddon Man
Bolton [...] stands apart from the neoconservative camp because of his longtime association with moderate conservative James Baker and the close ties he had with Dixiecrat Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC). Unlike most neocons, who stay removed from electoral politics, Bolton has repeatedly immersed himself in the mundane and often dirty politics of ensuring Republican Party electoral victories.

One political label that certainly fits Bolton is that of "hawk" or militarist. Like most other Bush administration officials, Bolton is a militarist who has never gone to war — which according to some detractors makes him a "chickenhawk." In his work in the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations, Bolton has become known as the right's most effective and strident opponent of the United Nations and all forms of global governance and international law not controlled by the U.S. government.
And not only that, but Bolton has a long history of involvement in very "apolitical" organizations and events.
From the start of his political career, Bolton has been a Republican Party loyalist. As a private attorney before joining the Reagan administration in 1981, he worked with Sens. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.). In the 1980s he participated in Republican Party efforts to beat back the voter registration campaigns organized by labor and black organizations. A veteran of Southern electoral campaigns, Bolton appealed to the racism of white voters and reprised his role in the 2000 presidential campaign.

Working closely with his former boss James Baker during the Florida recount following the contested 2000 presidential election, Bolton once again proved his allegiance to the party and polished his reputation as someone "who gets things done." As part of the Republican Party's legal team headed by former Secretary of State Baker — Bolton's boss during the George H.W. Bush administration — Bolton put his hard-ball approach to partisan politics to work. In a complimentary article on Bolton, the Wall Street Journal in July 2002 reported that Bolton's "most memorable moment came after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a halt to the recount, when Mr. Bolton strode into a Tallahassee library, where the count was still going on, and declared: 'I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the vote.'"
According to reports from Greg Palast, the assertion that the Supreme Court stopped the "recount" is an error, because there was never any recount. They stopped the count. The first count. The only count. Some votes were cast but never counted at all, let alone recounted. But I digress. Let's get back to the world of nonpartisan apolitics, shall we?
While publicly thanking Bolton for his services, Vice President-elect Cheney was asked what job Bolton would get in the new administration. "People ask what [job] John should get," Cheney said, "My answer is, anything he wants."
And now, for me, the only remaining question is: How apolitical can you get?

I was going to ask "How hypocritical can they get?", but then I remembered the answer, which is, of course, "There is absolutely no limit."

We haven't had any songs lately. Let's change that now.

This one was written by the late Lowell George and recorded by Little Feat.
Apolitical Blues

Well my telephone was ringing
And they told me it was Chairman Mao
Well my telephone was ringing
And they told me it was Chairman Mao
I don't care who it is
I just don't wanna talk to him now

I've got the a - I got the apolitical blues
Apolitical blues -- the meanest blues of all
I don't care if it's the unholy four, John Wayne and Dorothy Lamour
I just don't wanna talk to him now

Telephone was ringing
They told me, told me it was Chairman Mao
My telephone was ringing...
Do you hear it ringing? Do you hear it ringing?
Do you hear it ringing? All right!
I don't care who it is
I just don't wanna talk
I said I just don't wanna talk
I just don't wanna
I just don't wanna talk to him now