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August 1, 2004 - You won't see Dick, unless you say the magic words...

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This is just too cool!

Say you find yourself in Albuquerque this weekend.  Why you would be in New Mexico is not relevant.  Just say you are.

Dick Cheney will be in town – giving a rousing speech in defense of the administration.  And say, hypothetically, you want to see this guy who works for us all, at the right hand of our president.  And yes, we all pay him to do that with our tax dollars.

Well, this gets a bit tricky.  It seems you must sign a sort of loyalty other to get in the door – saying that you “endorse Bush for reelection” [sic] and, additionally, that you consent to have your named listed by the Bush-Cheney Reelection Committee as an “endorser of President Bush.”

I’m not sure this applies to the press covering the event, but probably not.

Read all about it here:
Obtaining Cheney Rally Ticket Requires Signing Bush Endorsement
Jeff Jones, The Albuquerque Journal, Friday, July 30, 2004

The gist of it?


Some would-be spectators hoping to attend Vice President Dick Cheney's rally in Rio Rancho this weekend walked out of a Republican campaign office miffed and ticketless Thursday after getting this news:

Unless you sign an endorsement for President George W. Bush, you're not getting any passes.

The Albuquerque Bush-Cheney Victory office in charge of doling out the tickets to Saturday's event was requiring the endorsement forms from people it could not verify as supporters.

State Rep. Dan Foley, R-Roswell, speaking on behalf of the Republican Party, said Thursday that a "known Democrat operative group" was intending to try to crash Saturday's campaign rally at Rio Rancho Mid-High School. He added that some people were providing false names and addresses and added that tickets for the limited-seating event should go to loyal Bush backers.

However, some who left the office off Osuna NE without tickets on Thursday said they're not affiliated with an operative group and should have a right to see their vice president without pledging their allegiance to Bush.

"I'm outraged at this. I'm being closed off by my own government. It's crazy," said East Mountains resident Pamela Random, who added that she is an unaffiliated voter.

John Wade of Albuquerque said he initially signed the endorsement but was having second thoughts before he even left the office. Wade, a Democrat, said he returned his tickets and demanded to get his endorsement form back.

“It's not right for me to have to sign an endorsement to hear (Cheney) speak," Wade said. "I'm still pissed. This just ain't right."


Why not?  It is a Republican Party event.

You may have a right to hear just what your elected officials say about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it – but this may not be, really, a public forum.

It seems one John Sanchez, who is chairman of the Bush-Cheney re-election efforts in the area said he wasn't aware of the endorsement matter – and the item quotes him as saying he wouldn’t be surprised if this was happening – but he said too that he works directly for the Bush-Cheney campaign and the rally is a Republican National Committee event.

Ah, two different organizations!  John Sanchez isn’t touching this one.

Of course the Kerry-Edwards folks issued a news release that asked, "Shouldn't all New Mexicans have the right to see their VP?"  Yeah, but do they really want to see him?

And there’s this -


Moses Mercado, head of the Kerry-Edwards campaign in New Mexico, was in Boston on Thursday for the Democratic National Convention. He challenged Republicans to open their event "to all New Mexicans."

"I love when they come to New Mexico, but I wish they'd talk to New Mexicans and let New Mexicans hear their plan," Mercado said. "Because I think they (New Mexicans) really are hungry. They want answers."

Foley countered that Republicans weren't invited to Kerry's nomination-acceptance speech Thursday evening at that convention. "This is a political event— just like (Thursday night)," Foley said of Cheney's upcoming visit.
He said the Rio Rancho event is intended to "energize" Bush-Cheney supporters, and organizers don't want it disrupted. "We've received dozens and dozens of calls from Kerry-Edwards (supporters) who have used deceitful tactics to try and get in and disrupt this event," he said. "Our supporters have worked too hard to have an event like this get disrupted."

Security for Cheney's visit is exceptionally tight. There will be no parking at the school where he is to speak: rally participants will instead be shuttled to the event. Those without tickets, including protesters, are to be in a designated area across from the school.


So let’s see here….  The big theme of the Democratic Convention this week was that we’re all in this together, we’re all Americans, so let all voices be heard (especially ours as you’ve been saying for almost three years now that those with questions and criticisms and suggestions are really on the side of the fanatical Islamic terrorists who want to kill everyone in the western world because they hate our freedoms.)

And this?  A key policy-maker whose salary we all pay?  We cannot hear what he has to say?  We have to wait for a time when he chooses a neutral venue?

Most curious.

Add what you will here about Bush, Cheney, and yes Scalia, and a need for control and obedience - and a real loathing of any criticism from the little people who don’t count.  No need to belabor the point here.  It’s pretty obvious.

Okay?  Got that out of your system?

And no, you didn’t want to go to this rally, really.  But New Mexico is really a pretty nice place and you could visit in happier and less contentious times – and really enjoy it.

Now is not the time.  Be quiet.  Say no sharp words.  Go about your business.




From Joseph in France –


This is not about "disruption".  Such stuff is easily (even joyfully) put down.  When I was at university (a conservative and overwhelmingly Republican school), Bush (I) made a campaign stop.  The handful of young Democrats found themselves surrounded by Hitler Youth types armed with aerosol air horns.  The main object of this was not to drown out protest chant, but to whenever possible blast them directly into the ears of the protesters themselves.  So the New Mexico Republicans are shivering at the thought of a little "disruption"?  I doubt it.  "Make my day" is probably what the rank and file think about such things.


The point here is that the leadership knows that they have to mobilize the party base, but the things that they say to the base is not meant for wide circulation as such talk alienates the middle.  They simply want to have it both ways, saying one thing to the base (wink wink, you're all one of us, so I'll give it to you straight) while talking the moderate talk for the undecideds.  Simple as that.


It does seem like another one of those things that a mere twenty years ago our politicians would have been embarrassed to try.  Doesn't look very democratic or even very honest.  We have different standards today.  We're at war.  What good are secrets if you tell them to everyone?


From Rick the News Guy in Atlanta –


Maybe they wouldn't try this twenty years ago, but if you go back thirty-something years to John Osbourne's "Nixon Watch" column in the New Republic (the 1972 campaign against McGovern), he shows that the Nixon people would often allow a few demonstrators in, with signs and all, and allow them to sit in a designated section of the bleachers, so that once the speech began and they started acting up, the candidate could point them out to the crowd and say something like, "See that? That's what we're running against!"


It was apparently a very successful tactic.


But yes, it's a rally, being run by the RNC, and not a mere political whistle-stop, but certainly not a governmental affair.  So yes, they can certainly exercise, with legal impunity, their right to be just as slimy as they want.


And that's exactly what they're doing.



Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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