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  • Monday, November 01, 2004


    Recognizing Zeitgeist: Bullies Ascendent

    Sometimes an opinion piece strikes me as a precise description of the tone of the times, an accurate snapshot of part of the zeitgeist. I might not agree with it but I have a strong feeling that what is described is an important segment of our public lives. That's how I feel about AlterNet: Election 2004: Bullies Ascendent:

    What no one talks about is how the Bush bullies have affected us here at home, so that we, as a society, have grown accustomed to menace and threat as replacements for debate and persuasion. Quotidian bullying could be this president's true and lasting legacy -- beyond debt and war -- to America.

    The 'yuppie riot' organized out of Texas bully Tom DeLay's office during the 2000 vote count in Miami set the tone. Those buttoned-down brown-shirts, the Bush-Jugend if you will, have not regrouped for public displays of force since.
    President Bush's visit last week to Jacksonville, Ore., a tiny mountain town of fewer than 3,000 souls, was heralded by the usual black helicopters bristling with guns. When peaceful protesters lined the main street hoping the President might glance at their signs from his bulletproof limo, they were shot at with paintball guns firing pepper spray.

    CNN the next morning gave a few chipper, upbeat seconds to the abuse. Transcript: "Well, good morning, Heidi," Suzanne Malveaux said. "Of course, as the campaign heats up, so do those protests, as well. It was last night in Jacksonville, Ore., is where there was a group of protesters blocking the street along the motorcade route. And a group of local police hit them with pepper. This is fire from paintball guns. A couple of people were arrested during that scuffle. But for the most part, things were rather peaceful.

    "There were also a lot of Bush supporters that were along that route. And for the most part, President Bush, of course, projecting optimism along the campaign trail."

    Of course, Suzanne.

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