Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Honesty and integrity - hallmarks of a good President

Well they're at it again. The President and his circus are taking the debate on Social Security privatization to the people in an effort to have an honest conversation with ordinary citizens. Well if you remember what "open and honest" meant during the presidential campaign, you won't be surprized to learn that these ordinary citizens are not so ordinary:

...take a look at the ongoing 60-stop "presidential roadshow" in which Mr. Bush has "conversations on Social Security" with "ordinary citizens" for the consumption of local and national newscasts. As in the president's "town meeting" campaign appearances last year, the audiences are stacked with prescreened fans; any dissenters who somehow get in are quickly hustled away by security goons. But as The Washington Post reported last weekend, the preparations are even more elaborate than the finished product suggests; the seeming reality of the event is tweaked as elaborately as that of a television reality show. Not only are the panelists for these conversations recruited from administration supporters, but they are rehearsed the night before, with a White House official playing Mr. Bush. One participant told The Post, "We ran through it five times before the president got there." Finalists who vary just slightly from the administration's pitch are banished from the cast at the last minute, "American Idol"-style.

Are they honestly incapable of having an open and honest debate on the merits of their plan at this point? President Bush is pushing for support of his SSP plan which at this point he's not willing to outline since it would just be criticized.'re supposed to simply support one of the biggest pieces of legislation to come down the pipe without any of the details just because he says it's good. And we can trust him?! Why sure, look at the debate he's having with all the ordinary citizens.


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