Monday, January 16, 2006

George W. Bush's America

This following is an excerpt from an article by Joshua Green titled Company, Left that appeared in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of The Atlantic.

Command sergeant Major Tim Walz is a 24 year veteran of the Army National Guard now retired but still on active duty when a visit from President George W. Bush shortly before the 2004 election coincided with Walz's homecoming to Mankato, MN. A high school teacher and football coach, he had left to serve overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom.......

The President's visit struck Walz as a teachable moment, and he and two students boarded a Bush campaign bus that took them to a quarry where the president was to speak. But after they had passed through a metal detector and their tickets and IDs were checked, they were denied admittance and ordered back onto the bus. One of the boys had a John Kerry sticker on his wallet.

Indignant, Walz refused. "As a soldier, I told them I had a right to see my commander-in-chief," the normally jovial forty-one-year-old recently explained to a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party dinner in the small town of Albert Lea, MN.

His challenge prompted a KGB-style interrogation that was sadly characteristic of Bush campaign events. Do you support the president? Walz refused to answer. Do you oppose the president? Walz replied that it was no one's business but his own. (He later learned that his wife was informed that the Secret Service might arrest him.) Walz thought for a moment and asked the Bush staffers if they really wanted to arrest a command sergeant major who'd just returned from fighting the war on terrorism.

They did not.

Instead Walz was told to behave himself and permitted to attend the speech, albeit under heavy scrutiny. His students were not: they were sent home. Shortly after this Walz retired from the guard. Then he did something that until recently was highly unusual for a military man. He announced that he was running for Congress - as a Democrat.

The president and his henchmen are twits who really sound like more like bouncers at a bar than political affiliates. Better yet, those two kids got a better lesson in civics in that five minutes than most kids will ever get, and I'll bet they aren't going to join the GOP. Hang on, only thirty-six months left.


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