I read this, by Donald Gregg, fierce conservative and former advisor to George H.W. Bush:
Why won’t the Bush administration talk bilaterally and substantively with NK, as the Brits (and eventually the US) did with Libya? Because the Bush administration sees diplomacy as something to be engaged in with another country as a reward for that country’s good behavior. They seem not to see diplomacy as a tool to be used with antagonistic countries or parties, that might bring about an improvement in the behaviour of such entities, and a resolution to the issues that trouble us. Thus we do not talk to Iran, Syria, Hizballah or North Korea. We only talk to our friends — a huge mistake.
And I think of this:
“President Bush will be in Rochester, N.Y., for an upcoming event and has called on WIPP for help,” said the memo to New York-area members [of Women Impacting Public Policy], from one of the group’s leaders. “He would like to visit with local workers about their views on Social Security.”
The memo went on to solicit several types of people “who he would like to visit with” â€” including a young worker who “knows that [Social Security] could run out before they retire,” a young couple with children who like “the idea of leaving something behind to the family” and a single parent who believes Bush’s proposal for individual investment accounts “would provide more retirement options and security” than the current system.
The people solicited appeared to represent various arguments that Bush has been making for why Social Security should be overhauled. The memo requested an immediate response, because “we will need to get names to the White House.”
Somehow despite Social Security privatization polling worse than smallpox, the president never found a single audience member who disagreed with him. In fact the president never appears anywhere that an ordinary citizen might criticize him. Magical.
Mr. Howards, 54, said at a news conference here that he was taking his 8-year-old son to a piano lesson on June 16 at the Beaver Creek Resort about two hours west of Denver when he saw Mr. Cheney at an outdoor mall. Mr. Howards said he approached within two feet of Mr. Cheney and said in a calm voice, “I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible,” or as the lawsuit itself describes the encounter, “words to that effect.”
Mr. Howards said he then went on his way. About 10 minutes later, he said, he was walking back through the area when Agent Reichle handcuffed him and said he would be charged with assaulting the vice president. Local police officers, acting on information from the Secret Service, according to the suit, ultimately filed misdemeanor harassment charges that could have resulted in up to a year in jail.
It just seems that we are dealing with very small people who cannot handle the emotional trauma of ordinary disagreement. You are either a fawning supporter or a practical enabler of terrorists. With us or against us. Sad.