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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

See Dick Run (Away)

Vice-president Dick Cheney visited Gainesville Wednesday, but he didn't want to meet the public. Instead he had a brief, invitation-only meeting with a handful of supporters at a local Harley-Davidson dealership.

Cheney's avoidance of the public is indicative of Bush-Cheney campaign events across the nation. All attendees must be invited and must sign loyalty oaths to Bush before entering.

Loyalty oaths? That sounds like something Saddam Hussein would require. At least the Kerry-Edwards campaign is not requiring this.

Not content to prevent anyone with a shred of opposition to Bush from attending one of his events, Bush has had his secret service agents force any protestors into caged zones often far away from his events.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit for several people who claim the Secret Service denied them their First Amendment rights by allowing Bush supporters to wave signs where Bush could see them but requiring Bush protestors to do so as far as a mile away.

This is part of a larger pattern of secrecy employed by the Bush administration. When President Nixon's former attorney John Dean calls the Bush administration the most secret White House ever, you know that something is wrong.

In Gainesville, Cheney didn’t speak at a rally. He's just breezed through town, taking just enough time to shake hands with a dozen loyalists who apparently have no problem being lied to on a regular basis.

The only bright spot with Cheney's visit is that it might prompt a Kerry/Edwards visit. At their events, all people are invited, and no loyalty oaths are required. Unlike Bush/Cheney, the Kerry/Edwards campaign isn't afraid of dissent.

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