Thursday, November 15, 2007

Apparently, all America's other problems have been solved.

By now you've heard about the US bridge team in hot water for pulling a Dixie Chicks move in Shanghai. They were so tired of bridge players from other countries asking how in God's name Americans could vote for George Bush twice that they decided to go public with this hastily scribbled sign.

The association that organizes this international bridge team, its knickers in a serious twist, has threatened these players with suspension, fines and day old cheese and Triscuits.

I think everyone who didn't vote for Bush should be given medals for prescience, but even I think this impromptu display was stupid. But if stupid was a punishable offense I can think of thousands of people who should be dunned before these card-slinging ladies.

I don't even have to watch Fox News to hear the umbrage. Yes, they dissed the prez on foreign soil. My God, how will the Republic stand? How will this card game ever recover its once vaunted position in American sporting life!

Think of the children!

So, OK, the US Association of Tight-Assed Bridge Honchos are within their right to suspend these women. I won't argue that. Just as Clear Channel is within its right to ban Dixie Chicks and Springsteen songs from their airwaves (except that they're really our airwaves, but let's not get into that right now). And those newspapers were within their right to fire those two columnists who had the affrontery to question Bush's skedaddle on 9/11. And that lawyer was within his right to fire an employee for having a John Kerry sticker on her car.

Yes, they are all within their rights.

But just because it's legal to be a flaming ass doesn't mean it's right to be a flaming ass.

What has happened to this country? Is the president so fragile that he needs corporations, newspapers, and bridge associations to protect him from seeing something that's not complimentary? Are the few remaining Bush supporters so insecure that they have to crush any form of dissent, no matter how fleeting and stupid?

I remember when columnists, pundits, sports figures, comedians, singers and strangers on the street said horrible things about Clinton, and this was before the blow job, and I don't remember anyone getting fired or banned from the airwaves because of it. I never heard of a single person getting fired for sporting those "Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Bush" bumper stickers in the 90's.

So, why do people on Team Bush feel so threatened? Are their beliefs so shaky that a hand-scribbled note by a bridge player throws them into paroxysms of outrage? All it said was "We did not vote for Bush."

Oh no! How will we ever prevail in the War on Terror if our enemies are continually encouraged by a bridge team's voting patterns.

No, it's not censorship.

But it is petty.

I don't like it any more when private citizens pick up the cudgel to silence political speech than I do when my government does it. Just because it's legal doesn't make it right.

Bottom line? People shouldn't say stupid things about Bush, especially overseas because it only gives Fox something to bluster about for a news cycle. But when people do say stupid things, and they will, the president should get a thicker hide and his supporters should get a life.

I guess all the other problems in America have been solved, huh? Otherwise, we wouldn't be wasting our time on a non-event.

6 comments:

Lee Child said...

David

"Bottom line? People shouldn't say stupid things about Bush ..."

But the note wasn't about Bush - it was about the players themselves - and it wasn't stupid - it was straightforward factual reportage.

The real bottom line is this - those of us who travel the world are aware of a last desperate attempt on the part of others to salvage some residual affection for the America they remember. They do so by reminding themselves that Bush isn't America ... and it becomes a patriotic duty to tell them, yes, you're right. That way there might be some small shred of goodwill left to build on later.

Lee

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

I totally missed this in the news. I did catch a story last night of a woman at a John McCain event referring to Hillary as a bitch. John McCain was bashed for not chastizing the attendant. Interviewed afterward, the female McCain event attendee referred to Ms. Rodham-Clinton as diabolical.

I've called Hillary a witch, bitch and other derogatory names for years and never garnered even comic page coverage. I feel discrimated against. Who do I sue?

David Terrenoire said...

Lee,

I encourage Americans who travel to remind our friends in other countries that indeed, Bush isn't America. At least I have hopes.

Perhaps I was imprecise. I meant the way these ladies used this venue was naive at best. But my heart is cerainly with them in their message.

And I repeat, I think anyone who didn't vote for Bush should be given a medal. God knows we deserve one for making it through 7 years of this disastrous run. Now, if we can only hunker down and stick it out for another 400+ days maybe we'll get some people in government who actually care about governing. That would be refreshing.

Dread,

Whatever you do has to be caught on camera to count. I know you can do it. You'll just have to try harder.

norby said...

I guess I've been lucky-I've traveled overseas the last three years and the most I've had someone say to me is that Bush needs to go. When I agreed, the person then said that it was up to me and my friends to go home and make a difference.

Apparently, all we have to do is write mean things on pieces of paper so that his feelings get hurt. Well, maybe a little bit more than that.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

I haven't voted FOR anyone since...um...well...its been a few years. I vote in every election, but I always end up casting a vote AGAINST someone I consider to be the worst candidate, instead of FOR someone who I stand behind.

I haven't given up total hope, just most hope. And no, never use someone else's venue for your political statement unless you are ready to get smacked down. I boo clebreties who use the Ocsar,Emmy and other award shows to make political commentary. Its not the place for it. Now a blog...

deangc said...

What has happened to this country?

I shake my head. I'm no screaming lefty --although I'm Canadian and that automatically makes me Chairman Mao's Lackey in the eyes of some Americans-- and every time I realize that we are actually discussing whether or not the US should waterboard people, I shake my head. How is it that we are even discussing this? How did it come to pass that the United States, that nation that I grew up thinking was the champion of freedom, democracy, and fair play, is holding people offshore without trial and torturing them?

How did this happen? If you had told me ten years ago that the US would be openly admitting that it had waterboarded some people, but that this wasn't torture because it didn't disfigure them, I'd have said you were crazy. Yet here we are.