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Will Bush bring out red, white, and boos?

by Lindsay Barnes
published 4:59pm Monday Jun 30, 2008
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As the saying goes, it’s lonely at the top, and perhaps nobody in the world knows this better than President George W. Bush. With the economy lagging, gas prices rising, and the war in Iraq remaining unpopular, Bush’s present approval rating is at 30 percent according to the most recent Gallup poll.

However, displays of this disapproval in Bush’s presence have been few and far between, given that Bush does not make many public appearances. But lately, when Bush has gone out among the American people, the American people have not received him warmly. From getting heckled at the NAACP convention in 2006, to getting booed by 40,000+ after throwing out the first pitch at the opening of the Washington Nationals’ in March, Bush hasn’t been able to leave the White House bubble without hearing an increasingly loud voice of dissent.

Given that 72 percent of Charlottesville voters cast ballots against Bush’s re-election, and that his visit to Monticello on Friday to celebrate July 4 will be free and open to the public, could the president be stepping into a public embarrassment by coming to our town?

Nobody is coming forward and declaring that they plan to interrupt the president, but blogger and former press secretary for Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) David Swanson says he does hope to rouse a little rabble at Monticello on Friday.

“We’re asking people to bring props and signs and flyers and banners,” says Swanson, “and we’re getting together in the lower parking lot just off Route 20, to line the road up to Monticello, to let people know what we think of this particular individual speaking on this day.”

Among the groups with whom Swanson is working is the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, who hold weekly protests in front of the federal courthouse against the Iraq war. Asked if the Center is planning any kind of disruption of Bush’s remarks or the naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens over which he will preside, spokeswoman Center spokesperson Sarah Lanzman says, “If people do something like that, that would be something out of their own conscience. We’re not organizing anything like that.”

Some in the blogosphere, including those on this very website, say that the solemnity of the occasion renders a politically-charged interruption inappropriate. Swanson agrees with that sentiment, at least in part. “I don’t think anyone should interrupt or disrupt one of the few decent things this president is involved in,” he says, “but if people want to make their views known, particularly if these new citizens want to exercise their new rights, then that’s entirely appropriate.”

Ah, but would Swanson himself voice his dissent to Bush’s face given the chance? All he would say is, “I’ll tell you Monday.”

July 1 update: Monticello has announced that the president’s visit will still be open to the public, but only 1,000 people will get in, and those people will need to have tickets. The free tickets will be distributed at the Monticello Visitor Center near Piedmont Virginia Community College at 7am on Wednesday, July 2. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you are to report back to the Visitor Center at a specifically assigned time, no earlier than 6:15am.


  • teacher # 9 June 30th, 2008 | 5:41 pm

    Sure, they will probably allow protest along Route 20, unless there are safety concerns for the traffic situation. My guess, anyone interrupting the activities on the mountain, will be promptly escorted away-perhaps to jail.

  • Music Lover June 30th, 2008 | 6:06 pm

    “My guess, anyone interrupting the activities on the mountain, will be promptly escorted away-perhaps to jail.”

    How true, for in George Bush’s America the Constitution is but a few pieces of brittle brown parchment composed by dead dudes who didn’t have the benefit of 9-11 before coming up with such ridiculous notions as freedom of assembly, redress, and speech.

  • Susan June 30th, 2008 | 6:44 pm

    Protesters be sly…


  • Mr. Roboto June 30th, 2008 | 7:34 pm

    This is the same David Swanson that said something different on cvillenews.com.I hope the hook calls him back and asks about those comments. He said he would protest the naturalization at Monticello and then called anyone who disagreed with him a fascist, nazi, or a brown shirt. To call Waldo a nazi on his own website might be free speech but it’s also slanderous, rude and just plain wrong.

  • County Farmer June 30th, 2008 | 7:38 pm

    Wow, I didn’t realize that 72 out of 100 Charlottesville residents are so mentally challenged to not support any republican(dead, dumb or demented) over any democrat. Must be they love paying additional taxes and supporting those who expect entitlements. Good thing the democrats passed the farm relief bill over George’s veto so I can obtain your tax money for not growing crops. Thanks.

  • Outskirts Guy June 30th, 2008 | 8:23 pm

    Why the hell haven’t we attacked Iran yet?

    Just one block away from downtown C-Ville and it is a red blanket, so I hope those from downtown don’t get stoned. Blue dot of lunatics sinking in red sea of fools.

    Now, where are my illegal fireworks, wife/cousin, pack of smokes, and a match?

  • RWP June 30th, 2008 | 9:07 pm

    Should there be protestors who cause disruption on the mountain, there will be plenty of folks ready and willing to protest you.
    Dont cast stones unless you are prepared to have them thrown back at ya.

  • Music Lover July 1st, 2008 | 8:09 am

    “Just one block away from downtown C-Ville and it is a red blanket, so I hope those from downtown don’t get stoned. Blue dot of lunatics sinking in red sea of fools.”

    Apparently either you’ve never been one block from downtown Charlottesville, or you’re color blind.

  • Van Winkle July 1st, 2008 | 12:42 pm

    In 5 months Bush will be counting oil profits he has silently watched accummulate while the Bush dynasty forged ahead with their oil deals. WHY DO YOU THINK BUSH HAS BEEN SMILING AS OUR COUNTRY FAILS TO HAVE A ENERGY POLICY?

    Have fun filling up that pickup Bubba!


  • Jamie D. July 1st, 2008 | 2:45 pm

    Why do people keep taking George Bush, John McCain, Obama, the Clintons and all of their peers seriously? Paying attention to them only encourages them.

    I hope Thomas Jefferson rises from the dead and smacks Lord Bunnypants into oblivion.

  • Cville Eye July 1st, 2008 | 4:24 pm

    See what happens when the Statler Brothers stopped playing?

  • Thundercat July 2nd, 2008 | 2:52 pm

    Uh, W. doesn’t own interest in any oil company or stock. In 1990, Bush sold his remaining stock options and left the oil business. Get your facts straight before spewing left wing garbage.

  • Jamie D. July 3rd, 2008 | 3:17 am

    “Get your facts straight before spewing left wing garbage.”

    Yeah. Right wing garbage is superior in taste and smell to left wing garbage.

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