"Dedicated to exposing the lies and impeachable offenses of George W. Bush"

Has today's political discourse come to this?
USA Today
February 2, 2006

NASHVILLE (USATODAY.com) — Last Tuesday night, a group of about 40 hard-core Democrats who live in this bustling country-music capital gathered in The 5 Spot, a neighborhood bar east of downtown, to watch President Bush's State of the Union speech.

Bush was coming to town the next day to promote his proposals, so interest here was heightened.

How hard-core were these Democrats?

Before Bush came on TV, the group sat watching a videotape of a Martin Luther King Day speech delivered recently in Washington by former Vice President Al Gore.

Over on the bar, Joyce Kisner, a Katrina refugee from New Orleans and now a Nashville resident, had set up a potluck buffet.

Scalloped potatoes, sunflower seeds, plastic tubs of hummus, pepperoni and cheese, some fried greens and a paper bowl of what appeared to be dried cranberries or cherries. For dessert there were vanilla-and-chocolate sandwich cookies. Miller Lite and Rolling Rock were the beers of choice.

When the Gore tape was halted for Bush's live broadcast, there was a collective groan.

And when the president was introduced to the packed House chamber, a chorus of lusty boos rang out in the saloon.

It was going to be an interesting hour.

When Bush called for a more civil tone in political discourse, listeners here shouted, "No!"

And when he mentioned "enemies of freedom," someone called out, "Like you!"

Every time the president spoke the word "freedom," a mocking chorus sang in unison, "Freee-dum"

The same was true for presidential mentions of "evil."


If Bush stumbled on a word, like he did when he talked of "vicious attackers," the critics laughed derisively. When he mispronounced "nuclear" as "nuc-u-lar," as he always does, they repeated, "nuc-u-lar," and heh-hehed knowingly.

About halfway through the speech, a couple got up to leave.

"His policies are terrible, and his enunciation drives me crazy," said Allen May, 30, a computer technician who moved here with his wife, Andrea, from Seattle six months ago.

Bush said Iran was being held hostage "by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people." A shout rang out, "Like here!"

There was hissing when newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito appeared on the screen. And there were cheers and applause when a scowling New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton was shown — biggest cheers of the night..

At one point, Bush introduced the wife and parents of Marine Staff Sgt Dan Clay, who was killed in Iraq. Bush read from a letter Clay sent home to his family shortly before his death. "It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you."

When the crowd in the chamber stood and applauded the family in tribute to the sergeant's sacrifice, someone at The 5 Spot yelled out, "You're being used!"

A silver-haired man who looked a little like Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld jumped up during another applause break and gave the Nazi salute. "Sieg Heil!"

And so it went.

After the speech, a demure Sherry Sloan, appearing embarrassed by the raucous crowd, said she liked what Bush said about supporting more research into solar and wind energy. But she feared it was just a "token" mention.

Mark Naccarato, a union organizer, got before the audience and asked, "How many times did he say 'freedom?' "


Naccarato then urged his comrades to go out and work hard to elect Democrats in the November congressional elections.

"If we gain back the House, we can impeach Bush," he said.

There you have the loyal opposition. It says something about the level of political discourse in our country today.

The right wing has been liberal bashing for the past twenty years. Where was their attacks on Reagan/Gingrich/Bush/Limbaugh and Rove? It's a little late to be fretting over the decline of discourse.