The Happy Leftie

For lefties and other normal people who have considered suicide when the mainstream 'news' was enuf

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Hero Harry Taylor: Shame on you, Mr. President

Watch video.

Member of audience scolds President, tells Bush he is shamed and frightened by his "leadership." My follow-up question: What leadership?

You know things are getting hairy for the POTUS when he allows actual human beings into his photo-op town hall meetings and allows them to do anything other than adore him. Yes, Rove must be desperate to forcefeed this bulemic presidency. I don't think it's working, though. Bush still looks like the testy little primate that he is. -hl

President Bush isn't used to tongue-lashings, but he got a scolding Thursday from a North Carolina man who told the president that he should be ashamed of himself.

"While I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water," real estate broker Harry Taylor told Bush at a town hall meeting. "I have never felt more ashamed of nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington."

The audience at Central Piedmont Community College booed, but Bush seemed to take the criticism in stride.

"I'm not your favorite guy," the president said. "What's your question?"

Taylor didn't have one, but he wasn't finished.

"I feel like, despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration," he told Bush. "And I would hope, from time to time, that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself."

Bush defended his decision to authorize domestic eavesdropping in cases involving conversations between the United States and terrorist suspects or their associates in other countries.

"I'm not going to apologize for what I did on the terrorist surveillance program. Would I apologize for that? The answer is, absolutely not," he said.

The extraordinary encounter highlighted just how far Bush has come from the days when he limited his appearances to carefully screened crowds. Bush rarely took questions, and when he did, they were almost always fawning.

That's changed amid growing unease with the war in Iraq.
Aides acknowledge that Bush's new willingness to take tough questions is part of an effort to respond to war worries.

Bush and Taylor agreed on at least one thing.

"I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I'm saying to you right now," Taylor said near the conclusion of his reprimand. "That is part of what this country's about."

"It is," Bush agreed.