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25 August 2004

First we take Manhattan . . .

City Pages : The Great American Lockdown, by Steve Perry tells the story of the ramping up of "security" (in this case, an Orwellian euphemism for repression, methinks) in the run-up to the Republican Convention. This is followed up by a trenchantly observed vignette of President Bush's so-called campaign tactics.

The tent-revival aspect of the gathering kept floating to the surface. Another concerned citizen for Bush, who identified himself as a "youth minister," asked after faith-based initiatives. But it was only an entrée to his real question, which concerned any plans the president might have for publicly exposing Satan and his works. Bush thanked the young man for his own works but let the devil off the hook entirely in his reply. Soon, mercifully, it was back on the bus and off to the city.
Every day now, this sort of painfully contrived sideshow is passed off as the president meeting the people on the grand road of democracy. The next morning the Star Tribune summarized his trip thus: "A wide embrace for Bush in St. Paul." It would have been nearly as accurate, and more apt, to make that "Bush in Wisconsin: Soft on Satan?" But the script forbids making fun of the president, even when he's making fun of the script.

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