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Jewish World Review June 3, 2004/ 14 Sivan, 5764

Larry Elder

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Bashing President Bush takes over as our No. 1 national pastime, Part II | Tom Brokaw said it. So it must be true.

"There were three big reasons for the United States to go to war against Iraq," said Brokaw. "Weapons of mass destruction, the connection to terrorists and that we were going to establish a kind of higher moral ground there. Well, weapons of mass destruction have not been found, the direct connection to al Qaeda and terrorist organizations has not been demonstrated, clearly, in the mind of a lot of people and then the moral ground gives way when you have the kind of humiliation and abuse that we saw in those photographs."

Given these "facts," the relentlessly negative Iraq war news coverage and the impatience of the 24/7 news-cycle-results-now electorate, many Americans feel comfortable taking whacks at President Bush in private, social settings. Last week I asked readers to submit examples of hostile, anti-Bush tirades delivered in private or social settings. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

"This happened at our New Year's party. . . . Just after midnight, we were toasting to the New Year — good friends, all that happy caca — then out of the blue one friend makes a toast 'To the defeat of George W. Bush.' It made my sister and I really uncomfortable. We didn't toast and didn't really want to start a bunch of arguing. It was a New Year's party, for crying out loud . . . not sure why that even got brought up." — Greg

"I work with a bunch of Bush-haters. One co-worker, a Puerto Rican, said to a black co-worker that the Bush administration wants to bring back the Jim Crow laws. That will make life bad for blacks and even worse for Hispanics. Where do these people get these notions? I am actively looking for another job." — Diana

"My most recent run-in with a Bush-hater was in a doctor's office. I had to have some blood drawn. . . . The nurse began hauling the needles out of the drawers, and in the hope of 'calming' small talk, I suppose, said, 'Oh, it's just awful what's going on in Iraq.' 'This has been a particularly depressing week,' I agreed. 'All them poor boys getting killed,' she responded, 'when we shouldn't even be over there in the first place. Just 'cause Bush wants everybody to think he's tough. We don't need no cowboy for a president. And then they go do those awful things to those poor prisoners, so bad those other people cut off that man's head.' 'Well, you know,' I said, 'Daniel Pearl's head was cut off just because he was American and Jewish. I seriously doubt that the prison abuse had quite as much to do with Nick Berg's death as the media would like us to think.' She made the tourniquet a little tighter and looked at me. 'We got no business being over there just to give the president his big ego,' she said. I gave up. 'There is no way I'm going to argue politics with a woman who's about to stick a very large needle in me,' I said. 'Good choice,' she agreed." — Belinda

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"Last night, I attended a concert by Linda Ronstadt (former girlfriend of Jerry Brown). About 15 minutes into the show, she dedicated a song with the lyrics 'Get out of town' to George Bush. The boos began immediately — almost a shock wave — no one believing that this nice concert, complete with orchestra, could turn ugly so fast. Screams of 'Shut up and sing!' interrupted the boos. It was totally out of place, and the crowd let her have it. Sadly, she was clueless, seemingly not caring." — Ernie

"Recently I was attending a regional sales meeting. After dinner, several of us wandered into a local bar for a few drinks, and we started speaking with two young college women. One girl looked at us and asked if we were Republicans, and we replied, 'Yes.' She then went on a strange rant saying that we're crazy if we plan on voting for Bush, and that only sane, normal people will vote for Kerry. . . . I asked this girl if she could answer a few questions, and she said that she would. I asked her why she will vote for John Kerry. Her answer was that 'He's done great things for our country.' I then asked her to name his position in government, and name two things he's done to help our country in the past five years. And the funny thing was that she had no idea that Kerry was a senator and sat there looking like a deer in the headlights trying to come up with an answer to what Kerry has done lately. Later that night, the bartender came over and started laughing, saying that if he had a dollar for every person that walked into his bar mouthing off like that girl, he'd be spending his days sailing." — Neil

See you in November!

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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