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"If they [the Bush administration] lack support in Utah, my God they're in trouble," the Rev. Tom Goldsmith of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City told the lively gathering between protest songs and banner waving.
Anti-war expressions were one of many messages during an eruption of free speech Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Seven official rallies took place - most of them aimed at praising or pelting Rumsfeld, Rice and Bush's visit to Utah this week to speak to the American Legion national convention. The trio are on a campaign to bolster sagging public support for the three-year-old war in Iraq.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff addressed the group saying: "I have to support the right of Rocky to be stupid. But I will not support his right to hurt people. What he is doing is hurting those people whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice."
Former Marine Capt. Eric Martineau was in his dress blues to protest the war in Iraq and the Bush administration policies. "I want to let Utah know that pre-emptive war is not LDS doctrine," he said, noting he is Mormon. "We'll look back at this [war] and see it as a turning point."
"Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism."
Even last week, when I met with Thomas Bock, National Commander of the American Legion, I asked him why we are engaged in the war in Iraq. He said, "Why, of course, because of the 9/11 attacks on our country." I asked, "What did Iraq have to do with those attacks?" He looked puzzled, then said, "Well, the connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq."
I was shocked. Here is a man who has criticized us for opposing the war in Iraq--and he is completely wrong about the underlying facts used to justify this war.
That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience - a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid - afraid we are right, afraid of the truth (even to the point of denying it), afraid he or she has put in with an oppressive, inhumane, regime that does not respect the laws and traditions of our country, and that history will rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.
THE REPUBLICAN PUP TENT
[NORTH PINELLAS Edition]
St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla.
Aug 30, 2006
The Florida Republican Party's big tent is shrinking.
Gov. Jeb Bush sent a fundraising letter the other day to raise money for Sen. Alex Villalobos' Republican primary opponent. The governor is still angry that the Miami Republican had the nerve - we'd say the courage - to vote against his effort to restore tuition vouchers that the Florida Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional. Villalobos also refused to back an effort to alter the popular class size amendment. Now he faces a tough primary that symbolizes the GOP's intraparty struggle. Bush wrote that Villalobos "has abandoned our party's principles and lost his way."
Sen. Nancy Argenziano, R-Dunnellon, supports Villalobos. Her typically blunt reaction to Bush's letter and the resulting exchanges:
Argenziano: "The governor has a history reflecting accommodation of special interests as evidenced by the agencies' contracts, and his flexible Republicanism is at odds with both America and actual Republican principles. In his heart of hearts, the governor prefers dictatorship to democracy."
Carole Jean Jordan, Florida Republican Party chairwoman: "Personal attacks on the sitting governor of Florida questioning his character are far beyond the bounds of responsible dialogue. I sincerely hope that Senator Argenziano will reconsider her comments, especially in light of all that Governor Bush has done for the people of Florida and for the Republican Party."
Argenziano: "Carole Jean Jordan can kiss my ass."