During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. ... Bush's strategists felt an uncontrolled encounter with the German public would be too unpredictable.Thanks to "Are We Still A Democracy?" ... And to answer the question posed by that blog title -- going by what Bush told Putin this past week: "Democracies have certain things in common; they have a rule of law, and protection of minorities, a free press, and a viable political opposition" -- I'd say No. Four strikes and you're out.
To avoid that messy scenario, the White House requested that rules similar to those applied during Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit two weeks ago also be used in Mainz. Before meeting with students at Paris's Institute of Political Sciences ... Rice's staff insisted on screening and approving any questions to be asked by students. ... In the end, the town hall meeting was never officially dropped from the agenda of the trip -- instead it was dealt with in polished diplomatic style -- both sides just stopped talking about it.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Avoiding the "Reality-Based Community"