Today, over 200 good patriots showed up in Austin, Texas, to welcome former Governor Bush as he dedicated a new library at the University. We were kept too far away from the ceremony to even see it, as he was padded by tables serving hors d'ouvres and drinks to a thousand paying guests. Then between the tables and guests and the intrepid honoree were rows and rows of public school buses and state troopers and barricades. Alas, we missed what was surely an articulate speech. I do give Mr. Bush the benefit of the doubt and refer to his stutterings as "articulate," if he doesn't clutch his own throat while trying to speak.
Early, there was some confusion as we were directed from place to place and had a little difficulty getting together in one place. In fact, I don't yet know how many may not have ever found us, as I was sent around buildings to four different destinations before finally finding one that worked.
We were met with a very fiery bunch from the Austin Democracy Coalition. I spoke briefly with three reporters from the Austin Statesman, and as I arrived here at Gina's in San Antonio tonight, I find that I'm quoted, but it's badly confused. I was carrying a sign saying, "AWOL -- please try it again, Mr. Bush." One of the reporters asked me what that meant and I explained how at the heart it referred to Bush's eight months of unexplained absence from the National Guard. Somehow, as it was written up, the journalist concluded and wrote that I was protesting Bush's joining of the National Guard instead of going to Vietnam. I am afraid he may have missed the real intention - that Mr. Bush would be doing us a great favor if he'd pull his AWOL trick at the White House.
I was interviewed by the local TV station that carries Fox News, but I doubt the interview will be played tonight. The young woman who interviewed me commented that the controversy over the election itself was now over, since it had been recently shown that Bush did indeed win Florida. I had to explain to her about the Miami Herald article and that results from the
larger consortium (NY Times, Washington Post, and CNN) were not yet available.
Within shouting distance, the thousand paying guests were queued up as they entered their area, very slowly. One woman approached me to say, "You really have your nerve." After I agreed with her that yes, I thought I did, she lit into Clinton, and the vacuousness of her objections grew with amazing speed. She left, then returned for a second round, huffed off again, and came back for thirds. She was REALLY angry when she left the third time, after I explained that she just didn't understand the potential of all this, how handy it would be if - in 4 years - they could simply announce the winner in October, saving us the trouble of going to the polls in November. As far as I know, however, there was little friction between the two groups. That may be because we outnumbered them about ten to one. There was also a small Taiwan contingency with signs saying, "Thank you, President Bush." Wished I'd had some old mushroom cloud posters with me.
One of everyone's favorite chants seemed to be, "Hey, hey, hey, Why are we so far away?" Someone from Austin's Democracy Coalition had a bullhorn, and after it was over, a woman who works on the twelfth floor of the building behind us came down to tell me that we were so loud they couldn't hear Bush on TV.
Wish our numbers had been bigger, but we were loud and energetic, and it was great to meet people previously known only online. And it was one more chance to remind them that we're not going way.
I was out there booing Bush this past Friday.
One lady held a sign simply saying "Boo!" I thought it summed most
Some Texas cops tried to manhandle a grandmother who curled her sign into a megaphone and pointed it at some Bush supports who came straggling through the protest group who were waiting by the exit gate. Everybody started chanting "Let her go... Let her go.." and finally they let her go.
When some reporter said the group could be heard on a live broadcast - everybody belted out a loud cheer.
Most protesters were referring to shrub as the Toxic President.
Aside from that - I've been busy at work and fixing up my new house.
So, are you planning on keeping the faith all 999 more days?