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Rocky's Protest of President Bush


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As we know, the President is coming to SLC soon to speak at a Veterans' Convention. Mayor Anderson plans a protest:

What duties does a senior and visible public official have when the President has been invited to speak?

Should Rocky, as Mayor, welcome the President and then trot off to protest his appearance elsewhere?

Do other dignitaries have any duty to invite Rocky, as Mayor, to welcoming activities for the President ?

Will anyone's planned conduct succeed?

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Everyone in Utah should be following in Rocky's footsteps! I love outspoken, charged political leaders. Its well within his place to organise a protest...

Randy, I agree with you on a personal level, but I am torn on this one when I leave my politics out of the equation. For me, it boils down to how one characterizes the essential purpose of the President's trip.

1. While here, will he raise funds for parrtisan political candidates?

2. When he addresses the American Legion, will he give his "stay the course" stump speech in order to drum up support for his policies in Iraq?

3. Will he simply express gratitude to all military veterans for their service and commend the American Legion for its decades of service to those vets?

If he takes the low road and uses the forum for a nightly news sound bite or three, then his purpose for being here can fairly be characterized as partisan and the gloves are equally fairly taken off by his political opponents. If he takes the high road, then a protest is in bad form, particularly by the Mayor.

It is also seems important to know whether or not Rocky was first excluded from the opportunity to greet the President upon his arrival by his local antagonists (a profound breach of protocol) or whether he first announced his plan to lead a protest. One simply does not exclude from the dais the highest elected official in the city where the President is to speak, unless that official has already indicated that HE will breach protocol if invited.

Frankly, I cannot imagine this happening elsewhere. 'Respect for everyone's office all around, you know.

'Sure wish someone local would weigh in.

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Well I'm a little confused here, is he organizing a protest because he's diametrically opposed to president Bush's policies, because that would make sense. Really no matter how you think of it, it's all politics.

Or was he organizing a protest AND planning on greeting the president when he arrives? That's a little double sided and pure politics! Playing both sides. There's no way the prez's people would alow that!

Or is he organizing a protest because other political clout excluding him from greeting the president, because that would be just childish and vindictive!

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What duties does a senior and visible public official have when the President has been invited to speak?

To answer your question in a general sense, there are absolutely no Constitutional requirements for the Mayor to do anything unless Utah has a specific law that says he must entertain the President. It's most likely there isn't such a thing.

The Major's job responsibilities lie with the people that elected him. If the Mayor feels the President's policies have harmed the people of his city, then I applaud him for having the guts to organize such a thing. It means he is willing to take a stand for his constitutiants and accept the responsibility for those actions.

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Ahh, he is coming to SLC to again make excuses for the war in Iraq and the failed occupation. I hope you guys have a lot of shovels.

As you probably already know, Utah is THE most crimson state in the nation. There are a lot of people here who think that Dubya is right simply because he is the President. End of discussion. Many of them are Rocky

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At least from video of the protest there seemed to be far more protestors than supporters. Overwhelmingly so. Maybe they were from out of state.

M.M, those folks were home grown alright. It's not that there is no dissent here or that the Mayor has no adherents. He does and as you correctly noted, his supporters are vocal and strident. At the same time, more than 5,000 other people went to the airport to greet the President, who arrived at roughly 9:00 PM on a work night.

Here in Utah, where evangelism is seen not as chauvinistic, but as a moral imperative, you have a visceral identification with the President's policies. It doesn't matter here that there were no WMDs or that Bin Laden, rather than being in league with Saddam, loathed him because of his secular regime or that militant Isalmists are angered primarily by what they see as our cultural imperialism. Here, the perception is that it's OK that we are in Iraq because we are bringing freedom to its people. Of course, that concept "freedom" is defined in terms uniquely understood by American Christian conservatives.

At least that's my conjectural opinion.

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