Candid remarks made by President George Bush on the economy during a private fund raiser for potential congressman Pete Olsen, set the blogosphere ablaze last week. But most all the bloggers and reporters on the story passed over one of the main issues raised by the footage. Why, in a supposedly free society, are wealthy donors the only people who can get a frank explanation on a major issue from the President? Not that the terms "hangover" and "sober-up" used to reference economic instability shed any light on our country's financial crisis -- or even any insight on the President's knowledge of economics -- but it would be nice to know that we can expect the same straight talk from our president on camera as well as off.
Not only does President Bush acknowledge that he does not want average citizens to hear what he has to say -- his insider's take -- but he actually names Youtube as a reason for his secrecy. This is ironic considering there are a number of speeches given by Bush in recent years in which he professes the need to establish open and free government in Iraq. How is it that a president who gives stump speeches to the world about the importance of free societies presumes that talking even about a drunk Wall Street suffering a hangover is too much for citizens to handle? If not this, what are we privileged to know? As if we needed any further evidence of the vast material the Administration keeps from the public.
Indeed, secrecy may be the legacy of this president, one who has consistently blocked inquiries for information regarding his policies and procedures. After seven years of this behavior, Americans shouldn't be surprised. This president blocked the inquiries of the 9/11 commission, of Cheney's energy policy task force. He blocked the testimony of Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton before the house judiciary committee. And these direct violations of the spirit and letter of the Constitutional will continue as long as he remains in office.
In fact, given Bush's ability to pardon anyone found guilty of any crime in his administration, one has to wonder: Is the Democratic leadership waiting till the election to bring any charges against the administration? Or have the Democrats rolled over completely, drunk on the GOP Kool-Aid running from the White House spigot for the last eight years.