Goose-stepping into the New Millenia

This is scary on multiple fronts. First and foremost that the concept of a loyalty oath is even being broached in an American election. Next, that these jerkwads see running this country as so much of a game as to pull this kind of garbage – while our troops are still dying in Iraq. And, lastly, that their brain-trust couldn’t even do a decent job with the spelling, grammar, or completeness of the oath.

Republicans Sign Along the Dotted Line
Sun Aug 1, 1:00 AM ET
By Dana Milbank

I pledge allegiance to the . . . candidate?

Political campaigns are always eager to keep hecklers out of their pep rallies, but the Republican National Committee took that desire to a new level last week, requiring supporters to sign an oath of loyalty before receiving tickets to Saturday’s New Mexico rally featuring Vice President Cheney.

The Albuquerque Journal reported on Friday that people seeking tickets to the Cheney event who could not be identified as GOP partisans — contributors or volunteers — were told they could not receive tickets unless they signed an endorsement form saying “I, (full name) . . . do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States.” The form warns that signers “are consenting to use and release of your name by Bush-Cheney as an endorser of President Bush.”

The paper quoted a Republican official saying a “Democrat operative group” was trying to infiltrate the limited-seating event — although the party apparently turned away uncommitted voters who simply wanted to hear Cheney speak.

RNC communications director Jim Dyke defended the practice on Friday. “Maybe we should start having joint fundraisers with the DNC,” he mused. “Please.”

John F. Kerry’s campaign has charged that the Bush campaign routinely screens attendees of Bush’s speeches, and the Democrats say they do not impose loyalty requirements on crowds for their nominee’s speeches. This much is certainly true: If the Democrats are trying to keep crowds loyal, they aren’t doing a very good job. When Kerry visited New Mexico a few weeks ago, a group of young men in the crowd waved flip-flops in the air during his speech and chanted, “Viva Bush!”