"Bush: He's not as bad as people think."
Yes, sir, this [Hinesville, GA] is Bush country: Real pit barbecues, yellow ribbons on church doors, wild boar in the woods. Fort Stewart 10 minutes away. And one preteen party loyalist greeting guests for his mother's Party for the President, on National Party for the President Day, a boy with impeccable manners who, when peppered with questions by the adults in the living room, blurts out things such as "Condi Rice speaks, like, three languages!"
So why does hostess Michele Bourque sound as defensive as if she were living in Berkeley?
"There's just so much negativity around," she says, explaining her decision to host this party. "There's not a lot of positive affirmation about why George W. Bush should be president. We just want to let people know, he's not as bad as people think."...
"Kerry, Kerry, Kerry," says one of the guests, Stacie Young. "These young guys in the squad say, 'I'm voting for Kerry,'" she says, meaning the guys who serve with her husband. "And I say, 'Why would you do that? Vote for your kids! Vote for your security!'"
Voting for security, and for your kids, to my mind, and apparently to a number of these soldiers, means voting NOT FOR BUSH. If this lady can't even consider the possibility that Bush is not, by definition, your security and your kids' benefit....
To her husband, John, a sergeant who fought with the 11th Engineers, the view of Iraq in the media is unrecognizable. In the stories he tells at the party, Iraq is a place where soldiers throw candies to children and drink sweet tea. It's where he saw a sergeant get shot in the neck to save his platoon, where for the first time he felt a sense of purpose. Where "we felt like celebrities, we would march around and the people would chant, 'Saddam bad, Bush good.'"
Gee, imagine that. People who've been conditioned for two decades that people who speak out against a dictator "disappear", chanting how they love the "liberator." Obviously a completely spontaneous and honest outpouring of love for Our Glorious Leader.