Bloomberg: Criticizing government can be patrioticWow. I mean, wow.
The Associated Press
June 10, 2006
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested to college graduates Saturday that nothing is more patriotic than questioning the government and "challenging it to live up to the democratic ideals."
During a graduation speech at the University of Chicago, the Republican mayor said there is a "spirit of intolerance" for people with opposing views, who often are accused of being unpatriotic. A transcript of the speech was provided to reporters at City Hall in New York.
"We all have to get together in this country and stop this right now and stand up to those who would demagogue," he said. "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - wrong with criticizing our government, on any topic, and challenging it to live up to the democratic ideals. It is not unpatriotic. In fact, what could be more patriotic?"
Granted that Bloomberg, up until 2001, was a member of the party that protects the rights of individuals, you have to give a guy credit: he's worked with Bush as a Republican and can still say this. He's not running for higher office, and this is likely his last term in public service, but he still has three years left, at least two of which will be working to get funds from a Republican president and possibly a Republican Congress. And he's taking on those DC fascists and the minions across this land that would stifle criticism, people like Rush Limbaugh and Ann "Furball" Coulter, and he's really throttling them about the throat, and he's taking Cheney down a notch, too!
This is a bold kick in the....
Aides say Bloomberg was not referring to a specific leader or issue, but rather an overall atmosphere where dissenting opinions are shut out....oh.
Um, nevermind. Still, the allusion is pretty clear, especially when you take this last quote into consideration:
"It may be lonely standing up front," he told the graduates. "It may be dangerous to your career at times, and occasionally you can be proved wrong. But it is the essence of independence - something, I hope, the public is beginning to understand more and more."
Full transcript here.