An Oath Is as Good as the Paper It's Written On:
Here's another tale of the Rude Pundit: Back in the days after the Gulf War, in 1992, there was another election going on, another George Bush, an elder one, up for re-election. The President was making a campaign stop at the airport in the city where the Rude Pundit lived in that fateful year. The Rude Pundit, who believes one needs to face the darkness in order to defeat it, decided to go to this rally. The runway where Bush was speaking was divided between those who could be on the inside section where they could actually see the stage and podium and those on the outside of a fence, who still had to go through metal detectors but could listen to the President, bask in his proximity, one presumes. No tickets were required; the only limit on entry was the capacity of the area. But you did have to be invited to be in the pit near the stage. The Rude Pundit, knowing members of the media, was able to get into the inner section, within yards of the President.
The Rude Pundit was (and is) no fan of Bush, Sr. But this is not about his dislike for that skinny bastard who helped lay the groundwork for much of the evil now committed in the name of "security." This is about how no one questioned that an American citizen had the right to see his President speak, whether or not that citizen disagreed with the President (and the Rude Pundit was in print with his feelings under his real name). It was not easy for the Rude Pundit, listening to the President yammer on, a wayward Judd by his side, but not because of what Bush said, which was the same blah, blah, blah we're hearing now about defense and strength and Democrats are pussies. It was the crowd, filled with young white people, cheering him on.
The Rude Pundit did not cheer and he was confronted by a (no exaggeration) six-and-a-half foot tall, muscle bound, buzz cut young man who put his cucumber-sized finger in the Rude Pundit's face and said, "Why aren't you clapping? You should be clapping." The Rude Pundit faced Gigantor and said, Because that man has helped wreck this country. Gigantor was not happy. "Why are you here?" Because he's the President. "Why aren't you cheering?" Because he's an idiot. Oh, the questions continued, his face got red, the Rude Pundit was glad there were enough Secret Service around not to get beaten. Badly. And he would have picked up the Rude Pundit and snapped him like King Kong with a train.
The point here is, of course, that at least Bush the First did not openly, obviously prevent dissent, even within the confines of the insider area (the Rude Pundit, while he believes in protesting, also believes in letting people speak). When the Bush/Satan campaign didn't allow Democrats to enter a New Mexico rally for Dick "You Heard My Name, Motherfuckers" Cheney because they wouldn't sign an oath pledging to support the President, when the campaign officials are asking people picking up tickets where they stand on issues, when they ask for American citizens' fucking license numbers, we've entered a fucked-up land where the government now decides who it leads, who it cares about, who is allowed to hear their leaders.
But one last thing about oaths such as the one the Bush/Satan campaign wants anyone who deigns to be in its presence: the Rude Pundit was once hired for a job where he was required to sign an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. A friend hired with him refused to sign and declined the job. The friend was principled, but wrong: if you are truly subversive, you sign the fuckin' oath. You can only be subversive from the inside.
You wanna fuck with a Bush/Cheney rally? Sign the goddamn oath. Just fuckin' lie. Christ, when George W. Bush took an oath to uphold the Constitution, he may as well have been saying "I love you" to a woman he just wanted to fuck that night.
Check out this dialogue: Republican "volunteer" dog: "Are you pro-life?"
The Rude Pundit: "Yeah, sure, why the fuck not?"
See? It's easy. Now you can attend the rally and chant, "Go fuck yourself, Cheney" all you want. No one's gonna show you your loyalty oath come election day.
Until, of course, those pretty, shiny, glowing electronic voting machines record who you are when you vote.