Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blacklisting in the cards for bridge players who opposed Bush

If you think the blacklisting of the Dixie Chicks was America's final act of McCarthyism, think again. America's bridge team is now also finding themselves the target of the wrath of Bush's worshipers.

The women who represented the U.S. and A. at the world bridge championships in Shanghai are under fire from the Bush Gestapo because one of them displayed a handwritten sign (written on the back of a menu) that said, "WE DID NOT VOTE FOR BUSH." The electric paddle contingent is outraged by the sign - even though it presumably only stated a fact. Evidently the members of the team truly didn't vote for Bush. So don't attack the messenger if you don't like the message.

But seriously, the bridge team's off-the-cuff protest may now bring them tough sanctions from the United States Bridge Federation, including a yearlong ban from competition. Why??? Apparently the USBF is run by Bush cultists, much like the right-wing radio industry that eschewed the Dixie Chicks.

The USBF was immediately self-righteous about its plan to shun the bridge team. But professional bridge player Danny Kleinman correctly told the New York Times in an e-mail, "If the U.S.B.F. wants to impose conditions of membership that involve curtailment of free speech, then it cannot claim to represent our country in international competition."

But the Movementarians who support Bush remain undeterred! They accuse the bridge team of "sedition" and "treason." So not voting for Bush is considered treason, while letting terrorists win by mortgaging basic constitutional rights isn't??? The real traitors are the right-wing idiots who run around saying Americans who don't want to give up their fundamental rights are guilty of having a "pre-9/11 mentality."

The members of America's bridge team are professional bridge players. That means at least some of their living is earned from competing. So if the USBF punished them, it would be no different from a business illegally firing an employee because of their political views.

In addition to suspending the team for a year, the USBF also proposes requiring them to write a statement exposing who came up with the idea of displaying the anti-Bush sign. So now the USBF is encouraging people to rat each other out too?

Our elected representatives need to step in and protect the U.S. bridge team from the America-haters who would take away their right to speak. Furthermore, Americans must ask Bushists this concise question: "Why do you hate free speech?" (Not like it'll elicit a coherent answer.)


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