While stopping in Liberty City, Texas, recently to eat at the binding arbitration Whataburger restaurant, I found an interesting display ad in the Longview News-Journal. The ad, which was almost a half-page in size, read as follows:

Amos Snow, III
Longview, TX 75605

Apparently, I'm an enemy of the State.

I'm a Navy veteran, who for 7 years served my country in the forgotten conflicts of the '80s. I'm a small business owner who provides jobs within the community and provides finished goods to other manufacturers or end-users. I'm a Texan who has pride in our fiscally conservative state and local leadership. I'm an American who chooses to exercise the rights guaranteed in our most sacred documents, The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

The office of the President of the United States and the Congressional leadership, has determined that if my views are contrary to their agenda, I'm to be "ratted out" by those who know me or hear of my opinion or views concerning their policy agenda.

I'm paraphrasing, but as John Hancock reportedly said when signing the Declaration of Independence: let me sign in a manner that the King can surely read without his spectacles:

My name is Amos Auston Snow, III and I do not agree with the irresponsible spending policies of the President or Congress. And as an American, I will oppose their attempt to bring fiscal ruin to our great nation.

Call me an "enemy" and rat me out if it suits you; but you will never silence me.

Snow's fear of being ratted out appears to be related to the White House request for people to forward chain emails containing false claims about health care insurance reform. Texas Sen. John Cronyn (R.) characterized the request as "asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech."

The White House Reality Check web site was launched to debunk some of the wild claims being made about the proposed legislation.

Assuming that Snow is a Republican, I'd be curious to find out if he bought any newspaper ads during the eight years in which President Bush's massive spending turned a $128 billion surplus into a $490 billion deficit.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Rogers,

The question to ask yourself is this: if a President you didn't like ran a website asking for "fishy" comments in either email or casual conversation (which is how it's phrased), would you be ok with it?

Bear in mind that the current President will not be in office forever. Plenty of Republicans have now realized that the Patriot Act isn't such a great idea, now that someone they don't trust can use it. Likewise, I suspect a lot of Democrats will be unhappy with this little tactic once a person they don't trust gets in office.


 

I think the White House's request for forwarded emails was clumsy in its wording and ill-advised because of how it can be misunderstood. But I think the characterization of it as an attempt to get Americans to rat out other Americans is overblown.

Also, Americans have been ratting each other out to law enforcement forever. If you ever read any declassified FBI files released under the Freedom of Information Act, you'll find countless examples. All of the Crimestoppers lines run by local police departments are encouraging people to report suspicious activity to government.

I might have been harder on the request if Bush's White House had done it, because the Patriot Act was one of his initiatives, but it's not like Obama has repudiated much of Bush's attack on civil liberties yet himself.


 

The ad is typical Republican overreaction that focuses on one tiny point added to a bit of imprecise wording blown all out of proportion. Just like the healthcare debate. No room in American politics for debate on any important topic, only thing that matters to Republicans is that their side wins, where winning means opposition to any Democratic politician's proposal.

Makes me sick.


 

Rogers,

It's fine that you trust Obama with this; the fact that you would not trust Bush with it should give you pause. Do you believe that you will have the same level of trust in every future President?


 

I will trust every future president to receive forwarded emails from citizens on any matter. It's not a privacy concern.

As for trusting Obama, on civil liberties matters I don't trust him yet. He has to prove that he takes these issues seriously, and thus far he's been slow to roll back the worst of Bush's policies in this area.


 

"And as an American, I will oppose their attempt to bring fiscal ruin to our great nation.." ~ John Hancock

He rather has a point. It's not like we are simply in-vading a sovereign nation here. This are serious, Peoples!

"First they came for the insurance companies and I did not speak-up for I was not a medical insurance company . . ."


 

Why is Snow only allowed to have a problem with trillions of dollars of debt now if he protested hundreds of billions then? This kind of logic always puzzles me.

It like the woman on PBS who said that since some of the town hall health plan protesters were Medicare recipients, their concerns about the government providing everyone's health insurance were "invalid." And here I though the people who knew firsthand that the government sucked at providing health care coferage were the most valid protesters ever. Silly me.


 

It isn't fiscal conservatism to only complain about spending when Democrats are in the White House. Obama's spending today has been to get the nation out of the worst financial crisis of the last 60 years. What was Bush's excuse for the billions and billions he spent in the first seven-and-a-half years of his presidency?


 

Just found this while searching the web. Some of you had an interesting opinion about me; inaccurate, but still interesting.
Briefly: I do not support spending beyond our means by any member of congress be they republican,democrat,or independent, same goes for the president.
Those who constantly refer to the spending policies of Bush, and the congress at that time are making a moot point. Simply put, just because little Johnny did it doesn't make it right.
And as to the assumption that I am a republican,again this is just a simple tactic used to marginalize my opinion or views.I am an independent.
Regards.