Rally the Faithful, Annoy Everyone Else

With 85 days to go until Election Day, two odd stories from the campaign trail:

In Davenport, Iowa, President Bush bought ears of raw corn and took a bite out of one, telling a reporter that "it's really good."

After witnessing this culinary oddness, a Reuters reporter asked for a reaction from an expert who majored in corn:

Raw corn is typically fed to livestock, but Irvin Anderson, a professor of corn physiology and biochemistry at Iowa State University, said some people liked it raw.

"Most people will boil it and put butter on it. But you can eat it off the cob raw. It has a sweet taste to it," he said.

In Rio Rancho, N.M., Republican event organizers turned people away from a Dick Cheney appearance if they wouldn't sign a loyalty oath pledging to vote for Bush.

This practice has taken place at other Republican National Committee rallies, according to the Boston Globe:

RNC spokesman Yier Shi said RNC campaign rallies are not official visits, but party events designed to energize the Republican base. He said everyone is welcome at the rallies as long as they support President Bush.

In their zeal to create a potemkin crowd of adoring supporters, Republicans are alienating the kind of people they need most for a second term: Voters who don't support Bush but are receptive enough to attend an event.

Sending them away -- with a police escort no less -- is crazy politics that won't even keep troublemakers out. Anyone planning to disrupt a rally with partisan hell-raising would lie, quite gleefully, on the loyalty form.


The Cheney story is an example of stupidity above and beyond the call of duty. Who thought that would be a good idea?

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