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“I nearly passed out when I heard you defending George Bush…”

January 22, 2006, 4:39 PM

As anyone who’s been around this Web site knows, I am very anti-George W. Bush. Thus why, when discussing a letter to the editor in the Staunton News Leader with some of my coworkers on my lunch hour, I surprised a few of them in that my response defended Bush. One coworker actually said, “I nearly passed out when I heard you defending George Bush.”

The letter was as follows:

I thought we fought the Revolutionary War years ago — the Boston Tea party included. Now President Bush has decided to make Washington, D.C. a smoke-free city. The Boston tea Party will turn into a smoke-in at the White House. Poor people enjoy a few things. One thing is a cigarette; another is an ice-cold beer.

Shame on you George Bush!

Ellen Edgar
Staunton

The point of Ms. Edgar’s letter, as far as I could tell, was to place blame for the smoking ban in bars/restaurants on George W. Bush.

I say that it’s a local matter, and really has nothing to do with Bush. On May 7, 1974, Washington DC residents approved a Home Rule Charter, giving the city a true municipal government. The DC city council is the group that Ms. Edgar should be upset with – not the President of the United States.

I’ve been following the issue myself lately, and I find myself more on the side of the groups opposing the ban, mainly for business reasons. The way I see it, people are free to choose where they want to go when they go out to eat. And smoking status plays a role in that decision, and it cuts both ways. Some people eat out somewhere because it does allow smoking, and others eat out somewhere else because smoking is prohibited there. It’s all a matter of how you want to attract your clientele.

I also consider it a matter of placing blame in its proper place, which is the real reason for my weighing in (I’ve commented two days in a row now on issues in the newspaper!). George W. Bush really doesn’t have much to do with local affairs in Washington. DC has a city council and a mayor, and they’re the ones behind the smoking ban, and not Bush.

Categories: Virginia local news