HIGHTOWER: Bush's Blue-Blood Instincts

A funny thing is happening to George W. Bush as he strolls to his coronation as the Republican presidential nominee -- he keeps stumbling over our Bill of Rights.In 1999, Governor Bush had Texas citizens forcibly removed and jailed for daring to protest peacefully on the public sidewalk in front of the Governor's Mansion. His Royal Shrubness ordained that people could protest, but they should be relegated to a "designated" area, which turned out to be a parking lot. To give him a lesson in Civics 101, the protesters have taken the haughty governor to court on this First Amendment faux pas.But Bush, just doesn't get it. Editor & Publisher magazine reports that over at Texas A&M, faculty at Daddy Bush's School of Government and Public Service have been reprimanded at the behest of Gov. Bush's political associates. It seems a few of them made less-than-glowing comments in the press about the governor who wants to be president, and the word came down to shut the hell up. The magazine says this muzzling of academics has gotten so bad that three political scientists have rejected professorships at the school.Meanwhile, Bush is trying to nail Zack Exley to the wall. This 29 year old computer programmer has a web site that parodies the Shrub -- www.gwbush.com. Other candidates are also targets of such satirical web sites. But only Governor High-and-Mighty has had a hissy-fit about his, calling Exley "a garbageman" and, in a chilling pronouncement, declaring "there ought to be limits to freedom."Indeed, Bush is trying to impose his own repressive limits to the freedom of internet speech. He's unleashed his lawyers to file an action that would force Zack Exley to register his web site with the Federal Election Commission and have it regulated as a political committee.This is Jim Hightower saying ... This so-called conservative is acting like an autocrat. He's the kind of "conservative" that King George III would have loved.

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