Bush panned in the park
No surprise, the president’s detractors outnumbered his supporters at a Park City demonstration dubbed the "Bush Bash Barbecue."
"I want to bash Bush," Parkite Christie Dilloway said.
Organizers staged the protest Wednesday as George W. Bush appeared at a pricey fund-raising event in Deer Valley for Sen. John McCain.
"I wanted to come to not support Bush," said Oakley resident Rhea Cone, who is 14 years old. "I don’t think he’s been a very good president and I think we’re all waiting for his time to end."
Hundreds of people at the park cheered and waved anti-Bush banners as his critics approached the microphone.
Parkite Diane Bracey, a former Army officer, blamed Bush for not attending the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq.
"When you’re in the military you swear an oath to the Constitution of the Untied States," Bracey told the crowd. "I find it a bitter irony that we have a president who holds the Constitution in utter contempt."
She called the Iraq war "useless."
"Over 4,000 men and women have died for no reason," Bracey said. "We can honor our troops by going to vote in November. Because if you don’t vote, people like George W. Bush become president."
But not everyone at the event dislikes Bush.
"I would love to go see him. I like him. I love Mitt and I love Bush," said Parkite Montie Taylor, who is a Republican. "I have a lot of disappointments about him but I do know he’s a good guy."
His wife Sarah Marsh disagreed.
"I’ve been a huge Clinton fan for years. I’m not an Obama fan. I don’t feel like he has the experience that we need," said Marsh, an unaffiliated voter who would pick Hillary Clinton for president in November. "Whether you agree with Bush or whether you disagree with Bush, this is what makes our country great, is that we’re able to [demonstrate.]"
Parkite Nick Wright is a socialist who claims education and health care suffered tremendously under Bush’s watch.
"They are very important things," he said. "We have the worst social programs of any country that should have more. All the money that is spent in Iraq, I really feel like it was a concerted effort to get rid of a lot of the social-welfare programs."
Park City resident Jeremy Morgan blamed Bush for serving corporations at the expense of regular people. His white T-shirt used a twist on Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to argue the point.
"It was my history teacher’s idea," the 17-year-old Park City High School student said.
Bush lied to the public when he tried linking Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Morgan said.
"They hate each other. So why would he try to tie them together?" Morgan asked. "So we would have a reason to go invade Iraq."
Park City resident Stu Nachlas said he longs for a "war-free America."
"I would be willing to pay twice the cost for gas to not be at war," Nachlas said. "What are the positive effects of the war? We’d be better off spending less money and less lives."
The war in Iraq should have never begun, Parkite Craig Weaver said.
"It should have never started and it was poorly executed," Weaver said at the demonstration.
Coalville resident Kevin Marcinisen still cannot believe Bush got re-elected.
"Are people stupid?" he asked.
Meanwhile, Parkites John and Sharon Snead said the nation is worse off now than it’s been in their lifetimes.
"I feel like we’re in the biggest mess that we have ever been in as a country," Sharon said.
John added that "we’re old enough to remember Pearl Harbor."
"We’re just glad to be here with all these other Bush bashers," Sharon said.
Officers at the demonstration said no protesters were arrested at the event that went until dark.
"This next song by the Rolling Stones is for all those people up on the hill," musician Jeffrey D. Howrey said, gesturing toward Deer Valley mansions. "It’s called, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.’"
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Park City on Tuesday hosted an open house designed to provide information about a wide range of municipal projects and programs, but the event took on greater meaning with the gathering becoming among the largest City Hall-organized events held in person in the more than a year.