Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"The Most Open Government Ever" Won't Answer A Simple Question

In response to the very vocal opposition to the health care reform plans being railroaded through Congress, the White House recently asked US citizens to send them any "fishy" (their word) information they may have gotten in emails and the like.

In an interview conducted on Fox News, White House spokesperson Bill Burton was asked what was being done with the email addresses and other information being sent to them per their request. Mr. Burton was extremely evasive, until finally the question was put this way:
"In an environment when you have the Speaker of the House referring to these people as swastika wearing, where you have another democrat calling them Nazis, where you have the president calling complaints about health care "smears" and saying he's going to fight them and then the White House comes out and says "send us the emails", those who are behind the emails may feel a little reluctant to engage in such speech in the future. And that is the complaint, not just cable news has about it, Bill Burton, but the ACLU has come out and said "we've got a serious problem with that."
Here's the entire interview:

This really is an example of when evading a question makes it an even bigger deal than if you had simply answered it. Perhaps the White House strategy is to not justify with a response what they feel are silly questions, but when you're directly asked a question four or five times and you flail around like Mr. Burton did, you're just raising more doubts.

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