Monday, June 27, 2005

The Denver Three Hit the Big Time

You remember them — Leslie Weise, a lawyer; Karen Bauer, a temporary office worker; and Alex Young, a computer technician, three former Kerry volunteers who got the bum’s rush from some guy impersonating a Secret Service agent at one of Bush’s Social Security Kool-Aid parties last March in Denver. Well, they’re not going quietly. From the New York Times:

Last week they were in Washington demanding to know the identity of the “mystery man” who ejected them, and they got some unlikely support from Republicans in the Colorado Congressional delegation. One of them was Representative Marilyn Musgrave, a reliable Bush ally.

“I really do believe in free speech, and if you try to quell people it just makes them more determined,” Ms. Musgrave said in an interview after meeting with the trio. “So they just want to get to the bottom of this, and I think that’s fair.”

So does the Secret Service, which in a letter last week to Representatives Mark Udall and Dianna DeGette, both Colorado Democrats, said that it was continuing a criminal investigation into whether anyone had unlawfully impersonated a Secret Service agent, and that when the findings were concluded they would be sent, as is routine, to a federal prosecutor to see if charges should be filed.

The White House was having none of it.

“It’s clear that these three protesters are trying to advance their own political agenda,” Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said in an interview Friday. Asked who the mystery man was, Mr. McClellan did not respond and then said he had no interest in going over yet again the events in Denver on March 21.

Oh, Scott…Scott…when are you ever going to learn that in today’s world of blogging and the internet, things like this just don’t go away? Are you channeling Ron Ziegler?


In the meantime, the Denver Three’s exploits are chronicled almost daily in the Colorado press. They have a Web site and pass out bumper stickers, playing on Mr. Bush’s plan to add private accounts to Social Security, that say “Don’t Privatize My Freedom.” During their trip to Washington, the cameras were rolling when they tried, unsuccessfully, to hand-deliver a letter to the White House demanding answers from Mr. Bush.

Yes, it’s one of those little stories that buzz around like a mosquito and won’t really change the world, but it does kind of make you smile when you can irritate people like Scott McClellan. It’s one of life’s little pleasures.