Monday, August 9

Sovereignty in a nutshell

by justmy2 @ 8/09/2004 11:34:00 PM

I was watching the President's speech to The Unity Journalists of Color Conference on C-SPAN last week when I heard the following exchange:

"Q Good morning. My name is Mark Trahant. I'm the editorial page editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and a member of the Native American Journalist Association. (Applause.) Most school kids learn about the government in the context of city, county, state and federal. And, of course, tribal governments are not part of that at all. Mr. President, you've been a governor and a President, so you have a unique experience, looking at it from two directions. What do you think tribal sovereignty means in the 21st century, and how do we resolve conflicts between tribes and the federal and the state governments?

THE PRESIDENT: Tribal sovereignty means that, it's sovereign. You're a -- you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And, therefore, the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities. "

Huh??? He actually followed this with a little more detail, but the snickers from the audience basically said it all. While this was somewhat rude, can you really blame them? Click here to hear it for yourself.

As a side note, it was interesting to see the comfort level of the President when he discussed immigration and diversity. I may not agree with everything he said, but he seemed genuinely comfortable with these subjects. The difference was absolutely stunning. His body language and speech patterns were visibly different. On most other subjects, he simply did not seem credible.

It has always seemed to me that when President tries to repeat Administration talking points and stay within the company line, he has acute communication issues. He looks like he is visibly trying to remember his lines. He certainly will not be a talk show host anytime in the near future. This can be an asset or a liability depending on your point of view. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the subject.


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