A BUBBLE BOY FOR A NEW GENERATION…. Bush’s Bubble Boy policies have always been a subject of fascination for me. In order to keep the president shielded from those who may disagree with him, the Bush White House has gone to comical lengths to keep dissenters at bay. This has, at various times, included blocking people from attending public events based on their bumper stickers, and requiring loyalty oaths for tickets.

This week, it appears the McCain gang wants to pick up where the Bush gang is leaving off. (via Atrios)

Audience members escorted out of Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., campaign event in Cedar Falls questioned why they were asked to leave Sunday’s rally even though they were not protesting.

David Zarifis, director of public safety for the University of Northern Iowa, said McCain staffers requested UNI police assist in escorting out “about four or five” people from the rally prior to McCain’s speech.

Zarifis said while the people who were taken out weren’t protesting or causing problems, McCain’s staff were worried they would during the speech.

It’s the kind of profiling only a Republican leader could love. In this case, the RNC and the McCain campaign removed law-abiding, non-disruptive Americans from a campaign event based solely on hunches — if they thought you might be a protestor, the basis of your appearance, you were ejected. If you resisted, you were threatened with arrest for trespassing.

In this case, the dragnet even caught McCain supporters, who apparently looked suspicious. And by “suspicious,” I mean, “young.”

Lara Elborno, a student at the University of Iowa, was one about “about 20 people” asked to leave the McCain event, and noted, “It was pretty much all young people, the college demographic.”

In the McCain campaign, I suppose this is what passes for “youth outreach”?

But the key point here is that this is exactly how the Bush/Cheney operation has acted for eight years. I’d hoped McCain would have learned what not to do when it comes to being yet another Bubble Boy.

Has anyone heard about whether these tactics are common at other university events?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.