I read a piece over the weekend on a site I frequently find interesting articles. I almost passed this one by, feeling a sick jab to the gut by the title alone. I read it. It didn't make me sick after all, it made me really angry.
Remember when Newsweek ran with the cover on its weekly rag of George H.W. Bush as a "wimp"? Instead of a wimp, this author feels ok with characterizing the former president as a cry baby. It's been twenty-three years so the slur has changed a bit.
This is the description of the writer at the bottom of the piece: a professional yoga teacher and a perennial student of Vedanta philosophy who lived for 25 years in the Far East. She is the editor in chief of Ramparts360.com and was named AFP-Texas Blogger of the Year for 2010.
My conclusion is that the writer was displeased with the answers given by former President GHW Bush and his wife Barbara during a televised interview because Bush admitted he is a bit confused about the goals of the Tea Party movement and not certain as to what the future hold for them within the political process. And, Barbara Bush dared to say she thought Sarah Palin should probably continue to live in Alaska. How dare they! If she were honest she would have taken it all in total, as they both complimented the Tea Party participants and Ms. Palin. There was no sneering or nasty intent on their parts. How the interview is construed as clinging to power is lost on me.
The really interesting twist, though, was the attack on them because they are old. Both well into their 80's, this is no news flash to them or to us. It always strikes me as so difficult to accept a person claiming to have a focus of religious belief guiding him or her in life and politics, yet sink to gutter level character assassinations with ease. Isn't that what we conservatives complain about on the left? That is, if facts are not on your side, you sink to the politics of personal destruction?
The writer lived outside the U.S. for twenty-five years, in the Far East and returned in 2007, according to the information on the website. Funny. Asian culture has a heavy dose of respect for elders in it.
In the U.S., this tendency of clinging to power until the moment of death prevails as well. I recall Obama's luncheon on Inauguration Day when Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy, seated at the same table, both began retching on camera, unable to eat properly. And each man met his demise later that year due to health problems.
The point is that power is so intoxicating that those who have a shred prefer to keep it, even as they rot away and fall into their second childhood in full public view, wearing their Depends, drooling into their handkerchiefs, and blathering half-witted nonsense which is then quoted in the state-run media and passed off as noteworthy.
So, the Bushes are clinging to power by answering questions on a television show. Is that the takeaway? I would like to say on behalf of both Bush presidents, they have been remarkably restrained and out of the spotlight as the years pass. Too bad for us that Carter and Clinton don't take the same path.
This author also pushes the canard of Republican "elite" and that has been well dissolved, especially as the Republican party embraces and pushes forward those elected with strong Tea Party support. It is hardly "elite" to understand political science and encourage an electable conservative to run for office. We saw that in the cases of Angle in Nevada and O'Donnell in Delaware. A more moderate leaning Republican would surely have been preferable to the Democrats that won those races. While touting Ronald Reagan as a man of the people over GHW Bush as the elite, maybe she should re-read some of Reagan's philosophy as it pertains to the Republican party. His most famous quotes have to do with the eleventh commandment - do not speak ill of fellow Republicans, and that anyone who agrees with him 80% of the time could be a partner in politics.
George HW Bush and Barbara Bush are to be thanked for their service for our country, both domestic and abroad. Bush the elder, as the former president is called by her, began his service to country as an enlisted man in our nation's military and a war hero at age 19. Enlisted, that blue blood. Differences of opinion within conservative circles are healthy, not to be shut down.
Ronald Reagan was our nation's oldest President. He performed admirably in office, as far as us conservatives were concerned, thank you very much. I say we celebrate each other and get over the nonsense.