February 9, 2004
Little House on the Ellipse: Laura Bush, Wilder than Bess and Mamie
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
The first lady is upset that some people think she is a throw-back to first ladies of the 1950's. She better be careful or they won't ask her to speak at any more "Weekends for Submissive Wives Whose Husbands Have Let Them Out For a Weekend" lectures on why it is necessary to always agree with whatever your hubby does or says in public.
"Have you actually ever read that?" Mrs. Bush said sharply in an interview this week in her East Wing office. "Who wrote it? Some really good friend of mine? Somebody I'd interviewed with?" I have tried and I don't have 6 months to spend looking for any interview with someone who actually asked her an unscripted question. And she mentions that her White House aides are her good friends and they aren't likely to chance being called unpatriotic in after the after the mission accomplished wartime, while our guys are still dropping daily.
In a nearly hour-long interview with The New York Times on Thursday, Mrs. Bush called Democratic accusations that her husband was AWOL from the National Guard "obviously political," said Bill Clinton believed the same intelligence about Saddam Hussein's unconventional weapons that her husband did and characterized Karl Rove, her husband's chief political adviser, as not as powerful as "the chattering class" believes. She was obviously not there and didn't meet him until after the Guard and Harvard Law School and Rove is a wimp in comparison to George. Bill Clinton may have believed it, but he didn't hand it over for interpretation by the military deferment cabal at People for a New American Century and the Heritage Foundation. Nor did he call every country who didn't agree with him Saddam sympathizers or tell the UN to take a hike or make a pre-emptive invasion or get thousands killed and then insist the UN repair the damage. As part of the "chattering class", I can go for laying the entire blame on her husband, if he ever considers taking responsibility for anything he has messed up. I'd rather spend an hour watching paint dry than listening to she or her husband.
Most notably, she declined to say whether she supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, as conservative groups say they expect the president to do. "I think I'll let him say if he would do that," Mrs. Bush responded. When pressed for her view, Mrs. Bush said, "I might have my own opinion, but I'm not going to tell you." That is for her to know and you never to find out. She will reserve the right to sit quietly while her husband and the far right make second class citizens out of anyone they please. She usually admits if she agrees with him, but then we don't know how he feels about the issue because he waffles like an Eggo.
"He does read the papers, of course," Mrs. Bush said, adding that she and her husband make their way through five national newspapers over coffee in bed and then at the breakfast table each day. Five in bed and five at the table, for a total of ten? He just denies he reads them when he needs to cover his butt. Which four national newspapers, besides the Reverend Moon's Washington Times? Is this before or after he jogs? Later in this article she claims he leaves her asleep to go jogging. By the way, according to the first lady, 56 is too old to jog, for women. She is a great lump for the bed, though and has a personal trainer. Not for training as a lump, but for something besides jogging. Possibly walking to and from helicopters.
"I mean we've read the newspapers for years. It's our morning ritual, since the day we married." I thought my honeymoon was a little boring since the day after our wedding we went to lovely, scenic, romantic Wichita, Kansas to meet the in-laws. Did they read them the morning of their wedding? It's bad luck to watch the bride read the newspaper on the day of the wedding. It's a wonder, with George's drinking problem (causes low sperm count) and all those newspapers, she ever got pregnant. I don't recall reading even one paper the morning of the wedding or the morning after.
What the president meant, she said, was that he does not read the opinion columnists with whom he disagrees or every part of every newspaper. "But he reads a lot of them," she said. "And I read the parts he doesn't read — except the columnists." Interpretation: He doesn't handle criticism, or people who don't agree with him, well. Heaven forbid "the ruling class" should get an opposing opinion from the "chattering class". Besides that, they are unpatriotic. I'll bet he can give the scores at the morning security briefing. And she reads the rest of the paper, but she doesn't think anyone should disagree with him so she doesn't give a damn about any opinion other than her own or his. That is actually a very good trait in a librarian or a teacher. Never read any opinion other than your own.
"The reason I'm really here at this event is because there's something else I hope you'll talk with your friends and your neighbors about this election year, and that's the critical importance of re-electing our great president, George W. Bush," the first lady said, to applause. Is the offertory at the beginning or the end of these events? Whenever she speaks there will never be any of the "chattering class" there, because they will be a half mile away in a "free speech zone" that she will never ever visit or read any opposing opinions from. If you object to your child being killed she will never read it, nor will she ever meet you face to face because sacrificing your child is a chance you and your child take if you have been laid off and can't pay for your child's college. Laura wouldn't understand, her children have never needed anything, except a good fake ID.
Reporters traveling with Mrs. Bush were kept outside the tent, because the White House closes the first lady's fund-raising events to the press. The White House later released a transcript of her remarks. They are required to print what they did not hear. What she or George say at fund-raisers depends on the audience. They are both capable of agreeing with anything or saying anything for money. If it is the Log Cabin Republicans in the shrinking tent, they are against an amendment banning gay marriage, but they will deny it to the Christian Coalition and all it takes is a loyal republican stenographer, without a conscience, to type the transcript.
"We're just like any other married couple," she said. "We talk about everything. We talk about our kids. We talk about our pets. We talk about what we're going to do this weekend. And then, of course, we talk about the campaign, to some extent." Strange, my husband and I, one of those other married couples, talk about the transfer tubes and collateral damage. We talk a lot about the cost of this war, the economy that sucks big time, the un-employment rate which the Bushes jimmy with, and how many kids, who aren't ours or the Bushes, are dead. We can't find 5 impartial newspapers to read, much less ten. We do hear a lot of opposing opinion because we watch the TV news and they nearly always disagree with us.
The first lady also said she and the president had many conversations about David A. Kay, the arms inspector, and his testimony that the prewar intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs in Iraq was wrong. Her husband, she said, "had the same intelligence President Clinton had, the same intelligence that Congress had." I doubt his intelligence is the same as Clinton's, but the Republican side of congress has an average IQ almost on the level of a dinner salad, but without croutons. She felt the need to repeat this to emphasize that she blames Clinton for even giving him this information and tempting him beyond his ability to resist, and it is Congress's fault for voting to let him invade whatever he felt like. You know how it is when congress is too permissive. I think a lot is lost in the interpretation. The real reasons for invading Iraq are reserved for fund-raisers, which are really national security enclaves and must be kept from the voters, to protect the president's butt.
"I mean it's the intelligence that everyone in the United States in any role of authority has had," Mrs. Bush added.
But your husband, the over-estimated Karl Rove and the neocon cabinet are the only ones who decided to invade and kill a lot of people. The Bushes are not the down-home folks they pretend to be when they send other people's kids off to war with flag-waving ceremonies in hangars. They claimed all the experts agreed with them, when the only way to disagree was to give up your career, be branded a Saddam-loving traitor and possibly have your wife exposed as a CIA agent.
A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
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