by Peter Kurth
November 1, 2003
“What is more dangerous than a stupid man who believes that divine inspiration permits him to disregard not only the popular will, appeals to logic, moderation and decency, but even the evidence of his own eyes and ears that his policies have been disastrous?”
Peter Lee posed this question last week on “The Smirking Chimp” (www.smirkingchimp.com). This is one of my favorite anti-Bush Web sites and essential reading for those in despair, now that Dum-Dum’s parents have taken to the airwaves to tell us how “brilliant” he is.
That’s right -- “brilliant.” Not to mention “precious” and “courageous,” according to his mom. The First Battleaxe, a.k.a. Barbara Bush, adds that George Jr., despite his own confessions and the memory of anyone who came near him in the first 40 years of his life, was never alcoholic and, for that matter, “never a problem. He wasn’t.”
Mrs. Bush delivered herself of these remarks during an interview with CNN’s Larry King. Granted, she’s promoting a book -- Reflections: Life After the White House -- and, as she observes, “Mothers are allowed to be proud of their sons.” Even so, there was no need to bark at King, “Move on!” when pressed about her views on abortion and her son Neil’s visits to brothels in Thailand. The woman Newsweek calls “America’s favorite grandmother” has the manners of a toad.
Go ahead -- write me a nasty letter. I got a bucket of them recently, when I described Maria Shriver, the current Mrs. Schwarzenegger and soon-to-be first lady of California, as “toothy, scrawny” and outdoing her Kennedy mother and aunts “in the grinning death’s-head division.” All of which are provable statements.
Between lying about her son and smacking people with golf clubs, Mrs. Bush is said to regret that she has sometimes been “too outspoken” in public life, but I wouldn’t take this as a sign that she intends to shut up. (Outspoken by whom? as they used to say about Clare Boothe Luce.)
“This is the world according to Barbara Bush,” says Babs unnecessarily, “not George, not George H.W., not anybody.” Earlier, during an appearance on “The Today Show,” she described the field of Democratic contenders for her son’s job as “a sorry group,” and said her “gut feeling is that all the media is [sic] against George, Republicans, any Republican.” Where she gets this idea I can’t imagine, since every major media outlet in the country persists in describing the Bush family as “patrician” and Georges I and II as statesmen.
If you want to know how wrong that assessment is, just listen to George I, who joined his wife on “Today” and -- if I may use a word much in favor with the conservative horde -- whined about the “vicious rhetoric” Democratic candidates have lately been hurling at his son.
“The one who makes, you know, the most outrageous charges against the president, and then he gets his 20 seconds on the evening news,” said Poppy, still unable to string an English sentence together. “Hey,” he continued, “I didn’t ride in here on a watermelon cart, I know how it works.”
A watermelon cart? Does everyone know what that means? It means that George H.W. Bush isn’t Steppin Fetchit. And it means that “patrician” is the wrong word for this bunch of Texan Corleones. Babs went on to say that the President -- meaning the current one -- is “a dirty dog” who doesn’t listen to anyone’s advice, and whom she recently had to scold for putting his feet up on the coffee table. This is the same “never a problem” child she refused to seat near the Queen of England at a White House dinner in 1989, so greatly did she fear his “sarcasm and loose tongue.”
“I’m the black sheep of my family,” Dubya told Her Majesty that night. “Who’s yours?”
“None of your business,” the Queen replied. Those were the days!
Someone must have run a poll after the Bushes’ appearance on “Today,” because when Babs turned up on Larry King, Poppy was nowhere in sight and Dubya, suddenly, was never a drunk. Mrs. Bush thinks her son “brought that on himself, truthfully, with all his Jack Daniels -- uh, that is, ‘Choose me or Jack Daniels,’ or whatever it was he said” during the 2000 presidential campaign. She’s been having a little trouble with English herself, but says she wrote Reflections unassisted and typed it with one finger -- two when she got “real excited.” Quoting Poppy, Newsweek reports that her publishers had to cut large chunks of the book "to ward off libel suits."
“Were you pretty rough on some people?” asked King.
“No, I really wasn’t,” said Babs. “But they just wanted to be sure that … today is such a suing world. And having written a book 10 years ago, when nobody hardly mentioned being sued, suddenly [they asked], are you sure that’s true? And I said, ‘No, I’m not sure it’s true, but it’s true according to my diary.’”
What a relief. No wonder Little Hitler thinks he’s king. You’ll be glad to know that Barbara Bush prays each night before going to bed. She doesn’t like flowers -- they’re a “waste of money.” She thinks the death penalty is “a deterrent” and that “all those appeals” take up too much time.
If you want the truth, Barbara Bush is a nasty bit of work, and when she declares with pride that she’s “not even a college graduate,” it’s the one thing she says you can really believe.
Do I have it out for America’s grandma? No, I’ve just heard too many Hillary Clinton jokes. So, make my day! Read my lips! Bring ’em on! The letters, that is.
Peter Kurth is the author of international bestselling books including Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson, Isadora: A Sensational Life, and a biography of the anti-fascist journalist Dorothy Thompson, American Cassandra: The Life of Dorothy Thompson. His essays have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, New York Times Book Review, and many others. Peter lives in Burlington, Vermont. He can be reached at: email@example.com. Visit his website at: http://www.peterkurth.com/