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November 20, 2010

In Defense Of Barbara Bush

Living here in the Houston area, it has been my privilege to attend a fair number of events where former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush have been present. What has always struck me about this couple is their grace, their dignity, and their kindness. I say this as someone who was never a big fan of Bush 41 -- I was inconsolable at 17 when Ronald Reagan picked him as his running mate in 1980, I campaigned actively against him in 1988 when he sought (and won) the GOP presidential nomination, and was only lukewarm in my support for him in 1992. You see, I don't always share the same point of view on issues as the former First Couple -- but have, over the years, developed a deep affection for them based upon my experience of them as members of my community.

That's why I'm disturbed by the tack taken by some on the right -- folks who I generally consider to be allies -- in the wake of Barbara Bush's comments on a potential Sarah Palin presidential candidacy.

"I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful," Barbara Bush said. "And she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there."

The response from the Palin-lovers? Well, let's just say it is worthy of posters at Daily Kos or Democratic Underground in its derangement.

Barbara Bush Should Shut-Up

and

The best thing that Mrs Bush could do is to heed Dan Riehlís advice.

Shut up.

Oh, yeah -- they are also not happy that the former president indicates he isn't sure of where the Tea Party is ultimately going to fit in the political landscape. Personally, I find that an astute position to take -- as I recall, in 1992 we were told that Ross Perot was going to change America's political landscape forever. He didn't, and it is just too soon to tell what the long-term impact of the Tea party will be.

Got that? Dissent is not allowed. Especially not if you are the wife of a decorated WWII hero and former president, and the mother of another former president. If you cannot embrace Sarah Palin as the greatest thing since sliced bread and do not view her as the second coming of the Messiah, you are an elitist insider who must be purged and marginalized.

Sorry, folks -- this is still America. And like it or not, Sarah Palin's resume is not significantly stronger than Barack Obama's was in 2008 -- and her decisions to quit as governor and to not challenge Lisa Murkowski for Alaska's Senate seat this year only serve to raise questions in this life-long Republican's mind as to her viability as a presidential candidate. Indeed, recent polling data makes it clear that she is among the worst candidates the party can nominate if we are to successfully challenge Barack Obama in 2012.

Now the Palinistas have, with imperious arrogance, commanded from on high that Barbara Bush shut up. In response, I'm going to suggest that they. . . keep right on writing and talking in her support. Because after all, as an American who believes in the values found in the First Amendment, I believe that even the arrogant and ill-informed have the right to express themselves on political matters. What's more, I believe that the antics of those who are seeking to limit the political debate are more likely to undermine Sarah Palin's candidacy than to aid it. And most importantly, I'm going to encourage George and Barbara Bush to continue to speak out on matters of importance for both the nation and the GOP -- I think the wisdom of these members of the Greatest Generation are more valuable the mewling words of those members of the Latest Generation who would silence them.

Am I looking to start a blog war with anyone? No, I'm not -- I'm just standing up for an elderly couple who deserve to be treated with more respect than they are being shown by individuals who ought to know better. And may I conclude by noting that it is a metaphysical certainty their mothers are incredibly proud of them for ordering a woman in her 80s to shut because she dares to disagree with them.





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Comments on In Defense Of Barbara Bush

it's no use to enlarge the number of Our hopefuls when they are loosing to Obama.
Maybe Mrs.Palin best job is in Alaska

|| Posted by Andrea, November 20, 2010 11:45 PM ||

And I don't know that I want to see her stay in Alaska. Sarah Palin does, overall, help candidates for whom she campaigns -- and she is certainly an intelligent woman.

Maybe the best place for her now is heading the RNC -- or perhaps taking a cabinet slot after the 2012 election. And don't forget -- there is a Democrat-held Senate seat in Alaska that comes open in 2014.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 21, 2010 07:54 AM ||

Well and truly said.

Both the Bush and Palin families seem to be really nice folks, but even best friends often disagree.

Perhaps the overarching matter is the desire of so many people for a Leader to solve all their problems for them. Some Palinistas act like Obama-istas because they want that metaphorical little man on a big horse to tell them what to do. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution refer often to "we," but never to a Leader, and certain never to a Leader by name. The "we" is not a passive, obedient collective but rather a voluntary, ad hoc joining of individuals first to withdraw from the Empire and later to resolve the problems of self-government.

That being babbled, I add that I admire both Mrs. Palin and Mrs. Bush immensely.

|| Posted by Mack, November 21, 2010 08:18 AM ||

The Daddy and W are good people, and while I also wasn't thrilled with their policies all of the time. There was never much doubt about their motives and intentions. I Like Sarah maybe she is the one to take the reins, but she is a bit of a revolutionary, like all revolutionaries she has some fanatical followers. We need to not confuse the classless supporters with their leaders. She has enough to be responsible for her own actions and words.

|| Posted by Liberty, November 21, 2010 01:18 PM ||

And Liberty, I can agree with you on this one completely. I've nothing bad to say about Palin (beyond saying I think she is the wrong choice in 2012), but I'm really troubled by the behavior of some of the more extreme followers.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 21, 2010 02:13 PM ||

Snake Hunter sez,

Reagan's 11th Commandment:
Say no ill of another republican!

reb
___ ___

|| Posted by Ralph E., November 21, 2010 11:48 PM ||

Interestingly enough, Barbara Bush spoke no ill of Palin -- but Palin's supporters sure spoke ill of Mrs. Bush (and to a lesser degree, Bush41).

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 22, 2010 06:31 AM ||

wh0cd517757 Cheap Torsemide

|| Posted by Dorothytrela, February 23, 2017 02:56 AM ||
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