"America's Grandma," Barbara Bush, is at it again. No, she is no longer advising us that half-drowned African American's who survived Katrina should be comfortable in their distress because they are accustomed to living in squalor, today she is offering up advice on how to raise our children - based I suppose upon her great success in raising hers. She is a public advocate for gathering one's family around the dinner table for conversation, assuring us in her new TV ad that this very act of togetherness will prevent our children from becoming alcoholics and drug abusers. This, from the mother of George and Neil and Jeb??? The first being a former drug abuser and alcoholic, the second a principal figure in an S&L banking scandal that cost the country billions, and the third complicit in the stealing of elections for his brother, which nearly cost the country the country. Can there be no end to Republican Chutzpah?
Early last week we were told by the very people who abused decorated Vietnam hero Max Cleland and John Kerry that the MoveOn ad about the packaged testimony of General Petraeus was an assault upon our military, and now we are to take the advice of the mother of one of America's most dysfunctional families. Momma Bush I fear has more in common with Ma Barker, the notorious mother of a criminal gang of the 1930's than she does with Whistler's mother, or your mother, or mine, assuming that our mother's did not raise a criminal cabal.
Can you imagine that table talk in the family manse in Maine? "Georgie, little Herbie down the street stuck out his tongue at Daddy, and I think he stole our newspaper from the front lawn last week, so I want you to go over to his house and set it on fire. After you've finished with your shock and awe assignment I want you to occupy his property indefinitely. We can't be safe in our lovely American home until you do it - after all, he might do more than make faces at Daddy in the future. He may come over here and pee on the rose bushes."
There had to be a lot of fine talk at that particular dinner table. It never ceases to amaze me that Barbara and Laura, those public advocates for education and reading always confuse literacy with Republican morality, which includes fear mongering, accusations of treason, innuendo about the opponent's patriotism, and creatively vicious name calling. "Now how do you spell traitor, Georgie? A hint. There are two t's in it, not in the middle but at the beginning and at the end"
I would rather take advice from an illiterate mother in the Brazilian rain forest who struggles to keep her family alive than from such women. Mother's of America unite. You don't need your kids sitting daily at the dinner table for them to grow into good men and women. Indeed most mothers are working mothers and they are more concerned about feeding their kids than seating them at family discussions - a lovely thing, and a luxury more easily afforded by two parent households, but alas, almost gone with the fifties. Forced to sit at the dinner table they will only be playing with some computer game on their laps as you lecture them.
Decent kids grow up by example, your example of decency and generosity, not by hectoring or lecturing. And they grow up to be good citizens if given the chance of good public health care and good public schools, something you don't talk about much in your world. Why, why, that would be "socialized opportunity!" I can only imagine the example set by Ma Bush on those long ago Maine summers, as they sat around that dinner table. All that talk about "us" and "them." And all of us "thems" - which means most of America - have grievously suffered from it.