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Thomas de Zengotita Headshot

Bush and Mexicans

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This piece in The New York Times the other day will reward your consideration if you are as (or more) appalled at Little George and all his works as I am. His support for a relatively enlightened immigration policy isn't JUST about corporate exploitation of cheap labor -- though, of course, that's a major part of it. It's also about something he feels "in his heart" for all the Mexicans he knew when he was growing up in Midland, Texas.

Progressive critics of Bush need to realize that, in addition to serving the interests of American Empire, he truly believes that he cares for the little people, that he's doing the right thing. You can't nail down the way in which he is so terribly wrong unless you understand the way in which he thinks he is right. And that has to do -- as everything does for him -- with personal experience. This New York Times piece is an exceptionally vivid snapshot of how that works in him.

The one thing that wasn't brought out as clearly as it should have been in this piece is the enormous condescension involved - -an unconscious condescension, and all the more damning for that very reason. It conditions everything apparently generous in the attitudes of the WASP aristocracy the Bushes represent. The article comes closest to capturing the texture of those attitudes when it quotes Bush Sr. referring to Jeb's children, by his Mexican wife, as "the little brown ones."

He meant it kindly, he really did -- that's the problem. The Bushes just don't understand that isn't about how you feel. It's about history.