On Wednesday, Jeb Bush told an audience at a Catholic Charities fundraiser that he's "thinking about" running for president in 2016.
And fortunately, some in the press have the sense to agree with me. NBC's David Gregory had the courage to ask the question that's on the mind of every rational adult in America: Can a grandpa be president?
I mean, sure, Jeb Bush has eight years' experience in elected office as Governor of Florida, but the fact that he already has a grandchild should be enough to make him reevaluate his priorities, and I'm really glad that Charlie Rose had the temerity to ask his wife which he'd rather be.
And it's not as though he's ever really been on the national stage by his own merit. His father and brother, both presidents before him, would probably control his actions. Yes, he shaped American foreign policy for four years as Secretary of State -- oh, wait, that's Hillary Clinton. Sorry. My mistake.
Of course, this desire to pursue a career in politics (and supposedly change the world for the better) instead of being a homemaker like a good man should has long been a trademark of Jeb Bush. It's as though he actually believes men shouldn't be limited to the roles of a husband, father and homemaker.
And he also gets such an attitude when, instead of asking a question about public policy or human rights or, gosh, what he believes America needs to do, a reporter innocently asks who designs his suits. Sure, Bush had just spent time discussing the sexist phenomenon of men having to consider what they're wearing, but come on, who actually listens when a man is talking about sexism? That would be crazy!
And why are we not talking about his age? Jeb Bush is, like, really old. He would be 64 just one month after taking the oath of office if he's elected in 2016. No president has ever been in their 60s while entering the White House.
I mean, except for Ronald Reagan, who was two weeks shy of 70. Oh, and George H. W. Bush, who was 64. And yeah, I guess Gerald Ford was 61.
And haven't we already seen what happens to men who run as grandfathers? They just can't keep up with both roles. Mitt Romney has approximately 237 grandchildren and lost his campaign for president. Twice.
Look, I'm not sexist; some of my best friends are men. I think that men can be anything they want as long as it doesn't threaten female egos.
And you know, I just think this whole grandfather thing is a conspiracy to get Bush elected president. We have long known he's quite a male oddball for believing he has what it takes to run the country as a man, but I'm not sure any of us sincerely thought he would actually put his hat in the ring. Ambition, as they say, is not a proper masculine virtue.
Thank goodness the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker was quick to point out that although "men don't love their children or grandchildren more than women do, their roles are significantly different. I know, the spoiler rides again, but most adults really do know this. That we are different speaks to the obviously greater role in childbearing and the attention that babies need from them. It also speaks to the very qualities (nurturing, communication, intuition -- which parent wakes before the baby cries?) that man career-bound men seem unwilling to acknowledge."
She goes on to say, "The reasoning isn’t complicated, but it is both sad and perhaps self-defeating. Men assume, probably correctly, that admitting to instincts and paternal pulls would suggest that they’re less committed than women to their professions — a First World problem, we remind ourselves — thereby risking hard-won advances in the workplace."
Right you are, Kathleen! Why do we continue to mess with the way things are meant to be? Women have historically been the ones to go out there and support their family, and men -- via vague "biological" and "instinctual" chains -- are more inclined to stay home and take of he kids. Because what more could any man want?
It's that "father's intuition" that seems particularly dangerous. Prior to childbirth, every father has a neural chip implanted in his brain that makes them act in times of crisis: reading the minds of every family member, simply knowing when something harmful is taking place, or simply foregoing one's professional dreams out of deference to cultural pressure that asserts their whole value is placed in how well they care for smaller human beings.
Under the influence of this "father's intution", a male president with children or grandchildren might be too emotional to support a crucial military operation that, for example, kills a dangerous terrorist.
This is science, people, and since Florida was ranked 44th in high school graduation rates when Jeb Bush left office as governor in 2008, it's not hard to see why he doesn't understand this very simple concept.