The Fortunate Son
The New York Times tries hard today to peddle the scandal of young George Bush the irresponsible fortunate son.
But they’ve been to this well so often and with so little success that now they’re slipping into self parody:
After the election, Mr. Bush returned to Houston, moving out of his small rented bungalow in Montgomery. He left the place a mess, with a broken light fixture and piles of debris, according to Mary Smith, whose husband was the bungalow's caretaker. Ms. Smith said her husband, who has since died, sent Mr. Bush a bill for professional cleaning but never heard back.
Good Lord! Is this the kind of man we want for President? Oh wait a second . . . he is President.
The BushHate™ crowd is surely being driven insane by all this. If Bush is an imbecile frat boy, why is he beating us? And not just beating us, but whipping us like a rented mule.
What they forget is that Bush as the prodigal son is central to the image of W: the ordinary man who rose to an extraordinary challenge. True or not, the legend of W is meant to be a reflection of the average American’s experience. Most voters spent their 20s acting like 20 year olds. If they had enough influence to avoid Vietnam, how many would not have used it?
Hypocrisy? No more than running a war hero as the candidate of a party of pacifists.
The Kerry campaign is trying almost as hard as the Times to tarnish Bush’s image along this vein. They’ve gone so far as to play “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival at campaign rallies.
The trouble is, this doesn’t tarnish Bush’s image . . . it reinforces it. It’s like these guys have never heard the lyrics of Amazing Grace. They are clueless once they’re out in Fly-Over Country.
Also, isn’t it a little risky for John Kerry campaign to be talking about fortunate sons? I think it’s the political equivalent of pouring gasoline on a concrete floor. Pretty harmless until someone says the words “Swiss boarding school.”
Then someone could get burned.