Thursday, July 15, 2004
Let's knock it off
Okay, can we stop doing this? Where by "this" I mean grasping at any opportunity to ridicule the behavior of Jenna and Barbara Bush, simply because they are the children of our disastrously bad President. And no, the fact that they are campaigning for their father doesn't make their private lives fair game. If you want to critique their ability as campaigners, or suggest that they have implausible policy views, go right ahead. But to titter about stories of the Bush twins' bar exploits is tawdry, demeaning, and completely unnecessary.
I would make a distinction that is rather fine, but seems valid: in the context of pure gossipy dirt-dishing (like the original Times article that the Barbara Bush story came from, or nearly every story in Wonkette), I have no objection to mean-spirited snarkiness. That's the point of those kinds of stories. But when we indiscriminately mix this trash in with serious political disagreements, we are stooping lower than there is any need to stoop. Here we have an administration that has produced so many fiascos that there is increasing talk of "outrage fatigue"; what is the point of muddying the waters with jabs at the personal lives of the President's kids? There are real things to complain about without following people into bars hoping they'll embarrass themselves.