Know what's kinda funny? Just as the whole Republican convention has transpired with basically negative five mentions of George W. Bush because he is so grotesquely unpopular even among all weird hat people, the bleeding-hearts of the Media Elite are having a moment of premature nostalgia for his wife thanks mostly to Curtis Sittenfeld's epic new work of Laura Bush fan fiction American Wife. Because, as the novelized Laura says: "All I did is marry him. You are the ones who gave him power." And, "the single most astonishing fact of political life to me has been the gullibility of the American people…[What] caught me by surprise was the way the American people and the American media egged him on, how complicit they were in Charlie's cultivation of a war-president persona…Even in our cynical age, the percentage of the population who is told something and therefore believes it to be true - it's staggering." I know, right? I really want to believe the real Laura Bush would say the same thing. But would she?Some critics are calling this characterization of Laura a "liberal fantasy." But why do we cling to the fantasy even when Real First Lady Laura Bush totally hung out with Sarah Palin just the other day? Because she actually has very little in common with Sarah Palin, which is why we're all pondering working on our painkiller addictions right about now! The evidence. 1. Laura Bush is a librarian and Sarah Palin bans books.(Sort of in the way Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor!) Which brings me to the funniest thing about the story of how Sarah Palin, upon becoming mayor of Wasilla, called up the local librarian to inquire about banning books: the idea never went anywhere because she didn't seem to know what books she'd ban. Sarah Palin doesn't read! Duh. Neither, probably, does Cindy McCain. Laura Bush's favorite book is The Brothers Karamazov, a fact that I still find sort of mindblowing, but anyway, that is what makes this sort of shit so funny. 2. Laura Bush is pro-choice. When Cindy McCain found herself in that messy conundrum over whether Roe v. Wade ought to be overturned earlier this week, to whom did she turn for guidance? According to Katie Couric, Cindy's spokespeople said that she, like Laura Bush, did not want Roe overturned. Who knows why Laura Bush is pro-choice; maybe she read American Tragedy, maybe it's just because she killed someone herself and the law had gone easy on her; maybe she's just a rational person, but whatever the case, women like Laura Bush — not Northeastern Marxists like me or "I Choose Life For My Daughter And Everyone Else In America" Alaskan prophets like Sarah Palin— are ones who live in those crazy states that are always trying to add little "abortion banning" amendments to transportation bills and such, the ones who actually live in states where this stuff comes up on the ballot every November. And as such, women like Laura Bush are the only reason Roe has yet to go back before the Supreme Court. 3. Laura Bush raised Jenna Bush. Laura Bush's other vocation besides library science was being a mother, and even that Communist organ Us Weekly agrees that Jenna Bush turned out pretty good. Laura Bush raised a fun underage-drinking socially-conscious charter school teacher who spent months in the ghettos of that little country her granddaddy invaded learning about the tragic life of a teenage mom with AIDS for the purpose of writing a cautionary tale of what happens when you don't use condoms. Sarah Palin raised a fun underage-drinking cautionary tale of what happens when you don't use condoms. 4. Laura Bush is a walking living and in some ways tragic symbol of the emotional core of liberalism, which is to say, our bottomless capacity to forgive. She had a tragedy in her early life and for that reason alone most of us will forgive her unwillingness to try and make herself into some sort of internal dissident in the Cheney White House. She reads Russian lit, she knows how it goes for dissidents. She forgives her ignorant husband the way we all forgive our ignorant racist grandmas. She accepts his differences and we preach acceptance. She is from a Red State and married to a red meat Republican but she defies all the usual pithy pollster cartoonology; she has never had big hair even though she's from Texas, she has never been blonde even though that is a major rule for Republicans in DC; she has never seemed Stepfordy, she smokes cigarettes. And like with Laura, said sentimentality can lead us to be forgiving to a fault! Remember how we hated Clinton for his triangulation and his beholdenness to Wall Street and his generalized moral turpitude? Ha ha ha, yeah. Don't let's let this become the election that gets us all misty-eyed for the Bush years in a couple years time, Laura Bushes of the world! (God did you ever think that would even be a possibility? Christ.) OH AND BONUS EXTRA THING I FORGOT: She defended Michelle Obama against those ridiculous attacks on her patriotism that both Cindy and Sarah Palin have milked well into elementary school at this point. Thanks for pointing out, readers!
Clever tag coined yesterday by Gawker friend Brian Gallagher. Submissions to this category welcome!