This will come as no shock to anyone who isn't still wearing Bush Blinders but Russell Baker's new book on the Bush family details - names and all, apparently - the time when young W had to have his career as a future president (the George W presidency has been in the pipeline for a long time) rescued from his responsibility (as he always has been..until now) for an unintended pregnancy.
One important story from W.’s past that has long been rumored is confirmed in this book. It is a story that perhaps as much as his going AWOL from the National Guard and orchestrating a cover-up could have derailed his political career.
And that story is the illegal abortion he obtained for a girlfriend in Texas before Roe v. Wade. This is substantiated in part by four reporters whose stories were not published, but who shared their “experiences and detailed source notes” and even tapes with him. Two Bush pals took charge of arranging the abortion go to the hospital and who went to the hospital to inform her that he would not see her again. All of the names are named. Certainly as an candidate who was seeking to appeal to conservative evangelical, anti-abortion constituencies, this would have been a high hurdle to overcome.
“As president,” Baker concludes, “Bush promulgated tough new policies that withheld U.S. funds not only to programs and countries that permitted abortions, but even to those that advocated contraception as opposed to abstinence. Moreover, his appointments to the Supreme Court put the panel on the verge of reversing Roe v. Wade. Like his insistence on long prison sentences for first time drug offenders and his support for military action, his own behavior in regard to sexual responsibility and abortion could be considered relevant *and revealing.”
The hypocrisy of the Bush family is virtually limitless, as is their quasi-autocratic belief that as the Elite, American aristocrats, they don't have to follow the rules everybody else has to follow. Baker's book provides ample evidence that first, Poppy has been just as slimy and underhanded as many of us suspected, and second, everything George W appears to be has been built on a series of deliberate lies, manufactured realities, and calculated evasions.
"These revelations about the Bushes,” Baker writes, “lead in turn to an even more disturbing truth about the country itself. It’s not just that such a clan could occupy the presidency or vice presidency for twenty of the past twenty-eight years and remain essentially unknown. It’s that the methods of stealth and manipulation that powered their rise reflect a deeper ill: the American public’s increasingly tenuous hold upon the levers of its own democracy.”
Even more disturbing is the reason for their success in wresting those levers away from the people: they counted at every turn on our willfuly blind belief in comforting illusions and our unwillingness to do our duty as citizens. Karl Rove, a creature of Poppy and Poppy's attack dog Lee Atwater, always assumed that people were too lazy to listen to words and parse what they meant. That's why he put so much emphasis on pretty pictures and theatrical settings for a president who was doing little more than playing a part so the "serious people" like Cheney and Rumsfeld could do what they wanted without interference from the hoi polloi.
They were monumentally contemptuous of us. Cheney sneered right out in the open and bragged about his manipulations. He didn't think he needed to hide it, he was so sure we'd ignore it or, like the peons of old, kiss his butt even harder if he whipped us.
Most disturbing of all is the proof all around us that they were right to insult us. We acted just as clueless and apathetic as they expected us to act. The blame lies on us.