Bushmen Don't Cry
May 14, 2002
By Jerome Doolittle
America has come a long way since Edmund Muskie was forced
from the 1972 presidential race by a forged letter from Nixon's
dirty tricks department that got him so mad he cried during
the New Hampshire primary. Or maybe he just choked up, or
his voice broke, or something. Anyway, it was in public and
it just didn't look, well, manly.
Since then, though, television news has turned us into such
a nation of whiners and weepers that now it's perfectly okay
if a fellow wears his feelings mushy side out. Governor Jeb
Bush did it the other day during a war-on-drugs speech in
The Miami Herald reported:
"'I want to thank you on behalf of my wife for your prayers
and for your quiet counseling in the last few months about
our daughter Noelle,' he said, his voice trailing off and
shaking with emotion. 'Bush men always cry,' he said, perhaps
alluding to his brother's teary tribute in March to the families
of two Florida Army Rangers killed in Afghanistan. 'I apologize.
It's some genetic problem I got from my dad, I think.'"
The Orlando Sentinel's man remembered the quote a little
"'It's a genetic problem I got from my dad. He cries a lot.'
Bush's father, President George Bush, wept on a visit to Hungary
after being handed a piece of barbed wire that symbolized
the Iron Curtain coming down. He recalled in a 1997 interview
that 'I cry too easily. I did then and I do now.'"
So there you have it. The Bush men have no trouble getting
in touch with their inner Mr. Softee, and this is not a bad
thing. It is a very, very good thing.
We would not want them bawling all over the place, would
we? Of course not. The Bush men are arms merchants and ball
club owners and oil men and CIA directors and governors and
presidents and stuff like that. Most of the time you want
them to be strong, like your own dear daddy. And they are!
For example, take when George W. Bush had to execute a murderer
who was a reformed drug addict and born-again Christian just
like he was. Her name was Carla Fay Tucker, and Pope John
Paul II and Pat Robertson and all sorts of other bleeding-heart
pinkos thought he should spare her. But he was governor of
Texas, dang it, and right was right.
Did he blub all over the place when he did his duty? I should
say not. Time magazine reported:
"Although he was anguished by the decision, in an interview
with Talk magazine, writer Tucker Carlson described Bush mimicking
the woman's final plea for her life. 'Please,' Bush whimpers,
his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'Don't kill me.'"
He did, though. He killed another 151 death row inmates,
too, which is more than your daddy ever did. Let's
But not more than his daddy ever did. Remember the
Highway of Death in Kuwait? And Remember the U.S.S. Vincennes?
Don't remember that one? The Iranians do.
On July 3 of 1988, Iran Air's Flight 655, on a regularly
scheduled flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai, was shot down
over the Persian Gulf by trigger-happy gunners on the Vincennes.
The 290 people aboard died.
Did President George Herbert Walker Bush cry? Certainly not.
"I will never apologize for the United States of America,"
he said. "I don't care what the facts are."
So Lieutenant Commander Scott Lustig, anti-air warfare officer
of the Vincennes, was awarded two Navy commendation medals
for his service on the cruiser. And its commander, Captain
Will C. Rogers III, got the Legion of Merit for "exceptionally
meritorious conduct during the period of his command."
Facts being what they are, however, the United States was
obliged by the courts to pay $300,000 for each wage earner
killed by the meritorious captain, and $150,000 for each non-wage-earner
(this included the 57 children aboard). And the Iranians got
another $40 million dollars from the U.S. taxpayer for loss
of their plane.
This leaves Governor Jeb Bush, who lost it so notably when
talking about his drug-addicted daughter before the drug professionals
in Tallahassee. It's plain that he has inherited those squishy
New Testament Bush genes, but how about those stern Old Testament
Turns out the governor is okay on that, too. In that same
speech, the Miami Herald reported:
"He derided the 'clowns' who were until recently pushing
a constitutional amendment that would have let certain first-and-second-time
drug offenders avoid jail and go to treatment."
He seems to have gotten through this part of his speech without
a quaver, a sob, a catch in his voice, or even so much as
a hint of the embarrassment you or I might feel if everyone
in the room knew your own daughter had somehow managed
to avoid jail and go to treatment.
Other columns by former Carter speechwriter Jerome Doolittle
may be found at http://www.badattitudes.com