August 23, 2002
By John Garza
The recent defeat of Bob Barr gives only momentary satisfaction
to us Democrats, since he will no doubt soon be resurrected
and magnified, financially and in positions of power, by his
wingnut friends. Either Fox Propaganda Network or the Bush
administration will give him a job. This is a pattern the
Bushes have practiced well: over-rule defeats, rejections,
and losses with family influence and non-elected appointments.
Our current ruler, George W., has been noted to have a deep
strain of anti-democracy in his personal make-up. Obviously,
there are "that" election and his "Who cares what you think"
management style. Hard upon taking power, it was noted that
he was ruling as if he had won an actual mandate. But what
needs to be identified and emphasized is the profound anti-democracy
at the core. It's the royalty, stupid.
It only takes a light scratching of the surface of the Bush
family history, going back only just to Poppy, to uncover
traits of profound anti-democracy: Royal entitlement to positions
of wealth, influence, and power; demanding to rule and to
impose policy against the expressed will of the people.
Poppy's lessons in life have been well absorbed by W. and
Jeb: 1) When you are rejected, use your family connections
to prevail. 2) Money, influence, and power are what really
count. And 3) Elections can be "arranged."
It turns out that Poppy experienced rejection from the beginning,
despite his royal heritage. His preferred choice of employer,
Proctor and Gamble, turned him down. The poor lad was reduced
to using his family and its connections to make a living.
Later on, he was defeated for Senator by Ralph W. Yarborough,
fittingly enough, since Senator Yarborough came to be known
as "the people's Senator," whose career comprised winning
oil revenues for public education, sponsoring many of the
milestones of the Great Society, the update of the G.I. Bill,
being one of only three Southerners to support Voting Rights
and the Civil Rights legislation, consumer and employee protection,
and countless other populist measures. The antithesis of the
royal Bush agenda.
While Poppy won two short terms as congressman, he lost another
Senate election (to Lloyd Bentsen), and a presidential primary,
but the pattern of loss was over-ruled by the slew of appointments
he was not ashamed to accept: Liaison to China, ambassador
to the U.N., chairman of the RNC, Director of the CIA, and
There was always that peskiness of elections to have to pretend
to kiss up to. First there was that October deal with Iran
- not allowing a hostage deal that President Carter could
take credit for before Election Day. And later, he "won" the
presidency on Reagan's shirttails, before resuming his losing
on his own.
And W. picked up where Poppy left off: Fast forward past
all the Fortunate Son details we know and the media ignores
(the failed businesses, the family influence, the fleecing
of the taxpayers). Skip to the part where W. re-installed
most of Poppy's rejected administration officials. Then to
the part where he extended the family's outreach to like-minded
others, such as Ashcroft being salvaged through non-elected
appointment. And Asa Hutchinson being salvaged through non-elected
In the fist of Poppy's family, the fašade of "public service"
crumbles readily, to reveal noblesse oblige and rapacious
robber baron-hood. So don't cry for Bob Barr. The Bush family
torch has passed to the extended family of partisans. The
Bushes have granted their courtiers the royal family prerogatives
of over-ruling the unwashed masses, demanding to take positions
of wealth, power, and influence, and wielding power without
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