My local newspaper publishes weekly. I subscribe to the nearest daily paper from a city some 60 miles away. The opinion page carries Clarence Page and Molly Ivins, Donald Kaul and Cal Thomas, along with assorted local thinkers and one-shot columnists.
And Kathleen Parker.
I have no idea how Parker got into the opinion business. I suspect it's a tale rife with Satanic deals and ritual slayings. She is the director of the School of Written Expression (whatever sort of sinecure that is) at the Buckley School of Public Speaking. The Buckley School is the creation of Reid Buckley. Reid is William F. Buckley's younger brother. The school was founded when Reid's heart was moved with pity by the terrible plight of Union Carbide executives following the Bhopal disaster in 1984. It's a spin academy. Parker is part of the consulting faculty (which I assume means that her commitment to the school extends to cashing the checks), along with L. Brent Bozell and various members of the extended Buckley family. I will extend a personal exemption to Christopher Buckley on the grounds that he can be really, really funny.
Parker's latest brain belch is entitled "Intellectually Curious George." Her thesis? George W. Bush ain't inarticulate--he's from Texas. You see, George feels so inferior, due to his po' folks upbringin' in Midland that he just tries too hard. His embarrassment at his humble beginnin's causes him to try to talk purty in a way that jus' ain't natcheral to a native son of the windblown soil. See, Kathleen was the guest of a guest at a private lunch with a hundred Bush supporters. Appparently his command of simile and metaphor coupled with his grasp of the issues and the butter-smooth lilt of his political patter caused Kathleen to succumb to the vapors.
I'm so glad I had my baseball cap on, because that little gift-shop investment is all that kept my head from exploding. I may have blacked out for a moment. Imagine, the man feels more at home in front of a hand-picked group of supporters. Who'd a thunk it?
That pales next to her attempt to re-create GDub as the son of migrant workers who, through something we real Americans call pluck and a generous helping of grit, became the first member of his family to finish high school, then entered politics at the behest of the people when all he really wanted to do was continue to run the little hardware store he had founded after graduation from SW Texas State at San Marcos. This quote is the topper:
"Anyone who speaks before cameras knows the taste of humility and can relate to the agony of being George Bush."
Well, maybe he wouldn't have that problem if he had attended the Buckley School of Public Speaking. In the interest of full disclosure, I have spoken before cameras and, unlike our CEO Prez, was able to clench my verbal cheeks and keep my rhetorical sphincter under control. Actually, GW's biggest flaw is that he doesn't know the taste of humility. He's never been within sniffing distance of the stuff.
Really, it's hard enough that I have to try and hold some measure of respect for the man. Now I'm supposed to feel sorry for him, too? Quick, Ms. Parker, perhaps you can use some of your influence and get George a hardship admission. I'm sure Reid has a soft spot for the truly handicapped.
Update: Doghouse Riley read the same column. He no likey either.