Communion Of Dreams


Time for a little political sacrilege.
August 31, 2009, 10:07 am
Filed under: Government, Politics

In spite of how it might seem sometimes, I’m politically independent – I tend to support specific policies (and to a very limited degree individuals), not this or that party.

And one thing I have long objected to has been the existence of an ‘American Royalty’ within our political system. Here in Missouri we just got rid of one Republican governor who is the son of a long-term US Congresscritter. On the Democratic side, the Carnahan family has held or currently holds several important political offices.

Nationally, it’s even worse. Look at the Bush family, and the debacle of having W rise to power almost solely on the power of his father & family. Al Gore is the son of a Senator. The Clintons have long operated as a family unit, sharing power and position.

And then there are the Kennedys.

Now, Ted Kennedy was loved on the left. All last week we got to hear and read (and see, for those who watch television) plenty of discussion about his place in American history, how he matured into a true leader of the Democratic party, how he managed to rise above the scandals and substance abuse of his youth, how he came to represent much of what was good about American politics, with his ability to work with members of the other side of the political divide, et fucking cetera.

Yeah, he was an accomplished pol. But I have a really hard time coming to the conclusion that we as a nation are better off for his having been in office for 40 years, gaining office purely because of the power of his family and his relationship to his two sainted brothers. Furthermore, I’ll say that his affirmation of the Kennedy name as a political power unto itself was inherently bad for our nation, along with all the other political royalty we have now and have had to suffer with in our history.

There, a bit of political sacrilege. But I had to say this, in reaction to something which made a minor flap this weekend: the horror of Jenna Hager (nee Bush, one of W’s twin daughters) being hired by NBC as a reporter for their Today show.

NEW YORK — NBC’s “Today” show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent – former first daughter Jenna Hager.

The daughter of former President George W. Bush will contribute stories about once a month on issues like education to television’s top-rated morning news show, said Jim Bell, its executive producer.

Hager, a 27-year-old teacher in Baltimore, said she has always wanted to be a teacher and a writer, and has already authored two books. But she was intrigued by the idea of getting into television when Bell contacted her.

“It wasn’t something I’d always dreamed to do,” she said. “But I think one of the most important things in life is to be open-minded and to be open-minded for change.”

And from Glenn Greenwald:

It’s time to embrace American royalty

We’re obviously hungry to live with royal and aristocratic families so we should really just go ahead and formally declare it:

Bush daughter Jenna Hager becomes ‘Today’ reporter

NBC’s “Today” show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent — former first daughter Jenna Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush. . . . She “just sort of popped to us as a natural presence, comfortable” on the air, [Executive Producer Jim] Bell said. Hager will work out of NBC’s Washington bureau.

They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment. They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personal responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency. Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from. There’s a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.

It’s a fair point, but Greenwald doesn’t then make the connection to the Kennedys. Gee, I wonder why that is?

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to UTI. Oh, a personal note: I’ll be on vacation for the next week, so don’t expect to hear much from me after Tuesday.)


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