Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Have You Any Bull?

Perhaps it’s telling that some of Bush’s relatives won’t be voting for him. After all, if your cousin was the president of your country, wouldn’t you want him re-elected? Your celebrity status at any party would be a given, and your shortened wait in line to rent that car would put Avis’ best efforts to shame. Heck, nearly any individual or business would try harder to win your esteem. All you would need to say is something like “President Bush is my cousin and he and John Ashcroft are tight!” Instantly you would be offered the best table in the restaurant or the principle role in your Community Playhouse production of “Damn Yankees “.

So an extreme message is sent when you deny the name-dropping potential this situation affords. Still, an extreme message is what these relatives wish to send: “Because blood is thinner than oil!”

To qualify their connections to the president, the website explains: “Prescott Bush is the father of George Herbert Walker Bush (the former President) and the grandfather of George Walker Bush. Prescott Bush had a sister, Mary Bush, who married Francis E. House, Jr. All of the people on the site are the grandchildren of Mary Bush and Francis E. House, Jr.”

These aren’t incomplete opinions either. These people well believe they are doing the right thing by publicly dismissing Bush’s right to a second term.

Henry Kimsey-House (Dillon Beach, California):

“I am voting for Kerry because I am terrified of the police state that is being created by George and his cronies. I am also voting for Kerry because he is complex and sees the paradox of things, that we are living in a complex and paradoxical world. George prefers to see everything in black or white, good or evil and this old paradigm world view will eventually doom us and perhaps the entire human species to extinction. Finally I think that empire building around a national or capitalist center is extremely dangerous and will naturally foment many wars and revolutions. I am not sure Kerry’s view is Global enough but it certainly is much more Global than George’s is. Living in the world we now live in where everything happens and moves so fast, it is naive and dangerous to cling to just one point of view or one national interest, as it invites others to do the same and thus many wars will happen. There must be a more inclusive and Global view that is held by our leadership and George and crew has no clue how to do that because they are stuck in their old paradigm, empire building, dinosaur age and doomed to extinction. Kerry is at least pointed in the right direction. Thats my 2 cents worth.”


Chris House (Olympia, WA):

“I’m a father of two, and a teacher in Washington state. Being a son of George Herbert Walker Bush’s first cousin, I’ve been witness to a family that bred itself for leadership. Bushes have made their political mark on a local, national and global level, with mixed success.”

“The thing that troubles me most with this current president is a heightened sense of entitlement. Throughout the 2000 election process, George W. Bush seemed to view his ascendancy as something of a given, something he didn’t feel he had to work for along the way, like many others before him. The reigning symptom of this attitude is this: there is a stubborn refusal to look at a given situation in other, possibly more constructive ways. ‘I was made for this position – so I’ve got to be right.’ The mantra of ‘You’re either with us or against us’ was certainly, as our president might say, decisive. However, what I sensed during these four years, for the first time in my life as an American, was the idea was that it wasn’t O.K. for this country’s citizens to debate the big issues facing us today. To be in doubt about something can feel troublesome. I know this firsthand as a teacher; and doubt can lead to unnecessary deliberations in some cases of politics. But it is a natural instinct, just as much as clarity and decisiveness are. These feelings made me see the concept of democracy up close; it was no longer buried in a history lecture.”

Jeanny House (Wisconsin):

“I’m voting for John Kerry because I’m a Christian. I know that my second cousin, George Bush, claims that he is the anointed leader of the American people and that God told him to run for office. I believe he may even believe that. I don’t.”

“My Christian faith tells me the peacemakers are the blessed ones, yet George Bush wants to resurrect the Crusades, one of the most shameful experiences in Christian history. I fail to understand how lying to the people of the United States about any of the many justifications they have used for going to war in Iraq can be considered in any way, shape, or form a remotely Christian activity. Yes, Jesus once said, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” He was talking about liberating his OWN people from within, not invading an oil-rich country out of purely selfish motives, then claiming it was for the liberation of others. The only true liberation comes when the oppressed claim it for themselves. This is something George Bush and his Imperialist cabal will never understand.”

“My Christian faith moves toward greater inclusiveness and acceptance, George Bush moves toward punishment, division, and exclusion. My Christian faith seeks to bring people into the circle of decision-making, George Bush seeks to keep them out. My Christian faith seeks to afford equal rights and responsibilities to all, George Bush seeks to reserve more rights for the privileged few.”

Samuel Prescott Bush House (Delmar, NY):

“I am often disheartened when liberals, conservatives and the media alike look for ways to pigeon hole people according to a perceived set of political beliefs.  If, for example, I am in favor of environmental regulation, I am a “Liberal”.  If I am in favor of welfare reform, I am a “Conservative”.  George W. Bush, my second cousin, labels others in this way, regularly and consistently.  This kind of behavior is both simplistic and offensive to me.  When we hold this kind of perspective, it forces us to to see others in black and white hues and further polarizes us as we consider the “liberal” or “conservative” person across from us.” 

“{George W. Bush labels John Kerry as a “Liberal”, and venomously spews remarks about him as if he has shamefully contracted a sexually-transmitted disease. Similarly, in strong labeling fashion, our president and his supporters have tried to shape the label of a “patriot” as someone who does not question the policies or practices of his administration when the country is at war. As someone who considers himself a patriot, I do not know how to understand the “patriotism” of our president. I find it difficult to understand the patriotism behind giving tax breaks to corporations that export jobs overseas, leaving well-meaning and hard-working folks at home without a solid chance to support themselves. I find it incomprehensible that patriotism of the brand our president practices, includes ravaging our environmental policies, resulting in an immediate and lasting degradation of the environment for the foreseeable future, hurting my children and their children, the future patriots of this country.”

“I do not understand the “patriotism” that goes along with resisting the formation of the 9/11 commission for months, and then dragging our heels at implementing the recommendations of this blue-ribbon bi-partisan commission. I am completely puzzled by the notion of it being patriotic to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the heart of terrorist activity that led to 9/11, and throw them into an adventure in Iraq, where there has never been evidence of a link to Al Qaida or to terrorism.”

“How is it patriotic to give a series of tax breaks to the very wealthiest of individuals at a time of war? How is it patriotic to create a monstrous deficit and then add to our national debt when, at the time that our president assumed office, we were well on our way to being solvent as a country? How is it “patriotic” to create the No Child Left Behind Act and then withhold the money set aside for its implementation, educationally neglecting our own children?”

“Many of my relatives and forbears are staunch Republicans and conservative in their politics. As a particular brand of “conservatives”, they believe, as I do, that we must CONSERVE our natural resources and show a nurturing approach to the environment in which our children and grandchildren grow up. These conservative relatives believe that we, as a nation, must be fiscally responsible, pay our bills fully and on time, expect that everyone contribute to the economy, and leave our country in better shape than it was for our own generations. Many of these conservative relatives, living and dead, have believed that we must be actively involved, as citizens, in our government, and that it is our responsibility to speak out–forcefully, if necessary–when we disagree with something that our government is doing. Doing so is the very act of patriotism, in that it contributes to and fosters a flourishing democratic process.”

I applaud Bush’s relatives for speaking up and hope their opinions will receive the considerations they deserve. If Bush is given four more years, many of those who supported his re-election will come to regret that support, of this I feel certain. I would rather they come to their senses willingly now, not grudgingly later.

Baa, baa black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for my master,
One for my dame,
But none for the little boy,
Who cries in the lane.

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