Dross to Gold and Vice Versa

I was skimming through the various stories about the late President Bush the First this week, especially one about how he and Barbara were so considerate of and beloved by the Security Service agents who guarded them. It was kind of sweet, the account of a peckish agent going through the White House kitchen in the wee hours, looking for the cookies that he knew that the stewards of the kitchen had baked for the next day … and being joined by Bush the First, in ransacking the kitchen in search of the elusive cookies. That Bush the First and Barbara were loved and respected by the agents whose mission I can attest to at second hand. One of the Air Force security service NCOs I served with in Korea had just come off an assignment at the White House protection detachment. He adored Barbara, BTW – to hear him tell it, he was one of her favorite agents. She called him “Timmy”, which was kind of cute, as he was one of these six-foot-something guys and built like a concrete traffic bollard; probably Barbara was the only one aside from his mother who called him by that name.

The Bushes – the first and second – made a point of staying in Washington over Christmas Eve, so that their staff and security teams could spend Christmas with their families. Think on that – as I have. More than times I have to count, I spent holidays on duty – many of them having to listen to news and feature stories about how the day was a time to celebrate with family and loved ones, enjoying a lavish meal and relaxing; this when I was alone at midnight in a dark building, ripping teletype copy off the machine, re-shelving records in the library, and wondering if I would have time to eat a ham sandwich while I typed up spots for the reader book with one hand. That the Bushes held off on traveling out of town in order that their staffs could have a nice Christmas at home with their families, instead of jetting off for two or three weeks over the holidays, bag, baggage, staff and security to … someplace else; that was considerate, above and beyond.

I saw this as an acknowledgement that other people, especially those lower on the power totem pole – their private lives, their families and all, had purpose and value, to which decent folk in a position of power, ought to acknowledge. It was very old-school of the senior Bushes; and quite a contrast to the Obamas, who went swanning off to Hawaii for their Christmas holidays, and having a meet-n-greet for Marines and their families on Christmas morning. I suppose that the Marines and their families may have been flattered and thrilled to be so honored … but still. Christmas morning, having to be on hand hours before, the active duty troops likely having been up to all hours ensuring that everything was ship-shape. Spouses and small children taken from their family time and space on a holiday morning. My daughter still wonders how many of those appearing in the pictures taken of those various events were “volentold” : Their presence was required. For the photo-op. On Christmas morning.

I suppose that some of those present would have been OK, would have been there; because, President of the USA! Personal appearance, deigning to appear among the working stiffs, at the pointy end of the spear … but still. Christmas morning. Military – but can’t there be private time with the family carved out? So, I felt kind of sorry for the troops and their families, put on the spot during what should have been private, family, at-home time.

That led tangentially to another thought – about how certain politicians and activists, who make a big show about how much they care for humanity, or the downtrodden minorities, or women – or whomever – are in their personal sphere rude and abusive to their families, employees, or even just those casually encountered. Ted Kennedy, after all – was the darling of Establishment Feminists. In real life he was a drunken an abusive pig towards say, ordinary working-class women like waitresses. Yet someone like Mitt Romney – who likely hasn’t been impolite to a woman of any class in his entire adult life – had the same Feminists raining scorn and outright hatred down upon him. Even though these very same Establishment Feminists have been insisting for decades that the personal is political. How very fortunate that those who talk a good talk and garner credit for having the correct opinions and political stances in the abstract seem to be allowed all kinds of latitude in their real-life conduct … while those who are the epitome of grace and good manners in personal conduct are damned as racists and misogynist haters for not toeing the politically-correct line. Are we, at this late date, effectively calling out any of these hypocrites? Discuss as you will.


6 thoughts on “Dross to Gold and Vice Versa”

  1. The Reagans were also popular with the SS and the agent who was assigned to ride with Reagan right after the election (He was the only agent who could ride) wrote a nice book about them. He stayed with them after the White House and even after he retired from the service.

    There is a cute story in the book about Inauguration Day. The Reagans and Carters were leaving the White House and Nancy called the agent by his name. Roslyn looked at her in disbelief and said, “You know their names ?”

    I understand she was as unpopular as Joe Biden or the Clintons.

  2. This is where the total dominance the Dems have on the media hurts so much. For a quarter century the stories about Bill Clinton were either ignored, or dismissed as lies, or laughed at as something only prudes would care about. Sometimes all three, on different days, by the same people. But they all get the vapors about Trump. Rest assured that in 2020 they’ll pick a “victim” or two to make a permanent fixture on CNN.
    And they’re shutting out as many conservatives (of any flavor) as they can from social media. The Russia BS is a pretext to make sure no alternative voices are allowed to be heard and gum up the works again.

  3. Socialists generally seem to echo Charles Schultz’s cartoon character — “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand”. There is a great social class Achilles Heel among Democrat leadership; unfortunately, the Not-The-Democrats have had great difficulty exploiting this.

  4. I’ve called attention to this here before, I suspect:

    Truman was particularly irked by the “professional liberal,” whom he distinguished from “real liberals” like himself. Professional liberals lived by slogans and saw American politics as an ideological war, which Truman considered alien to the genius of the Democratic party. In his lifetime the party was a sort of political melting pot in which conservative Southerners and moderate border-state men like Truman found common ground with Eastern liberals. “Professional liberals are too arrogant to compromise,” Truman said. “In my experience they were also very unpleasant people on a personal level. Behind their slogans about saving the world and sharing the wealth with the common man lurked a nasty hunger for power. They’d double-cross their own mothers to get it or keep it.”

    – Harry S Truman –

    Frankly, I think almost ALL liberals today are Truman’s “professional liberals”.

    It’s probably the distinction between Classical Liberals and PostModern Liberals.

  5. As much as he disliked Eisenhower, Truman retired to Missouri and did not go on tours berating his successors, like Carter and Obama.

    Her wrote his memoirs, which I have in my library, and kept his mouth shut,.

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