Laura Bush was on TV last night. Apparently they were giving her some sort of award and she was in Austin to receive it. I used to really like her. I always felt she was the balancing force of good in that relationship. But as those fourteen years wore on (yes, people, we Texans had to endure nearly twice as much as the rest of you.) I grew up a bit and my jade grew a darker green. Now, I really just see her as a chain-smoking librarian and enabler. The girl who married up and down at the same time. She said they really missed Austin. Safe to say, we don’t miss them.
She commented on how welcome they had felt upon returning to Dallas. That there were all of these “Welcome Home George and Laura” signs. (I personally saw some of these on my last trip to Dallas. Not only was I shocked at the sentiment, but at the familiarity.) Needless to say, there are NO SIGNS LIKE THAT in Austin.
Seeing her made me also reflect on the cool, new progressive vibe that is sweeping the nation (gay marriage in the Heartland? Who knew? Thanks Iowa!). It’s like the Chileans must have felt after Pinochet fell, or Spain after Franco. We can finally get back to the idea of free speech without being branded a traitor rather than a dissenter.
In Texas however, we are still in dire need of vermin control. The Republicans, and not the good kind, are still very much in control of things here. Nowhere is that more evident than the fact that a Republican is running for Mayor of Austin. There are two good progressive candidates running, but our former Mayor, the oft-married, Carole Keeton McLellan Rylander Strahorn, also known as “One Tough Grandma” . . . excuse me, I had to vomit a little . . . has thrown her hat back in the ring. “Carole” as her campaign signs identify her (c’mon, there’s only so much real estate on the sign) was elected to statewide office several times as a Republican. Many folks in these parts felt that it was not so much a philosophical shift as it was an opportunistic one. She is more ambitious than she is principled. No shocker there when it comes to politics.
However, the thought that sweet little liberal Austin, long a bastion of free-thinkers, might actually elect a Republican sends shudders down my spine. Hopefully, the progressives won’t split the vote so badly that it opens the door for Grandma.
FYI, I’m almost as appalled at having a Grandma at the helm as I am a Republican. Not to be ageist, but if that’s how you primarily identify yourself, then go play with your grandkids and leave the rest of us alone. (Don’t poke my eyes out knittergran!)
I have nothing against Grandmas. I loved mine dearly. But I just don’t think that should be the qualification you run for public office on.
Now I do have to note that one of Carole’s kids, Mark McClellan, was the first White House official to write a scathing insider view of Bush’s performance. So, there’s that. I’m not sure what Bush’s nickname for Mark was, but I’m guessing the book probably earned him a brand new one.