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My link to the “Complete Review” yesterday caused some personal angst, and a bit of sleeplessness.  Some of you may find this needlessly melodramatic, but my nature requires I do this.

I’ve been very busy this week.  When that happens, I don’t have the same time to spend double-checking my linkage.  I may not do the deep read required, because I’m multitasking.  So when I’m busy, often an uncontemplated link will slip through.  I can be quite blinkered and clinical during busy moments.

The “Complete Review’, at the bottom of the page, made some really hideous insinuations about First Lady Laura Bush.  I was focused on the AP news report ... this was an aspect of our First Lady that I was unaware of.  I linked it and then went off in pursuit of other information about the First Lady.  After all, I realized, I don’t know much about her.  What else do I not know?  Link it, and move on.  Link forgotten.  There was no malicious intent in my link, nor was there an intent to promote this view.  If you’ve read here long, you’ll recognize how anomalous the link was.

Our weblog posts are not benign; we may have 1000 readers that day, but possibly a million over time through our archives.  This is not a small matter.  We sometimes say things in our weblogs that we would not contemplate saying to a group of friends, much less a crowd equalling our daily readership. 

Once upon a time, this same behavior ... unreflective linking, uninformed theorizing, hopping on the bandwagon, accepting other interpretations without checking sources ... nearly destroyed my livelihood shortly after I started weblogging.  Theorizing and interpretation, in a vacuum of real fact, can do significant harm ... indeed, it took stripes out of my own flesh at a time when I was on the ropes.  I lost faith in humankind for a time.  I would never wish to do that to another.

And for that reason, I offer this apology ... and this link, which will further explain my need to perform reparations [esp. info on page three].  I will leave my previous post up, as a case-in-point, a lesson for myself and for those who care to experience the same lesson.

I apologize for raising yesterday’s article further, Mrs. Bush, and I abhor the craven insinuations within.  Mere idealogical differences should never stand in the way of simple human lovingkindness and faith in the good nature of fellow human beings.

And I apologize to my readership.  I will practice ‘eloquent silence’ more often, when I’m busy.  We’ll both be the better for it.

Off to more meetings.  More links later as I have appropriate time.

04/09/04 • 09:37 AM • CorrectionsWeblogs • (10) Comments


I know a lot of bloggers feel that the breezy “take no prisoners and have no regrets” mentality defines the form, but I have always felt that, as publishers, webloggers have a responsibility to stand behind what we post, whether or not we agree with it. I admire your integrity and your willingness to articulate your views upon reconsideration.

I also feel a little bad for my comment to yesterday’s post, which I am now afraid seems more critical of *you* than I intended it to be. my objection was to the reviewer, not to your interest in the subject or the book, and if that wasn’t clear yesterday, I hope it is now.

Posted by rebecca blood on 04/09/04 at 11:04 AM

I find this honorable. I know that sounds kind of cheesy online, but I mean it. Thank you.

Posted by Jeremy Bowers on 04/09/04 at 11:50 AM

Rebecca, you were not the only one to comment on the rather anomalous nature of that post, albeit the only one in the comments area. Don’t feel bad.  My insomnia was my own conscience knocking on my skull. 

Personal ethics set the bar for corrections. I’ve done them for much longer than I’ve had a category for them.  I always hope the example spreads.

My commenters and emailers keep me honest and ‘real’, and I’m always grateful.  Even if I occasionally lose a little sleep. 

Jeremy, I think another reason I needed to do this, at such length, is to separate myself from the mindless partisanship that seems to overpopulate our country.  I can oppose the majority of Mr Bush’s platform, but that does not bring forth blind hatred, or pervasive ‘glass-half-empty’ views of the political opposition. 

The Bushes are as welcome at my dinner table as anyone else.  More so, if I can regale them with the challenges small businesses face.

Posted by Garret on 04/09/04 at 12:50 PM

I’m a bit taken aback (if not completely surprised) by the reaction to our review of the Peter Singer title, and specifically our comments re. Laura Bush and her car accident.

Those specific comments weren’t ideologically motivated: we are partisan—but what we are (in this case) partisan about is the treatment of those responsible for motor vehicle “accidents” (and, sorry, I repeat: running a red light or stop sign makes a driver culpable and means it—barring other circumstances—can’t be called an accident).  Rest assured that in a review of a book on the ethics of Ted Kennedy or Congressman Bill Janklow we would similarly harp on their reckless (and deadly) driving.  The same goes for the common man: see our review of Thomas Munch-Petersen’s “Fatal Error” (http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/shortbs/munchpt.htm), where we cover the subject in greatest depth.

The general “it could have been me”-attitude (also expressed in the comments to these posts) is a fascinating rationalization, but doesn’t seem to be a very convincing one: I think our review comparison—that driving “through a stop sign or red light is surely no different than pointing a gun at a distant crowd and pulling the trigger;”—is apt, but for some reason blatant disregard for traffic laws (despite the fact that the death toll from motor vehicle accidents (many of which involve broken traffic laws) is enormous—far more than all homicides in the US, for example) is both near-universally tolerated and excused.

I also believe that the Laura Bush-case is a valid one to bring up in a review of a book such as Singer’s, as the book deals specifically with a president who talks a lot about the sanctity of human life and whose wife happens to have killed someone.  Our question as to whether his wife’s experience “has informed his moral stance on any form of death-causing” seems particularly relevant, and we’d love to know the answer.  (Again on the partisan issue: death-causing, in any form, always troubles us, and in a review on a book about the ethics of presidential candidate John Kerry we would surely also be deeply concerned with his (admittedly very different) actions in Viet Nam—though it should be noted that Kerry does not seem to ever have expressed himself as forcefully about the sanctity of life as the sitting president has.)

Re. Laura Bush herself: she seems like a decent soul (and as a book-loving former librarian we at this book review site appreciate her literary efforts in the White House)—but she did a very bad thing and she does not seem to have ever answered for it (and, amazingly, know one ever calls her out on this).  We don’t claim she’s a bad person because of it, but we are disturbed by what she did, how the situation was (legally) handled, and that nobody seems willing to discuss what influence this has had on both her and the president.  We don’t understand why this subject should be taboo. Indeed, given how many people are killed in motor vehicle accidents (and, especially, “accidents”) it would seem valuable to discuss it as much as possible—and Mrs. Bush could perform a great public service by publicly acknowledging her “mistake” (or whatever she wants to call it) and trying to convince others to learn from it (by maybe obeying traffic laws).

Finally, I don’t know what the “craven insinuations” we make are—I thought we stated the facts, and gave our (admittedly not very popular) opinion.

Posted by M.A.Orthofer on 04/10/04 at 06:59 AM

To answer your comments (and sorry for the delay.  It is the weekend, after all) ... I will try to give you insight into what’s been going on, with me, with my readers.

I, and I believe my readers, simply disagreed with the note at the bottom, not the review.  That it is ‘fair game’ to use this incident as a springboard for further insight into Laura Welch Bush and her husband, I don’t believe anyone disputes.  It could provide interesting, but not earth-shattering insights.  Nancy Reagan’s astrologer hasn’t affected the legacy of Ron to any appreciable degree.  But that is my opinion, and I’m entitled to it, as you are entitled to yours.  Please note also, in reading this, I consider myself progressive in political issues, the PC word for “bleeding heart liberal.”

Now for the note after the article, it was the language used and what readers perceived as unwarranted and unfair insinuations.  Granted, your reviewer has ‘special knowledge” that we do not ... he’s read the book.  Maybe this is the source of the misunderstanding; maybe the author was echoing the tone in the book.  I have no way of knowing unless I purchase the tome.

My readers, in their emails and comments, felt the review was good, but the note was purposely misleading, a partisan “cheap shot.”  Personally,  the note was a springboard to further researches on Laura Bush, to fill a vacuum in my knowledge.  The “killer” characterization, I perceived as merely a personal soapbox of some kind. It also sounded, to me, as if the author personally lost someone to a reckless driver, and remains angry about it, and used this excuse to vent publicly.  I thought at the time I’d rather see an article devoted to the subject of traffic issues, unhitched from the tar-and-feather political fray.

The fact that the author only referenced the AP report, and seemingly took all their cues from that single report, is the issue that most disturbed me.  I felt misled, after delving into other reports.  Most importantly, the reports that this was a boyfriend, a hoped-to-be boyfriend, or a friend from school that was killed.  That goes far, very far into why Mrs. Bush would not want to talk about the incident ... and makes her silence even more understandable.  That hit me in my rather soft heart; she deserves respectful distance and some appropriate pity.  Saying “To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it”; curiously interviewers have not pressed the issue” comes off as pretty cold ... trying to build up suspicion, trying to build a tidal wave of opinion to move this blockage.  Made me think of the Vince Foster photo issue.  I’d rather spend the time trying to move the blockage on those Cheney energy documents, personally.  Leave the involuntary deep psychoanalysis of Laura Bush for the biographies after they’re out of office.

Laura Welch was not associated with the Bushes in 1963, so no political suspicion attaches over the event.  She was a young girl, who did something irresponsible. Inattention!  The local authorities passed judgment on her; who are we to second-guess them?  They were there, in the place and at the time, uninfluenced by political motives.  Records are regularly sealed for perpetrators younger than 18.  We have no knowledge of the physical location of the wreck, to see if there were mitigating circumstances such as visibility of the stop sign, nor do we know anything about the decedent’s driving behavior.  Nothing about speeds.  A young man, behind the wheel of a sports-car Corvair, driving at night ... ?  See, I can ‘cravenly insinuate’, too.  I see no indication of favoritism or purposeful concealment, and I am content to trust the judiciary of Midland in 1963.  Personally, I’m surprised any records have survived the 40+ years. Overall, I find very little information with which to tar Mrs. Bush except she was involved in a crash, and someone died.  All else strikes me as ‘creative writing.’

You ask about specific ‘craven insinuations.’  My readership and I offer you:

“Then (as now—unless one is under the influence, which she apparently was not), killing someone with a motor vehicle, even in cases of clear culpability, was apparently not considered anything bad: the future first lady was apparently not charged with any misconduct.”

I think I speak for most of my readers, when I say ‘apparently’ used so often raises our eyebrows.  Now, other news articles I’ve run across say: “Neither [individual] was drinking, and no citations were issued.”  Why mention “unless one is under the influence, which she apparently was not”?  This got many people upset.  “Apparently” inserted doubt for some of my readers, everyone being sensitized to the words “Bush” and “under the influence”.  Many felt that the author was clumsily implying ‘could have been’ and ‘should have been.’  Could have been under the influence, should have been considered bad, should have been charged with misconduct.  Likewise, you say in your comments, she “didn’t answer for it.”  Both you and the author seem to feel she’s guilty of killing someone, and not serving a sentence.  But I believe there has been a ‘sentence.’

It would seem, from Googled news reports, that Mrs. Bush answers for this sad experience nearly every day.  It gets mentioned so often, I’m surprised I’d never seen it before.  There’s no guilt like death-guilt, and it must have impacted her life very strongly.  There are more effective punishments than sitting in a remedial driver’s ed class, or doing 6 months probation.  One is having a conscience, which she seems to have.  I believe she still “answers for it.”

Sensational-sounding exaggeration:  “Multi-ton vehicle.”  Was she driving a small bulldozer?  The terminology of a traffic-control advocate.  Literally accurate, probably, but misleading in these Hummer times of ours.  A Chevrolet sedan wasn’t the biggest or heaviest item on the roads in ‘63 ... and we don’ t know the model.  Being a young lady in ‘63, I would assume either Daddy’s car, or her own Chevrolet Nova ... one of the cheaper and lighter sedans of the time.  I won’t even get into Douglas’ Corvair; a beastly little twitch of a machine ... poorly suited to a crash-matchup with just about any car of its era.  Certainly a factor in Douglas’ death, having been thrown from the car.

Your review comparison was unequal, to my ears.  Driving through a red light, while distracted (Laura Welch was reported as ‘talking’ and not paying attention, in a report other than the AP report your author quoted) is not like “firing a gun at a distant crowd.”  That implies intent to injure, whereas she had none.  She is guilty of inattention, not serial stop-sign running to see if she might hit someone.  My readers and I felt this was completely and utterly unfair. 

To defend my readers (and my own quaint recollection), I think the ‘fascinating rationalizations’ you see are collective experience, in which we look at the author’s interpretations, and find them hollow and unresonant.  Personally, I can’t get my hackles up about stop-sign runners or red-light runners ... at least, not in the way the author wishes.  I took defensive driving, I know to watch out for ‘runners’.  For instance, semi-trucks seem to always run red lights, due to the short light durations and the weight they’re carrying. 

I get much more excited about people trying to multitask (children, dogs, cellphones, fiddling with radios and DVD players, putting on makeup or reading) while driving, causing horrific accidents.  And there are regional driving issues that take much higher precedence.  In New Mexico, it’s drunken driving.  We’re one, if not *the*, highest mortality rate in the nation.  These, now, these are “killers.”  They know they’re incapacitated, and they drive anyway.  Premeditated.  We routinely have 12 and 15 time malefactors causing whole-family deaths.

So when your author called Laura Welch a “killer”, it rang completely and utterly sour.

I haven’t had much time to answer, but I hope this clears some of the issues up.

My final comment is, this article in no way is going to cause me to ‘dump’ the Complete Review from my blogroll.  If I don’t agree with an author, normally I simply don’t link.  It was the circumstance of posting inattentively something that I didn’t agree with, and that broke faith with my readership, that caused me to issue the correction.  I also am in no way implying that I am, or that weblogs are, perfect or better than conventional journalism.  Some past commenters here have made that incorrect assumption.  Some webloggers are journalists, but most of us are amateurs, and make the same mistakes as I have discussed about your author, above.  I do my best to avoid them, but in this particular case, I was inattentive as I drove through a stop sign ...

Posted by Garret on 04/10/04 at 01:19 PM

garret has been more eloquent on this subject than I can be, but I will add two things:

- most traffic “accidents” are, strictly speaking, not. they are the result of inattention or misjudgement. the point of my story was that, as a driver who *does* drive the speed limit, I have found myself in potentially the same position as laura welch—and it was sheer luck that the result was not the same. I make a distinction between the consistently concientious driver who has an accident, no matter how tragic, and the consistently inattentive or irresponsible driver for whom accidents and near-misses are frequent occurances. until I see evidence of the latter, I simply won’t characterize anyone as “a killer”.

none of us is a perfect driver, including you. traffic laws are deliberately somewhat redundant in order to try to compensate for the human inability to be always focused on the right thing.

- I find your parting comment “I thought we stated the facts, and gave our (admittedly not very popular) opinion” to be interesting in its insinuation (or assumption) that those here who disagree with your reviewer’s “note” do so because they are supporters of the bush administration. like garrett, I am a progressive. I expect that many, of not most of the readers of this site are liberal or, at the very least, left-leaning.

my objection to your reviewer’s note had nothing to do with politics—it had to do with common sense and common decency.

Posted by rebecca blood on 04/10/04 at 02:11 PM

I appreciate your responses, and the opportunity to comment here.

First: when I wrote of “our (admittedly not very popular) opinion” I meant our opinion re. Laura Bush’s actions (i.e. her being at least in some way responsible (we can debate how much) for the death of another).  Our opinion—that she is culpable and that she (and many in similar positions—including, recently, congressman Bill Janklow) get off very lightly—is the one that (so my experience even before today) is the incredibly unpopular one.  I did not mean to imply that I suspected the disagreement with our comment was in any way to do with political leanings—and indeed, it seems to me a subject which has relatively little to do with politics.

I am a bit surprised (and disappointed—since we obviously failed in presenting the information in a constructive manner if this how you and your readers perceived it and responded to it) that the Laura Bush-note at the end of the review is seen as a political cheap-shot, etc.  We think it’s an incident that warrants additional attention (I find it striking how few people are aware of it), for a variety of reasons—including the one at issue in the review (the president’s ethics)—but that the most significant is the (apolitical) one of the handling of cases in which someone causes a death in the manner Miss Welch did.  Sorry that didn’t come across. 

I agree that certainly our review takes a rather strident view (though—to reassure you (or confuse you further ?)—no one at the Complete Review has been involved in such an accident or has had a close loved one involved in one).  This is probably in (over ?)-reaction to what we perceive as a generally cavalier attitude to motor vehicle-caused deaths; our review of the Munch-Petersen book mentioned previously (a book specifically about this issue) is an even stronger harangue.  As a matter of public policy we happen to (strongly) disagree with the opinions expressed above (and generally) re. what is acceptable road-behavior.  We harp on stop-sign violations here because that was what happened in this case (also: the Janklow one), and obviously there are many worse things (drunk driving, etc.).  Still, it is unfathomable to me that a person who does something illegal while driving (whether speeding or driving drunk or whatever) and directly as a result of that illegal action causes an accident isn’t held responsible (sorry, inattention or the like simply isn’t acceptable as an excuse or explanation).  I remind you that under felony-murder laws a person who happens to drive the get-away car but is otherwise uninvolved in a crime which results in the death (even the accidental death) of someone can be (and often is) charged with murder; there is no misdemeanor-vehicular homicide equivalent, and daily one reads of people who run a stop sign and kill some one and are not charged with anything.

I could go on at great length, but basically our position (that unpopular one ...) is: a car (regardless of its weight) is an inherently dangerous weapon and should be treated as such.  A license to drive a car is a privilege, not a right, and there would be far fewer fatalities if driving laws were vigorously enforced (and licensing requirements more stringent, and punishments, in some cases, more severe).  As with most things to do with cars (gas consumption !) most people seem indifferent to the costs to society of car-use; we think the incredible cost of car-carnage alone (fatalities in the 40,000 range annually in the US) should be reason enough to take this more seriously.  But we understand that most people disagree.

This opinion again colors our admittedly heated tirade that Laura Welch got off without even a slap on the wrist: as we mentioned, that’s pretty much a matter of course (even more back then than now)—and it’s that matter of course that we so strongly object to. 

We debated amongst ourselves about the used of the charged word: “killer”, deciding, finally, that it was the appropriate one.  She did kill someone, after all I note that it is applied only the once to Laura Bush—and leads up to our main concern (in the review), the question of President Bush’s ethics, as he had no trouble (the example we cite), while Governor of Texas, opposing a bill to ban the use of the death penalty against profoundly retarded criminals (IQ less than 65), people (we think) it would be hard to consider more culpable than a driver who drives through a stop sign and causes a death.

Other notes:
Yes, as regular visitors to our site know, we have an “apparently”-problem.  Unfortunately, when, as in this case, the facts are unclear we only feel comfortable by expressing them in this way: “the future first lady was apparently not charged with any misconduct” etc.  I am aware that this is a devilish rhetorical device—leading, as you say to raised eyebrows and more—and I wish I knew a way around it; usually I don’t.  (I admit that I don’t mind it when a few eyebrows are raised if all the facts aren’t known: people should wonder why we can’t state something definitively.)  We actually had not found confirmation that alcohol had been ruled out as being involved when we wrote the review; if we had, we probably would have phrased at least that differently.

You say: “Overall, I find very little information with which to tar Mrs. Bush except she was involved in a crash, and someone died. All else strikes me as ‘creative writing.’”  I think that stop sign she ran is the damning bit ...

You say: “Mrs. Bush answers for this sad experience nearly every day” etc.  Possibly she does, but that’s not an excuse I’m very comfortable with, nor is it the way we generally deal with wrong-doing in this society.  Causing someone’s death is a big, big deal, and merely letting the perpetrator have to live with the guilt (if s/he even feels any) in such instances does not seem particularly constructive.

Our “firing a gun at a distant crowd”-comparison—yeah, not a great one, but the best we could come up with.  And we meant a really a distant crowd, where the chances of hitting someone were very slim and you wouldn’t imagine you could actually hit someone if you tried.  We would have said something like “running a red light” (which seems just as outrageous as the gun-example to us), but that would have been redundant .....

I appreciate your discussion and mention of other points of concern and differences of opinion (and that such time and care was taken in formulating them).  We’ll try and remember them the next time we spout off in a review about one of our pet-peeves !

Posted by M.A.Orthofer on 04/10/04 at 05:38 PM

something the article did seem to mention is that the victim of the accident was non-other than the future ms. bush’s ex-boyfriend.

all the “killer” talk aside, it still points out to me that the wealthy have long been above the law.

we can all take comfort in that ms. bush is “no hillary clinton”

thank god for small favors.


Posted by coyote on 04/12/04 at 07:48 AM

Agreement to disagree is an acceptable end to a discussion around these parts.  I was tempted to stop here, and say that I can appreciate your opinions and respectfully disagree, but I must comment on some of your notes.  Tone is hard to convey in print, so please understand I’m not angry, peeved or any of the more heated emotions.  Just doing what I call ‘poking the bug in the petri dish.’

You seem to find no ‘acceptable excuses’ for running a stop sign, yet retardation is an ‘acceptable excuse’ to avoid the death penalty [Note: I’m against the death penalty].  Retardation is a mitigating circumstance that prevents an individual from standing punishment for a variety of crimes [and the ‘bar’ for measuring retardation continues to shift over time, a further mitigating circumstance].  Are there *no* mitigating circumstances for stop-sign-running?  If there *are* acceptable mitigating circumstances, are you comfortable that, via one newswire report about an incident from 40 years ago, you have sufficient information to make the insinuations that you do? Even if you feel comfortable with your take, we are not, and our experiences explain why.  We must agree to disagree, then.

Do you think it is fair and appropriate to load Laura Welch with all the sins of American bad driving, and American legal apathy?  It is a valid point to go off on a tangent with, but the flavor of the article loads all this disgruntlement right on to her shoulders, as you also do in your comments (or so it feels).  We visualize a female version of “Jesus” in Mel Gibson’s “Passion.”  I understand and agree with some of your zeal, as I deal officially with traffic issues in my local community ... but it comes off as trying to make Laura Welch an involuntary martyr for your cause.  Instead of taking on the sins of the automobile and judicial world voluntarily, you’re dumping it all on her and then whipping her to death.  If you feel that strongly, I guess it’s fair game, since she’s under the media microscope now.  Though we recognize your right to express your opinion in this fashion, I hope you’ll understand our right to not admire it.  This was a major trigger point for my readers.

Calling someone whose mistake caused a death, a “killer”, is literally accurate.  But in common use, unfair. The popular implication is that a ‘killer’ is like a ‘plumber,’ something one does for a living.  A behaviour that’s persistent.  Do a Google for “killer” and all the initial hits point to serial killers.  I (not my readers) feel that your use lowers the bar for a “killer.”  This must have upstream and downstream effects, raising the stakes for smaller misdemeanors, and lowering the stakes for murderers, drunken drivers, and others. 

On your other notes:

“I think that stop sign she ran is the damning bit …”  I had to laugh.  I meant that it was another stop-sign-run about which we have precious little information, and are likely to not get much more.  There seems to be plenty of creative writing on the subject, though.  For that, I fault the media’s propensity to editorialize, rather than give us the straight facts.  The newswires have also delved into this territory, requiring a hell of a lot more Googling on our parts.  We all fall awry of this, more often than we’d like to admit.

“Causing someone’s death is a big, big deal, and merely letting the perpetrator have to live with the guilt (if s/he even feels any) in such instances does not seem particularly constructive.”  I am talking specifically about Laura Welch now, not in general.  I choose to trust in the constabulary and judiciary of Midland, Texas in 1963.  You choose not to.  They thought she was either innocent of wrongdoing, innocent of wrongdoing via mitigating circumstance, or sufficiently punished by circumstance.  As neither of us know the specific details or specific aftermath of the crash, neither of us can be sure of what does or doesn’t [should, or shouldn’t] keep Laura Welch up at night.  On this, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

I also should note, the current attempts at removing discretion for judges, is something I and many of my readers disagree with.

“And we meant a really a distant crowd, where the chances of hitting someone were very slim and you wouldn’t imagine you could actually hit someone if you tried.”  You still would have to aim, and why would you be pointing at a crowd other than to see if you could hit them?  Intent is the difference, and any first-year law student will tell you so. Also, a gun is a device primarily designed to kill.  A car is a device designed primarily to move people and goods around.  Operating a gun at any time, one would imagine you’re out to kill something.  Operating a car at any time, one would imagine you’re out to go someplace.  Your parallel, as I understand law, is not equivalent on a very fundamental level.  I know a car can be lethal.  But so can a bicycle or a skateboard, and they often [sadly] are.  If more information were collected on knife injuries and stabbing deaths, we’d be licensing our drawers of Sheffield.  Parking a car in a no-park zone is illegal, but if it doesn’t endanger life or limb, it’s not immoral.  Morality and law don’t necessarily intersect.  Again, we’ll have to agree to disagree here.  I hope, at some point in the future, to further explore this gun/car comparison, that’s so popular these days.  The use of ‘gun’ to parallel cars is usually intended specifically to exaggerate, something I find unnecessary when actually looking at events, and my readers considered another kind of ‘cheap shot.’

Thanks again for the civil discussion of our differences of opinion.  I think this pretty much sums up anything else I had to say, and I hope it further explains my (our) position(s) ... without acting the “Terrible Trivium.”

Posted by Garret on 04/12/04 at 08:51 AM

I appreciate this opportunity to post a comment on this subject. One of your readers who replies above stated in essence that this subject is talked about so much that Mrs. Bush must have to answer for it daily. I work in Washington, DC and neither I and only one of my colleagues had ever heard of this story. I’ve since asked relatives and other friends, only one of my Uncles had heard of the story. He’d seen an expose of Mrs. Bush’s life as presented by a TV station. He said the accident was briefly touched upon and that the survivors’ point of view was never provided. It was shown only from Mrs. Bush’s perspective.

In fact, if you try to research the story - there is very little recorded online! I don’t think this is by accident. I feel dismayed that you’d offer an apology for printing it or providing a link to the story. If the story is true, then why do we need to apologize for reading it, wondering about it, or printing it? This is still America isn’t it?

I have never expressed my opinion of the Bush’s to anyone publicly. But I am upset by what you’ve written not only as an American who honestly loves our country and what it stands for, but also as the stepmother of a 17 year old son killed almost two years ago by a driver who caused my stepson’s death. I don’t like the fact that we hear of this “accident” from her perspective only. Accident doesn’t seem apt since she went through a stop sign she’d been past many many times before. There were no obstructions to view.

If Mrs. Bush was a Democrat, this story would not have been suppressed by the media and you would not have felt the need to offer an apology. If Mrs. Bush were instead Mrs. Clinton, she would have been destroyed by the media AND the republicans. Pat Robertson would have condemned her from his republican pulpit. If this horrible baggage had been in Hilary Clinton or Mrs. Kerry’s past, Hume, Brokow, O’Reilly, and a legion of others would have weekly expose’s on the “accident.”  We’d even know which toothpaste they used when they woke up that morning.

It bothers me that in our country where the news is supposed to be unfiltered, free and unbiased that the republicans are treated with kidd gloves by the media and it’s open season on the Democrats. Yes, I’m aware of the standard line uttered repeatedly by the republicans that the American press is liberal. But, any lie repeated often enough will be accepted as truth. In communist country’s it’s called propaganda.

It bothers me that Mrs. Bush even though found to have run a stop sign that caused the death of another human being was never charged with anything. The man who killed our son received justice and serves time as well he should. My neighbor said she received a citation in her 20’s for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, but Mrs. Bush received nothing of the kind for taking a human life. This should not be all right with any American.

I say again, that republicans get special treatment from the American press and Mrs. Bush is a case in point. I do not agree that most Americans know of this in her past. And, I have a horrible feeling there is much more we don’t know either. It should also be pointed out that much of the information on the report taken at the time by officers is now “illegible.” Strangely, our President has the same trouble with records of his “military service,” and HIS driving records. No coincidence I believe. It is a standard M/O for these people. He is our country’s first President to have had a criminal record. Shouldn’t this be unacceptable to those who say they love our country and support decency?

Any individual who’d steal an election and condemn another for honorable war service while going AWOL during an easy enlistment and not paying for it, is capable of anything. I know in my heart that in decades to come, the truth will be revealed and those hearing it will know what an injustice to freedom and America the Bush group have been. Many can see it clearly now, but propaganda and power obscure the truth to others.

Posted by Lisa on 08/10/04 at 09:24 AM


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