Pictures That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Drop Acid With the Bush Twins:
That's a photo of First Lady Laura Bush sweeping into the Library of Congress gala of the National Book Festival. While her husband is threatening to veto health insurance legislation for children who live a little above ditch-sleeping poverty, while there's a, what do you call that? oh, yeah, war going on, while Burma, a nation she is supposed to care about, is locked down, the First Lady thought it was perfectly fine to show up in an ostentatious outfit that seems to reek of Scarlett O'Hara and "Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream." Ah, well. At least it seems to be the color of dried blood.
It's not that there should be no festivities while a couple hundred thousand Americans are putting their lives on the line for something or other, maybe. It's just...a little subtlety, a little modesty goes a long goddamn way. Of course, putting any "Bush" and "modest" together in the same sentence is like asking a corpse to rot more quietly. Are the Bushes just pretending or do they really not get it? The Rude Pundit opts for the latter.
In her speech at that Gala last week, she quotes Shakespeare, Prospero, the deposed leader who finds exile on an island in The Tempest, saying, "My library was dukedom large enough." Laura Bush helpfully interprets this as "With a good collection of books, a reader can go to any place any time he pleases."
Of course, context is always a wicked whore. See, as the Duke of Milan, Prospero was so arrogant, he ignored his people in favor of burying himself in books, giving the duties of actually running Milan over to his brother. His head was so far up his own ass that he didn't see a coup coming, even though it was led by that same brother. The line Laura Bush quotes is, in the play, an admission that Prospero didn't really want to lead, that, perhaps, he wasn't even constitutionally suited to lead. The full line is "Me, poor man, my library was dukedom large enough," and then Prospero comments on his own perceived incompetence: "of temporal royalties he thinks me now incapable."
Laura Bush's seemingly innocuous quote is really a warning: don't trust the leader who disengages from reality.