blame the mothers, okay? It's all their fault. It always has
been. Eve got busy with that apple and caused a world of misery.
Pandora, ditto, except with a box. Freud's archetypal mother,
complete with her rejecting womb and withholding boobs, caused
all our quirks and peccadilloes.
Today we'll start with Mother Nature. Mother Nature threw
this massive storm at the GulfCoast. She is wrathful, she is
wicked. Of course, those high winds and waves might have been
mitigated somewhat if certain men --- fathers of this country,
if you will --- had paid attention to the numerous reports
that the levees around New Orleans desperately needed fortification.
Also, the area might have withstood the storm if, in the 1800s,
some of the great-grandfathers of this country hadn't gotten
the bright idea of diverting Mississippi's outflow into the
Gulf instead of letting the silt continue to replenish and
strengthen the Delta. But wait, I'm off-track here. It's Mother
Nature's fault. She blew the water and the waves, she crushed
the houses, and she delayed rescue efforts by being so messy
and persistent. It was not the fault of a dithering leader
and his horse-trader pal, Michael Brown. If Mother Nature hadn't
been on the rag, none of this would have happened.
Before we start blaming the next mother on my list, a real
flesh-and-blood (though only barely, as you'll see) mother,
I need to acknowledge my ambivalence about this topic. I'm
the last person who should endorse blaming mothers. My own
whelps are on the eve of the Age of Blaming, and I can just
imagine what a holocaust of rage that will be. Then, when my
kids are adults, they'll be joined by other people eager to
blame me for every tiny thing they do wrong.
If my kids turn out to be, say, the world's first serial-killer
brother team, I'll change my name and head for the hills. It's
not that I won't be proud of my little angels --- they'll be
the best damn serial killers in the history of depraved behavior
--- it's that I don't want to undergo all that media scrutiny
about what a lousy mother I must have been to raise such efficient
and elusive murderers.
I'll take my chances on bad karma, though. It's just so much
fun to play the Blame Game, Special Edition: Moms. Let's turn
our attention to Barbara Bush, who has ice water, not blood,
running through her veins. It's all her fault that President
Bush grossly mishandled the GulfCoast rescue efforts. Here's
proof: As she walked among the 15,000 evacuees in the Astrodome,
she didn't see thousands of shocked, bereft, and frightened
survivors of a horrific event. She saw opportunists. Arrivistes.
"So many of the people, in the arena, here, you know,
were underprivileged anyway. This is, this is, [little laugh]
working very well for them," she said on NPR's Marketplace.
It's that heartless chuckle that drives home her intent. And
if W's mother not only thinks this kind of thing, but feels
comfortable saying it out loud, can't we blame her for raising
a son who is contemptuous of suffering Americans? It's not
a stretch to imagine Barb, called the Enforcer in her family,
raising W on a cocktail of hatred and bigotry mixed in with
Not convinced that Bush's disregard for Katrina's human toll
has his mother's fingerprints all over it? Read this comment,
made in the same breath as the "working very well for
them" quote but edited out of nearly all the mainstream
press coverage until the blogosphere forced it to the forefront: "What
I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay
Moving on to a woman I don't know anything about: FEMA director
Michael Brown's mother. Can we blame her for raising a son
whose incompetence caused people to die? Okay, to be fair,
maybe anyone would have been overwhelmed in that situation.
Maybe we should just blame her for raising a son whose incompetence
caused people to die andwho, only after being removed to Washington
--- where he couldn't do further harm --- finally bowed out.
No? Not really her fault?
I know we can't blame her for this little stunt: When Brown
finally requested help from Homeland Security, he told the
workers that part of their task was to "convey a positive
image of disaster operations." Ass-covering, at least,
seems to be one strength he has.
Okay, okay. I've got it: Let's blame Brown's mother for raising
a son with such low self-esteem that his resume is about as
solid as the ground in New Orleans' 9th Ward. Self-image problems?
Ask anyone: That's always mom's fault.
But maybe I'm seeing this in the wrong light. These mothers
probably think they did great jobs raising sons who reflect
their values. Barbara Bush must be tickled pink that, according
to a report last month, the US poverty rate is up for the fifth
year in a row. That's an all-time record! If only there were
a trophy she could display to commemorate this achievement.
History is one thing, but what has Bush done lately to ensure
that the underclass stays way, way down there (preferably out
of Texas) where it belongs? Why, just last week he signed an
executive order that suspends the prevailing wage rule in New
Orleans, DailyKos reports. This means federal contractors rebuilding
the city can offer super low wages to workers and not be penalized.
Skilled workers can expect hard work and possibly poverty-level
wages. Where the hell were the Democrats when Bush pulled this
fast one? Teddy Kennedy, for one, whined that he regrets Bush's
decision. Why didn't Kennedy raise more of a stink? I think
we all know who's to blame for that.