Well, I finally saw this pro-Bush commercial Ashley's Story. It took awhile because I watch what's called "appointment TV". For instance, Jon Stewart's Daily Show comes on at 11:00pm. If I'm going to want a cup of tea with it, I'll get up around 10:55pm and make it. If I want a bowl of ice cream, I like to let it melt a bit first, so I'll get up at 10:45pm and make that and go back to what I was doing (usually surfing about on the internet) until 10:58pm to pour some ice water and start watching. At the end, I'll usually turn it off and do something else.
In any event, it's an interesting video, but I sincerely hope that Bush and Bush-supporters don't attach any symbolic significance to it. I really hope that Bush sees Ashley as simply a young girl in need of a hug and not as the USA in need of a strong, manly man to enfold it and guide it in his strong, capable arms.
Speaking as a veteran sailor, I want the captain of whatever ship I'm on to be a competent and capable commander, who knows the tides and shallows and star charts and currents and knows how to steer clear of the shoals and the breakers. I don't need someone who wears an eyepatch or says "Avast, me hearties!" or uses salty language in the presence of women because he likes to see them turn red with embarrassment.
I don't need a daddy or a drinking buddy, I want someone who can steer the ship.
When people were talking about the President's refusal to allow photographs of returning body bags or transfer tubes or whatever they're called, some of Bush's aides described Bush as understanding that hysterical widows needed someone to hold them and still their wracking, sobbing selves. The poor women needed his manly, masculine presence to calm themselves with. His argument was that he just didn't have enough manliness for all of them.
I think this image hugely misunderstands what being there for the dead is all about. The point of being there when the bodies come home is not to be all manly and grave and stoic, to stand there with furrowed brow and to still the sobbing hysterical women, it's to honor the sacrifice that the newly-dead have made. It's to recognize that war is not a game. It's to say, hey I appreciate what you've done for this country and I honor the sacrifice you've made. It's to acknowledge that as the soldier has given his life for this country, the President has an equivalent responsiblity to see to it that the war-plans are as good as they can be, the paperwork is done so that the supplies flow smoothly, the diplomacy is done so that our allies have our back.
The last thing we need is a president who runs around wearing a cowboy hat or spends time at a ranch or gets pictures taken of himself staring out over the Grand Canyon. Personally, I've always pictured Bush as wearing a three-piece suit with a watch on a gold chain. I have simply never seen Bush as being a cowboy because that's not the station he was born into and that's not how he thinks. I prefer my presidents to be like John Kerry because Kerry will take his job seriously and will steer the ship of state safely past the obstacles that his learning and experieince says are there.
Kerry for President!