A ‘love’ letter to Laura Bush

I have been watching you for a long time. I am writing to express my conflicted feeling about loving you the way that I do. First of all, please let the Secret Service know that I use “watching” in the most innocent of ways! Also, as a political progressive, I use “love” mostly with quotations. I hope this does not disappoint, nor distress you either way.

I just finished downloading pictures of you from the web. I made a screensaver from that picture of you and George in the back of that ol’ pickup truck on George’s first big campaign. Do you remember it? You look very happy and I imagine that since George had recently cleaned up his hard partying ways you finally felt some contentment. Was politics the surrogate for marriage counseling? I apologize. I don’t mean to pry. I just want to say, Laura, it is hard to remake a man and, judging from that picture, you succeeded.

Laura, I was concerned after not seeing you for months on end. I wondered when you were going to hit the thorny campaign trail again. I was convinced that you had hidden yourself away at that awful ranch of George’s. I don’t mean to criticize, but that ranch is like some decrepit, forlorn movie set. I mean, does George really have to pull tumbleweeds from ravines? I can understand wanting to hide. It must be so aggravating to have the world turning against your husband while you unequivocally must support him. I want you to know, though, that I see you – the real you – through the fog of government. While you sit reading to kindergartners about worms in gardens, it must frighten you to think of Dick, Karl, and those other bitter, bitter men boring into your husband.

Laura, I read your interview with the New York Times last week and I think you handled it with real aplomb. It must be terribly ironic that the shadow of the President is the brightest spot in the world. I like the way you handled the question about George’s reading habits. Of course you and George read the papers together, despite what George said about never reading newspapers! He can be such a “guy” sometimes, right? I also was so heartened to hear you support gays’ and lesbians’ right to marry. Oh, I know that you didn’t say that, but for you to say that “gay marriage is shocking to some” was a really fun way of saying that the “some” wasn’t you. That was very clever. I also had to wonder, and I hope you can tell me: Will you be a bridesmaid when Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter eventually gets married? I bet it really stresses you that Dick supports a constitutional amendment that will deny his own daughter liberty and happiness – but we both know Dick!

This whole “gay” thing reminded me of when I found out you were pro-choice. It must be so aggravating to watch all those arrogant men sign bill after bill in Congress threatening women. Oh, I know Laura, you’re not a “feminist,” but we both know that that is a mask to deny your true ideals. I really felt empathy when you freaked out in the New York Times interview and demanded that the reporter tell you who called you a “traditional first lady.” You are not traditional. When your daughters were arrested, young men and women everywhere were, like, “You go girls!”, and this included you. You raised your daughters to think for themselves, and to not defer to male authority in ridiculous eyewear. I bet you and your daughters laughed late into the night observing those secret service guys in such a tizzy!

It must be so exasperating that you, of course, can’t say how you really feel and what you really think. In this regard, I wondered if your support of Howard Dean’s wife was a veiled plea for a political sisterhood? You stated that people should admire her for her career choices. Well, I know that you crave to be admired for your choices, it is just so much more complicated admiring you Laura. Politics has a terrible way of silencing some people, doesn’t it? I imagine that you want your husband back from this crucible of politics and I can honestly say that the majority of Americans want that for you too.

Laura, it makes me sad when you have to say, like last week to the New York Times, “I might have my own opinion, but I am not going to tell you.” I want you to know, Laura, that my love for you is necessitated on you being able to speak your truths. I will not require an artifice of silence. I love that you have your own opinions and, despite the stormy political seas that you navigate, you can always confide in me. I won’t even tell the Democrats.

Most Sincerely,

Jason G. Damron