Tuesday, September 06, 2005


"Let me tell you about the very rich," Freaking Scott Fitzgerald wrote in 1926, before stating the obvious -- they are different from the rest of us. They do not worry about having enough money in the checking account to buy groceries. They do not wonder if generic cookies taste almost as good as the brand-name product.

Most times this isn't a big; the odds of a rich person chatting up a poor person about grocery discounts are miniscule. But every once in a while, a rich and refined human will try to empathize with the proles. The results are never pretty.

Barbara Bush -- former First Lady and wife of George H.W. Bush -- tried to live up to her sweet grandma image this weekend and failed miserably. Visiting Houston's Astrodome to talk with survivors of Hurricane Katrina, Barbara Bush told NPR:
"What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality ... And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -- this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."
"This" being a cot in the Astrodome, hundreds of miles from a ruined home.

It reminds us of 1993, when then-President Clinton was trying to get his economic plan through Congress. Lloyd Bentsen, the Treasury secretary, heard from some rich Texas friends that the bill was horrible. It would raise taxes on people making more than $200,000 a year, Bentsen's friends moaned, and that meant some of them couldn't buy a second summer home. Or -- horror of horrors -- some of those rich people might actually have to lay off domestic staff.

The rich are different from you and me.


Anonymous said...

I read more of Bush's comments earlier today. I guess I read the "this" that she thinks is working for them as getting to relocate to Houston... not a cot in the Astrodome.

Anonymous said...

I heard the Bush ma and pa on Larry King last night----watch him while channel surfing, I'm becoming an insatiable seeker of hurricane news---any how, she sounded to me like she didn't have a clue of what was going on. The peasants have no bread, let them eat cake.

Also, best term to describe the people of NO and area who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina: Flood victims.