That's My Bush!
January 29, 2002 9:05 AM   Subscribe

That's My Bush! Another Bush girl in trouble with controlled substances... Fla. police say Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter allegedly filled a false prescription at a pharmacy, and cops showed up.
posted by krewson (73 comments total)
 
Leave the girls alone. I'd need prescription drugs too if my daughters were hounded like this. And they'd be welcome to share them.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:10 AM on January 29, 2002


You go, Migster. Another vote for intrusive and tedious.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:13 AM on January 29, 2002


"Bush, in her early 20s, was released pending a court appearance."

What, the reporter didn't have time to find out her age before posting this story? Journalism is a dying artform. Sheesh.
posted by elvissinatra at 9:16 AM on January 29, 2002


By the time someone starts trying to pass phony prescriptions, they're usually well into whatever habit they've acquired. Here's hoping she gets some help and that people leave her alone. She's got enough problems.
posted by apollo at 9:18 AM on January 29, 2002


What bothers me the most about this "story" is that about half an hour ago CNN Headline News cut its regular programming to report Breaking News. Imagine my surprise when their "breaking news" was this Bush story. CNN just lost a lot of credibility in my eyes.
posted by tsumo at 9:25 AM on January 29, 2002


"Hounded"?! Reporters weren't following her around; she got arrested and the cops called the press.

If you campaign on family values, we get to know if you have any. If you campaign on drug crime enforcement, we get to know what happens to your kids when they get caught trying to scam some Dilaudid or whatever.

Oh, and if your super-rich family connives and contrives to run the world, you lose a little of your anonymity — not necessarily your privacy, but getting arrested isn't a private act.
posted by nicwolff at 9:25 AM on January 29, 2002


When Jenna Bush got busted for underage drinking at Chuy's Restaurant, the Free Republic posted the name, address and telephone number of the manager who called the Austin police, so the she could feel the wrath of a full court freeping. Wonder if that will happen here as well.
posted by y2karl at 9:25 AM on January 29, 2002


As pseudo-president, Shrub's daughters are fair press game. Such is the way of politics. But Jeb Bush's daughter is hardly national news, but to be "Breaking News" with all the other things going on in the world that could be brought to our attention is just pathetic. Save it to torture the Floridians...
posted by fncll at 9:35 AM on January 29, 2002


I'm pretty sure I could get Jenna Bush. She really seems needy. I like that in a first daughter.
posted by dong_resin at 9:35 AM on January 29, 2002


"We will starve druggies of education, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue families that provide aid or safe haven to druggies. Every family, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the druggies." Have you all forgotten we are engaged in a War on Drugs? This is a time for Infinite Justice, not self-hating tolerance and compassion.
posted by sudama at 9:35 AM on January 29, 2002


nicwolf has it, it's not the use or the lack of sympathy if she has a real problem, it's the hypocrisy. If it was crack and she were black, she would go away for a long time.
posted by chrismc at 9:35 AM on January 29, 2002


thats a really scary picture
posted by Satapher at 9:40 AM on January 29, 2002


Jeb Bush on Drugs.
posted by elvissinatra at 9:42 AM on January 29, 2002


Nicwolff - "Reporters weren't following her around; she got arrested and the cops called the press."

My guess is that the local papers have some poor hack poring over all the arrest records and police logs as part of his/her beat. And I agree that those who spout endlessly about family values should have theirs examined. What seems to never get discussed in these political-kids-gone-bad stories is the impact of having your mom and/or dad pretty much vanish from home as they fulfill the incredibly time-consuming duties of their office (or of supporting their spouse in office).
posted by apollo at 9:42 AM on January 29, 2002


No wonder Bush prefers war to raising kids
posted by Voyageman at 9:42 AM on January 29, 2002


Her mom's name is "Columba." hah hah
posted by Modem Ovary at 9:46 AM on January 29, 2002


More, more, more. "A natural and simple act like eating dinner as a family can have a tremendous impact on keeping teens drug-free," Mrs. Bush said. "The time we spend at the dinner table with our children can and will make a difference in their lives."

I sort of feel bad about how amused I am by this.

Oh wait, I just found this, and now I feel bad because they admit having a problem: Mrs. Bush's interest in fighting drugs is rooted in personal experience. One of their three children (the Bushes won't say which one) has battled a drug problem. Talking about drug abuse can bring her near tears. "I know about the suffering of the families," she said.

I guess maybe they're not being that hypocritical after all...
posted by elvissinatra at 9:54 AM on January 29, 2002


What hypocrisy?

She's an adult. She didn't force her father to go into politics. Her choices in life so far in no way entitle people to consider her as a public figure and so fair game.

As for the suggestion that Father Bush - or any father - has any influence over their grown-up daughters, well, I put it down to the youth of my fellow posters. I have two 21-year-old twin daughters and the idea that I could ask them to change their life-styles because "it wouldn't look good for Daddy" would have the three of us laughing in stitches.

I'm also amazed that no one has mentioned the salient fact - that in the United States if you get caught, you're arrested like anybody else. You enjoy no special protection from the police, the media or MetaFilter. That's one of the things that makes the U.S. great.

In other countries less openly hostile to nepotism and bribery, aka The World, some sort of hush-up would have been at least attempted.

If it was crack and she were black, she would go away for a long time.

Well, the rule of law is one thing and media behaviour is another. At least the black woman wouldn't have had her privacy invaded in this manner. And, in any case, I don't think Jeb Bush's daughter will get special treatment for being Daddy's girl.

And, now that you've got me going, I also thing there's something mysogynistic about the expression "Bush girls". "Bush cousins" would be better. And "Bush babies", of course, would be much worse. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:02 AM on January 29, 2002


this thread makes me wish it was me what had the prescription drugs.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 10:09 AM on January 29, 2002


Sudama, you will be the godfather of my firstborn.
posted by Hildago at 10:11 AM on January 29, 2002


I have two 21-year-old twin daughters and the idea that I could ask them to change their life-styles because "it wouldn't look good for Daddy" would have the three of us laughing in stitches.

Miguel Cardoso--George W. Bush's Evil Twin.

Wait a minute, is that the right adjective?
posted by y2karl at 10:11 AM on January 29, 2002


If you want to make fun of someone, try this fair game. (It's doing the rounds in Portugal so I expect some of you will have seen it, but it's brilliant all the same).

y2karl - that's it. I'm e-mailing Real9 as I speak. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:15 AM on January 29, 2002


Good lord, that mug shot isn't flattering. Now I'm starting to feel a little bad for her.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:15 AM on January 29, 2002


Who here believes really that the governor's daughter will be subject to a mandatory prison term as advocated by her father?

My guess is no.
posted by Sqwerty at 10:20 AM on January 29, 2002


And here's the other top Bush/Blair game in Lisbon. And this concludes my offer of Bush games and comments for the day.[Req.Flash, as above]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:22 AM on January 29, 2002


It's all a plot.
posted by y2karl at 10:24 AM on January 29, 2002


Xanax must be pretty fun stuff to take that kind of a risk... she coulda just gone downtown and bought a couple of doobies, and risk less than she did.

I guess she was just getting ready for her State of the Union Speech party.
posted by crunchland at 10:29 AM on January 29, 2002


MiguelCardoso: The crack user's name would, if she were in a small town or even a small city, almost surely be printed in the local newspaper. In some larger places, there are district or neighborhood newspapers as well, which print the same things. It's not like having your name printed nationally, but the family situations are in 99 percent of all cases hardly comparable. Which is not to say that this story deserves Ernon-like play. I'm only saying that having this come out at all is not an "invasion of privacy." You get busted and are of age? The info is absolutely not private according to any American state law.
posted by raysmj at 10:37 AM on January 29, 2002


I just wish that the Bush administration would see the need in this country for much more money to be used in rehab and give some help to those in need of it. It is tough to get straight if you have an addiction problem, and many places that offer a bit of help are very limited in the time allowed whereas it is fairly well recognized that longer term treatment has a much better chance of success. But not that many people are able to afford the longer term treatment and are thus subject to the many relapses that take place.
I have no commnet on the daughter other thanI would hope she gets straight and that her father can help ohers to see the need for changing are "drug war" since he is in an invluential position and has connections to many now in power.
posted by Postroad at 10:37 AM on January 29, 2002


What hypocrisy? ... I'm also amazed that no one has mentioned the salient fact - that in the United States if you get caught, you're arrested like anybody else.

Arrested like everybody else? Yes.

Punished like everybody else? No.

That hypocrisy.
posted by Dirjy at 10:37 AM on January 29, 2002


how is it an invasion of privacy to publish a story about an arrest and to ask her (evil election-fixin') family about it?

when the cops break down my fucking door and tear up all my shit looking for my stash ... that's an invasion of privacy.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:39 AM on January 29, 2002


All for a bottle of Xanax... Isn't that stuff prescribed like candy to any adult who can complain to being a little down?
posted by Nauip at 10:48 AM on January 29, 2002


In other countries less openly hostile to nepotism and bribery, aka The World, some sort of hush-up would have been at least attempted.

I'm wondering if there haven't been endless hushups prior to the election, but now having a Bush as president raises the stakes quite a bit. I doubt Joe Policeman is as willing to sacrifice his career for a favor to the Bushs' now that any Bush related charge is instant national news.
posted by skallas at 10:49 AM on January 29, 2002


...At least the black woman wouldn't have had her privacy invaded in this manner.

Miguel, look at what happens if you're arrested (not necessarily convicted) for engaging in prostitution in St. Louis Mo.
posted by nikzhowz at 10:55 AM on January 29, 2002


Nikzhowz: Thanks for that. Not necessarily convicted? How unjust and depressing! Here in Portugal(and I guess most of Europe) the Police are not allowed to release news - much less names and photographs - of their arrests.
So I suppose I was wrong. What you need - for the Bush girls and everybody else - are privacy laws. But here's the dilemma: if you do have privacy laws, then you make it much easier for cover-ups.

I'm befuddled...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:08 AM on January 29, 2002


Has she been shopping with her mom?
posted by owillis at 11:09 AM on January 29, 2002


!!?!

Did they attach Hugh Grant's mugshot to Noelle Bush's arrest story?
posted by NortonDC at 11:19 AM on January 29, 2002


Arrested like everybody else? Yes.

Punished like everybody else? No.

That hypocrisy.


You may not always agree with him, but Governor Bush seems like a pretty straight-up guy; whatever his opinions about drug abuse, they are almost certainly informed by seeing his brother and daughter -- and who knows what other family members? -- deal with addictions.

My guess is that his daughter is prosecuted by the book, and that she fares no worse than the typical NBA player, or movie star. That is, if she gets off with a light sentence, it won't be because the prosecution went easy on her -- it'll be on account of her $1,000-per-hour attorney. Isn't that the real scandal of the war on drugs?
posted by coelecanth at 11:20 AM on January 29, 2002


Noelle should have no trouble getting a real prescription for Xanax now.
posted by mischief at 11:21 AM on January 29, 2002


You may not always agree with him, but Governor Bush seems like a pretty straight-up guy

Coelecanth:
I can't predict what Jeb Bush will do in this situation, and I certainly wasn't trying to. When I mentioned hypocrisy, I wasn't talking specifically about any of the Bushes -- but rather the tendency of many politicians who demand tougher punishment for drug possession and use, then seek leniency for their children when they are arrested for the same crimes.
posted by Dirjy at 11:33 AM on January 29, 2002


Xanax is a benzodiazopene (sp), I think. I've heard they're notoriously and insidiously addicting, so I wouldn't be suprised if Noelle got to the point wher she was playing games with prescriptions to get some. If she's really addicted, I feel bad for her. She looked like hell warmed over in that mug shot.
posted by alumshubby at 11:37 AM on January 29, 2002


I understand. My points were a) Bush's positions on drugs were probably formed by more than simple, political expedience; and b) I very much doubt he'll seek preferential or lenient treatment for his daughter.
posted by coelecanth at 11:37 AM on January 29, 2002


Jeb needs to administer the Prince Harry cure right away

Good thing she wasn't busted in Texas
posted by BentPenguin at 11:46 AM on January 29, 2002


I always find it hilarious that these people ask us to 'respect their privacy.' As JG Ballard once said, if these people force me to participate in their fantasies, then they shouldn't be surprised when they show up in mine.
posted by fellorwaspushed at 11:50 AM on January 29, 2002


I very much doubt he'll seek preferential or lenient treatment for his daughter

Coelecanth: Well, that may well be the difference between American culture and Southern European culture. If I were Jeb Bush not only would my daughters get all the Xanax they needed(it's addictive but only a tranquillizer, i.e., it can hardly be called pleasurable)but I'd pull every string in my puppet cage to try and get preferential treatment for her.

Put it another way: I'd say Jeb Bush was a lousy father if he publicly didn't seek preferential treatment for his own flesh and blood just so voters would know how impartial he is.

I find it very strange that Noelle, being over 21, should have to resort to forging prescriptions. Surely she has her own doctor, who'd gladly prescribe it - as it's not that big a deal.

Could it be - wild speculation - that she was shut out by her parents who, wishing to fight against her addiction to the pills, made sure no doctor they knew would prescribe it for her? And so was forced to find an illegal way?

If so, it's ridiculous. Xanax is a staple drug, very important in treating anxiety and as a companion to antidepressants. My neurologist once told me it was one of the three most useful drugs.

She was probably experiencing withdrawal symptoms. My mother took Xanax for a year and, when she was tapered off them, she still felt like stratching the arms of her sofa.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:00 PM on January 29, 2002


That young lady looks friggin' strung out.

I suspect that this drug problem will be seen in the Bush household as a health issue, requiring quality residential rehab. I suspect it will also be seen as counter-productive to involve the expense to the state of jail, or prison.

I happen to agree with that. It's just a shame people with no money for rehab and good lawyers often don't get the same consideration.
posted by dglynn at 12:03 PM on January 29, 2002


This is a non-story. Substance abuse runs in their family. So what? I have many problems with Bush, but stories like this make Bush haters like me look bad. Let's talk about real issues.
posted by McBain at 12:19 PM on January 29, 2002


If this is a non-story for you personally, why come in here and post your non-comment?
posted by mischief at 12:26 PM on January 29, 2002


mischief- Yes, because my comment was contributing to a thorough examination about the implications of the Bush daughters behaviour to the Presidency, the government, even the United States of America could be rocked to its core by these little Bushies. I see now I was only pouring gasoline on the fire. Thank you.
posted by McBain at 12:30 PM on January 29, 2002


Oh, well, gas on the fire, that's fine then. Nevermind me.
posted by mischief at 12:50 PM on January 29, 2002


Niiiiiiice. Sounds like the wolves have been thrown another bone.
posted by Quixoticlife at 1:11 PM on January 29, 2002


Miguel: Good point about Jeb looking out for his daughters. I would agree that it's his duty as a good father to, as my brother used to say, hire a Roy Cohn-type fixer to go in and kick ass. But I don't think he should be abusing his office.
posted by coelecanth at 1:14 PM on January 29, 2002


If it was crack and she were black, she would go away for a long time.

There's a big difference between crack and Xanax. A Xanax addiction can and usually does start out as a *legitimate* prescription. A lot of people get addicted and don't realize it. One of my family members was hooked on prescription pain killers and even the doctor didn't realize it until she almost OD'd. Crack use never starts out legitimately. No one gets prescription crack. People that smoke crack knowingly and willing get involved with a drug that is illegal under all circumstances. Crack is a Schedule I drug, Xanax is Schedule IV. Huge legal difference - and in most cases, greatly divergent motivations for beginning use of either.

i also think Noell is off limits. I find the family values rhetoric nauseating, but the even rhetoric is aimed at creating environments that are conducive to raising kids that grow to be healthy stable adults. None of the Bushes claim to have perfect families; they just claim to have raised their kids in a way that they believe will lead them to be responsible adults. There's no hypocricy in that. If the kids choose to be irresponsible adults in spite of that - as many do - it doesn't mean the kids were not raised well or that the parents weren't sticking to their beliefs.

I'd guess that anyone on this board can think of a few outstanding parents that nonetheless managed to produce a screwed-up kid. I'm sure you can also think of some good successful people that were raised by utterly incompetent parents. the kids - especially at Noell's age - are not an extension of the parents. Noell didn't choose to have her father run for governor. If her name was released in the same manner that other drug-related arrests were, there would be no problem. Breaking news on CNN, however, is absurd. The JG Ballard quote doesn't apply here. Noell isn't a public servant - she didn't ask anyone to "participate in her fantasies."
posted by lizs at 1:36 PM on January 29, 2002


...and now for some timely and somewhat ironic local news from the Sunshine State...
posted by groundhog at 1:43 PM on January 29, 2002


Wait, let's play make-believe:

Let's pretend that Chelsea Clinton was busted for forging a prescription. D'ya think the Repubs would be bitching about invasion of privacy? ;)

y2karl: you went onto freerepublic.com? You're braver than I thought.
posted by solistrato at 1:51 PM on January 29, 2002


- and in most cases, greatly divergent motivations for beginning use of either.

that is exactly the problem, actually. That's not true. The motivation for the use of both is to feel better. Yeah, crack (supposedly) makes you feel so good you can't handle any of your normal life, while xanax (supposedly) makes you feel good enough to handle your life, but the people who end up on crack can't afford $300/hour shrinks to prescribe happiness for them, and instead spring $5 on a moment of it. But they're both just trying to kill the pain... One has an authority to concur that she is, in fact, in pain (& those authorities can certainly be mistaken or deliberately tricked by patients into prescribing...) while the other has no one to turn to - but I don't see why that means she should receive the greater punishment.

And lots of the problems attributed to crack addiction are likely due to environmental / lifestyle issues, like not being able to afford check-ups and good food and a nice place to live, etc. That is, it may not physically be that much worse than being hooked on prescription meds if all else is equal (it's been shown that SE of cocaine=crack if all else is equal).
posted by mdn at 1:52 PM on January 29, 2002


In most cases, Xanax is not prescribed to people who want to "feel good enough to handle their life." There's often a family history of panic and anxiety disorders involved. The big problem with Xanax, and other benzodiazapines (such as Valium), is that once you reach a therapeutic dose you need 'em just so you don't feel anxious (or like "scratching the arms of the sofa" as Miguel put it). As is the case with many psychopharmaceuticals, general practitioners prescribe them and just keep calling in refills. Pretty soon, the benzo user needs more, and starts doctor-shopping. I work part time at a community mental health clinic, and the prescribers there are continually frustrated when they try and taper someone off Xanax by using Clonapin, then find out the person is taking the Clonapin AND some Xanax they are getting from other sources.

Xanax is a short-acting anxiolytic, and as such keeps people in this state of semi-withdrawal unless they just keep taking more. The people I work with who have Xanax problems are no longer taking it for anything resembling a buzz... they're taking it to keep from escalating into full-blown panic. These are the people who are going through your medicine cabinet when you have a party. They're not having very much fun.
posted by apollo at 2:02 PM on January 29, 2002


i'm addicted to prescription drugs, and it's a total pain in the ass. health insurance runs out, and you can get the money together to get the medication, but you need a doctor to write a 'script', it's really really very tempting to change that 1 into a 10. Especially when the doctor is going to charge you $140 to write the prescription, and barely look at you. In fact, sometimes it just downright feels like a waste of time for me to go and sit in the office for an hour and be weighed, when all he wants is insurance money, and all i want is a little piece of paper authorizing me to get what i know and what he knows and what the pharmacist knows i want and need.

anyway - sure it sucks for the bush girl, but the war on drugs is messed up, and her dad and uncle (it's a close family we are constantly told - the uncle has some culpability... ) have supported tougher sentencing, etc. in these non-crimes. this is news because the bushes are CONSTANTLY shoving their moral superiority down the populaces throats. my head is spinning with the sayings: "don't throw stones in glass houses", "clean up your own house" but i won't bore you with them.

ok, i'm all worked up...
posted by goneill at 2:47 PM on January 29, 2002


"Hey! Get out of there!"
Apollo made Xanax addicts sound like raccoons. Pretty funny.
posted by dong_resin at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2002


sjc, well, I could--as long as we're getting classical here--personally paraphrase Pausanias in Mardonius's tent: "Behold, the people who came to rob us in our poverty."
posted by y2karl at 3:10 PM on January 29, 2002


Especially when the doctor is going to charge you $140 to write the prescription, and barely look at you.

Goneill, that's outrageous. The best private neurologists in Europe(I'm talking Harley Street, two-hour consultations)cost that. In countries other than the UK, $100 is the maximum price - again for the very best specialists. (This is for proper medical consultations - refills are generally automatic).

I've been aching to say this for a long time: I love the U.S. and think the world would be a dump without its influence and example. But since I joined MetaFilter I've suffered quite a few sobering jolts. This is one of them. Talk about losing your illusions.

All of a sudden I understand Hillary Clinton and all the doomed public health plans. Really. Perhaps I'm not a conservative or a capitalist after all. $140! For a refill! Holy Moses, MetaFilter is slowly but surely turning me into a lefty.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:02 PM on January 29, 2002


"Apollo made Xanax addicts sound like raccoons. Pretty funny."

Yeah, okay... I'll bite. How did I make Xanax addicts "sound like raccoons?" I thought only raccoons could sound like raccoons.
posted by apollo at 4:04 PM on January 29, 2002


Let's pretend that Chelsea Clinton was busted for forging a prescription. D'ya think the Repubs would be bitching about invasion of privacy? ;)


This Republican would. It's not a partisan issue. I got pissed when people even made fun of Chelsea. In fact, it incensed me a lot more so than this Noelle Bush situation, because the things that were said about Chelsea were so unbelievably *petty*. Remarks about her appearance, etc. The kids should be off limits. They're not public officials. i don't care who their parents are.

The motivation for the use of both is to feel better.

People who are told that they should take a (legal) drug by a licensed healthcare professional and people that proactively choose to use illegal drugs on their own are making two different moral decisions. The first starts out knowingly and willingly doing something that, by itself, is innocuous and legal. The other is knowingly and willingly doing something that is illegal. Even if you argue that they have the same perceived needs (which isn't always the case,), the fact remains that one chooses a legal method to meet those perceived needs and the other does not. The fact that the socioeconomic status of the latter may prevent him or her from having those perceived needs met doesn't justify it or legally equivocate the two. (People who choose to rob banks can't justify those actions with the fact that they have no money.)
posted by lizs at 4:45 PM on January 29, 2002


If you campaign on family values, we get to know if you have any. If you campaign on drug crime enforcement, we get to know what happens to your kids when they get caught trying to scam some Dilaudid or whatever.

Oh, and if your super-rich family connives and contrives to run the world, you lose a little of your anonymity — not necessarily your privacy, but getting arrested isn't a private act.


Bravo.
posted by rushmc at 5:12 PM on January 29, 2002


> As pseudo-president, Shrub's daughters are fair press
> game.

Shrub's daughters are pseudo-president? Your grasp of pronoun reference is easily as good as your logic. Work that one out and see if it comes to a compliment.
posted by jfuller at 5:18 PM on January 29, 2002


This Republican would. It's not a partisan issue. I got pissed when people even made fun of Chelsea. In fact, it incensed me a lot more so than this Noelle Bush situation, because the things that were said about Chelsea were so unbelievably *petty*. Remarks about her appearance, etc. The kids should be off limits. They're not public officials. i don't care who their parents are.

Insofar as my comments here have been tangential to the subject, lizs, I feel I can say I admire this statement without feeling too much a hypocrite in saying so.

I think a lot here are taking out their resentment of how the Clintons were so slimed by the FReeper end of the conservative spectrum. Back in the 80s, while I didn't agree with practically anything he said or did, I found the demonization of Ronald Reagan equally tiresome. I've always thought the hatred of Clinton was due in part to the fact that he was, essentially, a Republican in Democrat's clothing.
posted by y2karl at 6:10 PM on January 29, 2002


ah miguel, the us health care system is a real work of art. i speak on behalf of all people that stand to the left of center: < outstretched hand> welcome miguel < / outstretched hand>
posted by goneill at 6:10 PM on January 29, 2002


I didn't express myself clearly, Apollo.
Your comment "These are the people who are going through your medicine cabinet when you have a party " caused me to briefly see Xanax addicts as racoon-like creatures rooting through one's medicine cabinet like raccoons might go through one's garbage. It was my interpretation, I wasn't critiquing your comment.
posted by dong_resin at 6:13 PM on January 29, 2002


I am sick and tired of high profile absentee parents who live public lives calling for privacy for their children. If they want their children to experience privacy, then they shouldn't run for public office. Too often it appears that what they are calling for is have their children on display for photo opportunities, and then cry pitifully for privacy when their failure as parents is exposed.

The second issue that bothers me is when people talk about how good parents can have bad kids. That is complete garbage. The truth is that well intentioned people often screw up as parents. You only deserve the status of being labeled a good parent if your child is actually a good kid.

I'd have a lot more respect for politicians who would speak truthfully about the real state of their families prior to the incidents where their children act out. This is the second child of Jeb bush who has run afoul of the law, I take that as an indicator that they are less than ideal parents for their offspring. That doesn't mean they don't love their children, but that they've screwed up somewhere along the line.

I'd have a lot more respect for the Bush family if they had been more upfront about their dysfunction and used that as a springboard to repair what is wrong with both family and drug policy in our country.

The politicians in the Bush family instead demand mandatory prison time, and then can be counted upon to find a backdoor out for the embarassment of seeing their children caught in the act.It is a disservice to the needs of their children, and it reinforces the notion of class structure in this country.
posted by Sqwerty at 6:31 PM on January 29, 2002


I dont see any reason for this two-faced behavior. Americans as free members of the society, use drugs all the time. Not all of them but alot of them. Then why this sudden rush of morality when it comes to others or elected representatives. Is it that you people choose from the unpopular and not cool crowd as your leaders ?

I am not hip to this phenomenon.
posted by adnanbwp at 7:54 PM on January 29, 2002


The second issue that bothers me is when people talk about how good parents can have bad kids. That is complete garbage.

My guess is that you either have no experience with parenting or your kids are under the age of 15. Believe it or not, after a while, they have minds of their own.

One of my younger brothers was a serious drug user, got his girlfriend pregnant at 19 and has been the classic "deadbeat dad" ever since (*my dad* generously pays child support), and was arrested over Christmas for harassing family members. My parents are fundamentalist Christians and were, if anything, a bit overbearing. There was nothing about the way he was raised that would condone any of my brother's behavior. My other brother and i lead relatively normal lives and neither of us have ever been in any real trouble. In fact, we're both type-A overachievers.

Also - I'm nothing like my parents in terms of personality. (I know everyone *says* that, but I've had objective sources - even my brother's shrink - comment on it.) How would you explain that, Sqwerty? Two "good kids", one that appears to be a "bad kid"? One kid that didn't acquire any significant personality traits from either parent? We were all raised the same way in the same environment. If parenting is the sole determinant of how kids ultimately turn out, shouldn't we have all turned out the same? By your logic, a stranger would meet my youngest brother and think my parents were brilliant. If they met my other brother, they'd think my parents must have been horrible.

Parents definitely *affect* how their children turn out, but to say that they *determine* the outcomes is to discount or outright deny the child's ability to think for him or herself and make decisions (including the rejection of parental values) of their own free will. Correlation is not the same thing as causation.
posted by lizs at 9:11 PM on January 29, 2002


great (and relevant!) Larkin poem...

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
posted by lizs at 9:33 PM on January 29, 2002


lizs I am a parent of a teenager. I was raised by religious parents. Good parenting is not a matter of inflexible curriculum, but the ability of the adults to communicate on a level that connects with their child. I am sure your parents are kind and wonderful people, but that doesn't mean they conncted with your brother.

My spouse and I have always taken responsibility for the actions of our child. We've been been blessed in so far as our son has not done anything disasterous to date. But we would show up and be part of the process of such a thing were to occur. Until our child is independent and able to create his own home, we are the ones who are responsible for guiding him to a successful adulthood.

Most families have both successes and failures. Where I fault the Bush family is for insisting on cooky cutter standards, while all too often they and their offspring fail those same standards. I'd prefer that the governor of Florida use his experience to craft a more realistic drug policy instead of hiring some speechwriter to help draft a terse statement about privacy.

Larkin a great poet, but parenting is a product of ability to live openly and gracefully with our own flaws. Though I doubt he is going to risk the political capital, I wish the governor would wake up and see that mandatory prison terms don't reduce the problem of addiction.
posted by Sqwerty at 9:36 AM on January 30, 2002


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