Egad, but it’s tiring sometimes, to watch the press play, “how many ways can we hate and villify Bush?” Now, it seems, President Bush is an Irishman, after all, but he’s descended from the very worst Irishmen ever to live. Of COURSE.
So says this incredibly stupid article, one of the stupidest I have ever read.
It is perhaps not the best omen for US foreign affairs. Local historians in Wexford have discovered that George Bush is a descendant of Strongbow, the power-hungry warlord who led the Norman invasion of Ireland thus heralding 800 years of mutual misery.
The US president’s now apparent ancestor, Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke – known as Strongbow for his arrow skills – is remembered as a desperate, land-grabbing warlord whose calamitous foreign adventure led to the suffering of generations. Shunned by Henry II, he offered his services as a mercenary in the 12th century invasion of Wexford in exchange for power and land. When he eventually died of a festering ulcer in his foot, his enemies said it was the revenge of Irish saints whose shrines he had violated.
The Bush clan – who pride themselves on a distinguished New England family history that can be traced back to the first English in America – may well be looking for a healthy spin on the news. But it seems that Strongbow is not the worst of Bush’s newfound ancestors.
The genetic line can also be traced to Dermot MacMurrough, the Gaelic king of Leinster reviled in history books as the man who sold Ireland for personal gain.
Even before MacMurrough earned the title of Ireland’s worst traitor by inviting Strongbow’s invasion to save himself from a local feud, the Irish chieftain had a reputation for gore. One English chronicler told how MacMurrough, recognising the features of a personal enemy poking from a pile of severed heads after a battle, snatched up the rotting flesh and tore it with his teeth in a “hideous frenzy”.
As if it were not enough to be related to two of the most notorious figures in Irish history, Bush’s relatives are also thought to have founded the Norman settlement of New Ross, in County Wexford. A quiet place, New Ross has a stunning Norman church and another claim to fame: it is the ancestral home of John F Kennedy…The jury is out on whether Strongbow had a “conquering” gene that drove him to invade…
Dear Lord. Can you imagine? In order to get that last remark, about the “conquering” gene, this reporter, channeling David Gregory or Terry Moran or Helen Thomas had to actually posed the following question: Is it possible that bad-old Bush and Strongbow might share a “conquering gene?”
Bring me a basin, I’m going to puke.
The only thing surprising about any of this is that this asinine writer and some of her interviewees are surprised at all. Of course President Bush has Irish lineage – you don’t get that mother, or those cujones without it.
And those who study presidential geneology will tell you that they have been anticipating the discovery of a Scots-Irish connection to Bush for quite some time, and not because of his faith or his tenacity. It all has to do with other, obscure ideas, and the Knights Templars and, you know, God and stuff, and it’s very involved and very “out there.” But some have definately been watching for this news.
As to the utter asininity of this piece and the implication that President Bush’s long ago link to these”bringers of misery” is somehow relevant or prophetic or a justification for how completely (and pathetically) these people have embraced their hate, let’s not forget that both Al Gore and John Kerry are distant cousins to Bush, and the chances are that the link between Gore and Bush tracks at least some of that bad ol’ Norman/Celtic strain.
Kerry, in fact, shares a line through Vlad the Impaler.
All of which means absolultely nothing. Sound and fury indicating these people are too comfortable and don’t have enough to do.
UPDATE: I hadn’t planned on spending any more time on this story, but reader Robert Penfield sent along this fascinating information about Strongbow and the site has some nice visuals, too. Penfield likes the last bit, which I like, too:
Gerald of Wales describes Strongbow as a tall man with red hair, freckles, grey eyes and a soft (weak) voice.
“In war Strongbow was more of a leader than a soldier. . . . When he took-up his position in the midst of battle, he stood firm as an immovable standard around which his men could re-group and take refuge. In war he remained steadfast and reliable in good fortune and bad alike. . . .”
If a man who was Strongbow’s contemporary and not overly fond of him could describe him thus, Strongbow must have been a unique man. Strongbow had the patience and intelligence to not openly defy King Henry II, despite being denied what he must have seen as his rightful inheritance. He had the military skills and abilities of a commander that enabled him to conquer great lands in Ireland and the sagacity of a diplomat that allowed him to offer those conquests to his king and vassal lord, Henry II. On Strongbow’s death at the age of forty-six, King Henry II guarded and protected his widow, his heir and his vast fiefs which leads to the belief that Strongbow had earned Henry’s respect and perhaps even his affection. When Isabel de Clare married William Marshal in 1189, she brought with her the inheritance of her father. Isabel brought to Marshal the lordship of Striguil (Chepstow) in Wales, the lordship of Leinster in Ireland, fiefs in some nine shires in England, and the claims to the earldom of Pembroke and one half the barony of Earl Giffard in England and Normandy. Richard Strongbow de Clare would have approved of King Henry’s choice for his son-in-law, a man who made his own place in his world. William Marshal would have respected his father-in-law for the loyal knight and vassal he was to King Henry II and to the Angevin Crown.
Interesting stuff, thanks Robert. Catherine Armstrong has a very nifty site, there.
UPDATE II: Screaming memes had me screaming with laughter on this issue! And it looks like their rabid writer has discovered this site! Oh, no!!! Save me, someone! :-)