Buster, Boy Reagan and Dirty Harry’s flashback to 1998

In the post below, I wrote a little about my 15 year old son, Buster, and his response to the Reid/Pelosi response to the SOTU, but I thought I’d relate a few more thoughts and observations this playful, but also very thoughtful, kid made during the speech itself.

Buster’s response to Bush’s opening line re “a free and sovereign Iraq”: “Bang, zoom! He’s taking no prisoners tonight!”

On the first shot of John Kerry, Buster affected an Orson Wellesian, deep tremulous tone: “Rrrrrosebud!”

First shot of Hillary, he shook his head. “She looks unwell, doesn’t she? She must still be feeling crappy.”

This politically savvy kid who has watched every presidential speech and SOTU since he was a babbler was deeply offended by the boos and hisses on the left when the president brought up reforming social security: “I don’t remember any president ever being booed by any side during a speech!” he ranted, “they’re acting like they’re MY age! I’m fifteen years old, and I’m already working and paying into this system – why the hell shouldn’t I be able to have some say in how that system grows my money and where it goes when I die? And I like this idea that my benefits can go where I want it to go, and not back to the government!”

He got all worked up on that one. Got worked up here, too : Now we need to focus on giving young people, especially young men in our cities, better options than apathy, or gangs, or jail. Tonight I propose a three-year initiative to help organizations keep young people out of gangs, and show young men an ideal of manhood that respects women and rejects violence.

Buster applauded outright, and loudly. When I asked him why he said, “Mom, you should see the way some of the guys at school treat the girls, it’s disgusting. And what’s worse, the girls allow it.”

I shouldn’t have been surprised at his reaction. This is a kid who watches old movies and laments that too many young men and women don’t treat each other with respect or admiration any more. He also liked that Laura Bush was going to be put in charge of this. When the president said, Taking on gang life will be one part of a broader outreach to at-risk youth, which involves parents and pastors, coaches and community leaders, in programs ranging from literacy to sports. And I am proud that the leader of this nationwide effort will be our First Lady, Laura Bush.”

Buster said…how brilliant is that? “She’s the epitome of a calm but firm mother. That’s just what is needed!”

Next shot of Kerry: “Bad undertaker. He looks like he has met up with a bad undertaker.”

At “the hug”: “That’s the picture! Look at Bush, just standing there watching it. Too cool.”

I’ve already related what Buster thought of Reid and Pelosi. But when I flipped around and we found Ron Reagan suggesting that “the hug was set up”, Buster shook his head. “No doubt, they were seated near each other on purpose, and Rove probably hoped the hug would happen…but I don’t think that was set up. It was too heartfelt. Those two women were real. And what exactly is wrong with Ron Reagan’s face, anyway? Why is half of his face so ill-defined? Is it a problem? I mean, I don’t want to remark about his face if he has some sort of problem…but why does he look like a half-gestated fetus?”

“Buster, that’s not nice,” I said. “We can’t help what we look like.”

“Well, sometimes we can,” Buster said, “and sometimes we can’t. Maybe he’d look better if he didn’t always have that look on his face like he’s just smelled something foul. Can we just call him “Boy” Reagan from now on?”

I said I thought that was apt, since Reagan seems like an intellectual adolescent. Boy Reagan it is.

I have to link to this, because it’s just too good. Dirty Harry at Stranded on Blue Islands shows a huge difference between the media’s reaction to President Bill Clinton’s warnings on Social Security in 1998, and their reaction to President Bush’s warnings last night. It’s pretty much what you’d expect. If you have a D after your name, every thing you say is good. If you have an R after you’re name, it’s all foolishness. Or…maybe the press just wants you to say things, but not really mean to do anything about it.

In any case, you’ll want to check out that link and maybe even file it away somewhere.

About Elizabeth Scalia