This weekend, I was at a block party, and the talk got around to the fact that, thanks to the internet, our children leave a trail a mile long. They’ve got posts and pictures up at Facebook or MySpace, and videos all over YouTube. Whether they’re applying for a job or college, a quick check on a search engine will quickly reveal if they’re the kid clutching the bong or the encyclopedia. The whole notion of the past being past is pretty much a dead letter for this connected generation.
This was certainly an interesting and appropriate conversation for a group of parents presiding over raising kids between 3 and 13. What was most interesting was the explosive outcry from one dad: “If only they’d had this when George Bush was young. We could have saved ourselves.” Even avowed liberals looked a little confused about this one. Nobody called the dad on the fact that Bush freely acknowledged his wild past, one that he had definitively put behind him by the time he ran for the White House. It also seemed a little silly to mention that Bush has been gone for almost two years.
Suddenly arriving stampedes of kids turned the conversation very quickly, so any opportunities for follow-up ended. I wonder, though, if I was the only one there who thought that, if it comes to a missing history, Obama has them all beat. All we know about him is what is written in his hagiographic autobiography (you know, the one Bill Ayers ghost wrote for him). Everything else is a mystery. It would have been nice to have a few MySpace or YouTube moments of our current president.
In any event, I mention this whole incident just to show that, Bush may be gone, but he’s not forgotten. Long after he’s left the White House, and in the face of ever escalating Obama-Caused Disasters, Bush remains the focus of unrelenting hatred. Even on the Leno show, a few gentle jokes about Obama are quickly pushed aside in favor of fairly savage attacks on Bush. I guess Leno’s afraid his band will think he’s racist if he includes personal attacks on the White House’s current occupant.
UPDATE: Here’s a convincing argument for the fact that it is Obama who will ultimately end up being a much hated president — although his blackness may mean that this hatred is kept covert (i.e., never on the Leno show), for fear of being called a racist.