Tuesday, June 21, 2005


The God-King's Feet Must Not Be Allowed To Touch The Ground

Garrison Keillor, on page 215 of his book Homegrown Democrat, describes a nice little vignette from then-VP George Herbert Walker Bush's visit to Denmark in the 1980s that I intend to remember each time I see the Bush Family being depicted as "jes' plain folks":

When I lived there, Danes were still talking about the visit of Vice President Bush to speak at the Danish Fourth of July at Rebild Park in Jutland and how his armor-plated limousine had sunk down in the sand en route to the speaker's pavilion and how the man refused to get out of the damn car and walk 200 yards to the stage. He sat in his behemoth car with Old Glory flying from the front fender, surrounded by Secret Service, and it took twenty men on a hot day to push him and his tank through the sand to the pavilion where he disembarked and gave his speech on Freedom, America's Gift to the World. Denmark is a country where big shots walk. Mr. Bush made a big impression on the Danes.
Poppy's son carries on the imperial tradition, only mingling with preselected people. Contrast this with Bill Clinton, who not only walked to podiums, but wasn't afraid of crowds.

Once while camping at Assateague Island Nat'l Seashore we were told to abandon our campsite, flatten our tents, and drive down the island, because Clinton was going to do some dedication thing. I didn't drive, cause I was already drunk, and I could see that nobody was going to do anything about the remaining cars. So I walked about 1/2 mile down the beach and waited: secret service every 20 feet on the dunes, helicopter overhead. Fortunately I had a parasol, it was really hot, no drinking water or shade provided, some of us got sunburned. I heard that he did have the normal park service personnell in the front row for the ceremony, which was a kinda folksy touch, but us campers were definitely not welcome. It was most unpleasant for us.
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