Monday, May 5, 2008

First Lady Laura Bush

Today First Lady Laura Bush made a rare public statement with political overtones. The First Lady has used her platform to promote education or women's health, yet remained quiet on wider ranging issues. Today Mrs. Bush called for Burma to accept U.S. aid after suffering catastrophic damage from a cyclone over the weekend. Under military control since 1962, the Burmese suffer from an oppressive, corrupt, and brutal junta.
This is an impressive and commendable moment in Laura Bush's tenure as First Lady. She has been quietly supportive despite an unprecedented number of personal attacks on the President in the last 8 years. Today she used her "bully pulpit" to call for an indisputable good. Rarely does one consider a First Lady to have any sort of "bully pulpit," however, the current public opinion of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue leaves her as the only affable face. Mrs. Bush is the only figure in the White House with a positive approval rating and has only days before her daughter's wedding in Crawford. Hopefully the Burmese will relent to western aid, this will at least ease disaster, but do little for a country with so many problems. According to the CIA Factbook, Burma is the world's second largest producer of illicit opium, a source country for sex trafficking, and generally a horrible place to live. Haiti is better. A sad story of colonialism, Haiti was the first Black republic to declare its independence in 1804, yet has seen nothing but turmoil for 204 years establishing it as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Tough choice, I'd take Haiti, at least with a boat you can get to a decent country.