Long-established political systems often have informal rules and traditions as persistent and important as the formal ones. So, for instance, in the British mixed-monarchy of the 17th and 18th centuries, there was a tradition of animosity and mistrust between the King and the Prince of Wales. This stemmed from the fact that the heir-apparent often had to live well into adulthood or middle-age before assuming the job he had been groomed for — and those opposed to the present regime would often cluster around him as an avenue to future power and preferment.
(The movie The Madness of King George plays somewhat on this tendency.)
In the United States there is a similar tradition in which the president’s brother must be a ne’er-do-well buffoon who episodically gets into scrapes and embarrasses his more successful sibling but also — and this is the kicker — humanizes him. (In apparent recognition of Hillary Clinton’s assumption of certain formal political duties, her brother Hugh Rodham also took on the role of presidential oaf-brother.)
But George W. Bush’s brothers are all either successful or WASPish enough to keep their shenanigans private and proper. So the chore has apparently fallen on his daughters, particularly the rapscallion Jenna.
As all the wires are reporting today, Jenna and her sister Barbara were picked up for trying to buy booze with a fake ID at Chuyâs Mexican restaurant in Austin, Texas. This comes, of course, less than a month after Jenna pled no contest to alcohol possession, after she was picked up in sweep of nightclubs by the city police. And that after seemingly innumerable appearances on the front page of the National Enquirer.
Now one thing this obviously shows is that Jenna really, really knows how to party. And, trust me, that’s a virtue (or a vice, take your pick) that Talking Points can really appreciate.
But isn’t this sort of getting to the point where it goes beyond the rule that you can’t talk about the chief executive’s progeny? I mean, you’re the president’s daughter and you try to buy alcohol with a fake ID?
Isn’t this sort of a nine strikes and you’re out kind of situation?