Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Farewell Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson in front of White House
Our nation's flags are flying at half staff, a tribute to former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, who died on July 11, 2007 at the ripe old age of 94. I wasn't old enough to appreciate the finer points of this true Southern Belle, but from what I understand, she was a fine upstanding citizen who dutifully towed the line in a very tumultuous time of American history.

Since last Thursday, I've promoted relevant clips of Lady Bird, the better half of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Back then, the press had enough sense to keep rumors of Johnson's infidelities out of the mainstream media. Back then, the American public naively imagined their presidents as decent faithful men. We were blissfully happy in our ignorance. What difference did it make anyway?

Some short years ago, we finally learned the truth about Lady Bird's pain. How noble of her to suffer in silence. Truth be told, this relatively recent discovery places her in the same awkward category as Hillary Clinton: Women who trade money, lifestyle, or power for the pain of being married to an unfaithful man.

The unrelenting press coverage of Bill's marital indescretions was a significant factor contributing to the level of distraction required by Al Qaeda to successfully plan and eventually execute the horrific events of 9/11. Many others have expressed similar opinions. This lesson about the delicate nature of our executive branch is one today's journalists would be wise to learn and never forget.

Likewise, we should never forget our honorable and genteel former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson a/k/a Claudia Alta Taylor.

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