I opposed the Bush administration's push for an invasion of Iraq. And my impression is that Bush's daughters are privileged and rather frivolous. But I still think Michael Kinsley is reaching a bit when he writes:
No one thinks that the president should have to give up a child to prove that his family is as serious about freedom as these other families he praises. But it would be reassuring to see a little struggle here — some sign that the Bush family truly believes that American soldiers are dying for our freedom, and it's worth it.Bush's daughters don't owe it to me or anyone else to take some public stand for or against the war.
Who knows? Maybe they have had huge arguments about this.
... no amount of eloquence can overcome the bald contrast between that rhetoric and how his own family lives. His daughters are over 21, and he can't control them, but that doesn't let them off the hook. They are now independent moral actors, and their situation requires that they either publicly oppose their father's war or do something to support it.
Is it unfair to expect Jenna and Barbara to shape their lives around their father's folly? Of course it's unfair. If this is war, then unfairness comes with the territory.
Even if they did take a stand or volunteer in some self-sacrificing capacity, would this have a measurable effect on the outcome in Iraq? I seriously doubt it. And — as Kinsley himself acknowledges — how do we know they haven't (behind the scenes) told their father and mother that they think the Iraq war was a frickin' mistake?
I believe their father is a stubborn prick who led us into a quagmire, and I don't need the Bush daughters or anyone else to do or say anything to reassure me of the conclusion I reached long ago.