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View Diary: Poet Sharon Olds Said No To Laura (124 comments)

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  •  Texan first ladies and war (none)
    Another Texan first lady, another wretched war: it seems almost a Texan tradition. I'll just tell a short story which most people have probably forgotten or never even knew aout. At a White House luncheon (?) given by Lady Bird Johnson during the Vietnam war, Ertha Kitt stood up and said something faulting the president's behavior in Vietnam, maybe even that he was a murderer. Of course the statement caused a furor, and Ertha Kitt's career as a singer was ruined. No one would engage her, presumably because the Texan mafia blackballed her. The wife of the president is a politcal creature, maybe more precisely a political doll, but when she stands up next to her husband and acts, as it were, as an antenna to draw crowds and voters to support her husband, she is intentionally playing politics. In the U.S. of A. a politcal candidate's wife is part of the game. This is not the case in other countries, something which American woman might stop and think about for a second. Sorry, U.S. public life has deep, deep consequences for everyone in days like this. Mrs. George W. Bush has been in this game for ages, with her Texan family, ranch barbecues and all that. Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson was deeply and similarly involved, too. Good for Sharon Olds. May she or anyone else not have to suffer the fate of the highly witty, talented Ertha Kitt. Long live freedom and the republic! But have you recently heard of a successful woman called Valerie Plame?

    The name of Valerie Plame is not being bandied about

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