Most of the Bush family is keeping a pretty low profile this week as the Republican National Convention takes place. That was the case at least until an unlikely family member created the biggest Bush family scandal in Asia since his dad barfed on the Japanese prime minister.
Houstonian Neil Bush is known outside the city mostly for his family: Son of one president, brother of another president (as well as another governor) and father of charitable fashion plate Lauren Bush Lauren.
"I'm thinking of joining the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]. What do you think of my accessories?" Bush wrote, adding a smiling emoticon.
Bush is co-chairman of CIIC, a Beijing-based real estate company. This week he posted a photo of himself on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, wearing some Communist-style gear including a green cap with a red star and a messenger bag featuring the slogan "Serve the People" (a phrase associated with Chairman Mao Zedong) while holding a mug with the image of Mao on it.
"I'm thinking of joining the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]. What do you think of my accessories?" he wrote, adding a smiling emoticon.
The image soon went viral in China, with over 11,500 shares and more than 6,000 comments (not including ones that have been censored by the government) three days later.
A few users have taken Bush to task for donning the revolution-era accessories, comparing them to a Nazi uniform. But much of the attention generated has been from commenters using the post to criticize the Communist regime.
"If you can join the CCP, you can embezzle, take bribe, solicit prostitutes or even rape child without or with very little punishment. You make the right choice,” wrote user OldMadMonk (via Wall Street Journal).
NPR translates another comment as "To join our party, you need to know how to be corrupt and how to take bribes, how to rape young girls and how to cheat and hurt ordinary people. These are not things that ordinary people can do. Can you do that?"
In addition to charges of bribery, corruption and other crimes, according to NPR many Weibo users also noted that Bush's Communist style would no longer make the grade, as modern day party members prefer Patek Philippe watches and Hermès bags.
Looks like no matter the country, accidentally creating a sensation on Twitter/Weibo is universal.