Saturday, August 06, 2005

Austin's Is Sick of Carpetbagger Bush's Phony Texan Act (How Texan is he?)

Austin's Is Sick of Carpetbagger Bush's Phony Texan Act | August 5, 2005

Violet Jones

Well, Bush is off on vacation, and once again we are being bombarded with "charming" images of the cowboy wannabe carefully posed in western wear between cacti or aboard the Presidential pickup.

While the mainstream media gleefully regurgitates Bush admin press releases about his John Wayne charm and hospitality, please remember that Bush's ranch is just a giant set and that Bush is about as Texan as Maine lobster.

As for being a tough, charming cowboy -- we're talking about a man who came away bruised and publicly shamed from an altercation with a pretzel and who is so afraid of horses he refused to go riding with Mexican President Vicente Fox (he also refused a custom-made saddle Fox tried to give him). This season's AP article even notes that there are no horses on Bush's ranch and that Bush calls himself a windshield rancher."

Still, he's got that great hat and belt buckle..This year's world visitors to the set, um..ranch.. were treated to hoe downs, barbeques and truck-ride photo-ops. Although we haven't caught any pics of Bush holding hands with the Saudi crown price among the blooming bluebonnets (out of season, by the way -- all the bluebonnets here in Austin have been burnt away by the summer sun for months) we have been treated to images of Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe riding shotgun in the Truck and of Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon 'twixt the cacti.

Like all the phony photo-ops presented by the Bush administration (remember the Made in China boxes and the fake turkey in Iraq) the props and costumes of the Texas set the wire services' photogs have been so willing to frame and use are cliche and inaccurate.

Cacti are around, but not prominent in Crawford's landscape. We've spent some time in Waco, and remember few if any cacti from the broad fields dotted with the occasional mesquite or oak tree.

As for the Western gear that Bush awkwardly sports, sure, some folks around here still wear cowboy hats -- but theirs are usually sweat-stained if they're wearing them to work or rhinestone encrusted if they're wearing them to the bar.

The AP Photog worked hard to get Bush, Sharon and the Cactus in the frame. Bush, we know, never lived on a ranch (this year's AP article points this out, even). He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and spent his childhood traveling between the luxurious homes of his millionaire family in Kennebunkport, Maine, Midland and Houston, Texas, and Jupiter Island, Florida.

He attended high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (where he was a cheerleader -- isn't this the opposite of a cowboy?) and University back at his birthplace of New Haven, Connecticut (Yale).

Bush is a Yankee, a poser and a fake. Then again, you don't have to be a Texan to see that. It's clear in the sneer just below his pristine, strategically donned (probably made in China and probably fake) Stetson.



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