Apologies to anyone named Sadie. I don't know that there's actually anyone by that name in the Bush/Cheney organization.
Europeans have long thought of America as the land of cowboys and Indians. So, the characterization of Bush Two as a cowboy seems a natural, even though in the land of real cowboys he's been dismissed as "all hat and no cattle." Also, there are rumors that he's actually afraid of horses, the very aspect of the enterprise that traditional cowherds, used to walking over dale and glen and prodding the lumbering creatures with a stick, likely find most attractive.
Bush Two has a ranch. If he's got cattle, he's clearly not into herding them with a horse, seeming to prefer the bicycle or ATV for surveying his domain. And no stable for horses or anything else, it would seem.
Indeed, while his predecessor in the White House might have been described as having a stable of ladies, Bush Two as a ladies man is an object of humor:
And yet, as with everything else about Bush Two, there's a kernel of truth hidden inside that humor. He's surrounded himself with a bevy of more or less physically attractive women who might well give us pause to consider whether our assumptions about nurturing and compassionate females have any basis in fact.
While much attention has been paid to a number of bungling males on the Bush Two team, including the inimitable Michael Brown, whose leadership of FEMA, despite his management experience with a riding horse association, came up short, the defining statement of the Katrina debacle actually came from the mouth of mother Barbara Bush when (accompanied by her husband, Bill Clinton, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton) she observed of the humanity stranded in the Astrodome in Houston:
"What I’m hearing which is sort of
scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is
so overwhelmed by the hospitality.
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you
know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she
chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."
Which suggests that the hard-hearted attitudes of the women running the White House incorporate attitudes Bush was accustomed to from his youth.
There well may be more, but a cursory review brings up more than a handful of ladies whose humanitarian instincts fall short and sometimes verge on the sadistic.
Take Condoleezza Rice, for example, whose equanimity isn't disturbed in the slightest by the knowledge that our invasion of Iraq is now responsible for the deaths of over a million civilians. Nor does the ongoing Israeli effort to segregate Palestinians into ethnic enclaves (we used to call them ghettos) disturb a hair on her head. Perhaps Dr. Rice is merely an example of the fallacy of assuming that the victims of any kind of abuse will be more sympathetic to the suffering of others. But, there's no question that she enjoys issuing threats of dire consequences and, in the case of Saddam Hussein, seeing them carried out.
The particular contributions of Harriet Miers and Lurita Doan, the former administrator of the GSA, to the destructive tendencies of the Bush Two Administration are less well know. But, the latter did make her bones before her induction into the federal government by cutting programs and slashing jobs to increase the profitability of her enterprise. Whether or not she violated the Hatch Act has not yet been determined in a court of law.
Margaret Spellings, the current Secretary of Education, is, of course, one of the prime architects and enforcers of the No Child Left Behind program, whose flaws are so great that it might well have been spawned by a sadist. While most critics seem to have concluded that the ultimate goal is to gut public education and turn education into a profit-making private enterprise, the real animus towards public education seems to be based on the perception that the youth are not being sufficiently coerced. The assertion that
She has partnered with states to implement and enforce the No Child Left Behind Act, which commits our schools to bringing all students up to grade level or better in reading and math by 2014.
might as well be talking about re-building a road, considering students as the equivalent of the gravel that's to be dumped on the grade. Never mind the total ignorance of the principle of correct agency revealed by that statement. The federal government simply can't commit institutions it doesn't own or control. Pretending to help when the real object is control may not be sadistic, but it sure comes close.
Dana Perino, replacing the ailing Press Secretary Tony Snow, is a more recent addition to the stable. She shares with the disgraced Michael Brown an actual familiarity with horses on her family's ranch lands in Wyoming.
As a youngster, Dana Perino would wake before the crack of dawn, saddle up, and help herd cattle during summers on her grandfather's 12,000-acre ranch in Wyoming.
Since she understands ranching, Bush enjoys talking with Perino on trips together about his Crawford spread.
At a recent briefing, when syndicated columnist Helen Thomas launched a broadside against the war in Iraq, Perino cut her off, asking if she had a question. "Do you want me to answer the question, Helen, or do you want to ask questions?" Perino asked her.
"You repeat yourself so much that..." Thomas said.
"So do you," Perino interrupted, then called on another reporter.
And that's the bottom line, isn't it? Other people simply exist to serve the interests of this clan.
Perhaps the most recent addition to the Sadies, at least in terms of public awareness of her, might be Dr. Lani Kass. Considering that she's heading up a brand new military enterprise, the CSAF Cyberspace Task Force because
We’re at war: Cyber is a battlespace
"The war is really not about Iraq or Afghanistan necessarily, it’s about this broader war that is really global in nature and has no borders. It uses things like the Cyber world to operate in."
- General Lance L. Smith, USJFC Commander
Perhaps we should think of Dr. Lani Kass as a slightly more militaristic incarnation of Dr. Condoleezza Rice on the Air Force side. When she briefed the Air Force Association earlier this month,
She likened the budding domain of cyberspace to the advent of powered flight as a military option. It took air pioneers years to get airpower recognized as a fighting domain, she said. She continued to describe future possibilities and how the U.S. will likely be challenged through the cyber domain.
Cyberspace doesn't just mean computers, Ms. Kass said. It covers everything from satellite communication to gamma rays to microwave technologies.
"We need to control cyberspace so we have freedom from attack and freedom to attack," she said. "Nonkinetic does not mean nonlethal."
the audience would have gotten a sense of considerable enthusiasm for this newest arena for engaging in warfare and mayhem in the entire terrain of future conflict. Bet you didn't know you were operating in a war zone.
So, there you have just a sampling of Bush Two's Sadies. All those "young things" over at the Department of Justice, self-righteously hiring and firing people for their own good, are the yearlings, not quite ready for the big time but, for the most part, equally unsentimental.
Which, for some reason, leads me to wonder how Senator Clinton fits into the scheme of things. Is she the Heather Wilson of the Senate? Wilson, you'll remember, just managed to barely get re-elected by pretending to be a centrist Republican, even as she provides full support for the debacle in Iraq.