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George W--Hottie Flyboy? | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

George W--Hottie Flyboy?

What is it with neocon women? They'll find any opportunity to bash the upper west side. In last Friday's Wall Street Journal, former Dan Quayle speech-writer and charter member of the rightwing, antifeminist Independent Women's Forum Lisa Schiffren shared her sex fantasies:

"I had the most astonishing thought last Thursday. After a long day of hauling the kids to playdates and ballet, I turned on the news. And there was the president, landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, stepping out of a fighter jet in that amazing uniform, looking--how to put it?--really hot. Also, presidential, of course. Not to mention credible as a commander in chief. But mostly 'hot' as in virile, sexy and powerful. You don't see that a lot in my neighborhood, the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (I'm told there's more of it in the 'red' states.)"

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, where are you hanging out? Not in my neighborhood, my upper west side. Haven't you walked through Riverside Park this spring? Checked out the running paths and soccer fields? What about the basketball courts at 92nd and Amsterdam?

And Lisa, on my upper west side we like our men to be "hot" in real life, not just in photo-ops. Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey (another Upper West Sider) summed it up well when, after subjecting the photographic record of Bush's combat getup to close scrutiny, she wondered if he had stuffed "socks down the front of the jumpsuit." (My gay friend Luccio says that internet images of Bush in uniform titled "Bush's Package" are wildly popular among his friends.)

The White House's Top Gun spectacle distorted reality in all sorts of ways. Why not use the photo-op to give GOP voters like Schiffren something to fantasize about at night?

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Preemptive Strike Against Hillary

Can't the Republican Presidential Task Force come up with more imaginative ways of raising money than attacking Hillary Clinton? Last week it sent out a mass mailing seeking funds to stop any prospective Clinton presidential candidacy.

"If Republicans don't take immediate steps to counter her," writes Senator George Allen, chair of the Republican Senatorial Committee, "Senator Hillary Clinton will continue to rise unimpeded to the very pinnacle of power in Washington and we will see the dawning of a new, more liberal Clinton era."

Spare me. The specter of Hillary Clinton as Senator--and now President--may be one of the great rightwing moneymaking gambits of our time. (Also one of the most fraudulent given Hillary's longtime centrist record.) HillaryNo.com helped Rudy Giuliani, her then assumed rival for the New York Senate, haul in an unprecedented 19 million dollars in campaign contributions. Since then, scores of rightwing writers have cashed in by pillorying Hillary. Conservative publishing houses have grown fat from Hillary-bashing. Talk radio's revenues would be cut in half without the Clintons, and Hannity, Scarborough, Savage and O'Reilly could go out of business without Hillary to kick around. (Rightwing attack-journalist turned repentant whistleblower David Brock's Blinded by the Right usefully explained the machinery of the anti-Clinton propaganda machine in which he thrived for many years.)

At least retailers are no longer reporting brisk sales in nine-inch Hillary voodoo dolls or doormats bearing her likeness. And maybe someday the Presidential Task Force, whatever that is, will similiarly retire its tired pitches and find a new scapegoat to try to exploit.

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Where are the WMD?

With each passing day it appears more likely that Saddam Hussein did NOT possess usable weapons of mass destruction, and therefore did not pose an urgent threat to US, regional or international security. The UN inspectors could have been given more time to complete their job. Ironically, while Saddam rarely, if ever, cooperated fully with UN inspectors, he did let them in. The Bush Administration is currently denying them access into postwar Iraq altogether.

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