Opinion: Queer like W

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Online Poster

By Eric Naing

According to the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, at a summit in January, President Bush approached Scott Reid, senior adviser to the Canadian prime minister. After shaking hands with Mr. Reid, Bush remarked, “Well, you’ve got a pretty face.” Just to make sure Reid got the point, Bush repeated “You got a pretty face. You’re a good-looking guy. Better looking than my Scott anyway.” The Scott he was referring to was Scott McClellan, White House press secretary, who no doubt was seething with jealousy after learning of this.

Since then, President Bush has tried to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and has won re-election partially based on the premise that his opposition to homosexuality makes him more moral. Bush also has spent most of his presidency creating a cowboy image for himself (clearing brush at his Texas ranch, driving a pickup truck, etc). But is it possible that all Bush’s macho posing and moralizing about the evils of homosexuality stem from the fact that he is insecure about his own sexuality?

One has to wonder why a man with such a great appreciation for other men’s faces obsesses so much about homosexuality. I don’t know whether it was another example of the president’s awkward humor or if he genuinely was hitting on Scott Reid, but these incidents could raise some questions about the president’s professed heterosexuality.

As a child, Bush’s father was constantly away on business, causing little George to grow closer to his mother. He loved baseball but apparently hit poorly – some might say like a girl (possibly because of his limp wrist). Former baseball commissioner and Bush-family friend Fay Vincent even said of little George, “I used to tease him about it. I remember him striking out a lot.” At age 14, George was enrolled in a Massachusetts boarding school where he became the school’s head cheerleader. Hm … so Bush was a momma’s boy with a missing father figure, hit like a girl and became a male cheerleader at an all-boy school. Interesting …

When Bush attended Harvard Business School, he always wore his Texas Air National Guard flight jacket – not unlike the flight suit he wore on the USS Abraham Lincoln last year. It seems that our president has either a penchant for playing dress-up or a thing for men in uniform. How else can you explain the cowboy fetish?

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    Bush also was once the owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and he spent much of his time in the dugout and locker room with the players. Isn’t it strange that Bush was so eager to spend that much time with a group of athletic, sweaty men? Maybe it was their uniforms.

    Even as president, Bush hasn’t grown out of his more “feminine” tendencies. At a speech in Atlanta, Bush proclaimed “And we’ll prevail, because we’re a fabulous nation, and we’re a fabulous nation, because we’re a nation full of fabulous people.” That’s three uses of the word fabulous too many for any heterosexual male to be saying.

    Also, Bush’s love of attractive men didn’t end with Scott Reid. When discussing the economy, Bush once said to Vincent Trapani, president of USA Industries, “Here you are, a good-looking guy, wondering what you’re going to do with yourself.” And in an interview with Fox News anchor Brit Hume, Bush stopped mid-sentence and candidly told Brit “In all due respect, you’ve got a beautiful face and everything.” Please, you two, skip the formalities and get a room already.

    I can’t definitively say what President Bush’s sexual orientation is – only he knows for sure (well, maybe Cheney does too). But as a man who openly praises the looks of other men, Mr. Bush should stop trying to vilify those who do the same thing. After all, there was a cowboy in the Village People.

    Eric Naing is a junior in LAS. His column runs Wednesdays. He can be reached at [email protected].