George W. Bush Ain't No Cowboy

See how the little feller measures up to the Cowboy Code, and you tell me.

Part of a cowboy hero's work ethic is that he "always gets his man." But Bush interrupted the hunt for bin Laden to invade Iraq, where he hauled in Saddam Hussein.

8 He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits. In Bush's 2000 campaign, he said to running mate Cheney, "There's Adam Clymer, major-league asshole from The New York Times." More recently, it was rumored that after Cheney's infamous "Go fuck yourself" to Senator Pat Leahy, the born-again Christian Bush joked at a cabinet meeting, "Fuck 'em all!"

9 He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws. The apple fell far from the tree; Bush's mom is pro-choice. But, as documented by the National Organization of Women, regressive Bush policies threaten abortion rights, Title IX sports, and affirmative action. His economic policies have hurt the livelihoods and security of working women and their families. Radical-right Supreme Court appointments in his second term could make things worse for decades.

photo: Moreen Ishikawa/

Not that his attitude toward women is a surprise. In his twenties he was known as a "cuntsman," and one recollection of his days at Yale is that, according to The Guardian (U.K.), "He walked up to a matronly woman at a smart cocktail party and asked, 'So, what's sex like after 50, anyway?' "

Bush's only real black mark, as far as obeying laws, is a fine for drunken driving in Maine, but his administration is run through with corruption and insider privileges.

10 The Cowboy is a patriot. George W. Bush didn't fight in the jungles of Vietnam, nor did he fight in the streets to end that waste of lives. Instead, he used his father's connections to land a safe position in the National Guard and even then shirked his duty.

Dian Malouf, a native of "brush country" and author of Cattle Kings of Texas, is chronicling the last of the cowboys for a photo book due this winter called Seldom Heard. Like other Texans, she knows that state residency doesn't confer cowboy status.

"I'm in Midland lots, and I haven't seen a Midland cowboy yet," she says, speaking of the wealthy oil town where Bush was raised. "Bush and Cheney are not cowboys by any stretch of the imagination. Cowboys are silent types, remote but genuine, with serious integrity and caring. They are a bit rough and work hard, and they don't want to call attention to themselves the way George W. Bush kind of does. I know and admire and respect cowboys." She adds, "Wearing boots does not make someone a cowboy."

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