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Bush's Basket - Why the President Had to Show His....(Read it before its deleted!)
Village Voice ^ | May 21 - 27, 2003 | Richard Goldstein

Posted on 05/20/2003 11:26:24 AM PDT by dead

In the annals of infotainment, few moments match the sight of George Bush leaping from the cockpit of a fighter jet and striding across the deck of a carrier at sea. Top Gun: The Pseudo Event enchanted the public, horrified liberals, and galvanized the press. Suddenly media mavens noticed that Bush's handlers have elevated the photo-op to pure cinema. So what else is new?

Actually there was something novel about this occasion, but it passed utterly below the radar. Discretion prevented anyone from mentioning that Bush's outfit gave him a very vivid basket. This was the first a time a president literally showed his balls. Check it out—your subconscious already has.

This manly exhibition was no accident. The media team that timed Bush's appearance to catch just the right tone of sunlight must have chosen that uniform and had him try it on. I can't prove they gave him a sock job, but clearly they thought long and hard about the crotch shot. As students of the cinematic, they would know that the trick is to make the bulge seem natural, so it registers without raising an issue. Tight jeans (a staple of Bush's dress-down attire) can achieve this look, but nothing works like fighter-pilot drag, with its straps that frame and shape the groin. Most people presume this effect is merely functional. That frees the imagination to work, and work it does, in men and women alike.

Say what you will about the male body being objectified. We may expect a dude to display himself like an Abercrombie & Fitch model—but the president? Clearly Bush's handlers want to leave the impression that he's not just courageous and competent but hung. Why is this message important to send? That's a very salient question, if only because it's unlikely to be addressed.

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Among modern presidents, Kennedy projected the studliest aura (though the sexual evidence was closely held at the time). Yet, in an era of body-hugging menswear, JFK wore loose-fitting suits. Clinton was perhaps the ultimate rogue in chief, but he shrank from showing his body—he wouldn't have dared. Cartoonists alluded to Clinton's libido by giving him a large bulbous nose, which became his emblem. Look at the face cartoonists have given Bush: The ears are outsized while the nose is modest. Big ears are not exactly phallic signifiers; if anything, they connote a state of permanent childhood, à la Mickey Mouse. In caricature Bush looks like a perplexed piker. There's a reason he once drew the ultimate Texas dis: "All hat and no beef." This sissifying contempt still lingers under the hoopla about Bush's prowess.

9-11 scared America into solidarity, but if people perceive the Republican agenda as an equal threat, their doubts about Dubya's manhood will resurface. They will notice his reliance on strong-willed advisers, his association with a patriarchal father, and even his diminutive size. Karl Rove's rangers must be aware of this possibility since they've crafted an image to counter Bush's macho problem. His public affect—the narrowed eyes, the locked-and-loaded look—is calculated to annul his liabilities, present and past. Imagine what the Republicans would make of a Democrat who was a cheerleader in prep school, who wrangled his way into Yale on family connections, and who weaseled out of active duty. Clinton was butch-baited for less.

Bush could easily have lived up to his home-state nickname, Shrub—and in the early hours of 9-11, he did. But rehabilitation is the master narrative of Bush's presidency. This party animal turned commander is Prince Hal to his own Falstaff.

Overcoming is a powerful American theme; hence the proliferation of log cabins and front porches in the iconography of presidents, even some who grew up in splendor. Bush may be a master of populist pretense, but he can't claim to be self-made. His saga rests on his quest to be a man. The real triumph of Bush's media team is not a matter of lighting and positioning but of creating a presidential persona that radiates stead-fastness, plainspokenness, sexual continence, and righteous religiosity. These are the hallmarks of conservative macho.

But something about Bush's image seems as artificially enhanced as his crotch. His need to flaunt it can be read as a response to anxiety. If you have to show your balls, maybe it's because you can't take them for granted. That isn't just Bush's problem. If macho seems so tragicomically x-treme these days, it's because many men think masculinity could actually disappear.

All men must cope with the complications of feminism. I would argue that the demand for sexual equality is a major reason for the global rise of fundamentalism. Bush owes his fortune to this movement in America, but his appeal goes far beyond the Christian right. He represents a model that invites female initiative and counsel but not control. This is the Dred Scott compromise of our time, and it's evident in Bush's administration as well as in his marriage to an intelligent woman who knows how to stay three steps behind her husband. But Bush also embodies the primal uncertainty many men feel in the face of sexual change. This angst, which threatens to pop up like a sour belch, solidifies his bond with threatened men. They identify with his struggle to carry off the feat of macho, and many women empathize with that effort. A lot of people root for Bush to make it as a man, and they're happy to see his big basket.

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If America remains preoccupied with terrorism, the sexual politics I'm describing will affect the 2004 election only obliquely. But if voters focus on other things, the macho issue could be as crucial as it was in 2000, when Al Gore was wussified. Rove's rangers have already begun bashing the Democratic candidate most likely to make Bush look like all cake and no beef: John Kerry.

First they questioned his patriotism, then they accused him of looking French, and now they're landing on his wife, casting her as a hyper-Hillary. Teresa Heinz Kerry's outspokenness, her devotion to her dead former husband, her current prenup, and her vow to maim any man who steps out on her are all being used to portray her as a ball-breaking bitch and John Kerry as her emasculated victim. So powerful is this harridan image that it actually allows the Bushies to bash Teresa for her wealth. If she doesn't finance Kerry's campaign, she's dissing him; if she does, he's a kept man.

Kerry isn't the front-runner, yet the White House has singled him out for sexual calumny. To understand this fixation, you have to consider Kerry's stat-ure (he towers over Bush), his war record, and his sloe-eyed Kennedy aura. In another era, these would be clear signals of masculinity. Today, you have to flash your stash, and Kerry's patrician style doesn't lend itself to that. But he does have those tales from 'Nam, and in a one-on-one he could expose the angst under Bush's aggression. If the economy tanks while Iraq seethes, we just might have a real contest.

Fasten your crotch straps. With luck, we're in for a bumpy ride.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: algorelostgetoverit; antiamerican; antibush; bigmedia; boooorrrringg; bushbashing; cheeseandwhine; clymer; goingcrazy; kneepadbrigade; liberalwhine; looneyleft; lovedclintonswars; mediabias; navyone; penilenvy; putsomeiceonthat; richardgoldstein; ssnnnnggngngggzzzz; waawaaaa; yaaawwwwnnnnn
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Of all the inane and screechingly hysterical articles that have been published, I'm nominating this one for some sort of award.

I sit here in awe.

1 posted on 05/20/2003 11:26:24 AM PDT by dead
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To: dead
Yawn for the ridiculous article.
2 posted on 05/20/2003 11:28:45 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: dighton
This guy must be Mark Morford's soulmate.
3 posted on 05/20/2003 11:29:12 AM PDT by Constitution Day (This just in: I could really care less who wins American Idol.)
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To: dead
I am sitting here laughing my butt off!!! Only the Village voice could be soo obsessed with a man's crotch!
4 posted on 05/20/2003 11:29:13 AM PDT by areafiftyone (The U.N. needs a good Flush!)
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To: dead; sauropod; ricpic; TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
"President Package" ping...
5 posted on 05/20/2003 11:29:50 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: dead
I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and say that this author is gay. And I only read the first two paragraphs.
6 posted on 05/20/2003 11:30:11 AM PDT by AmishDude
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To: dead
I sense a rather severe case of a certain type of Freudian envy in the author.

Yes, I realize that the name indicates a male wrote this pile, but I'm still betting on the envy angle.
7 posted on 05/20/2003 11:31:09 AM PDT by Golan Trevize
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To: areafiftyone
Didn't Rolling Stone have a cover picture of Gore that showed the world that he is male? And, in response the women on "The View" went wild talking about his "package"!
8 posted on 05/20/2003 11:31:40 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: dead
At least this article comes right out and says it. Maxine Waters wasn't ranting about the "custom-fitted flightsuit" because of class-envy.
9 posted on 05/20/2003 11:31:53 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: dead
The one ya' really need to have if you don't have it. That's why you need it. Well, if you get hurt and miss work, it won't hurt to miss work. And they give ya' cash, which is just as good as money.
10 posted on 05/20/2003 11:31:59 AM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: dead
I am laughing so hard. The author forgot Clinton's official photo with the photographer lying on the ground to get a good shot of his "basket". And remember Gore's hiked up casual pants to show his "basket" in the election?
11 posted on 05/20/2003 11:31:59 AM PDT by Conservababe
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To: dead
Talk about too much time of your hands.......YIKES!
12 posted on 05/20/2003 11:32:10 AM PDT by apackof2 (If posted my comment would look like this)
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To: dead
I can't prove they gave him a sock job,

But I can prove they gave a sock job to OwlBore if someone will just post the pic of him on the cover of (Rolling Stone, I think) with his "enhanced package". I'm still ROTFLMCO. The Dems are frantic!

13 posted on 05/20/2003 11:32:24 AM PDT by Free State Four
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To: dead
I'm nominating this one for some sort of award.

How about the "Sock Job" award!! LOL

14 posted on 05/20/2003 11:32:25 AM PDT by freedomlover
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To: dead
Someone posted something by this homo harpy a few weeks ago. He is obsessed with genitalia, apparently, and thinks the rest of us are as well.



15 posted on 05/20/2003 11:32:34 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Beware the Rodham Fedayeen!)
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To: dead
Clinton's balls were in Hillary's pants suit.
16 posted on 05/20/2003 11:32:38 AM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Yah, but Gore's package had been painted in.

He'd have looked like Baby Huey in the flight suit.
17 posted on 05/20/2003 11:33:04 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: dead
Same issue as with the New York Times; when you have fairies recruiting only other fairies, this is the kind of stuff you get.
18 posted on 05/20/2003 11:33:11 AM PDT by Tacis
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To: Constitution Day
This guy must be Mark Morford's soulmate

I was thinking bedmate.... But I certainly was reminded of Miss Morford when I read this.

19 posted on 05/20/2003 11:33:14 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: MEG33
Yawn for the ridiculous article.

The article may be a yawn, but now we have an excuse to post more of the photos of our Commander in Chief. Woohoo! Someone with better posting skills will have to oblige, but the call is out there...

20 posted on 05/20/2003 11:33:15 AM PDT by myprecious
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To: VRWC_minion
I know, I know. Call on me...

Bush is really the first black president.

21 posted on 05/20/2003 11:33:49 AM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: dead


Say what they will they can't undo the image of President Bush on that deck... I know its an image burned in my mind .... another 'Never Forget' moment ;-)
22 posted on 05/20/2003 11:34:01 AM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: dead
You are not dead, you are Michael Moore. Now confess, tell the truth.
23 posted on 05/20/2003 11:34:07 AM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: Bigg Red
Bet he loves the Ballet.
24 posted on 05/20/2003 11:34:57 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: hellinahandcart
And the idea that a flight suit is tight in the crotch for purposes of photo op is ludicrous in its ignorance.

Oh, well, anything to bring Bush down to the level of, say, Al Gore.

25 posted on 05/20/2003 11:35:24 AM PDT by AmishDude
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
the women on "The View"

Only women like those and pansies like the one that wrote this article devote any time to looking at men's crotches.
26 posted on 05/20/2003 11:35:44 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Beware the Rodham Fedayeen!)
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To: VRWC_minion
Clinton's balls were in Hillary's pants suit.

Bwahahahahahhahha

27 posted on 05/20/2003 11:35:52 AM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: r9etb
Hell, maybe it's also his bedmate.

I wonder if the author goes by "Richard", or "Dick"?

28 posted on 05/20/2003 11:36:25 AM PDT by Constitution Day (This just in: I could really care less who wins American Idol.)
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To: dead

29 posted on 05/20/2003 11:36:46 AM PDT by SerpentDove (Each post focus-group tested for maximum wallop.)
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To: VRWC_minion
Bush is really the first black president.

It's Twue, it's twue!!!

30 posted on 05/20/2003 11:36:53 AM PDT by freedomlover
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To: VRWC_minion
Clinton's balls were in Hillary's pants suit.

Are you sure you did not get that in reverse?

31 posted on 05/20/2003 11:37:26 AM PDT by myprecious
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To: SouthernFreebird
Bush is really the first black president

ROTFL.... OMG your on a roll today

32 posted on 05/20/2003 11:37:43 AM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: dead
Goldstein is so gay that the only way to appease him would be to give him one of GWB's saddles to sniff. His crotch obsession is more overboard than usual. Reference articles: Google search.
33 posted on 05/20/2003 11:38:30 AM PDT by xJones
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To: AmishDude; Constitution Day; dead
"... You're one of the film world's most arrogant queens. I mean not just homosexual or gay or anything, I mean you are a raving queen. ... I mean, a real screamer, a real "Whoops! Get out! Don't mind me dear!" limp-wristed caricature."

34 posted on 05/20/2003 11:38:40 AM PDT by dighton
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To: freedomlover
LMAO! "Baby, I am NOT from Havana!"
35 posted on 05/20/2003 11:38:49 AM PDT by Constitution Day (This just in: I could really care less who wins American Idol.)
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To: dead
Why would this thread be deleted?
36 posted on 05/20/2003 11:39:19 AM PDT by tuna_battle_slight_return
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To: rintense; Howlin
Ladies, have at it...
37 posted on 05/20/2003 11:39:20 AM PDT by stands2reason
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To: dead
Clinton was perhaps the ultimate rogue in chief, but he shrank from showing his body—he wouldn't have dared. Cartoonists alluded to Clinton's libido by giving him a large bulbous nose...

@ points:
Who would have looked at Clinton's tub of lard?
Cartoonists gave Clinton a large bulbous nose because that's what he has (The better to snort coke with, my dear).
38 posted on 05/20/2003 11:40:01 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Beware the Rodham Fedayeen!)
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To: dead
This Richard(Dick?) Goldstein person seems to have an unnatural fascination with another man's private parts.

Why would anybody print this sh*t?

Ick.
39 posted on 05/20/2003 11:40:26 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: hellinahandcart
They don't have XXXL Flight suits--They haul you in the back with the cargo.....
40 posted on 05/20/2003 11:40:44 AM PDT by richardtavor (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem in the name of the G-d of Jacob)
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To: hellinahandcart
Mine's bigger...
41 posted on 05/20/2003 11:41:41 AM PDT by sauropod ("Hearse" News National Correspondent)
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To: AmishDude
And he just goes on and on about it. Basket-crotch-balls-bulge-hung-stash-BIG basket. Anyone who didn't notice before is going to be looking now.
42 posted on 05/20/2003 11:41:56 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: dead
"Lincoln, Navy One, 12,500 pounds, I have the balls..."
43 posted on 05/20/2003 11:41:59 AM PDT by RichInOC ("Navy One, roger balls.")
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To: dead
It figures he'd list JFK as the studliest of presidents. lol - hilarious article.
44 posted on 05/20/2003 11:42:10 AM PDT by Frapster (Angel of Thread Death)
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To: dead; hellinahandcart; Mia T; Registered; KLT; countrydummy
"Cartoonists alluded to Clinton's libido by giving him a large bulbous nose, which became his emblem."

Actually, a "large bulbous nose" is emblematic of alcoholism.

45 posted on 05/20/2003 11:43:27 AM PDT by sauropod ("Hearse" News National Correspondent)
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To: xsmommy
This idiotic article is from the Village voice, figures
46 posted on 05/20/2003 11:43:41 AM PDT by NeoCaveman
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To: hellinahandcart
http://www.leoslyrics.com/listlyrics.php?id=82259
47 posted on 05/20/2003 11:43:42 AM PDT by William McKinley (Our differences are politics. Our agreements are principles.)
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To: sauropod
Stop that now, you're going to give Dick Goldstein palpitations.
48 posted on 05/20/2003 11:44:00 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: dead
The President of the United States of America flies onto a carrier deck, exits the aircraft to universal adulation from the service personnel and then visits with the service personnel on the carrier deck with a rapport that no recent President has enjoyed.

And the entire time this author was doing nothing but checking out the President's crotch?

I'm surprised this fellow didn't mention the President's shoe size and the length of his fingers.

49 posted on 05/20/2003 11:44:22 AM PDT by Ghengis
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To: All

50 posted on 05/20/2003 11:44:36 AM PDT by dead
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