Bush and His Women

This story, published in the GOP hack-rag of the Moonie Times, is truly worrying:

President Bush feels betrayed by several of his most senior aides and advisors and has severely restricted access to the Oval Office, administration sources say. The president's reclusiveness in the face of relentless public scrutiny of the U.S.-led war in Iraq and White House leaks regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame has become so extreme that Mr. Bush has also reduced contact with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, administration sources said on the condition of anonymity.
According to Drudge, Bush now “maintains daily contact” with only four people: first lady Laura Bush, his mother, Barbara Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes.

Is anyone else struck by what those four people have in common, beyond an evident reluctance to criticize Bush?

Essentially, Bush has reduced his inner circle of confidants to a harem of adoring women—his wife, his mother, a woman who is (one of several women) referred to as his “work-wife” and has been overheard (almost) referring to him as her husband, and a woman whose slavish devotion to him stunned even Tucker Carlson. Aside from the obvious problems for domestic and national security issues such a hermetic withdrawal causes (how, exactly, does the great war president run a war if he’s not in constant contact with the DoD?), there’s something deeply troubling about a man whose party and policies are hostile to women whittling down his inner circle to only four women, all of whom unconditionally adore him. And, more importantly perhaps, don’t challenge him. It’s the conservative movement’s concept of women writ large—faithful, unreserved, and unquestioning dedication to one’s husband/children, now extended to include one’s male employer as well.

It ought to make me pleased when I hear the president of the United States has four women as his closest advisors, considering the majority party would likely stake out an anti-suffrage position if they thought they could get away with it. But I am not pleased, because Bush isn’t seeking advice; he’s seeking solace. He’s turned the Secretary of State into a highly-paid nursemaid, and worse than that, she’s accepted the role.

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