Butch, Butch Bush!
By Maureen Dowd
New York Times
Sunday 03 August 2003
Let's get it straight. The president and the pope aren't riding the new gay wave.
"I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman," said President Bush last week. "And I think we ought to codify that one way or the other. And we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that." Trying to add a tolerant note to an intolerant policy, he allowed that he was "mindful that we're all sinners."
Last time I checked, we had separation of church and state, so I don't know why the president is talking about sin, or why he is implying that gays who want to make a permanent commitment in a world full of divorce and loneliness are sinners.
If we follow Mr. Bush's logic, shouldn't we have a one-strike-and-you're-out constitutional amendment: no marriage for gays, but no second marriage for straights who prove they're not up to it?
The Vatican, always eager to erase lines between church and state, warned Catholic lawmakers it would be "gravely immoral" to vote for gay marriage or gay adoption. Such preaching seems tinny coming after revelations about the scope of homosexuality in the priesthood.
Until last week's denunciations, this had been a giddy Summer of Gays. First the Supreme Court blessing. Then Hollywood's raft of gay-themed projects, from J.Lo's lesbian turn in "Gigli" to the Bravo reality shows "Boy Meets Boy" and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
"Queer Eye," the summer makeover hit, on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, features five gay guys who swoop in to give the Cinderfella treatment to unexfoliated straight guys, while scattering catty comments about their grooming and decor, such as, "This place screams women's correctional facility."
Maybe we should pity President Bush, stranded in his 50's world of hypermasculinity as his country goes gay and metrosexual (straight men with femme tastes like facials). Even the uptight Wal-Mart stores have expanded antidiscrimination policy to protect gay employees, and Bride's magazine is offering its first feature on same-sex weddings.
Maybe the president and his swaggering circle should think about a "Queer Eye" makeover. I asked a gay political reporter friend if he could offer some tips:
On the vice president: "I'd love to see Cheney with a pierced ear and a diamond stud. Or in a body-hugging black T-shirt, just for the pure sport of it.
"He needs new eyewear. With his big face and lantern jaw, he should lose those five-pound glasses. There are some fabulous frames out there.
"About his hair, all I can offer is my sincere regrets."
On the defense secretary: "In his own sort of antediluvian way, Rummy is a metrosexual. He works. He may be a warmonger, he may be intemperate, but just about every third woman I know wants him."
When it came to the president's possibilities, he got really excited: "Cowboy boots are fine for a certain kind of saucy backyard barbecue. But wearing them as often as he does, with those big belt buckles in the shape of Texas, it seems like he's trying too hard to prove his masculinity.
"He's definitely on the right track with low-stress weight lifting, but if he really wants a physique for the ages, a little yoga would help uncoil that gunslinger hunch.
"His hair is too tightly clipped. It looks painted on. And he's a huge squinter. The corner of his eyes are starting to look lined. Botox alert!
"He needs to dip into the merciful world of cosmetic products and avail himself of some kind of lip balm or gloss that helps mask the fact that he misplaced his lips somewhere.
"In open-collar shirts, he has a tiny little island of lost chest hair. It is too low to be a shaving oversight and too high to be a peripheral outgrowth of Alec Baldwin chest mat. It's neither fish nor fowl, so he should wax it out of there.
"Everything else about him just shouts `Butch, butch, butch!' But to throw Bush a metrosexual bone, whenever you see him walking off Air Force One with that little furball Barney under his arm, that canine puff of air that most drag queens wouldn't be caught dead with, it's like he's halfway to a Chanel rabbit fur handbag.
"Bush does such a good job of seeming blissfully laid back and vacantly bubbly that he might as well go blond. It might help with California's electoral votes, too."