I Wanna Hold Your Hand
27-Apr-05. George W Bush invited Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, where the two of them strolled hand-in-hand through the bluebonnets. So far, there has been nary a peep from the Fundies.
It was quite a striking picture, really. It is, of course, the custom in many parts of the world for men to hold hands while out walking. But W and the Prince strolling with their hands clasped contrasts sharply with the cowboy — "Bring 'em on!" "Dead or alive" — image W likes to cultivate. In Texas, we suspect, cowboys keep a bit more distance from other men, unless it's to give a pat on the butt after being thrown from a bucking bronco.
This isn't the first time W has been pictured holding hands with a Saudi. The cover of Craig Unger's book has a similar picture of W, except in that one, W looks extremely uncomfortable. Perhaps since that picture was taken, W has gotten in touch with his inner-Saud.
Bush has every reason to make nice with the Saudis, despite the fact that most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. There has long been a symbiotic relationship between the Sauds and the Bushes, and right now W needs the Saudis to open the oil spigots to the max. The rising price of oil — and hence, gasoline — hasn't helped W's approval ratings.
Private accounts: W is selling, but people aren't buying
It's not looking good for W all around: Despite sixty days of faux town meetings, even more people are sceptical of W's pet proposal for privatized — er, "personal" — Social Security accounts now than when he first proposed them. The more he talks, the more people realize he's selling snake oil.
The confirmation of W's candidate to wreak havoc on the UN, John Bolton, is in trouble, even with moderate Republicans. The Koreans are harvesting more plutonium to build more bombs with, and the economy is looking shakier by the day. Oh, yes, W needs a win desperately, any win.
Here's something else to think about: Why is it that when W holds hands with a Saudi prince, there's nary a peep from the Christian right?
... brings out this:
Another picture caught my eye as well, this one of House Majority Leader Tom Delay walking on the White House lawn with W after flying back from Texas aboard Air Force One.
If Tom doesn't pay more attention to his body language, he may have another scandal on his hands.