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Behind every Bushman, there's a Bushwoman

Review by Cindy Beringer | June 4, 2004 | Page 9

Laura Flanders, Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species. Verso, 2004, 160 pages, $22.

A SUCCESSION of tell-all books have roundly exposed the Bushmen--George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld--as masters of the art of lying. Often overlooked are the whoppers told in "kinder, gentler" voices--Bush's female appointees.

Laura Flanders' Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species lays bare deceptions that would make Goebbels blush. While Bush is busy butchering women's rights, they attempt to capture women voters by putting a "media-friendly face" on what Flanders calls "an extremist administration." These women owe their positions to affirmative action and other benefits from the women's and civil rights movements of the 1960s, a debt they repay by fighting for "freedom for corporations and liberty for Americans like themselves."

The Condoleezza Rice and Karen Hughes chapters are fascinating studies in hypocrisy. Rice is not only the first female national security advisor, but the first national security advisor to have a New York Times article begin with her choice of breakfast food and hemlines.

Hughes keeps Bush ruthlessly on message, and in her capacity as "counselor to the president"--a job created just for her--she literally serves as Bush's chief liar. Not only did Bush not say what he just said, Hughes tells the press, but he meant something entirely different.

Bush's female cabinet secretaries, as well as wife Laura and Lynn Cheney, all stand by their man by soft-peddling his true agenda and taking part in his excesses against humanity.

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