High Plains GrifterThe Life and Crimes of George W. Bush
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Part One: The Ties That Blind
The mad cowboys are on the loose. Pack only what you can carry.Liberate the animals. Leave the rest behind. The looters are hot on thetrail. Only ruin stands in their wake. Not even women and children aresafe. Especially not them. Run for the hills and don't look back. Don'tever look back.So the story goes, anyway.We find ourselves living out a scene in a bad Western. A movie filmedlong after all the old plot lines have been exhausted, the grizzledcharacter actors put out to pasture, the Indians slaughtered andconfined to desert prisons, the cattle slotted into stinking feed lots, thescenic montane backdrops pulverized by strip mines. All that remainsare the guns, bulked up beyond all comprehension, and the hangmanand his gibbet. We've seen it all before. But there's no escape now.Someone's locked the exits. The film rolls on to the bitter end. Cuemusic: Toby Keith.Perhaps only the Pasolini of
could have donethis celluloid scenario justice. Or the impish Mel Brooks, who gave us
(one of the greatest films on the true nature of American politics), if you understand the narrative as comedy, which isprobably the most emetic way to embrace it. Both Pasolini and Brooksare masters of scatological cinema. And there’s a mound of bullshit todig through to get at the core of George W. Bush.Because it's all an act, of course, a put on, a dress game. And not avery convincing one at that. Start from the beginning. George W. Bushwasn't born a cowboy. He entered the world in New Haven,Connecticut, hallowed hamlet of Yale. His bloodlines include twopresidents and a US senator. The cowboy act came later, when he wasfamously re-birthed, with spurs on his boots, tea in his cup and thephilosophical tracts of Jesus of Nazareth on his night table. Bush is apure-blooded WASP, sired by a man who would later become thenation's chief spook, a man frequently called upon to clean up themesses left by apex crooks in his own political party, including his ownentanglements (and those of his sons) with the more noirish aspects of life. His grandfather was a US senator and Wall Street lawyer, whoshamelessly represented American corporations as they did businesswith the Nazi death machine. Old Prescott narrowly escaped charges of treason. But those were different times, when trading with the enemywas viewed as, at the very least, unseemly.