Now, This Is Just Mean

George W. Bush, on Jacques Chriac:

Only months after he criticized countries “like France,” President Bush was lavish in his praise of French President Jacques Chirac, one of the sharpest critics of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

“I’m looking for a good cowboy,” Bush said Monday when a French reporter asked him whether relations had improved to the point where the U.S. president would be inviting Chirac to the U.S. president’s ranch in Texas.

And the headline:

Bush Suggests Chirac Is ‘Good Cowboy’

I can’t imagine a more damaging sentence in the eyes of the French electorate.

Moral of the story: Don’t mess with GWB. He plays rough.

Advertisements

37 Responses to “Now, This Is Just Mean”

  1. Mark V. Says:

    Is it possible that “good cowboy” in this context simply means that Bush is in fact leaning toward inviting Chirac to his ranch to mend relations?

    In a French newspaper?

  2. Sailorette Says:

    Maybe it’s a nice way of saying not to feel bad if he doesn’t get invited– unless Chirac is really good at riding?

  3. rosignol Says:

    Not at all- it’s much more subtle than that.

    If GWB invites Chirac, it’ll mean Bush thinks Chirac is a ‘good cowboy’. That’s the obvious part.

    If Chirac accepts, it’ll mean Chirac agrees that he’s a ‘good cowboy’.

    Heh.

  4. Yehudit Says:

    Bush is doing the international diplomacy equivalent of shooting at their feet to make them dance.

    Heh is right.

  5. richard mcenroe Says:

    I think he’s just relishing the image of Chirac staggering across the panhandle in a Texas Blue Norther, stringing bob-wire in the snow and sleet… and finding his way back to the bunkhouse in dead of night to a bowl of cold beans and boiled coffee…

  6. Ken Says:

    I just assumed that it meant that Chirac walks funny, smells like a horse, and screws whores once per payday.

  7. Barry Dauphin Says:

    A picture of Chirac wearing a 10 gallon hat would make Parisians faint. Oh how nice.

  8. Blue Says:

    I think that Bush is looking for another butt kisser.

  9. Ric Locke Says:

    rosignol is mostly right, but it’s even more subtle than that. Bush has delivered a compliment, an insult, a sincere offer, an invitation combined with a challenge, and a really pointed zinger, all in five words.

    I don’t think I’m up to the necessary essay; it’s a cultural thing, with implications that go in all directions. But at bottom, a ranch owner needs lots of good cowboys — people who are in some sense subordinate, but whom you absolutely have to trust. Not only are they armed to the teeth, they’ll be working mostly out of sight, and their work is absolutely vital and fully capable of being screwed up. And everybody else needs them, too — “If you can’t understand him and he don’t die young, he’ll probably just ride away.”

    It would be pretty easy to focus on the “subordinate” aspect and fall in with Blue, but that just reveals ignorance of the culture. Butt kissers make really, really lousy cowboys.

    Regards,
    Ric

  10. Joe Says:

    I took this comment to be sort of a backhanded response to the way some French people have used the word “cowboy” to describe Bush. They call him a “cowboy” as sort of an insult. When he told Chirac he was looking for a good cowboy, it not only means that he’s welcoming Chirac in, but that Bush is looking for Chirac to play the game his way. In way, Bush was using the word that had been used as an insult for him, and turning it around to describe it as a positive aspect.

    Bush does need some good cowboys, because the more guys you’ve got in your posse, the easier it’s going to be to track down the cattle rustlers. Bush needs Europe in his posse, but he needs them to be ready to do what is needful, not just be a bunch of Euro-sissies.

    Or maybe I’m reading way too much into a simple comment made partly in jest.

  11. Suburbanguy Says:

    I vote with Yehudit. GWB is a lot smarter than all us smarties think he is.

  12. Alan E Brain Says:

    There’s only one word for such a barbed, multilayer zinger:

    Nuanced

    Nuanced in Spades, with Bells, Whistles, tapdancing Elephants and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

    “Bush has delivered a compliment, an insult, a sincere offer, an invitation combined with a challenge, and a really pointed zinger, all in five words.”

    As I said, Nuanced.

  13. J. Peden Says:

    A good Cowboy, a good Man, what’s the difference?

    Sorta OT:I remember one male “Journalist” doing an incisive story on the society, The Elks, and noting suggestively that The Elks had no females as official members, no “does”. Well a female elk is a “cow”. Would that have stopped the poor fellow? Would that have stopped the complaint that The Elks don’t admit Cows?

  14. Veeshir Says:

    That’s just rude. I mean, I doubt there’s anything anybody could say that would make Chirac look worse to the French.
    If Bush really wants to be rude, he could endorse Chirac in their next election.
    But that might be going too far.

  15. Patrick Says:

    But what Bush said is that he is looking for a good cowboy. He didn’t say he’d found one. Very subtle…

  16. andy Says:

    I saw another story which had the quote as “look for a new cowboy,” which might change the interpretation to something less insulting and just “Texan.”

  17. triticale Says:

    And, in case anyone missed the further nuance, the quote the Warlocke posted in italics is from a song, by a noted longhaired stoner, entitled something like “My Cowboys Have Always Been Heroes”.

  18. bov Says:

    OR…. he meant nothing.

    But it’s fun to over-analyze anyway. After all, aliens might have secretly abducted George and upgraded his motherboard, HD, CPU and RAM while no one was watching eh? You never know….

  19. Cathy Says:

    I thought the song title was “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”?

  20. Cathy Says:

    and the line goes “My heroes have always been cowboys”…….
    Ah Willie, how soon they forget.

  21. Outside The Beltway Says:

    Chirac a Good Cowboy?

    Bush, Chirac Downplay Rift, Trade Praise (Newsday)

    Only months after he criticized countries “like France,” President Bush was lavish in his praise of French President Jacques Chirac, one of the sharpest critics of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. “I’…

  22. triticale Says:

    I was listening to Willie when he had short hair; the inversion is deliberate.

  23. denise Says:

    Cathy’s right though. It’s from “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys.”

  24. Will Collier Says:

    Cathy’s right though. It’s from “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys.”

    No, it’s not. Two different songs. Trust me on this one; my dad had every 8-track Willie ever put out…

  25. Alarming News Says:

    Cowboys only.

    “I’m looking for a good cowboy.” -Bush said Monday when a French reporter asked him whether relations had improved to the point where the U.S. president would be inviting Chirac to the U.S. president’s ranch in Texas….

  26. Robert Modean Says:

    Yep, it’s willie all right, good song too.

    My heroes have always been cowboys.
    And they still are, it seems.
    Sadly, in search of, but one step in back of,
    Themselves and their slow-movin’ dreams.

  27. rocat Says:

    both good songs, but the quote is from ‘Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’.
    the line is preceded by:
    “them that don’t know him
    won’t like him,
    and them that do
    sometimes won’t know how to take him…”

    seems appropriate enough.

  28. rosignol Says:

    After all, aliens might have secretly abducted George and upgraded his motherboard, HD, CPU and RAM while no one was watching eh? You never know….

    Who would complain, so long as it’s still running the same software?

  29. Candor7 Says:

    I think the President was actually making a comment on his mission, not on Chirac. Remember that the reporter asked if he had patched things up with
    Chirac. Rather than say,”no” or ” we’ll see” or “yes”, we have this wonderful quote , one that can only come from an American Prez on the
    international scene.

    “I’m lookin’ for a good cowboy,” means: ” I am looking for an ( European) ally”
    in the war on terrorism. Bush sees himself as a cowboy.

    Do I like it ? You bet. And that cowboy has to be from France or Germany or a Nato Alliance, ready to get cow s**t on their hands!

    George Bush ain’t Pretty,
    he’s Pretty -Ugly.

    And he is right.

    The French swallowed some grit in
    1777 for us, now we are asking again
    but where is Lafayette?

    Lets hope that Chirac, who loves the Southern USA, having spent time there
    and having fallen in love there during his youth, can take the saddle with some grace and elan.

    Assayons mes cher amis!

    Yrs.

    Candor7

  30. transient fool Says:

    I thought it was:
    “Mamas, Don’t let your babies grow up to drive Chevies”. No?

  31. triticale Says:

    Cowboys, don’t let your babies grow up to be mamas…

  32. denise Says:

    Thanks, Rocat.

    Will, I know it’s two songs. My dad never had any new-fangled 8-track. We listened to our Willie (and our Waylon, and Johnny Cash, but probably more Charley Pride than anyone else) on vinyl.

    I remain confident that the following line quoted above by Ric Locke is from “Mamas, don’t let . . .”

    They’re both in 3/4 time though, so that’s probably part of the confusion.

  33. Ginny Says:

    Okay, I was in Austin in the 70’s and wasn’t sure – that’s my moment of humility. Denise is right, of course. On the other hand, you know, you all could google:

    My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.

    There’s nothing like Willie and there’s nothing like Bush and there’s nothing like Texas.

    Mommas Don’t Let Your Boys Grow Up to Be Cowboys

  34. JD Says:

    Perhaps some 80’s Synth-Pop group Boys Don’t Cry is more appropriate:

    I wanna be a cow-boy,
    and you can be my cow-grrrrlll…”

  35. Barbara Skolaut Says:

    Alan E. Brain said:

    Nuanced in Spades, with Bells, Whistles, tapdancing Elephants and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

    Are you sure you don’t mean the Norman Snabernacle choir? ;-p

  36. richard mcenroe Says:

    Chirac’s dark shame is that his favorite song is “I Wanna Be a Cowboy (but I’m too short)…”

  37. Peggy Says:

    I think the President was just deflecting the question of whether he’d invite Chirac to the ranch. In essence, his response was “When Chirac becomes a good cowboy, he’ll be invited,” knowing that Chirac simply doesn’t have it in him to do any such thing.

Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: