What a ridiculous story this is, full of ridiculous quotes.
CRAWFORD, Tex., Dec. 30 — On most of the 365 days he has enjoyed at his secluded ranch here, President Bush’s idea of paradise is to hop in his white Ford pickup truck in jeans and work boots, drive to a stand of cedars, and whack the trees to the ground.
If the soil is moist enough, he will light a match and burn the wood. If it is parched, as it is across Texas now, the wood will sit in piles scattered over the 1,600-acre spread until it is safe for a ranch hand to torch — or until the president can come home and do the honors himself.
Sometimes this activity is the only official news to come out of what aides call the Western White House. For five straight days since Monday, when Bush retreated to the ranch for his Christmas sojourn, a spokesman has announced that the president, in between intelligence briefings, calls to advisers and bicycling, has spent much of his day clearing brush.
There you go, folks. This is your big story from the Presidential beat, the President is out there clearing undergrowth.
You might not think that’s a bad thing. After all, he does own a ranch, undregrowth can definitely be a problem, and it’s not like he’s never, ever done anything like this before in his life. In fact, it comes as a surprise to no one who knows anything about the President that he does this, considering his upbringing. So what’s the big news?
Well, let’s look at a little bit more.
Ronald Reagan chopped wood and rode horses, Bush’s father sailed off the shore of Kennebunkport, Maine, and Bill Clinton jogged. For George W. Bush, clearing brush projects the image of a cowboy president, a tough rancher fighting the elements to survive. That is, of course, the White House’s projection; the president’s critics take a dimmer view.
Well, of course they do.
Presidential historian Robert Dallek said: “This is part of his macho image. Obviously this is nothing Bush has to do. He’s the son of a rich man who doesn’t have to spend his time cutting underbrush.”
Well, there you go. He’s a historian, so he must know what he’s talking about, right?
Except that for a historian, he doesn’t apparently know much, or at least isn’t telling you much. For instance, he completely leaves out that the President grew up in Texas and is pretty darned familiar with grunt work, since that’s what he did as a kid and a young adult. Though his parents were wealthy, they didn’t let him slack when it came to the hard work. The reason he does it now is because it was ingrained in him to do it. Lots of us recognize that and it’s why lots of folks do “crap work” they don’t have to do. Ever wonder why some folks change their own oil or tune up their own cars even though they’re pretty well off? It’s because they were raised to do that sort of thing and it stuck. Sure, the President could hire folks to take care of the underbrush but he does it because he wants to do it and because he enjoys doing it. I’m fairly sure he could care less whether you thought he was “macho” or not. His wife obviously does and I suspect that’s the only person he really wants to impress with his masculinity. People like Dalleck are, I suspect, projecting. I’d bet a good amount of money that if you gave Dalleck a chainsaw, you’d better get behind cover or lose a leg.
The article then goes on to point out that clearning underbrush is a necessity on a “real ranch” but that Bush’s ranch isn’t one of those. In fact, it lumps the President in with other “wealth city dwellers”.
Clearing brush has taken on new meaning since a rural land rush brought hordes of wealthy city dwellers to these parts to snap up a piece of ranchland for some Texas solitude. Old-time ranchers are fading out in favor of smaller hobby “ranchettes,” whose owners make money from deer hunting or wildlife retreats.
The Bushes, whose spread exceeds a ranchette in size, are in good company with celebrities Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew McConaughey, Patrick Swayze and baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. With most of their publicists vacationing this week, it could not be confirmed whether these Texas ranchers enjoy clearing brush.
While you could call Bush’s buying his ranch in 1999, “snapping up”, it’s also worth pointing out that he has never been very far from Texas and that, unlike his predecessor, he actually owned a house in his home state while he was President. This article could use a bit more of those facts and a bit less of “he’s not a real Texas guy” if the Post wants us to take it at all seriously.
In all, the Post has managed to give you yet another slanted article in a week where there were plenty of stories to keep its attention.
Category: Oh, THAT liberal media.