In a further demonstration that George W. Bush is driving the left further round the bend, this week’s Village Voice features a hit-piece by Erik Baard called, “ George W. Bush Ain’t No Cowboy.” In it, Mr. Baard contends that “liberals from both coasts and Europeans who derisively call Bush a ‘cowboy’ foolishly insult not Bush, but one of America’s prime ennobling myths.”

Baard then goes on to measure Bush against Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code, a sort of Ten Commandments written by the Hollywood legend for all his little buckaroos who dreamed of growing up to be ennobling myths. Given the left’s disdain for cowboys mythical and cinematic (think Ronald Reagan and John Wayne), allow me to correct some of the author’s distortions.

1.The cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take unfair advantage. Baard fires his opening shot by predictably citing the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption in Iraq and the war on terror. In case Mr. Baard and his fellow travelers hadn’t noticed, murdering Islamists have gotten off quite a few rounds over the last three decades, while Saddam Hussein scorned the broken arrow of peace extended to him after his defeat in the Gulf War; firing almost daily at coalition forces in the no-fly zones for 12 years.

2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him. Baard charges that Bush betrayed the trust of his troops by sending them into a war of “choice” – always a favorite word of liberals except when it comes to education, Social Security or the right to bear arms. Baard further alleges that he failed to arm them, then cut their pay and benefits – an almost comical accusation considering the voting record of liberal congressmen.

When it comes to defending America, this commander in chief cannot be more trustworthy or forthright, or more beloved by those who have volunteered to do the same, those who believe he made the proper “choice.” Too bad certain U.N. members couldn’t be trusted to keep their word to the starving and suffering people of Iraq.

3. He must always tell the truth. The allegation here is that Bush lied about Saddam’s regime presenting an “imminent” threat to the U.S. He never said that. He said that it represented a “gathering danger” that needed to be stopped before it became “imminent.” In fact, it was Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards who said, “I think Iraq is the most serious and imminent threat to our country.”

4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly and animals. Along with the many tired accusations on this subject, Baard tosses in a new one. Not only is Bush poisoning and starving children, denying their mothers a living wage, and imperiling pensions and drugs for the elderly, but he once blew up frogs. (I kid you not.)

This president, much to the chagrin of his conservative base, has spent more on education and Medicare than any of his predecessors. As for animals, anyone who has ever seen Barney Cam knows that it is he, and not Dick Cheney, who really runs the White House.

5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas. Summary of charges: Bush is a Christian.

6. He must help people in distress. In an incredibly odious omission, the author ignores the fact that 50 million people in distress were freed by the Bush Doctrine and instead launches into a diatribe on AIDS.

7. He must be a good worker. In an unrelated though familiar rant, the president is labeled “famously incurious,” and then has his work ethic compared to that of Bill Clinton. While Clinton did indeed spend more time in the Oval Office, one wishes that he had his particular brand of curiosity serviced less often. Bush is also disparaged for failing “to get his man.” Has Mr. Baard ever seen “The Searchers”?

8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits. In a real reach, Bush and Cheney are chided for using bad language in private, off-mike situations. No mention of Bill Clinton here.

9. He must respect women, parents and his nation’s laws. Baard saves his smarmiest attack for this one. He manages to include Bush’s DWI charge and a disgusting, unsubstantiated rumor of an obscene incident from his Yale days. He then ticks off the familiar laundry list of anti-women, conservative evils while conveniently ignoring the chains of rape and repression lifted from millions of Muslim women by the commander in chief and our troops. No mention of Clinton here either.

10. The Cowboy is a patriot. After belittling Bush’s honorable National Guard service, Baard closes with a quote by authoress Dian Malouf: “Cowboys are silent types, remote but genuine, with serious integrity and caring. They are a bit rough and work hard, and they don’t want to call attention to themselves the way George W. Bush kind of does. I know and admire and respect cowboys.” She adds, “Wearing boots does not make someone a cowboy.”

No, but filling them does.

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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