It's the Bushies, rather than their leader, who are the focus of "Hell of a Ride." [John Podhoretz] tells their story both in general terms and in the specific lives of unnamed figures whom he portrays in "Freeze Frames" with which his narrative is interwoven, perhaps in imitation of (or tribute to) the "Camera Eye" and "Newsreel" features employed by John Dos Passos in "U.S.A.," the apostate leftist Dos Passos having become in his dotage something of a hero to the rising right.
A Bushie is defined by Podhoretz as "someone either directly beholden to [George Herbert Walker Bush] or someone to whom Bush was directly beholden," someone who could prove himself to interviewers in the Bush job- appointments team as having "Bush experience," meaning not "general Republican experience, perhaps working on a Senate race in Idaho or something, but ... Bush experience solely."
So Bush did have a mistress after all, but they had a falling out. Though Podhoretz couches much of this seduced-and-abandoned tale in humorous terms, he leaves no doubt that he feels every bit as soiled as the poor maiden herself. Like many of his ideological bent and political loyalty, he regarded the Bush administration from its inception not as an independent entity but as an extension and entrenchment of Reaganism. When it proved to be neither - to be merely incompetent and soulless - he and his fellows took personal affront. It seems never to have occurred to them that every dog must have its day and that barking time was over for the Reaganites.
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