Readers respond to Andrew Sullivan on President Bush's "looming package of manhood."

Published May 24, 2003 8:33PM (EDT)

[Read "Idiocy of the Week," by Andrew Sullivan.]

Since Chris Matthews and Gordon Liddy, the criminal, have stated that women will vote for Bush because of the bulge in his flight suit, the formerly private parts of Bush are now a subject open for questions and answers. Why did he have an erection upon seeing all those young men aboard the carrier?

At our house we've been laughing about Bush's stuffing his flight suit with socks, à la male ballet dancers. I've been polling my girlfriends. None of us, not a single one, will vote for Bush, bulge or not. I think someone should legally seek to examine the Bush bulge. The Clinton persecution set all the precedents we need. We're entitled to know -- surely if Clinton had to have his doctor sign off on the often-sued Clinton private parts, then we Democrats should be entitled to know if Bush stuffed it or not.

Or perhaps we could just subpoena Laura and ask her. Maybe old girlfriends should be forced to testify. Or the president's parents might appear on television to insist that yes, their son is indeed hung. Maybe Rove should be asked if he suggested the stuffing. Possibly Rummy should be called in to testify. Ari will never tell the truth, that much we know. A grand jury should be convened and immediately seek to answer these pertinent questions, especially if, as Liddy giggled, all women will vote for a large bulge.

Or maybe all of this is none of our business and we should attack him on more worthwhile grounds. I personally think his bulge is as worthless as his brain. And women are far too smart to trade their civil rights and future aspirations for a roll of socks.

-- Barbara Mathieson

The column defending the benign nature of Bush's huge crotch cracked me up!

If it wasn't an issue, why did Chris Matthews and G. Gordon Liddy discuss it on television, cooing at how "the women love Bush"? In the end, we get the assertion that Bush displays an "undemonstrative" masculinity. Oh, yeah, like when he pretends he is going to beat a female reporter with a golf club? Like when he tells another reporter, "I'd hate to put this Titleist between your eyes?" Like when he talks like some John Wayne sheriff: "dead or alive," and "smoke 'em out"?

Imagine Clinton strapping himself up like that and strutting around. Imagine Clinton threatening to harm journalists who interfere with his golf game.

Oh no, Mr. Sullivan, Bush's "masculinity" -- in the worst sense -- is always on display. If it were limited to the bulging crotch, we could all sleep safer at night.

-- Jeanette Castillo

Perhaps "the notion that senior members of the Republican Party had actually contemplated shoving a sock down the commander in chief's tightie-whities" just "didn't occur" to Andrew Sullivan because the president's sexuality may be the only attribute of the man he has yet to worship in print.

-- Robert Barth

I've been grinding my teeth in annoyance over that flight suit, especially the straps, and the wide-legged stride it seemed to induce in the odious Mr. Bush. I felt like he paraded his crotch in my unwilling face. I'm sure they did quite a lot of custom fitting and alterations on the flight suit, as they had gone to a lot of trouble to put a huge embroidery of his title across the back. We've already been told of the effort made to position the carrier for the correct background shot out to sea -- no doubt the angle of the sunlight was also calculated. I've also noticed that so many of Bush's portraits are photographed from below, giving him a heroic stature as we gaze up at him.

This is all getting too disgusting. When will the little child cry out that the emperor has no clothes?

-- Lisa Majersky

Conservatives appear just as enamored of the Cock-of-the-walk's, well, cock, as do liberals. Or did you miss Gordon Liddy's rapt and wondrous paean to the president's pecker? I can't speak to what you may or may not be "internalizing," but might not Mr. Liddy's gushing admiration for the most powerful penis in the world be evidence of a particular latency? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

-- Cuyler Gibbons

Thank you, Andrew Sullivan, for drawing attention to Richard Goldstein's astute comments about our manly man president. I am stunned that you, a proud, bareback riding guy, didn't notice that Bush's appeal, gender-wise, is to country-club closet cases.

-- Nancy Richardson

If the appeal in politics is the crotch, then we might find some qualified candidates among Democrats. Lessons in French kissing at the home of Al Sharpton, anyone? <

-- Jim Hathorn

Why doesn't Andrew Sullivan ever discuss anything important? The FCC is going to deregulate our media into total homogeneity, Iraq is suffering from either "untidiness," or just plain lawlessness, and al-Qaida is back in action -- but the best Sullivan can come up with is the president's crotch?

Gee, I wonder who the real idiot of the week is.

-- P.F. Mackay

Recently many reporters and talking heads in the mainstream media have dismissed those who questioned the president's appearance in military attire in front of adoring troops (read: fans). They've said this is the only fight the opposition can pick. Why is it that the same reporters and talking heads played along when questions arose about Al Gore's claims that he created the Internet? In fact, he had a lot to do with the creation of the Internet, and yet they all made fun of him. What stops them from making fun of Bush?

-- Eli Noah

Talk about being out of touch: "It was Gore who swaggered and chest-thumped his way through the first debate; it was Gore who stuck his tongue down his wife's throat; it was Gore who had a cover photo in Rolling Stone that really did seem to emphasize his crotch. Bush is a milder, stronger sort of guy. Which is why he comes across as so eminently likable -- to both men and women."

Where to start except to say: You're kidding, right? Bush likable? This has been force-fed to the public since he started running for prez, but many, many of us see him for what he is: a spoiled, rich, irascible frat boy who smirks, swaggers and offends every time he opens his fork-tongued mouth.

Mr. Gore was the better candidate and by far the better man.

-- Kristen Sparrow

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------