This week President George W. Bush has retreated, once again, to his dude ranch in Crawford, Texas. He likes to go there to relax by pretending to be a cowboy, though he hires a bunch of people to take care of his horses. Mostly the horses just kind of hang around there, not being used, as props. George W. Bush almost always travels by internal combustion engine – airplane, helicopter, limousine. George W. Bush is a tailpipe cowboy.
So, it’s kind of appropriate that President Bush is spending the day at his dude ranch holding top secret talks with officials from the government of Saudi Arabia. Isn’t that what most cowboys do with their spare time when they’re not out on the range, rounding up the doggies?
What I’m wondering is whether George W. Bush is meeting with the Saudi Arabians as a representative of the United States of America, or whether he’s meeting with the Saudi Arabians as a representative of Texas. See, Mr. Bush says that he’s meeting in order to discuss the high price of oil, but he never made it clear whether the meeting would aim to find a way to lower prices for American drivers, or just to say, “Wahoo! We’re making lots of money!” Given that Mr. Bush’s family fortune is all oil money, it’s kind of difficult to imagine just what he’ll be talking about at that dude ranch with the Saudis.
It is telling, however, that Mr. Bush is choosing to meet with the Saudis at his own private dude ranch, and not at the White House, or at the Camp David presidential retreat. There’s a funny mix of public and private agendas in this meeting. If this were any other President, I’d say that the American people have the right to know exactly what is being said at the meeting, but given that it’s President Bush, well, there isn’t even a pretension to open government anymore.