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The New "L" word...


It is going to be quite an election year.......

Brave new words
January 8, 2004
WASHINGTON - I bet President Bush is more worried about putting on weight, now that his knees hurt too much for him to run, than getting re-elected.

I bet he made a New Year's resolution to give up desserts because he's more scared of facing his "inner fat boy," as one Bush pal calls the earlier, beefier beer-drinking incarnation of W., than Howard Dean.

After all, the Democrats seem puny wandering around Iowa. And more Americans are pronouncing themselves pleased with Bush.

They like him even though Osama and al-Qaida are still lurking and frothing, even though we couldn't get through the holidays without an orange alert and planes being canceled, and even though Iraq is still a free-fire zone after a war to get rid of weapons that may not have existed.

A top Iraqi rocket scientist, Modher Sadeq-Saba Tamimi, told The Washington Post that he had hidden his designs for 9-ton missiles from U.N. inspectors, but that the weapons themselves did not exist.

Karl Rove has the '04 effort well in hand, despite the distraction of Nosy Parkers from Justice trying to out the official who outed a CIA spy.

The president and vice president have raised $130.8 million, and are showing a brutal willingness to do whatever it takes to secure key bases. The president courted Hispanics by saying he would try to extend more legal rights to illegal immigrants by offering a new temporary worker status. He courted the religious right by saying he would not try to extend more legal rights to gays by offering a new marital status.

Bush has decided to offer legitimacy only to those dispossessed groups in American society who may be politically useful to him.

The president said making illegal immigrants legal would "honor our values," while conservatives went on TV to howl that Bush was rewarding criminal behavior. The president probably figures that the Republican-led Congress will never pass it anyway, so he can get the credit in states like Florida without having to deal with the results.

Rove presumably thinks that he could actually corral California by going soft on illegal immigrants, even though Arnold Schwarzenegger won there after getting tough on illegal immigrants on the hot-button issue of whether they could have driver's licenses.

While Republican strategists argue about whether to turn some poor gay couple who got married in Vermont into Willie and Willie Horton, or just use the issue in targeted spots in bluenosed red states so the president doesn't seem bigoted, the culture is racing ahead.

Women kissing women, often as a way of turning on men, has become such a staple of entertainment that by the time Madonna and Britney did it on stage, it seemed more stale than shocking.

The Washington Post reported on Sunday that lesbian love had swept high schools here: "You can see this new trend on Friday nights outside Union Station, sweethearts from high schools around the Washington area, some locking lips ... These girls pack Ani DiFranco concerts and know Tatu lyrics by heart. Their attention is usually directed exclusively at each other, but not always: A group of girls at a private school in Northwest Washington charge boys $10 to watch the girls make out in front of them."

Long regarded as the least glamorous of all minority groups, lesbians are now cover girls.
Showtime has a vampy new program about lesbians in L.A. called "The L Word." That landed Jennifer Beals and its other sexy female stars seminude on the cover of this week's New York magazine, with the headline "Not Your Mother's Lesbians." (I didn't know my mother had lesbians.)

A cross between "Sex and the City" and a Budweiser ad, "The L Word" features women sitting around the table at a restaurant, tartly dishing about dating, grooming and getting pregnant. But with these very unflannel "lezzies," the search for "fresh meat" and "new blood" is confined to one sex, babies come through sperm-in-a-cup, the waxing discussions are even raunchier, and the weary, worldly bon mots are along the lines of "Lesbians think friendship's another word for foreplay."

It's hard to figure, but America seems ready to embrace W. and the L word at the same time. The new L word, that is.
Maureen Dowd is a New York Times columnist.