Revealing their political opinions

Babes Against Bush doff duds, count the days

Pop Culture

January 04, 2004|By Chicago Tribune

What's the best way to critique President Bush? For Eleanor Vast-Binder and her colleagues, it's with facts, sarcasm and a whole lot of skin.

The former construction worker is an organizer of Babes Against Bush, which has put together a Web site (www.babesagainstbush.com) and pinup calendar in hopes that viewers will come for the cheesecake and stay for the political commentary about the administration and the war in Iraq.

But isn't a girlie calendar too sexist and politically incorrect for a group with a liberal agenda? Not at all, Vast-Binder says.

"Feminism comes in so many forms, and this is a form of feminism," says Vast-Binder, 25, of suburban Detroit. "We used our feminine power to have our voice heard."

And that voice proves largely devoid of mercy, as proven by a sampling of statements from the calendar month Vast-Binder represents, January 2004. For instance, on Jan. 13, the historic notation reads: "2002 -- Heroic pretzel tries to save America!" (referring to the president's difficulty swallowing a pretzel while watching a Ravens game that year). Another day refers to Attorney General John Ashcroft as a "psychotic prude." Each day also features a countdown of how many days would remain in Bush's presidency if voters hold him to one term.

Babes Against Bush has drawn notice in such media outlets as Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes, MSN-BC's Scarborough Country and Salon.com.

Vast-Binder said the babes have also received hate mail and death threats. The group remains hopeful that the calendar, which it says has sold about 2,000 copies, will spark conversations and help build momentum to oust Bush.

But if Vast-Binder is a babe against Bush, who is she a babe for?

"Right now, [John] Kerry and [Howard] Dean look promising," says Vast-Binder, who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. "I'm not going to pinpoint anybody until I have to."

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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