Bush’s Winning Hand: Racial Tokens in the Administration

By Gabrielle Banks Jun 15, 2003

Enemy Agent: Viet D. Dinh


Day Job: Assistant Attorney General
Hideout: Department of Justice
Resume highlights: Senate Whitewater Committee, Georgetown University Law profesor
Accomplices: John Ashcroft, Pete Domenici, Bob Dornan, Sandra Day O’Connor
Sworn Enemies: Communists, ACLU, Hillary Clinton
Languages: Vietnamese, Legalese, Doublespeak
Missions accomplished: PATRIOT Act (Part I and The Sequel), frontlines for the domestic “War on Terror”


Overheard saying:”The attorney general said to me, ‘Viet, you need to undertake a top to bottom review of the way we do our job. When you do so, think outside the box, but never, ever outside the Constitution.’”


“My history as a refugee, as an immigrant and as an American informs each and every decision I make and each and every policy I recommend. We do this in order to protect the American dream.”


Enemy Agent: Rosario Marin


Day Job: Treasurer of the United States. The highest-ranking Latina in the Bush Administration, and first foreign-born U.S. Treasurer
Hideout: Department of the Treasury
Resume highlights: City councilwoman for Huntington Park, seven years on former California Governor Pete Wilson’s administration, unpaid volunteer for George W. Bush’s election campaign, State Council on Disabilities, AT&T public relations, once an employee in a towel factory
Accomplices: Pete Wilson, President Vicente “Cola Cola” Fox, Republican National Committee
Sworn Enemies: undocumented immigrants, bilingual ed advocates, schoolchildren who still can’t speak English
Languages: Spanish, God-Bless-American
Missions accomplished: Her signature is on billions of U.S. dollars, Hispanic Business Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential hispanics, possible Republican candidate for U.S. senator 2004


Overheard saying:”Both God and my parents were wiser than I when they saw fit to bring me to this great country where even unimaginable dreams come true.”


“In 10th grade, I was given an IQ test… A score of 100 being average, mine came back with a score of 27. My friends and even my teacher laughed at me. But I knew then that the only thing that low score represented was the fact that I did not speak English. Far from making me angry or upset, it gave me resolve. I would learn English to the best of my ability … and so I did. Three years later, I graduated from high school in the top 20 with honors.”


Enemy Agent: Dr. Roderick R. Paige


Day Job: Secretary of Education
Hideout: Department of Education
Resume highlights: Superintendent, Houston Independent School District (rated among the worst in the country for protecting gay and lesbian students), Dean of College Education at Texas Southern University
Accomplices: George W. Bush, McGraw Hill Publishing family, and corporations who got monopoly-contracts for schools: Aramark, Peoplesoft, Coca Cola, Channel One, Pepsico, Reebok, Nintendo, M&M/Mars
Sworn Enemies: Teachers unions, female athletes and Title IX supporters, LGBT community
Languages Spoken: Parental Choice, Corporate-speak, Cronyism
Missions accomplished: “Leave no (well-connected) child (or rich parent) behind,” corporatization of schools, in-roads to school voucher programs nationwide


Overheard saying:”Education is a national security issue.”


“I do believe in parental choice, and I think that parental choice is a necessary condition to effective public education.”


Enemy Agent: Colin Luther Powell


Day Job: Secretary of State
Hideout: Department of State
Resume highlights: Deployed U.S. troops to wipe out thousands of people of color, beginning with leadership in My Lai, Vietnam (1968); his support of CIA military backing to the Nicaraguan Contras; intervention in El Salvador and Honduras; and invasions of Grenada (1983), Panama (1989), Iraq (1991), Somalia (1993). Powell also served on the Board of AOL.
Accomplices: Caspar Weinberger, Frank Carlucci, Richard Armitage, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and, of course, FCC Chair (and Powell’s son) Michael Powell
Sworn Enemies: Harry Belafonte, Saddam Hussein
Languages: Yiddish (really), He Speaks So Well
Missions accomplished: Helped block Kyoto Protocol, ABM treaty, World Court, and UN Security council vote on Iraq. Also pulled off quick-n-dirty war on Iraq


Overheard saying:”Many interviewers when they come to talk to me, think they’re being progressive by not mentioning in their stories any longer that I’m black. I tell them, ‘Don’t stop now. If I shot somebody you’d mention it.’”


“You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”


Enemy Agent: Eduardo Aguirre


Day Job: Acting Director
Hideout: Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS)
Resume highlights: Appointed by good friend George W. to Board of Regents of the University of Houston; free trade pusher for Bank of America and IM Bank; named “one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the nation” by Hispanic Business Magazine
Accomplices: George W. Bush and family, Cheney, Domincan Big Business Sector
Sworn Enemies: Fidel Castro, immigrants from 25 countries ordered to special registration
Languages Spoken: Spanish, Dubya, Bigbusiness
Missions accomplished: Landing choice post in new Homeland Security Department with no experience whatsoever, swearing in soldiers posthumously


Overheard saying:”We need to raise the bar in reaching our customers and serving their needs. This kind of market-driven, results-oriented program answers the challenge put forth by President Bush in his vision for management reform.”