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It's as if only super women can achieve what they have but once they do, they're cast in the role of handmaidens.

Well, that's why she's using the Valkyrie metaphor, I think. That's exactly what the Valkyries symbolize, women who are beyond mortal ken but still utterly subservient to Odin. Which I've always found creepy...

I agree, but I don't think that Ms. Bumiller meant the Valkyrie label to be so apt as to explain why they put up with his cruelty. It's okay for mythical people, but not so good for actual human beings. I think this column got away from her in that respect. I mean otherwise she's got a real problem - these strong, capable women are blinded by their devotion to this bully. The actual bottom line is that they aren't mythically devoted to him at all, but just political creatures who have chosen a side. That's a lot less romantic than the image Ms. Bumiller wants to use. And if I'm wrong, then at least Condi needs to get some therapy. Hughes is getting exactly the press that she wants: the devoted woman beguiled by BushCo's very self. Bar and Waura are a separate story entirely. This really is way too deep a discussion for Ms. Bumiller to have dredged up in an 800-word column that is only prepared to kiss BushCo's butt. For instance, what mythical image explains Powell's devotion to the boss who marginalizes and humiliates him at every turn? Let's have a column about how BushCo slaps Cheney for speaking out of turn. What convenient archetype is there for that relationship? Or does BushCo only treat the women who adore him this way?

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