Well, 101 days into the junta and the fear mongers are having a
heyday, aren't they? Even good liberals and Democrats have joined
in the mantra. To listen to them, you'd think George W. Bush had
opened the Gates of Hell and unleashed the legions of Satan upon
the American people.
These good people actually believe Junior has put the arsenic back
in the water, given the go-ahead to spew massive carbon dioxide
emissions into the air, torn up our national forests and raped the
Alaskan wilderness. Now, don't get me wrong. There's no doubt that
this illegal squatter in the Oval Office is not to be trusted farther
than you can throw Katherine Harris. But, please, let's cut the
crap and tell the truth: George W. Bush has done little more than
continue the policies of the last eight years of the Clinton administration.
As hard as that is for many of you to swallow, that is the truth––and
the sooner you stop the scare campaign, the sooner we'll be able
to fight Bush in a way that will stop him for good.
For eight long years, the Clinton administration resisted all efforts
recommendations to reduce the carbon dioxide in the air and the arsenic
in the water. Just last October, Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle
and 17 other Democrats successfully led the way to stop any reduction
of arsenic in the water. Why? Because Clinton and the Democrats were
beholden to the very industries who had financed their campaigns––and
who were responsible for high arsenic levels. On top of that, the
Clinton administration made no demands on American automakers to produce
cars with higher fuel-efficiency standards. Millions of barrels of
oil that did not need to be refined and spewed out into our air were
How many more people will die from cancer, how much faster will
global warming be sped up thanks to Clinton and Gore being in cahoots
with Andrew Card, the top lobbyist for the Big Three auto companies
and currently the chief of staff for the man occupying the federal
land at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Am I the only one who remembers
one of the most lavish inaugural parties thrown for Clinton after
his election? The host: General Motors and Card, its man-about-town
Yes, there is a difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.
The Democrats say one thing ("Save the planet!") and then do another,
quietly and behind the scenes with all the bastards who make this
world a dirtier place. The Republicans just come right out and give
the bastards a corner office in the West Wing. In some ways, maybe
it's better we see the evil out in the open rather than covered
up in a liberal sheep's clothing that seems to fool a lot of people.
Clinton waited until the final days of his presidency to suddenly
sign a number of presidential decrees and regulations to improve
our environment and create safer working conditions. It was the
ultimate cynical move. Wait 'til the last 48 hours of your term
to finally do the right thing so that your "legacy" will be improved.
Every one of these regulations Bush has "overturned" was signed
by Clinton in December and January. That's all he did--sign worthless
pieces of paper.
Do you believe Clinton removed the arsenic from the water? Not
only did he not do that, not only did he make us drink arsenic-laced
water for the past eight years, but the order he signed stipulated
that the arsenic was not to be removed from the water until 2004.
That's right. Look it up. Clinton's big environmental do-good act
in the last minutes of his term guaranteed that we would be drinking
the same levels of arsenic we've been drinking since 1942--the last
time a real Democrat had the guts to stand up to the mining interests
and reduce the levels of this poison. The Canadians and Europeans
did it long ago. Clinton made it official that we would all be drinking
arsenic during the entire Bush administration. Maybe he was doing
us a favor.
And how about those carbon dioxide emission regulations that Bush
II overturned? Did I say "overturn"? Overturn what? All Bush did
was maintain the Clinton status quo. The list goes on. For eight
years Clinton did nothing about carpal tunnel syndrome as it relates
to OSHA regulations. Then, in
the middle of pardoning some rich guys during his all-night kegger
on January 19, he decides to finally do some good for all those
women who sit at keyboards all day and who, with their crippled
hands, went to the polls twice to make him their president.
Friends, you are being misled and hoodwinked by a bunch of professional
who did nothing themselves for eight years to clean up these messes––and
now all they can do is attack people like Ralph
Nader, who has devoted his entire life to every single one of
these issues. And they blame Nader for giving us Bush? I blame them
for being Bush!
They suck off the same corporate teat and they support stuff like
NAFTA, which, according to the Sierra
Club, has doubled the pollution along the Mexican border where
the American factories have moved. And then they wring their hands
over Bush and his "reversals." Where is Orwell when we need him?
Had Clinton done the job those of us who voted for him in 1992
expected him to do, we wouldn't be in the pickle we're in. Imagine
if on his first day in office, Clinton had ordered a reduction of
the arsenic in the drinking water--and all of America had been drinking
cleaner, safer water for the last eight years. Do you think there
is any way that Junior Bush would have been able to say, "OK, America,
you've been drinking water without poison in it long enough. Time
to go back to the good old days of sucking down that ol' arsenic!"
Hell no! The public would not have stood for it. And he'd know
that. He wouldn't even have tried it. But because Clinton waited
until the last minute and never removed any of this crud from the
water or the air, there was no political or popular support base
for the decision. Bush figured, you're not going to miss what you
never had removed in the first place.
Finally, a word about that order Bush issued to ban money for abortions
overseas. Wrong again. Pro-choice Clinton, like the three presidents
before him, had already signed an order banning any American funds
to pay for abortions in foreign countries. What Bush did was to
expand the order to include cutting off any money to foreign birth
control groups that offer abortions as an alternative. Worse, yes,
but he only got away with it because our Democratic president had
laid the groundwork in continuing the abortion funds cut-off, placing
his "liberal" approval on a piece of the right-wing agenda. If you
give the devil a bone, he doesn't just go away––he wants the whole
So spare me all the hand-wringing and indignant moralizing. Those
who want to turn Bush into some sort of cartoon monster have an
agenda--to keep most of us from seeing the beast that they themselves
have become. Of course they hate Ralph Nader. He's an ugly reminder
that they sold out a long time ago--and he didn't.
Blame Nader, blame Bush, it's all part of the same distraction,
to keep you from focusing on this one, very important fact: Republican
arsenic or Democratic arsenic, it really is the same damn crap being
forced down your throat.
Michael Moore writes forMichaelMoore.com.