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 and


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 guzzled unnecessarily.

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 in D.C.

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 "liberals"


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 damn leg.

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


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