One Hundred Days
April 28, 2001
by Bradford Shaw
It has only been a little over three months since George Bush moved into
the White House, but for a large number of people it has seemed like years
already. Contrary to the figures from a recent Washington Post poll which
shows Shrub with an approval rating in the sixties, most intelligent people
have figured out what happened in this last election, and have formed
their own opinions which will be felt in the next national election. We
were led to believe that George was a compassionate conservative with
the best interests of the country and the environment in his heart.
The last one hundred days have been very painful to the modern environmental
movement. From the beginning of the election process we were fooled by
George and his massive P.R. machine. He managed to side track the country's
impression that he was anti-environment by leading us on with the promise
of strong environmental action in the future. He promised to strengthen
emission standards, thus eliminating Al Gore's role as the candidate representing
ecological concerns. At the time, it provided an opportunity for Ralph
Nader to say, with a small degree of honesty, that both candidates were
similar in approach, and that he was the only viable alternative for environmentally
conscious voters. Bush asserted that he would be an excellent steward
of our natural resources, taking a measured and careful approach to future
Well, the first hundred days have proven that he cares more for business
than the planet. His actions regarding arsenic levels, meat inspection
for our school system, dangerous emission levels from industry, drilling
on federal wildlife reserves, and workplace safety have painted a true
picture of our unbeloved President. He has attempted to undo any positive
actions taken by the embattled Clinton administration to further protect
our delicate ecosystem.
His handlers point out that Clinton attempted to enact many environmental
policies at the end of his second term, at the last minute. History will
no doubt bear out the fact that President Clinton had his hands tied throughout
his administration by being engaged in a political battle for his position
in office. His inability to conduct the business of state due to the distraction
of daily attacks through Ken Starr's office, seems to bear out the fact
that the Supreme Court was glaringly wrong in it's ruling that the Paula
Jones suit would not affect the conduct of business from the executive
branch. The court probably knew this fact, but as the election in 2000
pointed out, the Supreme Court can be bought by whatever political party
put them in office in the first place. This is the real reason that many
environmental decisions were made at the last minute before Clinton's
tenure in the Whitehouse was over.
Another argument from the Shrub administration is that the country needs
a balanced scientific approach to environmental issues. This statement,
when translated from Bush speak, means that the country should have an
environmental policy which reflects the needs of the business community
rather than the ecological community. This policy would no doubt roll
back environmental legislation in favor of an improved bottom line for
big business. Standards and practices which insure a clean environment
for future generations will have to take a back seat to business, in that
complying with strong environmental legislation could prove costly to
the big businesses that bankrolled Shrub's campaign. They paid good money
to have him as their representative to the nation and the world, and they
have already cashed in on the investment in the form of lessened environmental
standards and workplace safety.
These core concepts of business first, people second, have made many
people in the environmental movement feel as if they have spent the last
hundred days in hell. And what does Shrub have to say about his first
hundred days? He has made the statement that his first hundred days in
office have been productive and successful. When asked about possible
failures or problems, he said the following: "My only problem so
far, is one of having other people characterize me as being anti-environment."
He then went on to list several token things that his administration had
done environmentally, in what some people have called an attempt to appease
moderate Republicans who may have been deserting him in droves over his
ecological policy. Even Robert Novak said, " If he continues these
environmental policies, he will definitely be a one term President just
like his father. His attitude in this area has driven many moderate Republicans
from his camp." One can only assume that Shrub's handlers saw Novak's
comments as a wake up call to do something to rehabilitate his shaky power
base. When this knowledge (and polling information on the subject) became
known to Shrub and his crew, several frantic days of back peddling passed
before he could come up with a few token Presidential orders that could
rehabilitate his public image.
As far as the world is concerned, the international press has been having
a field day recently, skewering Shrub for his rejection of the Kyoto agreement.
They report that most of Europe believes that Bush missed a great opportunity
to set an example for the rest of the planet in accepting the Kyoto standards.
It is often mentioned that he has a perceived intellectual capacity similar
to Dan Quayle. Now isn't that great for our international image?
The latest news is that Shrub has given the go-ahead for drilling in
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, just as he promised. We all remember
the Exxon Valdez and what an environmental disaster that was. Nothing
stated from the White House has reassured the American people that this
type of accident couldn't happen again in this delicate ecosystem. It
has been one hundred days of hell for the environment.
America, above all other nations, has been at the forefront of progress
and freedom for many decades. We have always striven to be the smartest,
fastest, cleanest, and most freedom loving people
on this earth. So, how does Shrub stack up to this standard? This concept
of leadership has mostly been one of leading by example in past years,
but the current occupant of the Oval Office doesn't seem to be able to
follow that line of thinking.
Is Shrub the smartest? Could any fair-minded citizen of this country
actually say that Shrub is the smartest person for the job that he now
holds, and keep a straight face? Well, perhaps stone-faced comedian Steven
Is he the fastest? If Shrub wanted to prove that he could get
the job done with great alacrity, he could have 1) streamlined the vote
recount process by agreeing with the Democrats to count all votes; 2)
he could have submitted the names of his cabinet appointees earlier, since
it has been reported that his staff had the names selected over a year
ago; and 3) despite his reluctance to anger the big business factions
in America who are heavily invested in the East, he could have moved with
greater speed to bring our service men and women home from China. The
only thing that Shrub has done with any celerity is to attempt to pay
back the rich fat cats who financed his campaign.
Addressing the next aspect, cleanliness, is akin to restating
the environmental attitude of the Bush administration. When correlating
cleanliness to the current environmental action of resident Bush, we find
that in his first hundred days, he has achieved what Charlie Brown would
call 'Pig Pen' status. Clearly George Bush is the dirtiest President in
terms of environmentalism in modern history.
Finally, where love-of-freedom is concerned, Shrub and his party
always have been great at talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
They talk of individual freedom, and the tiny role that government should
play in our lives. Unfortunately at the same time they have shown a history
of legislating morality: attempting to find out what's going on in your
bedroom, and trying to put a stop to it if it's too much fun. Is George
W. Bush for freedom? Apparently he's not for a woman's right to choose
what type of medical procedure might be available to her to help save
her life or livelihood. He's not for a person's right to choose what sexual
preference they may prefer if they serve in the military. He's not for
a sick person's right to choose medical marijuana as a health supplement
to avoid wasting syndrome. It appears that the only freedom that Bush
loves is the free marketplace. Again, it's all about business.
A strong case can be made that Shrub has cast a great deal of the nation
into the abyss of political hell. The plain truth of the matter is that
over half of this country voted for someone other than the intellectual
lightweight who sleeps in the Presidential bed. It is this large number
of people who must be suffering the most during these one hundred days.
I proudly count myself in these statistics, and have felt as if I was
in hell for the last three months.
With every newscast we are assailed with the smirking, clueless, somewhat
lackadaisical face of the duly selected Resident of the United States,
George W. 'Shrub' Bush. His poll numbers have been respectable, though
no intelligent person can say just why. Perhaps it is because his handlers
are doing a good job of keeping him away from the public, and out of the
public eye as much as possible. With less contact, they must have an easier
job of damage control where George's stumbling with the English language
is concerned. They have hurried him out of town on weekends, avoided photo-ops
with the returned servicemen, and kept him on a tight leash.
Still, every appearance is a painful reminder to the nation and the world
that we as Americans are partially responsible for putting this boob in
the position that he's in. I frankly thought two years ago, that the GOP
would be crazy to run such a Gomer Pyle as George. I didn't take him seriously
then, and I think that the world is having a tough time doing that now.
It is hell, fellow Democrats, every time we have to put the words "President"
and "Bush" together in a sentence.
This hell will not be eternal, such as the biblical hell. It will end,
but perhaps not soon enough. Just keep thinking of the heavenly phrase
"FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH," and look to the future. These
one hundred days of hell are just the beginning of the end. Then hell
will begin for Shrub. The hell of knowing that his own actions and lack
of intellect damned him to a single term.