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George Bush and the Big Eraser
May 3, 2001
by Bradford Shaw

George Bush and the Big Eraser

During the past three months, we as Americans have had an opportunity to observe our new President in office, through statements and public action. Most fair-minded people would have to agree that he doesn't give the impression of being overly scholarly or intellectual in any way.

Lurking beneath the surface of his apparent ineptitude is a need to exercise the one skill honed by Bush throughout his academic career, the compulsion to erase things.

This skill, perfected after many long hours of writing down the wrong answers to quizzes and homework assignments, and then having to erase them in favor of something closer to what the instructor wanted, has left our resident in chief with what could be called an "obliteration compulsion."

This compulsion has direction, however, and has been directed at the forward thinking plans and executive orders of the Clinton administration. Bush and his staff have been zealously digging into former President Clinton's executive orders and actions in an effort to bring the country back to the aged standards and policies of past failed administrations. So far, the list of items that Shrub has planned to retrograde are: arsenic standards, workplace safety, emission standards, the Kyoto agreement, Planned Parenthood, the Cops on the Street program, RU486, the cigarette lawsuit, drilling in the Arctic National Refuge, and further exploration and exploitation of our national monuments and parks.

With every new news cycle, we are treated to devastating environmental or reproductive policy decisions by Shrub's "government by committee" administration.

As his handlers program his presidency, Shrub gleefully pulls out his "big eraser" to undo any forward thinking or progressive programs or policies thoughtfully put in place by the Clinton White House.

The President Giveth, and the Resident Taketh Away

Environmental protection has always been highly important to Democrats and Independents, as well as those in the pro-environment crowd. These three groups have always worked and sacrificed for the sake of saving something more important than money: the planet on which we live.

Unfortunately, this scenario just doesn't work in the present White House. George has emphasized again and again that his administration is built on a business model, not a governmental paradigm. This policy direction leaves little or no room for environmental protection, in that such actions are usually costly to business due to the added staffing and budgeting needed to proceed in a legal and responsible manner. His people have stated that to accept the Kyoto agreement would be unfair due to the fact that China wasn't included along with a few other nations. Well, so much for George's ability to establish The USA as the leader in environmental action for all nations.

In terms of workplace safety, emission standards, and the arsenic standard, Bush claims that these decisions were made in the last few hours of the Clinton administration. They question why these actions weren't initiated earlier in the Clinton Presidency. I'm sure they have forgotten that they were busy dogging the former President twenty four hours a day about his sex life, not allowing him any opportunity to concentrate on proposed legislation or executive action until just days before he left office. Even if he had proposed these actions earlier, logic leads us to the opinion that the Republican Congress would fight him on every issue, and that is the political truth of the matter.

Addressing the remaining ecological issues, the blame for these poorly thought-out policies has to lie at the feet of George W Bush. His recent announcement of an intention to exploit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as other national parks and monuments in an effort to find more natural resources for the nation is somewhat disingenuous to say the least. A more accurate statement would be that he needed to open up these areas for drilling in order to pay off the big oil companies who helped bankroll his run for office.

When you think about it, what else could we as Americans expect from a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate who both made their fortunes in the oil industry? George is pulling out his big eraser to wipe away any rules and regulations that might stand in the way of profit for his big-oil buddies.

He is also wiping away conservation policies held dear to the American people since Teddy Roosevelt's time. Teddy Roosevelt was a forward thinking, although somewhat hawkish President. He anticipated the future need for a National Park system, and initiated the protection and conservation of many endangered lands in the western United States. He did all of these things while maintaining his conservative nature, a behavior and attitude not yet comprehended by the Bush administration. Such a policy could not exist in the Shrub itinerary, in that it may have a negative impact on the profit line of the various big business machines that paid darned good money to have their interests asserted in the oval office. So far, this business investment has paid off many times over.

If Thine Policy Offendeth Thee, Erase It!

Other non-business policies left over from the previous President are currently being reviewed, or simply erased outright.

It's rather difficult to pinpoint exactly why President Clinton's program of increasing the number of police officers on the street is anti-business, except to point out that the funding for such a project might interfere with Shrub's attempt to give his corporate buddies a great tax cut. It would appear difficult to sell a tax cut to the American people, who are sick of deficit woes, without cutting a few federal programs.

In these times of economic austerity, all government programs will indeed need to cut the fat from the budget in order to continue to function in the light of the new tax cut. It just seems rather idiotic that society as a whole has to suffer the loss of increased police protection in order to save money to give back to the richest one percent of the country.

In addition, the decision regarding RU486 seems to be out of the realm of business, unless you figure in the need for an underclass. Big business will always need a cheap labor force in order to meet the day-to-day demands of commerce. If the labor pool was decreased as a result of the elimination of unplanned pregnancies, the pool of available workers would decrease and either labor unions might actually have a strong say in workplace safety and reasonable workplace compensation, or more undocumented foreign workers would be needed to fill the labor gap. Neither alternative would be attractive to a Republican.

Again, as with the other issues mentioned, Shrub is following a business plan. Keep the masses producing cheap unskilled labor, and the corporate coffers will fill. The current administration's attitude toward the cigarette lawsuit, however, is much more transparent. Some of the biggest contributors to the Republican effort last year were the big tobacco companies involved in the federal lawsuit pursued by Janet Reno's office. Now that John 'Ashtray' Ashcroft is the Attorney General, the suit is being under funded, to no one's great surprise. He says that the suit could go forward, but failed to ask for more money to pursue it. This action effectively killed the tobacco suit, assuring corporate funding for the GOP for many generations to come.

Mr. Ashtray tells us that the country simply can't afford this expense at this time, but were also told that 40+ million dollars is reasonable for funding an investigation into the former President's sex life. Once again, Bush pulls out his big eraser and the problem appears to go away.

The Final Erasure

From statements made throughout the first 100 days of the Republican occupation, it appears as if Shrub plans to keep erasing things that don't agree with him or his party. His pro-business, anti-environment policy is in its infancy, and more revision of past decisions are currently in the works for future deployment. He has talked openly about needed changes in our energy policy, which will allow for further exploitation of protected lands and endangered species. He has opined that an overhaul of the tax system and Social Security system are planned for enactment in the near future. He has stated his opinion that further tax cuts are needed soon, and more government waste can be eliminated. Shrub's big eraser will have lots of exercise in the next 3+ years.

The only bright side to this otherwise bleak political picture is that as good, patriotic Americans we are obliged to use the eraser ourselves. If current trends hold, it looks as if we will be using Shrub's big eraser on his mistaken Presidency. We will have an opportunity to wipe his political existence away in 2004. With one swipe of the electorate, we will get rid of the confused, misguided, and somewhat greedy occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue once and for all. This last act with Bush's big eraser will wipe the slate clean of his ill-thought-out business plan, and will truly restore dignity to the White House.

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