From the Surgeon General: Don't Misunderestimate the pRhenquistident
by Jorge Root
It's been nearly a year since I've smoked a cigarette. Sometimes
I wonder why I quit. I don't feel any better. I don't look
any better (if you want to look better, quit drinking). I
don't have any extra money because it all goes to junk food
to fight off this constant hunger which I never had before.
So it must have been that always present nasty-gram on the
side of the cigarette pack. You know, that warning from the
Surgeon General, something about how cigarettes are a health
hazard. The wording has even been changed a couple of times,
like maybe people are bored with it and new wording will get
new attention. Nice try but once you read it, there's really
not much more to get excited about, ever.
Normally I wouldn't be thinking about something as pedestrian
as a Surgeon General Warning (SGW). After all, SWG's are purely
academic and totally deprived of any practical significance.
But since I quit smoking, I find myself missing those little
buggers. It seems you can't find SWG's just anywhere. Other
than on a pack of smokes, you have to really look around.
So after noticing this shortage of SWG's, I've decided to
issue one. "Warning from the Surgeon General: Don't misunderestimate
the pRhenquistident" In all honesty, I'm not really sure what
this warning means because some of the words don't show up
in the dictionary (or anywhere else for that matter). Anyway,
being the author and feeling responsible for this mess, I
will take a stab at it's translation.
In most western civilization languages and in its simplest
terms, it says: "Don't mess with the Prez, he's ain't as stupid
as he acts". Agreeably, the accuracy of the statement is begging
for debate but that forum does not belong in this essay, so
let's concentrate on the statements' context and leave it
Much to my chagrin and to a limited extent, I have to agree
with the warning. To justify my position I offer an explanation:
Shrub is smarter than he acts but not because he is smart.
Also, he is not as stipid as he acts but not because he is
not stupid. He is somewhere in the mixture of DENSE, STUPID,
CRASS and DULL. How much each component contributes to his
personality and behaviour is unknown but let's assume his
STUPID nature is temporary and not congenital. Let's assume
his DULL nature is from shock and not chemicals. Let's assume
his DUMB nature is limited to a lack of comprehension. CRASS
has no options, it is simply wrong.
This all sounds very complicated. I can assure you it gets
worse. Let's throw in the element of luck, of which he has
had more than his fair share, the kid- gloves treatment from
the media and his obvious display of resentment which is a
classic attribute of a substance abuser (past or present)
who needs to be in a recovery program. Now it's complicated.
I could go on with more but it starts to get scary.
So that makes his warning worth taking a look at. When he
says "Don't mess with the prez" he means it. What we have
seen in the first 100+ days is not the standard "shot
over the bow" stuff. His team is firing live ammo and
the Dems are taking broadsides. To make things worse, he's
just beginning. Before it's over, shrub will make Nixon look
like a saint.
Do you remember the plumbers, the wiretaps, federal agencies
intimidating anyone in the way, the laundered money 'Sur de
la frontera' and most of all the bold and brazen nature of
operating out of the White House (Executive Building) with
all the presidents' men doing the latest dance called The
Cover-Up? Do you remember the ruined careers, the ruined individuals,
the endless dirt that was slung around? I remember it all
too well and so does much of the media.
Now, ask me again why shrub is getting hands-off treatment.
The media knows better. They fear him. They're not quite sure
to what heights the repugs will take their new found power
and they want to be on the right side if the power trip starts
to look Nixonian. Why ruin perfectly good careers? Any reasonable
person should be able to look at the unchallenged damage done
by this new administration and come up with the same conclusion.
The fix is in and they have a stack of get out of jail free
cards, allowing them to do as they please.
Geeesh, Kyoto, slaps in the face to something like 80 countries,
the North Korea blunder, the China (apology) blunder, destroying
the environment, "have a nice life" to the California energy
crunch, petrol at record prices and no answer, Ashcroft, Arsenic,
dropped-kicked by the UN (twice), threats to Social Security
and Medicare, up-yours tax cut, missile shields that don't
work (yes it truly is rocket science). All of this with no
backlash. Argggghhhh! someone please stop me or I might go
This brings me to the hard part of this essay. I don't see
an answer in sight. We may have to put up with this until,
hopefully, 2002 but possibly 2004. It looks like the Dems
have run out of gas. They appear to have no desire to butt
heads with the repugs. All talk and no action. They are splintered
among themselves, blinded by the shock of being totally humiliated
over the last six months. Obviously regrouping is out of the
question. You have to communicate with each other to accomplish
something as simple as that.
If that isn't depressing enough, here's more. My gut feeling
is smirk has no intention of running again in 2004. What would
be the point? Looks like Jeb won't be in Florida to cover
that one for him which means he loses FL, NY, CA and the Northeast
at a bare minimum. That makes for tough sledding. If that
sounds good, think again. The repug goals will be accomplished
by 2004. By then Roe will be gone, the automatic weapons ban
will be overturned, lawsuits against gun manufacturers will
be illegal, Social Security will have been siphoned off and
handed to the energy companies for higher energy prices via
a tax cut, environmental protection a thing of the past, and
the courts will be so stacked to the right that they will
have to shim the court rooms on one side so people can stand-up.
It is these slanted courts that will make it nearly impossible
to undo the damage done between 2000 and 2004. We will live
with that damage for many years. Mission accomplished.
If I am wrong and shrub does decide to run again, we need
only the threat of running that new senator from N.Y. You
can be sure shrub will head for the hills. No pun intended.
There is no way another Bush wants to be tossed by another
Clinton. That would be the height of embarassment.
In closing, remember there are reasons why Robert Reich
and others echo those words that hurt so much: "The Democratic
Party is dead". Yes the truth hurts. It need not be this way.
We must re-unite the Democratic party on a common ground.
A little compromising must be done among the fractured egos.
This is not a lot to ask for. The repugs did it and did it
successfully. It wasn't so long ago that they were splintered
to the point that I personally didn't give them any chance
of reclaiming the White House. Fast-forward to today and you
can see how wrong I was. We need to start NOW!
One more thing: if I can quit smoking, that means anything