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Warning From the Surgeon General: Don't Misunderestimate the pRhenquistident
May 17, 2001
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 at that.

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 on forever.

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 is possible.

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