July 10, 2002
By Paul Winkelmann
I had the misfortune of stumbling across one of those "Fair
and Balanced" signature Bush love-fests on the FAUX News Network
and I was helplessly drawn in by the utter stupidity of the
This particular show was in the middle of phone-ins from
the public and I got to hear one caller thanking God that
Gore wasn't at the helm when terrorism struck our country.
The next caller agreed (imagine that) and added that the previous
administration did nothing after the first World Trade Center
bombing or after the U.S.S. Cole was attacked. Seeing the
bobble headed hosts both nodding approvingly, as fast as their
coiled spring necks would allow, woke me from my trance and
I was able to skip to a station with more news credibility,
Although I thought I had escaped the brain-numbing side effects
of FAUX, I soon found myself interrogating Sponge-Bob
Square-Pants. "Didn't Clinton go after bin Laden with
loads of missiles?" "Wasn't he berated by the GOP for doing
so?" "Aren't most of the guys who attacked the WTC the first
time, rotting in jail as we speak?" Sponge-Bob responded by
laughing uncontrollably with salty drool dribbling from his
mouth, much like his White House intellectual counterpart,
The followers of Spongewallet-Bush Pentagon-Pants don't like
to delve too far from that Alternative History Channel Murdoch
is running so they are probably unaware of the similarities
between their own cartoonish FAUX ratings grabber in the Oval
Office and the one from Bikini Bottom. No other channel can
provide them with their daily requirement of delusional positive
reinforcement, no matter what disaster has befallen our country,
like FAUX can.
Over at FAUX, they don't have to hear how the GOP squashed
previous attempts at shutting down those offshore bank accounts
the terrorists were using to fund their horror. We couldn't
criminalize the Bahamian piggy banks because Bush's brethren
use them to patriotically avoid our country's taxes and hide
their stolen loot.
Much like their addled-brained idol Ronnie Reagan, FAUX viewers
"can't recall" recent events. Like when Clinton's administration
warned Spongewallet-Bush's that terrorism should be a high
priority, higher than say, giving the rich tax breaks or putting
the shackles to medicinal marijuana users.
It slips their minds that it was once fashionable to "support
our troops without supporting our president".
And the historical rewrite doesn't stop there.
The soaring Clinton economy? Bush has been very busy erasing
that chapter in history. Clinton's adultery? It was way, way
bigger than that silly Florida election con job. Whitewater?
Clinton's LOSS of his investment and his subsequent acquittal
of any wrong doing in the land deal is simply horrifying when
compared to the millions made by Bush pen-pal Kenny-Boy when
he ripped off Enron's stockholders and employees. They want
to write about the "travel-gate" employees who were fired?
How 'bout we jot down a few words about the people that Bush
hired at the campaign donation fueled behest of the Energy
You give me a supposed infraction that the Clinton administration
was falsely accused of and I can lay out 10 legitimate felonies
committed by the Bush crime syndicate. None of which will
make it to print when the conservatives publish their revised
It's quite amusing listening to Spongewallet-Bush's faithful
trying ever so hard to edit the past but what's even better
is their absurd attempt at creating an alternative present,
the present we would be enjoying had the ballot counting not
They keep saying how potentially bad it would have been under
Gore, but think for a moment, just how much worse off could
we have been?
Would Gore have been more deceptive about his Enron connections?
Could anyone have been more cavalier than Bush was about the
nation's biggest bankruptcy/fraud (to that date), treating
it like it was simply a supermarket scanner misreading the
price of a can of corn?
Would Gore have stood more idly by as California was raped
and pillaged by Energy Barons and then more arrogantly claimed
that the whole thing wasn't political at all?
Would Gore have more vehemently hid every minute of the meetings
with said Energy Barons, along with every other bit of paperwork
ever generated by his father, himself, and anyone who has
ever come in contact with him?
Would Gore have promised to go after "all the terrorists
and their sponsors" with more gusto than Bush did and then
more blatantly ignored the biggest Al Qaeda financiers residing
in Saudi Arabia?
Would Gore have vowed to get the head of the terrorist network
that attacked us "deader or aliver" and then quit chasing
him more vigorously than Bush did, once the Afghani pipeline
contracts were signed?
Would Gore have taken not one but two months of vacation
as he ignored every intelligence warning of an impending attack
and then had the nerve to characterize those who would like
to know why this happened, as even more unpatriotic?
Would Gore have systematically destroyed the Constitution
with a newer and more efficient shredding machine than Bush's?
Maybe Gore would have illegally imprisoned Canadians as well
as Americans, without providing evidence, charges, or even
Would Gore have watched with a tad more indifference as the
stock market plunged out of control and the nation's debt
skyrocketed and insisted more zealously on even more budget-draining
tax cuts for the rich to plug the deficit?
Would Gore have more shamelessly aided the political aspirations
of his kin by removing the threat of oil slicks from one coast
while demanding another coast accept them as a national security
Would Gore have chosen to make the terror attacks a standard
witticism at every meal instead of just at the GOP dinner
events? I suppose he could have one-upped Bush and turned
that gruesome "trifecta" joke, that Bush keeps lying about,
into a quip about a "superfecta".
Would Gore have waited for 20 corporations to get caught
cheating and stealing, instead of the dozen or so that Bush
disregarded, before he finally became "outraged" enough to
murmur his discontent? An "outrage" the SEC was loath to prosecute,
back when Bush and his brothers were indulging in corporate
thievery and daddy was a big shooter.
The unlikely scenarios go on and on and frankly, setting
aside the possibility of our planet being struck by a moon
sized, radioactive, bubonic plague-coated meteor, that was
in possession of all of our PIN numbers and the dexterity
as well as the inclination to withdraw every penny from all
of our bank accounts, I don't see how things couldn't have
been a whole lot better under Gore.
Yes, the modesty drapery covering the Statue of Justice does
go well with the marble flooring and is quite appropriate,
given the treatment Ashcroft has been giving the Rule of Law.
And I do admit to enjoying those press conferences where the
president slaughters the (English?) language because he forgot
his script. These are simple pleasures I could live without.
The "thank-God-it-wasn't-Gore" crowd does have a point though.
In an alternative present Gore would have never been able
to go after the terrorists with any measure of bi-partisan
support. Nor would Gore have been able to perform any other
necessary functions of his office.
Nope, Gore would have been dragged out of the Oval Office
15 minutes after the events of September 11th and hauled before
Congress to defend himself in a term-long impeachment trial.
GOP Senators and Representatives alike would be blanketing
themselves in the flag, invoking the patriotism they now use
to inhibit any look-see, as their reason for microscopically
and publicly examining Gore's actions, inactions, blood-sugar
level and sex life. Granted, it's possible they may have given
Gore all the way up until September 12th to catch bin Laden
before they called for his public hanging.
And what September 11th related information are the Republicans
now demanding from Bush? They want to know if Bush can supply
them with an autographed 8 x 10 of him, scurrying away from
danger, on Air Force One.
The presidential job performance polls show that, almost
to a man, every conservative in the country is as happy as
a clam with Bush. They're thrilled that Osama bin Laden is
still walking free, they're elated that the economy has gone
to hell in a hand basket, and they just can't get enough of
a president who habitually ignores pin-striped pirates pocketing
their company's bankrolls.
Who would have thought that incompetence, fiscal irresponsibility,
and corruption would be so popular?
In a few years, when our nation's children (who will, by
law, be parochially educated) read the GOP's rendition of
Spongewallet-Bush's term in office, it's gonna be nothing
but page after page of prosperity and heroism (and lots of
pictures, so the book's subject can enjoy it too), as if today's
headlines had been printed in disappearing ink. Republican
criticism won't be found at the tip of a Republican ballpoint
The intentionally forgetful have blocked out how Ronnie bloated
the national debt and how King Bush I lead us into a recession,
so too will Bush II's tenure be fondly un-remembered and dutifully
mis-recalled. J.R.R. Tolkien holds no candle to a GOP fantasy
In any properly organized library these Ann Coulter inspired
anti-histories, of a Gore presidency based on theoretical
and theatrical nonsense and of a Bush presidency based on
a purposeful suspension of reality, would be found shelved
in the science-fiction section, right next to Orwell and Nostradamus.
And for all of you super-patriots who've been thanking God
for Bush's selection, you haven't been alone. It's just that
so many of those who were praying along with you weren't thanking
Jesus, they were thanking Allah.