Democratic Underground

One Hundred Days in Hell
April 28, 2001
by Bradford Shaw

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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.

Environmental Hell

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 environmental issues.

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.

Societal Hell

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 Wright could.

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.

Political Hell

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.

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