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America in the Tank; Americans Say Bush for Intergalactic Czar
January 31, 2002
by Warren Pease

Are Americans really this stupid, or is it something in the water?

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted between Jan. 24 - 27, shows George W. Bush riding an unprecedented wave of popularity. Overall, 83 percent of Americans approve of his job performance, and two-thirds trust the GOP more than Democrats to fix the country's most pressing problems.

Although 75 percent of respondents believe the government should investigate Enron, they also apparently buy the GOP line that it's a business scandal rather than a political one. And seven in 10 seem to believe Vice President Defibrillator is hiding something and should make public the contested minutes of energy policy meetings with Enron execs and other energy heavies. But Bush gets a pass on this one, too, with more than half of respondents saying Bush Inc. acted without impropriety. Which I guess means, even though he's hiding something, he's only hiding really good things and would never, ever play fast and loose with his oath of office.

Of primary concern for the midterms: Nearly two-thirds of respondents said Bush Inc. would do a better job of dealing with major problems than congressional Democrats. Despite the country's rapid plunge to the bottom of the economic tank, 62 percent support how Bush Inc. is handling the economy. Less than half blame him for mounting deficits.

And, perhaps most incredible of all, 60 percent say they think George W. Bush understands the problems of average Americans. This may, in fact, be true, since Bush clearly understands what it's like to be an idiot. But I doubt that's what respondents had in mind. A few possibilities that may explain the numbers...

• Most Americans have been taken over by aliens, but not the smart kind. The aliens in this case are more like Beldar and the Coneheads, swilling a six-pack of Miller Lite and sprinkling Draino over week-old pizza for breakfast.

• Most Americans really like fascism, despite a token veneration for Constitutional principles, and the GOP is advancing that type of agenda - all repression, all the time. And a healthy dose of scapegoating thrown in for good measure to give us all somebody besides ourselves to blame.

• Most Americans feel comfortable with a president who's just like they are, which would go a long way toward explaining not only the current Dimbulb in Chief, but Ronald Reagan's popularity as well. As somebody wrote last week: To properly celebrate Ronald Reagan day, you sleep late, piss your pants and forget who you are.

• Most Americans really like recession and depression. They like the gritty uncertainty of living in refrigerator boxes, never knowing where your next meal is coming from, and traveling by boxcar. And thanks to the GOP's two-pronged efforts to tank the economy and obliterate the social safety net, they've played into the hands of rugged individualists everywhere who are just spoiling for a set-to with the railroad bulls.

• Most Americans never would have gotten out of elementary school without grade creep. Hell, the leader of the free world would have washed out of his fancy prep schools and Ivy League universities without a "gentleman's C," as it's called when the idiot scions of the ruling class ride their daddy's donations to a sham diploma.

• Most Americans think Jed Bartlett is president and Bush Inc. is really weird reality show. They sit around in bars across America every evening wondering why Ari hasn't been voted off the island yet. Trouble is, the cast is so full of unsympathetic characters that it's hard to like anyone. Just when you think you've found the ultimate jackass, this bald android with glasses emerges from an undisclosed location and you have to rethink your position.

• Most Americans will blame anybody named Clinton for anything for the next 350 years. There's no need for evidence, there's no need for perspective, there's no need for a timeline. There's only the need to find a Clinton to blame. There's about half a column of Clintons in the phone book where I live so there's really no end of targets.

• Most Americans are saps for bloviating propagandists who've learned to string together a series of code phrases that, on their own, don't really mean much but, when taken together, substitute a prepackaged world view for conscious thought or critical thinking.

But even with cottage cheese for brains, it's hard to simply ignore the outrages this administration has perpetrated on sanity and common sense. In the new year alone...

• One of the top dogs at Enron reportedly commits suicide just in time to avoid ratting out his former employers and presumably describing their political and financial ties to the Bush White House. Within the past several months, he had cashed out Enron stock worth more than $30M; he had bought a gun for self-defense; he had talked about employing bodyguards. Suicidal? I wish my own life were going that poorly.

• If it's really the economy, stupid, the message has yet to hit home. More than two million Americans have lost their jobs since Sept. 11, and many more prior that hideous date as the Bush recession gained steam. But, according to the polls, the consensus is something like, "Thank god that damn Clinton isn't in the White House any more."

• And they shouldn't look to Social Security to bail them out, because the Wastrel in Chief has already discovered that rich source of ready cash and is busily stealing our retirement money to finance corporate kickbacks and phony wars on terra-ism.

• The Enron stories keep piling up, along with the blighted hopes and dreams of the company's former employees whose retirement accounts have been emptied by the phony accounting promises of Enron and the generous accounting practices of its partner in crime, Arthur Andersen. And the GOP says it's just a story about a business failure, nothing to see here, move on, citizen. And god help us this should result in further government oversight, which would cripple the invisible hand of the free market and further impede the miracle of unrestrained capitalism.

• In an effort to connect with the common folk, Bush sniveled about his mother in law losing around $8,000 on Enron stock. That his mother in law is obscenely rich, that if she were to lose $800,000 it would be like most of us losing a toothbrush, that if she were to beg it would be from the back seat of a limo - these aren't discussed. On the other hand, if she were a welfare mom, her son in law would urge her to just find a man and get married, which was the substance of his bold plan to get women off the welfare rolls.

• Our religious fruitcake Attorney General spent something like $8,000 of our money to drape a couple of nude statues in the DoJ building so he doesn't have to give news conferences with a three-dimensional tit showing over his left shoulder. It apparently never occurred to him that it might be cheaper and easier to simply move the damn podium. And it definitely never occurred to him that being a puritanical bag of slug droppings isn't perhaps the most salient qualification for the nation's highest law enforcement officer.

• Also from the fruitcake file, congressional Republicans are calling for a balanced budget. This after Bush Inc. squandered the largest budget surplus in history and, to this day, is still pushing to kick back more money to its corporate donors via tax rebates and exemptions masquerading as an economic stimulus package.

• On the anti-terrorism front, the US is violating Geneva Conventions so obviously that even the Secretary of State - the only non-draft dodger in the first rank of cabinet officers - publicly broke ranks with the administration over treatment of Afghan POWs - er, "detainees." Like there's something inhumane about sticking them in dog kennels.

• The US is apparently still bombing Afghanistan, although nobody can find a target bigger than a falafel anymore. Maybe Bush Inc. simply wants to save Unocal the expense of digging a trench for the pipeline and decided to use B-52s instead. Oh, and India and Pakistan want to nuke each other, Russia is pissed at the US (again), and women are still being repressed - but they get to wear western clothing so that's at least a winner for Tommy Hilfigger et al.

• Meanwhile, the US hasn't caught anybody they were allegedly looking for. Some kid from Marin County fell into their hands, though. John Walker, the American Taliban, whose trial will be OJ II and Enron will sink slowly beneath the waves of public consciousness, never to trouble the White House again.

Bush is an hour or so away from reciting his state of the union speech as I write this. I haven't the stomach to watch or listen, but I'm sure he'll do a decent job of reading a decent speech. He'll keeping his syntactical screw-ups to a minimum. He'll spend much time ranting about evildoers and extolling the wonderfulness of American. He'll point to the gallery, stocked with New York firefighters and cops, Layd-off Enron employees, and anyone else he needs to suck up to. He'll get a standing O a minute, and even the left side of the aisle won't want to appear unpatriotic, so they'll applaud, too.

And Americans everywhere will affirm their ecstasy that, as The Onion puts it, our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.

Bush Inc.: Restoring honorarium and dignitude to Washington, one Texas millionaire at a time

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