presents The Angry Liberal
The Angry Liberal's State of the Union Message
January 30, 2002
My fellow Americans:
As I sit before you typing this, I am struck by the power of the office of the presidency. Anyone who says that it really doesn't matter who occupies that office hasn't lived in America in the last year. After eight years of a Democratic administration, Americans allowed George W. Bush to sue his way into the White House. What a difference a year under Bush has made!
A nation, once at peace, is now at war.
An economy, once prosperous, is now in recession.
A federal budget, once in surplus, is now running deficits.
A stock market, once gripped with "irrational exuberance," is now gripped with trepidation.
A people, once filled with optimism, are now filled with fear.
I say to you today that the state of the union. . .sucks.
How is it possible that things could have gotten so bad so quickly? Simple. For the first few months of the Bush administration, America had a Republican Congress and a Republican president. Complaints from Republicans that government was worthless and inefficient fell by the wayside as all players quickly realized that Republicans could finally use our government for the purpose for which they believe it was created: The federal government could put aside the business of the people and begin the business of business. Want a law changed to allow your corporation to rape and pillage in a particular field of endeavor? Put a little something in the plate, write down what you want the legislation to do, and the Republicans will introduce it. Government has never been more efficient. Just ask Bush's biggest fan, Ken Lay. Lay, like other corporate scumbags, loves Bush for three reasons: Bush is conservative, he's not smart enough to understand public policy, and he's too disinterested to care. This man is a blank page, just waiting for the wealthy and the far right to write down their agendas. As long as the groups in question leave the cash on the night stand, anyway. Enron is in the position it's in not because of bad luck. It's in this fix because it asked Republicans (and a couple of Democrats) to change laws so that regulators couldn't keep an eye on them. Time will only tell what other businesses purchased support from Republicans, who have snuck legislation into all sorts of other bills. The $250 million payoff to Enron in the house "stimulus" package is just an example of this.
And with the across-the-board decay of America in full bloom, Bush seems to have the support of the nation. How could this be? Who saved Bush from becoming the nation's first half-term non-president? Was it the hatchet man, Karl Rove? The dominatrix Karen Hughes? Pat Buchanan's transvestite alter-ego, Bay? Nope! It was Osama bin Laden! Just as America was beginning to see what a complete loser Bush is, bin Laden shocks the nation with the dastardly 9/11 attacks. Americans, desperate for leadership in this hour of fear and tragedy, turn to Bush. I believe America's current fondness for Bush is best described by Burt Reynolds in waning moments of the film "Switching Channels" when he said the following to the governor, played by Charles Kimbrough:
"You're not much, Governor, but you're all we've got."
Bush rises to the challenge of a frightened nation. He attends strategy sessions in which I'm sure his months spent hiding in the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam paid off handsomely. He looks earnest for the cameras and reads speeches that somebody else wrote. And when presented with a well-conceived military plan to destroy the terrorist cells located in Afghanistan, he says, "Okay." For this contribution to the nation's response to the terrorist attacks, America is apparently willing to forgive Bush for the dismantling of eight years of progress. Astounding.
I have three statements to make about the "war." First, I'm glad that that the killing is mostly over and that American soldiers have emerged with very few casualties. Second, since Americans apparently have no interest in learning why bin Laden is so angry with us in the first place, we should go ahead and prepare for the next attack by the next terrorist group. Finally, and you can mark my words on this one: Bushes never go to war unless oil is involved. How long will it be before the newly installed government in Afghanistan announces a deal with a U.S. energy company to build a pipeline through Afghanistan? A month? Six months? The day after the presidential election in 2004? Place your bets, America.
As for the economy, is anybody really surprised? In the summer of 1999, Alan Greenspan, in what I absolutely believe was a cynical ploy to weaken the economy just enough to allow Republicans to cry "Recession!" during the 2000 campaign, began raising interest rates. Unfortunately, Greenspan failed to anticipate the collapse of the ".com" sector of the economy. About three weeks after the Supreme Court declared Bush president, Greenspan started dropping interest rates again. Since then, a domestic policy consisting almost entirely of borrowing money from Social Security taxpayers and giving it to rich people and businesses has created such uncertainty in the market that eleven interest rate cuts have failed to reassure anybody. And who rescued the Bush administration from shouldering the blame for the state of the economy that it so sorely deserves? You guessed it! It's Osama bin Laden! The 9/11 attacks, which certainly deserve part of the blame for the current economic problems, have become a scapegoat for all of our current domestic woes, courtesy of the Bush administration. The budget surplus wasn't given away to Bush's rich friends. Bin Laden took it. Just ask the Bush folks.
Finally, there is the future. This is what depresses me the most. We now live in a nation where I am forced to tell my son the following:
Be studious and work hard, son. If you put your mind to it you can achieve anything you want in America. Provided that a rich and well-connected kid doesn't want the same thing. In that case, he'll just take the place you've earned.
This is the nation we've become. As I write this, somewhere in America there are people who were more deserving, but did not get to attend Yale, Harvard, or the Texas Air National Guard because our president used influence to steal their rightful place. There is a more qualified person who should have acquired part of the Texas Rangers and didn't. And, by God, there is a more qualified man who should have become the 43rd President of the United States. All of these individuals are proof of the futility of working hard to achieve a goal. There isn't an American among us who shouldn't be horrified by this national disgrace, or its personification in the White House. Except for the next generation of aimless, privileged idle rich, of course. To them, I say this:
America is beginning a new era in which your ability, your qualifications, and your accomplishments are meaningless. From this day forth, there is no personal weakness, no behavior, character flaw serious enough to prevent you from reaching whatever goals you eventually decide to attain, if any. With money to cover up your past and connections to secure your future, your parents and friends will see to it that your success is guaranteed. The dawn of the Bush era is the dawn of the rule of the privileged! America finally and completely belongs to you!
(Insert the disinterested, half-hearted cheers of a few hundred bored rich kids here. . .)
you, and God Save America.
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© 2002, The Angry Liberal
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