Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2001 on MichaelMoore.com
Why Don't We All Just Cut the Crap Right Now
by Michael Moore
days into the Junta and the fear mongers are having a heyday, aren't they?
Even good liberals and Democrats have joined in the mantra. To listen
to them, you'd think George W. Bush had opened the gates of hell and unleashed
the legions of Satan upon the American people.
These good people actually believe Junior has put the arsenic back in the water, given the go-ahead to spew massive CO2 emissions into the air, torn up our national forests, and raped the Alaskan wilderness. With all the fury that has been whipped up, I'm sure any minute we'll also hear that Baby Face Bush recently held up a 7-11 in Denver, and now plans to release bubonic plague into the atmosphere over Ohio.
Now, don't get me wrong. There's no doubt that this illegal squatter in the Oval Office is not to be trusted farther than you can throw Katherine Harris. But, please, let's cut the crap and tell the truth: George W. Bush has done little more than CONTINUE the policies of the last eight years of the Clinton/Gore administration. As hard as that is for many to swallow, that is the truth -- and the sooner you stop the scare campaign, the sooner we'll be able to fight Bush in a way that will stop him for good.
For eight long years, Clinton/Gore resisted all efforts and recommendations to reduce the carbon dioxide in the air and the arsenic in the water. Just last October, Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle and sixteen other Democrats successfully led the way to STOP any reduction of arsenic in the water. Why? Because Clinton and the Democrats were beholden to the very industries who had financed their campaigns --- and who were responsible for high levels of arsenic in the water.
On top of that, Clinton/Gore became the first administration in twenty years NOT to demand higher fuel efficiency standards from Detroit. Millions of barrels of oil that did not need to be refined and spewed out into our air were guzzled unnecessarily. It wasn't that way under Reagan. His administration ordered that cars had to get more miles per gallon. Under Bush I, the standards were made even stricter. Under Clinton -- zip. Nothing. How many more people will die from cancer, how much faster will global warming be sped up thanks to Bill and Al being in cahoots with one of their chief patrons, the top lobbyist for the Big 3 auto companies -- Mr. Andrew Card, currently the chief of staff for the man occupying the federal land at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Am I the only one who remembers one of the most lavish inaugural parties thrown for Clinton after his election? The host: General Motors and its man-about-town in DC, Andrew Card.
Yes, there is a difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democrats say one thing ("Save the planet!"), and then do another, quietly and behind the scenes with all the bastards who make this world a dirtier place. The Republicans just come right out and give the bastards a corner office in the West Wing. In some ways, maybe it's better we see the evil out in the open rather than covered up in a liberal sheep's clothing that seems to fool a lot of people.
Bill Clinton waited until the final days of his presidency to suddenly sign a number of presidential decrees and regulations to improve our environment and create safer working conditions. It was the ultimate cynical move. Wait 'til the last 48 hours of your term to finally do the right thing so that your "legacy" will be improved. Every one of these regulations Bush has "overturned" was signed by Clinton in December and January. And that's ALL he did -- sign worthless pieces of paper.
Do you believe Clinton removed the arsenic from the water? Not only did he NOT do that, not only did he make us drink arsenic-laced water for the last 8 years, this order he signed stipulated that the arsenic was not to be removed from the water "until 2004." That's right. Look it up. Clinton's big environmental do-good act in the last minutes of his term guaranteed that we would be drinking the same levels of arsenic we've been drinking since 1942 -- the last time a REAL Democrat had the guts to stand up to the mining interests and reduce the levels of this poison. The Canadians and Europeans did it long ago. Clinton made it official that we would all be drinking arsenic during the entire Bush administration. Maybe he was doing us a favor.
And how about those COO emission regulations that Bush II overturned? Did I say "overturn?" Overturn what? All Bush did was maintain the Clinton status quo. He said, in essence, that "I'm going to pollute the air at the very same levels Clinton did during his entire eight years, just as you are going to drink the same arsenic in the water under my watch as you did under Clinton's."
And, like the built-in three-year delay in his arsenic reductions, Clinton's orders on the toxic emissions in his last days specified that they were not to be totally reduced '"until 2008, per the Kyoto agreement." So, after violating the Kyoto accords he had signed by doing NOTHING about CO2 in the past few years, he then tries to look good by doing NOTHING about CO2 for another seven years! So the air that was dirty is still dirty and will remain dirty, just as Clinton had ordered.
The list goes on and on. For eight years Clinton did NOTHING about carpal tunnel syndrome as it relates to OSHA regulations. Then, in the middle of pardoning some rich guys during his all-night kegger on January 19, he decides to finally do some good for all those women who sit at keyboards all day and who, with their crippled hands, went to the polls TWICE to make him their President.
Friends, you are being misled and hoodwinked by a bunch of professional "liberals" who did NOTHING themselves for eight years to clean up these messes -- and now all they can do is attack people like Ralph Nader who has devoted his ENTIRE life to every single one of these issues. What unmitigated gall! They blame Nader for giving us Bush? I blame THEM for being Bush! They suck off the same corporate teat and they support stuff like NAFTA which, according to the Sierra Club, has DOUBLED the pollution along the Mexican border where the American factories have moved. And then they wring their hands over Bush and his "reversals!" Where is Orwell when we need him? How much slicker can the doublespeak get?
Had Clinton done the job those of us who voted for him in 1992 expected him to do, we wouldn't be in the pickle we're in. Imagine if on his first day in office over eight years ago Clinton had ordered a reduction of the arsenic in the drinking water -- and all of America had been drinking cleaner, safer water for the last eight years. Do you think there is any way in hell this Junior Bush would have been able to say, "OK, America, you've been drinking water without poison in it long enough. Time to go back to the good old days of sucking down that ol' arsenic!"? Hell no! The public -- no one -- would have stood for it. And he'd know that. He wouldn't even have tried it. But because Clinton waited to the last minute and never removed any of this crud from the water or the air, there was no political or popular support base for the decision. So it was easy for Bush to do what he did. He figured, you're not going to miss what you never had removed in the first place.
Finally, a word about that order Bush issued to ban money for abortions overseas. Wrong again. Pro-choice Clinton, like the three presidents before him, had already signed an order banning any American funds to pay for abortions in foreign countries. What Bush did was to expand the order to include cutting off any monies to foreign birth control groups that offer abortion as an alternative. Worse, yes -- but he only got away with it because our Democratic president had laid the groundwork in continuing the abortion-funds cut-off, placing his "liberal" approval on a piece of the right-wing agenda. If you give the devil a bone, he doesn't just go away -- he wants the whole damn leg.
So spare me all the hand wringing and indignant moralizing. Those who want to turn Bush into some sort of cartoon monster have an agenda -- to keep most of us from seeing the beast that they themselves have become. Of course they hate Ralph Nader. He's an ugly reminder that they sold out a long time ago -- and he didn't. Blame Nader, blame Bush, it's all part of the same distraction, to keep you from focusing on this one, very important fact: Republican arsenic or Democratic arsenic, it really is the same damn crap being forced down your throat.