16 January 2003

The Sound of Tearing Hair

It seems like the Bush Adminstration takes one full week out of every month to get really busy and do a lot of work on their secret plan to drive thinking, rational people insane. And don't let anyone tell you different -- it's working!

I mean, let's put aside the whole "War-With-Iraq-But-Not-North-Korea" thing and the "Oops Where'd the Huge Deficit Come From?" thing for a moment. Those are big-picture items and they can wait for a deeper, more intellectual discussion.

I'm talking about things like Bush declaring today National Sanctity of Life Day for the second year running. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that it's also the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

I'm talking about renominating racist good-ole-boy judge Charles Pickering for the US Court of Appeals (one step below the Supreme Court). Pickering was already rejected once, but Bush thinks that now that the Republicans control everything he can slip this by. This is not exactly what I'd do when a Senator from my own party had to give up his leadership post because of racist comments and set back party efforts to hide it's inherent racism by at least 40 years. But wait, Bush isn't done yet!

He then goes on to challenge the concept of affirmative action in court. Dubya must be under the delusion that most of the black people in this country have left already, because he has really kissed the African-American vote goodbye. Maybe he thinks that blacks will only have to choose between him and Rev. Al Sharpton, in which case he might well win.

Ah, but that was yesterday. Today there's a whole new outrage -- Bush has decided that no matter how badly an incompetent doctor injures, maims or kills you, you or your survivors are only entitled to a maximum of $250,000 -- about the value of your average middle-class life insurance policy.

For a president who claims to hold life sacred, he sure found it easy to put a price tag on it, didn't he?

I have to mention Tom Tomorrow's pointed analysis of the president's rationale, which includes a long and torturous quote from the man who leads us by "strategery" that should convince anyone he's not colouring with a full box of crayons. To prove that malpractice insurance premiums are too high in some states (singling out the state of Pennsylvania), which forcing doctors to move, he tells the tale of a heartbroken physician who just can't make it in expensive, doctor-unfriendly Scranton, PA and thus is forced to leave the town he's grown up in and lived in all his life. He's moving to Hershey.


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