Saturday, July 30, 2005

Your Frist

(Posted Saturday for Sunday, so that I can take the day off.)

I was actually all set to write a few nice words about your Frist, Bush, for having the guts to stand up to you on the stem cell issue with—albeit somewhat lukewarm—support for continuing research. But then I began to read about all the other late-term (forgive the phrase, Bush--don't mean to offend your sensibilities!) activities, chief among them the latest abject capitulation to the gun lobby, and I changed my mind.

More protection for the producers and marketers of weapons of civic destruction, then. They no longer need fear being held legally responsible for their products, when used in the commission of a crime. Just what the country needed—carte blanche for these people to make and sell the implements of death: even that other corporate death-purveyor, the tobacco industry, was never afforded this kind of immunity. The bill, claimed the leading gun-rights proponent, Sen. Larry Craig, Idaho Republican, is intended "to end the abuse that is now going on in the court system of America against law-abiding American businesses when they violate no law."

To which I say, frankly, Bullshit, Bush. I’m with Sen. Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island: "This is about politics," he said: "the power of the N.R.A. to dictate legislation." Another congressional disfavor to the people they’re supposed to represent.

Oh, and then there’s that pathetic, toothless energy bill, a similar capitulation to the oil and gas industry. As I understand, the long-postponed legislative action fails significantly to address the country’s need to end—or at least decrease—its dependence on fossil fuels, or to provide the kind of support that’s needed for research into alternative power sources. Good for you and your friends in that business, maybe, Bush, but bad for the rest of us.

And then there was the Senate vote to enshrine the provisions of the misnamed Patriot Act for posterity, assuring the continuing deprivation of civil rights in favor of the monarch's (excuse me, the President’s) whim. And the absurdly acclaimed transportation bill, which seems to be nothing more than a hodge-podge of succulent pork for every politician in the country.

So, all in all, not three, not two cheers, not even one, but half a cheer for your Frist, who’s the man in charge of all this malarkey. His half-assed, timid support for a limited extension of your restrictions on available stem cells cuts little ice with me when seen in the context of the rest of this nonsense, Bush. But at least it pokes a little finger in that smug glint in your eye. Give him that.

And as for you, Bush, please tell me that you’re not about to give a free pass to your Bolton this next week. Especially after the revelation that he lied in his teeth at the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. That would be just one more fuck-you gesture to the good people of this country. The ones who, as I now fully suspect, did not elect you last November.


dennis said...

Peter, Do we detect a bit more anger in your diary. Fine with me. You have every right to be. The deafening silence of most people over this outrage is one of the eeriest things I have seen in my lifetime. Things worse than Watergate and Vietnam are going on and there's very little outcry, but lots of silent support. I guess that is how bad they want their SUVs. They want oil, so Jane Fonda is a traiter! Again.
So let your frustration rip. some people may not like it, but it will be good for your health and soul.
Frist is a bad guy. He only wants research because they cannot deny the truth of SCIENCE when it comes to their own health. How ironic it would be if Bush and Cheney would die early of something stem cell could have prevented. I love irony. denn

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