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Beyond Loopy

Thursday, August 12, 2004

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Written by Jim Hightower

from In These Times

Bush and Co. have made the bizarre commonplace. So common that whenever there’s another White House announcement of some action they’ve either taken or proposed, people instinctively cringe: “Oh no, here it comes again.”
Having spent the past four years crisscrossing America to uncover the real state of the union under King George the W and his rabid band of Bushites, I have come to a disturbing conclusion:

THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS!

We’re talking bullgoose-loopy, ideological freaks whose snorting rampages pose a threat to us all and to all we hold dear. It’s not that they’re a little to the right. No. They’re insane—zealots dedicated to implementing their plutocratic, autocratic, antidemocratic, militaristic, and imperialistic vision of America (and the world)—and it’s time we stopped beating around the bush about it.

Oh, I can hear you thinking, “Surely he doesn’t mean ‘loopy.’ ”

While the Bushites might be unusually robust, aggressive even, in the pursuit of their agenda, they are still within the bounds of America’s mainstream political thought … right? It’s not like they’re, you know, EXTREMISTS who would try to superimpose their own Orwellian, Strangelovian, AynRandian, Jerry Fallwellian ideology over America’s good ol’ egalitarian ideals … right? I mean, these are rational people, right?

No. They’re insane. And somebody’s got to stand up once and for all to say what the rest of us are thinking.

How crazy are they? Consider these symptoms:

Rumsfeld—scowling, barking and thrusting out his chest—sees weapons of mass destruction that are not there;

George himself constantly hears voices in his head telling him to “cut rich people’s taxes … again;”

Ashcroft lunges from place to place, frenetically searching for more ways to “protect” our freedom by (follow the bouncing logic here) throttling our freedoms;

Cheney, with that fiendish grin always slashed across his face, insists that God created Earth so oil companies would have something to plunder.

These people must be stopped and taken away to a very quiet, soothing place where they can no longer do harm. Think about it. In four short years, they have:

Heisted $1.3 trillion from our public treasury and doled it out to their richest campaign backers.
Defoliated our environmental protections.
Launched a class war not only against the poor, but against the middle class as well.
Taken a weedwhacker to our Bill of Rights.
Sought to castrate labor unions.
Turned a $240 billion budget surplus into a $520 billion debt.
Attempted to privatize everything from the Park Service to Social Security.
And hurled our nation into a maniacal, messianic, testosterone-driven global war to make the world safe for Halliburton.
Imagine what they’d be doing if they’d actually won the election! Now, imagine what they will be doing if they win this next one … or if they Supreme-Court it again.

“Unbelievable” is usually a word reserved for breathtaking circus acts or the kind of astonishing oddities found in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but it has now become the defining term for the Madness of King George the W. As I’ve crisscrossed America since the Bushites took power, person after person has come forward—mouth agape, head shaking, eyes wide—with yet another horror story of the mind-boggling arrogance and downright weirdness of this bunch. And every one of their stories is punctuated with: “Unbelievable!”

Bush & Co. have made the bizarre commonplace. So common that whenever there’s another White House announcement of some action they’ve either taken or proposed, people instinctively cringe: “Oh no, here it comes again.” What “it” is doesn’t matter, for people know it’s going to be yet another awful step backward, yet another dollop of unfathomable ideological excess—and another wallop for the rest of us.

When I say “people” cringe, I don’t merely mean yellow-dog Democrats—but also political switch-hitters, Libertarians, non-voters, none-of-the-abovers and—grab your stuffed elephant, George!—Republicans. Not only are lots of mainstream, moderate, Rockefeller Republicans appalled by Boy Bush’s wacked-out, right-wing policies, but so are many Barry Goldwater conservatives. They don’t think of the USA PATRIOT Act, profligate federal spending, unlimited war on whomever, the relentless assault on local sovereignty, the proliferation of executive secrecy, unfettered corporate welfare … et cetera, et cetera, as being “conservative.”

A middle-aged lady came up to me in a coffee shop this spring and said: “I don’t want to bother you, but I want to say that I’m a lifelong Republican who thought I was a good conservative. But I didn’t know what a lefty I must be until these people came into power. Who the hell are they?”

Nutballs, that’s who. Way beyond the fringe. And if we don’t do something come November 2, our nation will be off the deep end.

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