Saturday, January 08, 2005

Bushwacked

This book by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose is both outrageously hilarious and deeply depressing. It examines the policies of the Bush administration and how they effect everyday Americans--that is, the 99% of us who make too little to benefit appreciably from Bush's tax cuts while suffering the budgetary consequences.

As I read this book, I couldn't help thinking of friends and family who voted for Bush. Take, for example, my wife's aunt. One of the first things the administration did was to wipe out industrial ergonomic rules that were twelve years in the making (starting under Bush I). The White House press release characterized repetitive stress injuries as "an extremely broad class of injuries, whose cause is subject to considerable dispute." My wife's aunt wore a brace on her wrist for years, the result of a career in information technology. Surely she would not agree that there is "considerable dispute" about the causes of repetitive stress injuries (neither would most people). I will allow that she could have been fooled in 2000, but how could she have voted for Bush in 2004? Incidentally, she does not wear the brace anymore, having lost her job a couple of years ago. So far, she hasn't found one of those great new jobs that the administration has created.


Postscript: My wife pointed out that this aunt also thinks that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is a "maverick" because he wants to get prescription drugs from Canada. Never mind that seniors near the Canadian border have been going there for years to get their medications. And I thought the only people who considered Blagojevich's idea to be radical were those in bed with the pharmaceutical industry.

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