by Molly Ivins
already the Shrub administration is letting the good times roll.
The funsters at the Census Bureau have decided not to count several million citizens. Not only does every vote not count, but some people don't count. Since these disposable citizens tend to be poor, black, brown or children, you might think that they stand in particular need of the $185 billion worth of federal aid that is at stake in whether they are counted. But you would be wrong.
Compassionate conservatism goes only so far, and it stops well short of the happy political implications of being able to draw redistricting maps without the bother of counting more than 3 million people who pretty much tend to be Democrats. Compassion is all very well in its place, but God forbid that it should interfere with political advantage for the Republicans.
And how pleased we are to see that the House has already passed the "bankruptcy reform" act, which may well become the first big bill to be signed by President Bush.
This bill is the thanks of a grateful political class to those generous campaign contributors, the banking and credit-card industries. The bankers and credit-card companies want to make it harder for citizens to declare bankruptcy; they're going to get themselves the same footing with wives and children in seeking the assets of bankrupt fathers.
MasterCard, your wife and your children, in that order.
Of course, the reason that credit-card companies are having increasing difficulty collecting debts is because they have been pursuing a policy of pushing credit cards on those with marginal credit. So we need to bail the companies out by making life harder for every worker who loses a job.
As though this were not festive enough, we also have Shrub Gits Tuff on Foreign Policy.
I am deeply indebted to Charles Krauthammer of Time magazine for elucidating "the Bush Doctrine." He is particularly pleased that the United States is to build a national missile defense whether the Russians like it or not because he is sick and tired of the Clinton policy of showing "exquisite sensitivity" to Russia and constantly nurturing the old bear with lavish loans and so forth.
Hear him, hear him:
"In the liberal internationalist view of the world, the U.S. is merely one among many -- a stronger country, yes, but one that has to adapt itself to the will and needs of 'the international community.' That is why the Clinton administration was almost manic in pursuit of multilateral treaties -- on chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear testing, proliferation. No matter that they could not be enforced. Our very signing would show us to be a good international citizen.
"This is folly. America is no mere international citizen. It is the most dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome. Accordingly, America is in a position to re-shape norms, alter expectations and create new realities. How? By unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will."
This is great. The G. Gordon Liddy School of Foreign Policy.
Let's call the North Vietnamese and ask them if they want to go mano-a-mano for another 10 years. The world is simple: Everybody should be like us, and we should tell them all what to do. I predict it will work like a charm.
Krauthammer, the Boy Bismarck, has found the answer. We're looking at a horribly destabilized nuclear power with 5,000 warheads lying around. Let's kick it in the ribs a few times and see how it likes that.
How many times was Rome invaded by barbarians?
Meanwhile, here I am in New York City, where Mayor Rudy Giuliani is having a cow because some museum put up a picture of a naked lady in the Last Supper place of Jesus. The mayor is so upset that he wants to yank public funding for the museum and set up a League of Decency to decide whether or not naked ladies are art.
This is clearly a good idea. The mayor, who is in the middle of a messy divorce, should appoint both his wife and his girlfriend to the League of Decency to help make these decisions.
Why does this remind me of the Republicans investigating Bill Clinton to see if campaign contributions influenced his decisions?
Meanwhile, everybody in town is going to see the naked lady because this is New York and they're all art critics.
Is this a great country or what?
March 5, 2001 (http://www.monitor.net/monitor) All Rights Reserved. Contact email@example.com for permission to use in any format.
All Rights Reserved.
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