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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Agenda


You look at the way this White House is feeding turds through the fan and you wonder how they can possibly expect to get away with it: pardon my coprolalia, but it seems this administration is hell-bent on spraying dookie over the world like some Brobdinagian chimpanzee after a fish taco & bourbon jag. Yet whenever anyone calls its minions on the subject, they just chortle in a hearty manner, yodel “Bwaaaah!”, and carry on regardless. Left-wing pundits are shaking their heads like schoolmarms, perspiring from a combination of schadenfreude and alprazolam. They know with certitude that the Bush gang will be going down hard, and soon, and it will be a lot of fun, and they can hardly wait. Any day now Pretty soon Only a matter of time… Waiting After all, these swines can’t get away with it, can they? I mean sure, for a while, but not forever? Here’s the bad news. They don’t have to.

In another year the damage will be done, and the reigning Straussian dung-pirates can retire from the field, high-fiving and slapping each other on the asses. A century of democratic advances will have been rolled back. They’re going to party like it’s 1899. The 20th Century will be looked upon (by the advanced race of cockroaches that must inevitably replace mankind, probably by mutual agreement) as a period during which the world, and particularly the United States, began to confront the inequity between human ideals and the human condition. Progress was spotty, but by the end of the century American women could vote and black people were lynched in court, not on the street, which is a big step up. Some safeguards against destitution and misery had been put in place. There were some vague systemic commitments to the ideas of international law, human rights, and the need for an equable distribution of opportunity to all people-Even queers and animals got the occasional break. This has all been undone. The 20th Century need never have happened.

But women still have the vote, you cry, spilling Chablis on your knitted tie. Damn you for a lubber, I reply, eyes flashing with righteous thunder and a touch of conjunctivitis. Nobody has the vote, you goddamn fool. Even white men don’t have the vote any more, unless they happen to vote the way the machine chooses to vote for them; and white men have always had the vote, one way or another. All those Reagan-era canards have come to roost: rolling back racial quotas? What the hell does that mean, except “coloreds need not apply”? And if you think the rich should get big tax cuts even if they can afford to pay more, remember those taxes pay for that thing known collectively as ‘America’- its public lands, its public infrastructure, such as schools, roads, and utilities; its military, its everything. If rich people don’t pay those taxes, you will. Rich people don’t need the American infrastructure because they have their own, and that’s what this tax cut is for. It’s libertinism at the top and libertarianism for everybody else. By strangling the entire civic infrastructure these wealthy few can keep all the blood in the head and kill off the body, according to their way of thinking. Apparently the notion of being attached to a giant rotting corpse doesn’t bother them, but why should it? Like cockroaches, they seem to thrive on decay.

A vast groundswell of disapproval is rising up across the nation and around the world such as has not been seen since (I can’t think of an amusing analogy, so feel free to just come up with your favorite one and send it to this author along with five dollars. Thank you.) This disapproval will eventually result in the overthrow of the Administration. So what? It is clear that these dacoital dacnomaniacs care nothing for the radamantine glare of posterity (unless Bush himself does, dimly hoping for a legacy while the others giggle behind his back) and so the smug certitude that they’ll be hoist by their own immense petards gets us nowhere. These guys don’t care what happens. They will lie and cheat and wage war on America and Iran and any-damn-body they please, just as long as the peanut-studded coprolith of the domestic economy stays below the fold on the front page. “State’s business,” they’ll maintain, until half of the governors are on hunger strike on the White House lawn. By then, the 2004 elections may be over, and if the Republicans get lucky and secure another four years in the canebrake with Bush, all the better. They can make the damage irreversible by making resistance against the law. If by some computer error Bush is defeated in 2004, no big deal either: the courts will be stacked, the land laid waste, and unimaginable fortunes secured for the faithful few.

I’ll say it again: the men in power in America today don’t need to be popular. They don’t need to stay in power. The fact that they have gotten this far is a near-miracle of media apathy. If they can just hang on for the rest of Gore’s term as president, they will have done the damage they set out to do, finishing the demolition of the Great Society and securing their wealth and privilege for what amounts to forever in this life. All they need is another year to complete the work. After that, let the liberals triumph as they may-they will merely have secured the sinking ship for themselves, catcalling after the plush lifeboats receding in the distance.

As for me, I’m wakerife and morne, but hope springs eternal. I don’t know how she does it what with those leg irons on, but spring she does, and so I continue to hope that rather than sit back and let Bush and his facinorous myrmidions finish their wicked work -and they are damn close to finished- the remains of the Democratic opposition will decide it’s time to get an impeachment on, instead of sniping at each other so the media has lots of tar to spread on all of them, in quotes, at election time. If not an impeachment, at least the Dems could stay on message and follow up on an issue. Any issue. Like what about the stalled investigation of 9-11? What about those WMD’s over which we invaded Iraq (or was it Iran or Syria? I get so confused.) What about Enron, or the small matter of Bush’s desertion during time of war? Anybody? Now is the time to stop them. Because these people aren’t playing to win, they’re just playing for time- and they don’t need much more of it.

BEN TRIPP is a screenwriter and cartoonist. Ben also has a lot of outrageously priced crap for sale here. If his writing starts to grate on your nerves, buy some and maybe he’ll flee to Mexico. If all else fails, he can be reached at:


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