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Jewish World Review May 8, 2001 / 15 Iyar, 5761

James Lileks

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Consumer Reports

Republicans want poisoned water -- THE Democrats' latest ads make the usual accusations: Bush and his cabal of warty industrialists want to poison the nation's post-birth viable tissue masses, aka Our Chlildren. The ads hint that the GOP is in bed with the American Poison Association, the Death-Juice Council, and other purveyors of Mr. Yuk. Proof of their assertion: Bush declined to enforce a last-minute arsenic regulation signed by Clinton in the waning nanoseconds of his reign.

If the rules were so important, why did Clinton wait until the last minute to sign them? Hmm? The Dem response has firmed up: the studies weren't complete until the very end of his term. Clinton stood in his empty office, checking his watch while the moving van driver honked impatiently. Meanwhile, a young aide races down the corridors of the White House holding the new regulations aloft. Make way! I have life-saving last-minute particulate concentration regulation!

Tragedy strikes; her heel snaps. Desperate, she stuffs the regs in a shoe, removes her pantyhose, shoves the shoe in the hose and whips it over her head like David winding up to bean Goliath. The package flies through the door and lands at Clinton's feet. What's this? Women's pantyhose? Why, if my eight years in office have taught me anything, this means there must be an important domestic initiative somewhere in here. And so he finds and signs the regulations, just as the barbarian hordes of Bush boys swarm over the gates like a wave of chattering locusts.

It's plausible.

For all these accusations to work, you have to believe that Republicans want poisoned water. You have to believe they drink different water than everyone else. And, of course, they do. Doubt it? Switch parties. Join the GOP, and see what happens: cheerful clean-cut uniformed men show up the next day, and take you off the city water lines. They'll connect you to the special Republican water system that crosses the nation, supplying pure clean perfect water to GOP households. You can get it without Flouride, too, as a sop to the Birchers and Goldie holdovers.

And there's more! They'll also install special GOP "screens" for your windows - they'll trap airborne pollutants as small as three molecule across. You'll also have access to rich, satisfying Republican sunshine, which tans you twice as fast - just look at Bob Dole! - and you'll enjoy even-tempered Republican weather all year long. This is why Republicans don't care about pollution, or bad water, or the ozone layer, or global warming: for all practical purposes, they're not living on the same planet as the rest of the people, so they don't care at all what happens to you.

True! All true! Invite a Republican over and hand him a glass of water. Watch him avoid drinking it - sometimes they spill it, sometimes they just say "I had water earlier today, thanks anyway" - and sometimes they sneak a little sponge out of their cuff, put it in their mouth and pretend to drink. Oh, they're clever.

Well, if this isn't true, then perhaps . . . maybe . . . there's another side to this arsenic debate. Is it possible? Could it be? Well, didn't that one episode of "West Wing" seem to indicate that there were, theoretically, multiple viewpoints on a variety of matters? Could it be that the the Democrats are lying to attract members of the Stupid-American community, the people who don't know that eighteen Dem senators including Tom Daschle voted to delay the EPA's new arsenic regs by six months? That's right: Tom Daschle wanted INFANTS to drink POISON for half a year so some Beltway bureaucrats didn't have to hustle.

Tom Daschle wants to kill your kids!

Of course, he wants to do nothing of the sort. He knows that these pollution issues are just a handy club with which to beat the GOP. If an environmental reg causes 10,000 people to lose their jobs, then that's 10,000 people who need the government more. If a reg is defeated by Republicans because it'll cost jobs and do little good, then it's more proof that the GOP wants to poison everyone for money. Can't lose! Plus, Daschle is hooked up to the special Congressional grid, which has much better water than you'll ever get. That's right: it's not what's IN the water that makes politicians act so oddly. It's what isn't in the water.

A little more arsenic, and perhaps they'd act like normal folks.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


04/23/01: We bleat as we're sheared
04/10/01: Boys will be boys. And that's the problem
04/06/01: Pity the anti-American Left, they're gonna have a hard time on this one
03/26/01: You've been warned
03/16/01: The GOP's inexplicable desire to fold
02/23/01: Will the Jeb Bush administration attack Saddam in 2011?
02/09/01: In search of the the first ashtray thrown by a member of the First Family
02/06/01: Can you say 'Ayatollah Bush'?
01/24/01: The new Executive Orders
01/22/01: Hey, Dubya: Wanna save Ashcroft? Teach him to rap!
01/09/01: Bubba gets his last licks
01/05/01: The low-down on the coming recession (What those snooty economists won't tell you)
12/23/00: Memo to Dubya: Wanna show who is boss? Nuke 'em!
12/06/00: The Count of Carthage
At the Sore/Loserman Transition HQ
12/01/00: The Count of Carthage
11/28/00: Clinton knows history isn't written by the victors anymore
11/17/00: Chad's the word
11/08/00: The strangest political night
11/07/00: Get ready to return to the Dark Ages

© 2000, James Lileks