The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

July 30, 2007

Blame goes beyond Bush

Sam Pollak

On her way to work one morning

Down the path alongside the lake

A tenderhearted woman saw a poor half-frozen snake

His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew

"Oh well," she cried, "I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you"

"Take me in oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

Unlike so many others, I don’t blame President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for screwing up the world.

Not when there are so many other people to blame for what Bush and Cheney have been allowed to get away with..

Let’s face it, Bush and Cheney are what they are: incompetent, arrogant bumblers who have gotten a lot of good people killed, limited personal liberty, amassed incredible national debt and squandered American prestige around the planet.

But it’s not really their fault. "The fault," as Shakespeare’s Cassius told Brutus, "is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

Let’s start out with all those wonderful liberals who voted for Ralph Nader instead of Al Gore in the 2000 election.

Told by Nader that there wasn’t any difference between the two major-party candidates, the Nader voters wanted to "send a message" to the Republicans and Democrats.

I have no idea just what that message was supposed to be, but it cost Gore the election and meant that Bush was able to appoint two Supreme Court justices who will one day be in the vanguard of overturning Roe v. Wade and taking apart Brown v. Board of Education.

Millions of women will wake up one day and be shocked _ absolutely shocked _ to discover that control of their own bodies is being determined by politicians, mostly men. Poor women, especially, will be subject to back-alley, coat-hanger abortions.

Some message that was.

She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk

And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk

Now she hurried home from work that night; as soon as she arrived

She found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived

"Take me in, oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

I also blame former President Bill Clinton, whose reprehensible sexual misconduct was a reason a lot of people voted against Gore.

Gore, of course, has to take his share of responsibility because he ran such a lousy campaign. It’s not easy to lose an election in a time of peace and prosperity, but somehow Gore managed it.

And then there’s John Kerry, who allowed Bush’s and Karl Rove’s evil Swift Boat crazies to besmirch Kerry’s courageous war record and get away with it in the 2004 election.

Now she clutched him to her bosom, "You’re so beautiful," she cried

"But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died"

Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight

But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite

"Take me in, oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

Elections aside, there are still plenty of folks to blame for the horrid Bush-Cheney regime.

Many of them are in Congress.

Let’s start out with what was a Republican-dominated House and Senate that for six years put party politics ahead of what was best for the country.

Congress rubber-stamped whatever Bush wanted, including chipping away at the power of the legislature to be an equal branch of our government.

Most egregious of all, there was no effective oversight of the conflict in Iraq.

The Democrats were no-less craven. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, for example, voted to give Bush the power to invade Iraq. In both cases, remaining politically viable appears to be their main reason.

With Bush’s approval ratings now in the low 30s in most polls, the Democrats are brave. Where were they when those ratings were in the 70s and 80s?

"I saved you," cried that woman

"And you’ve bit me even, why?

You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die"

"Oh shut up, silly woman," said the reptile with a grin

"You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in

"Take me in, oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman," sighed the snake

With a nod of appreciation to Al Wilson and his snake song from the 1960s, Americans should have known better about Bush and Cheney, if not in 2000, then certainly in 2004.

A University of Maryland poll in 2004 found that 75 percent of Bush’s voters wrongly believed that Iraq gave al-Qaida "substantial support" or was directly involved in 9/11.

A survey just last month found that 40 percent of all Americans believe Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks.

What happens when people ignore the character of their politicians or just don’t pay attention?

Bush and Cheney happen ... sighed the snake.


Sam Pollak is editor of The Daily Star. He can be reached at or at (607) 432-1000, ext. 208.