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Tom Grace

April 22, 2008

Travels with Uncle Chet: Bush is the reason to be bitter

COLUMBUS _ ``I am bitter,'' said Uncle Chet, at the wheel of his silver Ford Ranger, idling along a dirt road on a warm spring afternoon, looking for a real-estate sign.

``When I think how they've shipped our jobs overseas, cheapened the dollar, looted the treasury for a trumped-up war, it turns my stomach in a knot,'' he said as the narrow road curved and rose up a brush-covered hill.

He gave it a little gas.

``I can't even think about it at night or it keeps me up.'' He glanced my way. ``The bitterest part is how they're getting away with it!''

``True,'' I said.

``Cheney meets secretly with energy execs, oil begins to rise from $30 to $115 a barrel, but there's no talk of collusion.''

``There is, but it's whispered,'' I said.

``Well, I want to hear it shouted. I want to see arrests and trials and the same kind of justice they mete out when someone steals a candy bar.''

``Watch where you're going,'' I said, and he averted his eyes.

``They pretend Bush is in charge so they can blame the high price of food, gas and health care on mismanagement _ on the apparent fact the president is a nincompoop,'' said Uncle Chet. ``But he's no nincompoop and we're not being mismanaged.''

``Not sure about that.'' I rolled down my window. ``This war looks like a botched job.''

``No, it's worse than that,'' said Uncle Chet. ``The bitter truth is the war is going beautifully for some people, Bush's base, while a relative handful of Americans are killed off and the rest of us are picked clean.''

``Now, that is bitter,'' I said.

``Yes,'' said Uncle Chet. ``And anyone not bitter about the last seven years either doesn't care about this country or isn't paying attention.''

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Tom Grace

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