Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 04.30.03


In Bush We Trust

Okay, according to the latest polls President Bush has a 70 percent approval rating. Where was this poll conducted? Kenneth Lay's billiard room perhaps? Maybe it was part of the intake procedure at Bellevue clinic in New York.

"Well, Mr. Pollster, four of my personalities think George is doing a great job but there's one that thinks he sucks."

"E-E-Excellent, that's 80 percent approval. Nice jacket, sleeves are a little long though"

I can understand how you voters didn't get it when Ronald Reagan handed out gobs of money to the rich. I mean he was a big matinee idol, he starred opposite Bozo the chimp, so how could he do something that would hurt the economy?

Well, the only thing that trickled down from Reagan's corporate welfare plan was poverty and a large deficit.

Clinton and Bush Sr. cleaned it up and got the economy humming again. Now Junior Bush wants to do the same thing that Ronnie got away with.

What is it that you non-millionaire Republicans don't understand about this? How many times does your wallet have to get raped and thrown in a ditch before you get it? If Bush pulled into your home town perched on the foredeck of a Viking longship, then roared into your home with a gang of fat guys in Armani suits wearing horned helmets, cleaned out all of your valuables, fondled the dog and left, would you get it then?

Do you need a colorful picture? A sculpture? A brain transplant?

On the social front we have the Republican third-in-command Senator Rick Santorum of Connecticut spouting the GOP views on homosexuality. His comments come as the Texas Supreme Court is wrestling with the idea that consenting adults should not be prosecuted for activities that go on in the privacy of their homes.

Next on the agenda for Texans will be the question of lynching -- grand tradition or a crime? Rick took this opportunity to compare homosexuality with incest, polygamy, and adultery.

Do you think Mr. Santorum and all the other homophobes protesteth too much? Did Rick have some disturbing non-heterosexual tingles when he saw "Top Gun" with Tom Cruise and all those other hunky pilots? Maybe he and Trent Lott could get together and inaugurate a new same-sex, same-race club for Republicans. Oh never mind, why have two Augusta Nationals? <> Now let's turn to the Bush plan for universal spirituality. There's a lot of heathens out there, a lot of papists, atheists, and the like. You have to wonder what a kid learns in public school these days. Not to worry though, public schools won't be around much longer, most of them are just a rat-chewed wire away from a burning pile of rubble.

If you've been wondering whether the U.S. is heading for a theocratic state, here's a resolution that will confirm some suspicions. It's a quaint little resolution that apparently codifies religious fundamentalism in the US. This resolution recently passed the US House by an overwhelming majority of 346-49. Get ready for a day of prayer, fasting, and humility…

In times of crisis, the resolution explains, the nation needs "to acknowledge the overruling Providence of God" and "humble itself before God in repentance for its national sins."

The official line is that prayer, fasting, and humility will produce "unity and solidarity." But perhaps the most ominous idea is that the government should be selecting a day to "recognize our own faults and shortcomings and submit to the wisdom and love of God in order that we may have guidance and strength in those daily actions and decisions we must take."

Didn't see that one coming did you? Why the large Congressional majority? Well look at it this way: if you are against the war you must be a traitor, if you are against this holy resolution you must be a devil worshipper. Not many of them get elected except for Paul Wellstone and God showed him, right?

This has to be the administration's way of showing solidarity with all of those religious fundamentalist states that we have been having such trouble with. We seem to be dealing with our diverse population in much the same way that Iran and Syria does, so why not have a national religion where only, say, Baptist clerics can run for public office.

Then we can use our franchise to vote on the real issues like when will they put Microsoft in charge of the IRS or which Republican leader has the best comb-over.

My question is: what is wrong with you 30 percenters? Why haven't you embraced Brother George and his flock? Are you atheists, communists, or perhaps someone who remembers what it is like to be a real American?