Sylvester McMonkey McBean is at it again.

April 16, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More

Does it all seem like déjà vu?  It should.  Most of us first heard the unfolding national story while sitting on our parents’ laps, courtesy of Dr. Seuss. 

A con artist comes to town to exploit a glaring weakness: the willingness of the citizens to act out of bigotry.

In the Dr. Seuss version, a chimp-like con man (also known as the “Fix-it-Up Chappie”) charges the Sneetches lots of money to walk through his star-on and star-off machines.   Because the Sneetches are utterly bigoted, they empty their wallets in their quests to become the superior in-group (in the end, the Sneetches are not sure whether it is better to have stars on their bellies or not).

McBean’s endgame was to stir up bigotry in order to make a financial killing.  McBean’s model apparently served as a successful business model for George W. Bush, who has now completely emptied the national treasury, leaving many of the citizens standing around wondering “What happened?”

Like McBean, Bush pulled it all off by stirring up bigotry.  In Bush’s case, it was initially bigotry aimed toward all people from the Middle East.  Thanks to the pronouncements of George W. Bush, it was really OK to attack Iraq for crimes committed by a relative handful of people from Saudi Arabia who were trained in Afghanistan.  From the man holding our highest office we learned that “they” are all the same.  He actually did too good a job, evidenced by the botched port deal, which caused Bush to furiously backpeddle in a strangely conspicuous attempt to convince Americans that not all people from the Middle East were bad.

The bigotry didn’t stop there, however.  Bush and his cronies rallied “true” Americans to attack all of those who dared to question the draining of the national treasury to run preemptive war on the basis of false pretenses.  No need to stop there, either.  Bush also turned America’s heartland against gays, immigrants, intellectuals and all of those who dared to question the fundamentalist version of God.  Then, of course, there is the on-going class warfare, evidenced by national policies that are having the effect of annihilating the middle class.  Our national tax policies, featuring massive tax cuts to America’s richest citizens and numerous handouts to corporations that fund re-election campaigns, are erecting a huge protective gap between America’s haves and have nots.

Bush’s endgame depended on the willingness of many Americans act on their xenophobia and the willingness of most of us to sit back silently to allow the active bigots to spread their hate.  It all worked brilliantly for a while.

Now, though, Bush has proven to be a one-hit wonder.  He’s winding up his reign by helping his corporate cronies to pack up the huge wads of cash they’ve drained from the education and health care budgets in order to fight all of those “bad” people.

True to form, “McChimp” McBean has recently announced that he’s leaving his enormous mess for future presidents to clean up. 

This was all predicted by Dr. Seuss’s classic.  Toward the end of Sneetches, McMonkey McBean is seen driving off with his truck full of cash, the many Sneetches standing around looking perplexed, exhausted and penniless:

Then, when every last cent
Of their Money was spent,
The Fix-it-Up Chappie packed up
And he Went.


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Category: Iraq, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Doug says:

    I don't have a reference handy to confirm this, but it's my understanding that Bush's tax cuts gave 40% of the benefits to the richest 1% of Americans. Meanwhile, the number of Americans without health insurance has grown to record highs. Republicans like to call such enormous disparities "compassionate conservatism."

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