Have you had a bad day? Got a problem? Is your life a mess? Are you sick? Lame? Poor? Lonely? Unemployed? Or are you just fed up, listless and overwhelmed with feelings of exhaustion and hopelessness?
Well, you can always vent your frustrations by blaming your troubles on George W. Bush. Why not? Everyone else does. For everything. From perished pensioners in Paris to stubbed toes in Sarajevo to nosebleeds in Nairobi there is not a misfortune or a twist of cruel fate anywhere on the face of this planet that cannot be laid squarely at the varnished door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And this is all because that current occupant of the most important office in that august building went and ‘tore up the Kyoto Treaty’; the modern equivalent of snapping a ju-ju stick. Thus has Mr.Bush incurred the wrath of the angry spirits.
Of course, George Bush did not ‘tear up’ the Kyoto Treaty at all (which is a shame because it deserves to be torn up). But that doesn’t matter. We’re not dealing in truth here, we’re delving the murky, opaque depths of mythology and superstition. George Bush is for the modern left/green axis what the devil was for medieval peasants.
Perhaps Mr.Bush (or his advisers at any rate) is aware of this and decided to take advantage of the situation. After all, if you’ve been cast as the devil, you may as well go ahead and live up to the role:
The Bush administration plans to open a huge loophole in America’s air pollution laws, allowing an estimated 17,000 outdated power stations and factories to increase their carbon emissions with impunity.
Critics of draft regulations due to be unveiled by the US environmental protection agency next week say they amount to a death knell for the Clean Air Act, the centrepiece of US regulation.
The rules could represent the biggest defeat for American environmentalists since the Bush administration abandoned the Kyoto Treaty on global warming two years ago. But the energy industry welcomed them, saying they were essential for maintaining coal-fired power stations.
Now a word of caution here: the link is to the Guardian so the story may not be true at all. It may just be the product of their febrile imaginations (Next week: “Bush adds fresh babies to Whitehouse menu”). However, I certainly hope it is true and not just because it would mean good news for US industry and prosperity but also because it drives home the old lesson that being hated has its definite advantages. At a stroke, George Bush will have lifted a millstone from the neck of his country without doing the slightest harm to either his reputation or chances of re-election.
The devil may not have all the best tunes. He just has the freedom to whistle them.