Despite an order from Congress, the Bush administration has not given millions of people living within 20 miles of nuclear power plants access to pills that could help protect them if they are exposed to radiation.So how does this failure to meet a congressional deadline jibe with Bush's reassuring promise during last year's presidential debates?
It will be early 2006, at the earliest, before potassium iodide pills are made available to those people. Congress had ordered that the pills, which help prevent thyroid cancer, be stockpiled by mid-2003.
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said it's "outrageous" that the administration hasn't made the pills more widely available.
"Nuclear power plants are at the top of the al-Qaeda target list," he said. "Potassium iodide is an inexpensive way to protect infants and children."
"At home, we'll do everything we can to protect the homeland."Everything. In writing Bush's talking points for that debate, Rove and company recognized that most Americans are only interested in feeling reassured -- they have neither the interest or intellect to actually examine whether that reassurance is backed up by reality.
If you tell people "I'll still respect you in the morning," many of them will let you have your way with them. Considering what Bush and Rove have been doing to the American people, copulation seems to offer the most appropriate analogy.