Bush, Water and Fish

Counterspin Central writes about Bush and the Klamath River water controversy. “It pitted a small klatch of farmers against, supposedly, “government regulators.” I was working in Portland, Oregon last year so I was following this story closely. There wasn’t enough water to go around, and the Dept. of Interior wanted to release water from reservoirs so fish can spawn and the fishery won’t be decimated. The farmers said they should get the water instead. The Republican Machine cranked out propaganda about how this was environmentalists trying to hurt farmers. The usual…

Water, logging and fishing illustrate my seeing trees vs. seeing forests metaphor. The Republicans cast it as environmentalists against businesses & farmers. In my metaphor those are just trees and are therefore a waste of your time and energy. You should try to see through it and see the bigger picture (the forest). You can go crazy arguing specifics (trees) with right-wingers – they are typically just lies and diversions.

Here’s what I mean. The Klamath story, as Counterspin Central shows, is really about farming vs. fishing – the water either goes to the farms or it goes to the rivers for fish to spawn and maintain the fisheries. Other times it’s logging industry against fishing industry because clear-cutting forests ruins the streams so the fish can’t spawn. (The history of the logging industry vs environmentalists story goes back to the S&L bailout.

In the Klamath dispute it came down to a better propaganda angle casting it as liberal environmentalists hurting farmers (trees) – when it was really the fishing industry and farming industry both needing the water. And THAT’s really about who is paying the The Republican Crony Club more that week.

Jay Leno put it so well. In the 1996 election, Bob Dole said, “We know it (cigarette smoking) is not good for kids, but a lot of other things aren’t good. Drinking is not good. Some would say milk is not good.” That night Jay Leno said, “I guess the milk industry forgot to put their check in the mail.”