Even in Costa Rica.
Which is where I was recently for the fifth time to check on
my house construction and also officially become a legal resident of the
country which, among other things, now allows me, for about forty bucks a
month, to join its national health care system under which I will be fully
covered medically, pre-existing conditions be damned. (You know, just like how
we do it in America.)
That�s right; Costa Rica doesn�t care that I�m asthmatic or
have been married three times. (If multiple marriages don�t sound like a health
issue to you, you�ve obviously not met any of my exes.)
Okay, then, so on with it: who are these �they�?
Shh! �They� are America�s real enemies:
I knew I was in trouble the moment I met them at the bed and
breakfast at which I was lodging for a week. See, I have a well-developed sixth
sense, one that allows me to detect the unmistakable stench of fascism.
I see brain-dead people.
One of the B&B�s operators, a friend, introduced me to
three other guests at the beginning of my visit: a man and two women who were
traveling together. Their accents, combined with a certain air, raised my first
When my amigo
mentioned I was moving soon to Costa Rica, the inevitable question arose:
�Why?� they asked.
Silence. Frozen smiles. Change of subject.
No me gustan, we
have a problem.
Dinner at the inn later was peppered with enough �Praise
Gods,� bible references and personal miracle witnessing to confirm my life�s
karma account is still clearly in deficit.
(Maybe it was that third marriage. Or the second. Or the . .
Though I periodically encountered these individuals over the
next few days, the subject of politics was thankfully avoided.
I wasn�t always so disinclined to join the fray, oh no not
by a long shot.
During the two years I regularly wrote political satire for
various �Net sites (until spring 2006), I was, of course, immersed in politics.
But after deciding I could no longer abide the paranoia-laced, open-air insane
asylum known as America and that I needed to get the hell out, I chose to focus
my time and energy on doing just that. It wasn�t easy laying politics aside
but, after much internal struggle and many discussions with others, I have
(pretty much) managed to do it.
Try as I might, though, sometimes there�s just no avoiding
Even in Costa Rica.
Minutes before leaving for the airport at the end of my
visit, as I ate breakfast, one of the women entered the kitchen.
�So . . . you�re going back to work on Monday?� she asked.
�Yes. Arnold needs me,� I replied sardonically.
(This would be Arnold Schwarzenazi, who is ultimately my
boss as I am employed by the State of California.)
�Tell me,� she drawled, �what do the people of California
think of Arnold?�
�Well,� I rejoined evenly, �apparently 70 percent of the
voters think he�s doing just fine. Personally, it makes me embarrassed to be
from the state.�
�Well, we voted for Bush.�
Old, familiar rage welled up quickly from within. I actually
dropped my fork.
It was all I could do to spit out through gritted teeth:
�Well, I knew. And lots of people I
But it was pointless to get into it, regardless how irate I
was, for one thing I (finally) learned about right-wingers before semi-retiring
the columnar keyboard was that it was an utter waste of time trying to �debate�
them. It eventually became apparent, whether I�d spent hours composing
well-constructed, painstakingly-sourced responses to flamers� kooky cutter
e-mails or gone toe-to-toe with a co-worker on the workroom floor, that
America�s good Germans were always thrown by, and refused to respond to,
certain annoying technicalities I always meanly and deliberately insisted on
including in my arguments facts.
Yeah, who knew?
Who knew, for instance, that wooden drones couldn�t fly
non-stop from Iraq, penetrate American airspace and then deliver their massive
individual payloads of approximately two liters of Roundup�? (Lest you laugh,
don�t forget: this was the new, improved, extra-strength formula.)
Or who knew that Bushco�s official embrace of the use of
torture could ever tarnish the image America loves to project, that of being a
highly civilized country, that, you know, officially disdains the use of
Who knew Bush and company would, every chance they got,
shred the Constitution clause by clause, acting like they considered it to be
nothing more than, say, just a goddamned piece of
paper as well as a major irritant to their grandiose dreams of world
corporate domination because, well . . . those are the very things they
Who knew the war in Iraq was really all about, after
Hussein�s ouster, moving U.S. military forces from Saudi Arabia (whose
long-term presence there had been causing our good friends in the House of Saud
some rather sticky internal problems) and onto permanent bases in Iraq so
America could then indefinitely sit pretty atop Iraq�s oil tap? (Other than
those, that is, who took the time to read even a few paragraphs of the treatise
from the Project for the New American Century
[PNAC] called �Rebuilding America�s
Defenses� that clearly laid the whole thing out one full year before 9/11.)
Who knew the Bushies were capable of treasonously outing a
CIA agent and then, gasp!, lying about
Who knew Bush would more than double Hussein�s
body count and keep those who toil in the mass graves business
workin� big-time on their dig time? (I�ll admit, I misunderestimated Dubya�s
score on this one. I saw a sign at one of the 2003 pre-war marches in San
Francisco that said �500,000 will die� and thought: �Okay, that guy�s a little
high.� Turns out, even he was
Who knew the proposition that the creatures who ru(i)n this
country are in reality children-sacrificing,
reptilian shape-shifters would end up as plausible as any for
explaining why these heinous monsters do what they do?
(If this one�s accurate, I know a couple of little hellions
they could start off with in the apartment next door.)
Who knew the cracked neocon-backed attack on Iran wouldn�t
turn out so hot, unless, that is, you�re talking about the radioactivity
released by the beyond-the-pale-nuts-even-for-them, and that�s really saying
something, use of nuclear weapons? (Whoops; this one hasn�t happened. Yet.)
Gosh almighty. Who, indeed, could have known any of this, or
so very much more?
It was only inevitable, of course, that when Bush and his
insane handlers finally got so out of control and the situation became so dire
that their lunacy would be obvious to all but the most moronic (in other words,
Dubya himself and others with similar IQs, like eggplants), we would then get
from former Bushco supporters what I heard in Costa Rica, this utterly
execrable insouciant self-absolution of any personal responsibility in the
whole sickening, murderous affair.
It was only a matter of time, too, before the supremely
self-satisfied, denial-drenched architects of the mad mayhem themselves began
furiously backpedaling and breaking out the sharp blades best suited for
insertion into the closest available back. In the January issue of Vanity Fair,
David Rose records these U-turns from a whole nest of neoconservatives.
Longtime neocon Kenneth Adelman complains the Bush administration
�national-security team� �turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in
the [post-WWII] era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous
flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional.� (It is hard to take, I
guess, if you can�t have your cakewalk and
bleat it, too.)
Former Defense Policy Board
chairman and general all-around vile thing Richard Perle points the finger at
�opposition� and �disloyalty� within the administration for helping produce the
fiasco in Iraq. Poor Perle�s particularly piqued regarding hurtful accusations
he�s cruelly had to endure: �Huge mistakes were made, and I want to be very
clear on this: they were not made by neoconservatives, who had almost no voice
in what happened, and certainly almost no voice in what happened after the
downfall of the regime in Baghdad. I�m getting damn tired of being described as
an architect of the war.�
PNAC charter member Frank Gaffney blames �skullduggery� and �palpable
insubordination� at the White House for Iraq gone wild. Fellow PNACer Eliot A. Cohen gee whizzes he �wouldn�t be
surprised if what we end up drifting toward [in Iraq] is some sort of withdrawal
on some sort of timetable and leaving the place in a pretty ghastly mess.�
Actually, I can relate to all these guys: back in the day, I
remember how miffed I�d get whenever
I�d use my considerable influence to push for war for years and then it, like,
happened and stuff.
I mean, �cause, really -- who knew?
What made crossing paths with the unapologetic Bushites in
Costa Rica even more unpalatable, but so characteristic, was the public piety
they displayed at the dinner table. Though this is only supposition, it�s not a
stretch to think at least part of the reason they backed Bush is because of his
If that�s what Christianity is all about, please, direct me
to the nearest pentagram. (I�m sure there�s one in Cheney�s office.)
Hypocrisy has always oozed from these types and has long
been what I detest about them most. So it�s not surprising in the least to hear
the excuses fly now about how it�s all turned to so much ashes and how oh how
could they have ever seen it coming?
After all, who knew?
Unh-uh. Sorry. Not so fast. Just as Hitler wouldn�t have
gotten as far as he did without solid support from and constant acquiescence by
the German populace in the face of ongoing domestic and then cross-border
horrors, so neither would the Bush administration have been able to, in an
astonishingly short time, dismantle just about everything that was good and
decent about this admittedly deeply flawed but had-a-chance nation without the
aid, whether overt or otherwise, provided by tens of millions of belligerently
nationalistic, xenophobic, morally twisted, historically ignorant,
On a personal level, here�s the worst part: the trio of Bush
fans I met in Costa Rica were there to seriously scout land for purchase,
property that is very close to mine on which to live at least part-time, so it
is likely our paths will cross often in the future.
Thus, in effect, they are fleeing the very mess they helped
create, landing with a very loud thud right near me. If there were any justice
in this world, these three and millions like them would be precluded from
forever leaving the States and forced to work their asses off trying to right
the ship that is America from sinking under the dead weight with which they�ve
so willingly loaded it these last few benighted years.
But as we all know, justice is in very short supply these
It�s fair to ask what my
responsibility is. Don�t I, as an American citizen, have a duty to stay and
fight the good fight alongside the millions of fine, dedicated folks who are
determined to do just that?
As I wrote in an earlier column, we all gotta do what we all
gotta do. For one thing, I am very excited about the possibilities that await
me in lovely, welcoming Costa Rica. For another, I�m not the first to leave his
or her country of birth from disgust and I sure as hell won�t be the last. I
take solace I�ll be in good company.
Except for when, of course, I unfortunately find it polluted
by the presence of those who, after willingly signing off on years of Bushit,
now attempt to plead ignorance regarding the ramifications, looking for a free
pass they don�t ever deserve.
Even in Costa Rica.
Copyright � 2007
Mark Drolette. All rights reserved.
P.S. Thank you, Molly Ivins. Rest in peace.
Mark Drolette is a writer
who lives (but not for long!) in Sacramento, California. His first book -- Why Costa Rica? Why the hell not? --
based on a certain gringo�s
real-life adventure with a bunch of lies thrown in, will be available once it�s
finished, published and then becomes available.