And do-si-do your partner
Illustration by Josh Hagler
Tuesday September 11, 2001
Bill Gates was filmed Thursday holding a CD as high in the air as he could: his newest operating system "Windows XP." He was quite proud. He was also filmed dancing on a grassy knoll. He was literally seen by millions of viewers on a catchy five-second-clip on CNN and any nightly news program that night doing leaps and twirls in a meadow.
Congratulations, Bill. We all see now that you've moved past your high school, pencil-pushing, pocket-protector geekiness to a sophisticated, "I have a bajillion dollars and I can be as crazy as I want to be because I don't care about any of you" attitude.
Mr. Gates was celebrating because the United States Justice Department threw in the towel Thursday when it announced it would cease a case against Microsoft and all of its antitrust felonies. The U.S. government will not seek the breakup of Microsoft, nor will it continue in its quest to prove that Microsoft illegally tied the Internet Explorer to Windows.
The Justice Department is just too tired and broke to continue to fight the illustrious madman and his team of jackals. Instead, the official word is that the Justice Department will seek to uphold a lower court's recommendation, "prohibiting Microsoft from punishing hardware and software companies working on competing products."
Wow. That will be a huge setback for Microsoft.
It is understandable when the government backs off of a case against the private sector. For many patriotic Americans, it's ideologically wrong when the government interferes with free enterprise. After all, it is a world of "survival of the fittest," and social Darwinists balk at any inclination to hinder the holiest of holy processes - capitalism. Not only unpopular, it's often a lost cause. The government is limited in what it can spend against an institution like Big Tobacco, and often faces a circus of 100 revolving lawyers in matching gray Armanis.
Perhaps it was inevitable that the Justice Department would have to call off the big dance with Mr. Gates. But no, there were a few left-wing liberal coalitions that saw this turn of events coming a mile away. And we'll name this turn of events John Ashcroft. The steely evilness that always seemed to loom behind Ashcroft's cool exterior now has a name: Microsoft. Was it a plan from the beginning?
Did Bill Gates push for the nomination knowing Ashcroft was friend and not foe? Is Dubya living inside Gates' pocket? Because we already knew that the president has his own little abode in the pockets of oil and firearms. At the mere suggestion of Ashcroft's nomination, there was an immediate outcry from the Democrats in Congress. "For goodness' sake, not John Ashcroft!"
What happened to compassionate Bush who said he'd represent the moderate American? After the initial uproar, however, the brouhaha died down. Sure, there was that glitch about Ashcroft refusing to approve a judge for nomination because he was black, and there was that concern that he would be devilish when it came to immigration issues, but Democrats really never had anything more serious than the usual complaint.
"You just can't approve Ashcroft - he's just too conservative," was not a legitimate argument.
Which brings us up to date. Failing to block the nomination, liberals have been lying in wait for the impending doom. Crafty as he is, Mr. Attorney General John Ashcroft waited for the perfect moment to drop the case against Microsoft. The announcement came late in the day; so late that most evening broadcasts had little more information than the Bill Gates dancing footage. The story was also stuffed late into any broadcast, long after the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the U.N. conference on racism had been thoroughly discussed.
Last but not least, Ashcroft waited until the release of Gates' newest toy - Windows XP. Isn't it convenient that Microsoft stock will be free and clear of any negative antitrust sentiment when its newest software hits the market?
We have here, ladies and gentlemen, capitalism in its most disgusting form. A monopoly has occurred and has just been given a new lease on life. Had the media truly covered the story at its ultimate moment of truth, there would have been footage of Gates and Ashcroft jiving to a little square-dancing music - "and do-si-do your partner."