What Took You/Us So Long?

Please!Okay. Friedman writes a fine piece:

How could there still be 29 percent of the people who approve of this presidency?…I think a lot of Americans in recent months have simply lost confidence in this administration’s competence and honesty…Is there no job in this administration that is too important to be handed over to a political hack? No…And that is the core of the matter: the Bush team believes in loyalty over expertise. When ideology always trumps reality, loyalty always trumps expertise.

Nice hook, heart in the right place, good examples, etc. But what gets me about these kinds of pieces is that it’s been obvious since Day 1 what DB’s m.o. has been and the American press gave him such a long honeymoon that you have respected columnists writing pieces like this NOW, almost 6 yrs into this dark age and two years into his second sham term!

It’s just a fucked up time in our great land’s history and it’s frustrating as hell. The bottom line is that you have one side of the Political Spectrum that’s playing a fucked up game and it forces the entire spectrum — the press, the other side of the aisle, the electorate — to play along. And it’s the Shameless Right Wing that’s making up all the rules as they go along, so even when they fail miserably they win. They bulldoze their way through the legislative process, upsetting every applecart along the way. They start wars based on obviously bogus “intelligence” and then badly misjudge the outcome. By insisting that it’s all perfectly normal (if not downright heroic) and by doing so in an arrogant, condescending manner, and by refusing to ever publicly question themselves or their ideology, they force the rest of the PS to
take them seriously. They don’t even take themselves seriously. They know full well that they’re only trying to buy more time until somehow, some way the ends will finally justify their means. They hold fast to their ideology like zealots. But are they really zealots or have they finally reached that point where they’re just hoping they get lucky and some of the fucked-up shit that they’ve gotten the world into will just work itself out in the end? Is the neo-con ideology so comprehensive and forward-looking that it still has pat answers to the tangled questions that come up once nothing else before has worked?

Of course, it doens’t hurt that they have 1) a Spineless, Sycophantic Legislative Majority that has completely bought into a culture of corrupt 21st century Confucianism; 2) a wealthy media baron 100% on board — I guess it only takes one; 3) an opposition party that can’t bring itself to fight back by the same rules (i.e. lie shamelessly, brazenly, and constantly) and thus, six years on, is still a completely baffled, blindsided deer in the headlights — a change of mascot is definitely in order; 4) a socially polarized electorate (including, of course, a burgeoning evangelist movement bent on hero-worship) ripe for the SRW’s divide-and-conquer, scorched-earth strategy; and 5) a political system that requires only a solid, unflinching 40% base of support for this strategy to work. Hell, even now, with every hill and vale of the American political landscape in ruins and the SRW seemingly on the run in the polls, I can’t escape the feeling that if they get JUST ONE THING RIGHT in the next five months, they’ll be able to pump it enough to keep their SSLM afloat and buy another two full years. Just one administrative success story in six years will be enough to stay alive and try to build momentum for a run at another 4-8 more.


2 thoughts on “What Took You/Us So Long?

  1. You’re not the only frustrated one.

    When I was in high school and learned about the parliamentary system, where there are multiple parties and the parliament elects the country’s leader, I thought, what a good idea. It allows coalitions to be formed by like-minded parties.

    With a two party system, it’s black/white (or red/blue)… to be for one, you have to be against the other. Which inevitably leads to negative campaigning, which I abhor.

    Of course they both have their faults.

    In a recent e-mail, Brian suggested we read the NY Times magazine story about conditions in France and the growing popularity of Segolene Royal, a handsome 55 year old unmarried mother of 4 children (with the same father).
    (Go to the NY Times web site and search “La Femme.”)

    I found the piece interesting and a good read, but is inconclusive as to whether she can become Madam. President. In any case, this paragraph from the middle of the piece touches on a frustration that I feel toward the current situation. I guess what I’m looking for is another Bill Clinton, a really smart guy who is charming, persuasive and can get things done.

    “It is the democracy of opinion that Royal is offering the French people. She had, she told me, laid out her credo in the draft of the first chapter of a book she has begun to write, also to be titled ”Désirs d’Avenir.” She sent me the piece, which was called ”The Democratic Disorder” and which barely touches on France’s place in the world, the consuming preoccupation of her rivals’ manifestoes. Royal writes instead about the relationship of politicians to voters, arguing that diminishing turnout, the ominous popularity of the far-right-wing National Front and even the repudiation last year of the E.U. Constitution are all symptoms of a deep national disaffection from, and disgust with, mainstream political culture. These protest votes, or nonvotes, spring from citizens who are deeply pessimistic about their prospects, who feel that France is adrift. She argues, in the manner of centrist Democrats courting red-state voters, that the ”nostalgia for ‘traditional values’ ” that many National Front voters cite is less a harbinger of protofascism than a rejection of value-neutral politics. The answer, she claims, is a new kind of politics, respectful of public opinion, modest in its claims, transparent, accountable and, above all, ”concrete” rather than abstract.”

    Anyway, we got through Nixon, Regan and Bush One. I read one pundit who said that the best thing for the Dems would be for the Republicans to retain control… that way; ALL accountability would be on them. Can’t say I agree with that.


  2. Friedman, perhaps Thomas Friedman? During any administration you can find him cynically exposing the interests of the ruling class in the face of all public opinion, public personae etc. He’s the one, much worse than Bush in my opinion because at least you know where Bush stands, that sincerely blurts out that the best thing for Iraq would be an “iron-fisted military junta without Sadaam Hussein”. In other words a non-Baathist dicatatorship of the Sunnis, a religious fundamentalist regime the likes of which has NEVER existed before the occupation, Iraq having been a comparably urbane society, even under Hussein. Uncle Thomas F. is having his dream come true (and who elses dream I wonder?). This is the same Friedman who got on CNN and beamed, positively waxed arrogant after the first “elections” (now known as bunk and not an expression of anything but the will of Washington) in Iraq after the “fall” about an (imaginary) citizen having a drink in a bar near the border with a Syrian, singing to him all about the wonders of Democracy. Is their an image more ludicrous from our vantage point today?And yes I agree with the Doctor that the whole efffing point is that this sort of talk WAS LUDICROUS when it was said!! Just as the initial justifications for the war on Iraq were ludicrous, spurious, expedient and immoral BEFORE troops were sent in, before thousands were slaughtered during “shock and awe”.

    For a clear eyed and sometimes hopeful (hope depending on the certain crippling and ultimate demise of US domination and its resources to do so) see Tariq Ali’s summation here: http://www.newleftreview.net/NLR27201.shtml


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