Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sidney Blumenthal Gets It Right

In the Guardian and Salon magazine, Sidney Blumenthal provides a concise report on Bush's failure to grasp the obvious.

President Bush is the most conservative president in modern times. He consciously modelled himself as the opposite of his father. A conservative revolt contributed to defeat of the elder Bush, who was fiercely attacked as a betrayer. In a classic case of reaction formation, George W Bush was determined never to make an enemy on the right.

The younger Bush brought the neoconservatives - banished by Reagan and Bush Sr - back into government, and followed their scenario for remaking the Middle East through an invasion of Iraq, using 9/11 as the pretext. He followed the rightwing script on supply-side economics, enacting an enormous tax cut for the wealthy that fostered a deficit that dwarfed Reagan's, the problem his father had tried to resolve through a tax increase, which earned the right's hostility. And Bush has followed the religious right's line on stem-cell research, abortion and creationism.

For his vision of the world as black and white, his disdain for internationalism, his tainting of the opposition as unpatriotic, his tax breaks for the upper bracket and his religious zealotry, conservatives celebrated him. For his second term, Bush took his narrow victory as a mandate to govern from the hard right. At last he would begin the privatisation of social security, rolling back the New Deal. But he stumbled upon a dirty little secret of conservatism: the public supports conservative presidents so long as they leave alone the liberal programmes that benefit them.

Baffled by the opposition, he ploughed ahead, even as the Iraq war eroded his support. Then Hurricane Katrina blew the top off his administration's culture of cronyism. Meanwhile, the special prosecutor investigating the disclosure of a covert CIA operative's identity by senior administration officials has moved steadily towards his targets.

Read it all .


Blogger whit said...

You two have it all wrong. George W. Bush is not the most conservative President in modern times. That honor goes to Ronald Reagan. George W. is a big spender on social programs. He hasn't taken anything from the poor or anyone else for that matter. He did not veto a single bill. 9/11 was not the pretext for kicking out Saddam. Ten years of neglect (8 during Clinton) allowed the Taliban, the Wahhabbis, Al Qaeda and an assortment of other "evildoers" to spread a cancer from North Africa to the Phillipines. Saddam Hussein made himself an easy target in a long war that will not end when George Bush and Tony Blair are out of office. As far as Katrina goes, your opinion is clouded by your bias.
Do some homework.

5:31 PM  

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