July 16, 2002

Deja Vu:
Bush = War and
Economic Malaise

George W. has brought some of that Harvard MBA acumen to his analysis of the economic calamity his administration has brought on, saying that the economy has "a hangover." (see Truthout from the LA Times) Of course we know what George the party animal did while he was at Harvard and during most the other "lost years" of his life till he was about 40. It's not surprising that when at a loss for words he would reach for that metaphor. It's also a roundabout way of saying that it's Clinton's fault, although two years into his own mess it's getting harder to come right out and blame Clinton.

It's reminiscent of Bush I back during the similar period of war and recession around 1991 and 1992. Poppy kept denying there were any problems with the economy, rather like Hoover during the Great Depression saying, "Prosperity is just around the corner." Bush kept saying the economy was coming back but it didn't do it. Finally he was losing more support from denying there were problems than from the problems themselves so he did a turnaround, finally coming clean and admitting that "the economy is in freefall." He followed that statement by one of the strangest political statements ever. "I think I knew it," he said.

Of course what either Bush says in public is purely an invention devised for whatever effect the team is trying to create. The public persona is nothing but a poster face, a creation for political purposes. Hence the bizarrely disassociated remark, "I think I knew it." Did you know it or not? What do you remember? What did you think at the time? He really meant, "I think I would have scored better if I had acted as though I knew what the average American was going through."

Now we are getting a replay of the going-nowhere presidency of Bush. It was and still is a problem with "the vision thing." But this time the Bush regime has been much more overt in its stealing of the rich from the poor, the free for all raid of the treasury and the savings of working Americans by major corporations. The stewardship of the economy has been that much more disastrous than during the reign of George I. And the consequences look like they could get much worse.

-- By David Cogswell

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