May 30, 2002
There's No One Driving

The pace of decline since the Bush takeover is staggering. Try to remember the world before the Florida coup, if you can. There was a projected budget surplus, which has turned into a rapidly deepening deficit, with the nation's Social Security fund being plundered by corporate welfare and a military spending spree, while the human needs of Americans continue to be as neglected as in a third world country. The economy stumbles along with no stewardship, while fears of collapse lurk under the fading proclamations of "recovery." When our "president" travels overseas he is met with bemused politeness by foreign leaders and massive demonstrations of revulsion and hatred by the people. The shallow international alliances forged after September 11 are crumbling. There is unrestrained carnage in Israel and the occupied territories and the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

Even conservatives are starting to realize the peril of having a government whose only concern is to secure booty for its rich patrons. There is no trace of leadership on the horizon of Washington. As columnist Jim Hoagland wrote in the Washington Post on Thursday, "on problems ranging from presidential jet lag to terrorism and the threat of nuclear war in Asia, the upper echelons of the Bush team run a ragged, misfiring show...The issue is how well the president and senior aides will recover from a period in which they have been overwhelmed by the pace of events and crises beyond the immediate control even of the mightiest nation on earth."

No matter what your favored political ideology, it's plenty scary to realize there's no one driving.

[Note: I was told that I misnamed Hoagland when I called him "conservative." Hoagland, my friend said, was what the mainstream media calls "liberal," or "centrist." In the mainstream press, that may mean anyone who ever disagrees with some detail of the right wing agenda. But in this same column, Hoagland said, "For months this MBA president delivered..." And we all know who Bush delivered for, the big energy companies, the richest 5%, the Fortune 500 companies, the war industry. Again, in this same column entry, Hoagland assures us he is a supporter of Bush most of the time. He says: "Put away any partisan gloating or defensiveness you might bring to the subject of Bush and company's management of its policies. The Bush team has been praised often enough on this score in this corner for partisanship not to be an issue. (See ABM, Russia, Afghanistan, China, Western Hemisphere, nuclear weapons, etc.)"

This is what passes for "liberal" in the mainstream media, the bad conscience of the corporate rulers.]

-- by David Cogswell

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