FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mad Cows and "Downer" George

by MIKE WHITNEY

 

The outbreak of Mad Cow Disease on a farm in Washington State poses a challenge to the Bush Administration and the way it typically conducts business. On the one hand they have approached the dilemma in an entirely predictable manner, treating it as though it was strictly a political issue. They’ve applied the standard litany of fabrications and obfuscations that they trot in response to virtually every problem. It hasn’t worked.

Second, they have tried to paper-over the gravity of public health risk by assuring the public that “downer” cows will no longer make their way into the food chain. How they hope to accomplish this on a moments notice (and without a massive mobilization of meat inspectors) is anyone’s guess but, one thing is certain, the Bush credibility gap could prove to be quite costly in the interim.

Having seen how the administration routinely bludgeons the truth to advance its foreign and domestic policy agendas, who, in their right mind, is going to believe that they’ll suddenly reverse direction and implement a strict regulatory regimen. It simply won’t happen.

What will happen, and what always happens in the Bush Administration when they are put to the task, is they’ll develop a diversionary strategy to pacify the public. In this case, it’s likely that they’ll call for sweeping changes in the law to rebuild public confidence. However, as the legislation moves through the Republican dominated Congress, either the resources for funding the necessary programs will evaporate or there will be no clear method for implementation. In other words, they will conjure up a useful smokescreen to hide the fact that nothing has changed at all. And that, of course, is precisely the intention. Just think of it as Bush 101, the fundamentals of hoodwinking a gullible public.

The very notion of regulating big business is anathema to the ideologically driven Bush Administration. As they see it, their primary function is to deliver the nation’s persecuted corporations to the Elysian Fields beyond the grasp of government oversight. It’s doubtful that anyone is foolish enough to suppose that George Bush has suddenly revisited his core beliefs and been transformed into Ralph Nader, “Public Advocate”.

As a result, the American meat industry can expect to take the pummeling it so richly deserves. There will be no real help from Washington. (After all, it is the meat industry that sends its legions of lobbyists to Capitol Hill every year to avoid even the stench of regulation.) This is one time when the administration’s boatload of deceptions will not work in its favor. No public relations campaign will alter world’s aversion to tainted meat.

It should prove interesting, though, to see the Cattleman-in-chief dispatching his salesman-cum-diplomats to the four corners of the earth trying to hawk their rancid animal flesh. How fitting that the same president who was able to con the nation into putting thousands of innocent Iraqis to the sword, would be “hoist by his own petard” by a stumbling bovine in Mabton. Now that’s justice!

MIKE WHITNEY can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail