FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Right’s Sleight of Hand

by PAT WILLIAMS

Too often in politics when the going gets tough, the tough head for the door.

That’s what faces George W. Bush in this election year as Republican incumbents, particularly those in the U.S. Senate and House, scurry away from his failing presidency. South Dakota’s Republican U.S. Senator John Thune, currently campaigning for a leadership position within his party’s hierarchy, has this advice for his colleagues “distance yourselves from the President.” That piece of political strategy is not new to candidates of either party. In the mid- 1990s some Democratic candidates temporarily distanced themselves from President Bill Clinton and Republicans in the early 70s deserted Richard Nixon.

This year, however, the political abandonment means something very different. The current political shelter-seeking has much more to do with protecting failed policy than it does dissing an unpopular president. From raging deficits at home to the political wreckage in the Middle East, the ruins of bad federal policy of the Far Right ideologues litters the landscape.

In poll after poll, Americans, including Rocky Mountain westerners, seem on the verge of punishing those Republicans for their failed policies. The arch conservative members of the U.S. House and Senate, who have either written or rubber stamped new laws that have moved American policy farther to the right of center than anyone can remember, are now hoping beyond rational hope that the voters will assign all blame to George W. Bush and little or none to the missteps of right wing policy.

The president, already an apparent lame duck in the middle of his second term, is seen as expendable. The public widely discounts his competence with a whopping 67% of people, in the latest Associated Press poll, believing that “the United States is heading in the wrong direction.”

This reign of error is not due to the policies of moderate conservatives. This is not your father’s Republican Party; it is not the party of Nixon, Rockefeller or Gerald Ford. Rather this is the party of the ideologues: Gingrich, Army, Delay, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. It is not the party of George H.W. Bush, but rather the party of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and George W. Bush. Their extreme policy initiatives include privatizing Social Security, selling the public’s land, trickle-down tax cuts at the expense of middle income people, exporting Democracy through gun barrels, a hands-off energy policy, and denial of global warming. Those on the Far Right have had full sway in both the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government. For decades they have been longing to experiment with their policies and now they have “unimpeded” and the wreckage of their wrong-headed ideas threatens America’s and the world’s future.

Those in charge and responsible for the current mess are more than eager to write off their historic policy blunders as nothing more than the incompetence of one man–George W. Bush. The Far Right is counting on the inattention of the American people to pull off their political slight of hand.

PAT WILLIAMS served nine terms as a U.S. Representative from Montana. After his retirement, he returned to Montana and is teaching at The University of Montana where he also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Rocky Mountain West.

 

 

Pat Williams served 18 years as Montana’s Congressman. He now lives in Missoula where he teaches at the University of Montana.

More articles by:
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail