There are two departments in the Bush Ministry of Disinformation: one for plebian lowbrows who don’t like the read — the Fox News Channel — and another for effete reactionary highbrows who enjoy newspaper ink on their fingers — the Wall Street Journal, or more appropriately the War Street Journal since the rag has repeatedly called for mass murder in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
It was no big surprise when Bush awarded former War Street Journal editor and now editor emeritus Robert Bartley with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which should, for the sake of accuracy, be renamed the Dictator Medal of Mindfuck, since that’s what Bartley, a far rightwing ideologue, has done to the American people, or those who read the War Street Journal, anyway.
Bartley’s hatred of everything progressive and even mildly liberal stretches back to the 60s. In fact, as David Walsh points out (apparently, these days, it takes a socialist to notice these kind of things), Bartley “developed a pathological hatred for the radicalism of the 1960s and lays virtually all of the evils of the world at its door,” including the murder of abortion doctors.
“We think it is possible to identify the date when the United States … began to tip off the emotional tracks,” the War Street Journal editorialized. “The date is August 1968 when the Democratic National Convention found itself sharing Chicago with the street fighters of the anti-Vietnam War movement.”
In other words, Democrats and wizened antiwar demonstrators are responsible for the murders committed by the antiabortion lunatic fringe, as if the two groups were, according to the shills at the War Street Journal, joined at birth and shared the same ideology.
In truth, the demented people who gun down abortion doctors are ideologically in sync with far right Reaganite nutcases such as Bartley and their crackpot evangelical Christian Zionist friends.
Thanks to this year’s recipient of the Dictator Medal of Mindfuck, dictionaries now carry the odious term “supply-side economics.”
Supply-side isn’t really an economic theory per se, unless you consider stealing money from the poor to lavish the fat-ass rich with tax “breaks” an economic theory.
The quasi-theory of supply-side economics can accurately be considered Bartley’s baby. “Without Bartley and his newspaper, supply-side economics would have been stillborn,” right-winger Robert Novak proclaimed from the pages of the neocon house organ, the Murdoch-financed Weekly Standard. Murdoch, of course, also owns the lowbrow neocon propaganda mouthpiece, Fox News.
Due in large part to Bartley and other so-called conservatives, supply-side thievery created not only the worst income inequality in the developed world, but also skyrocketing rates of child poverty and misery. Bartley knows tax cuts do not inspire the stinking rich to invest in the economy, but quite the opposite — instead, they “invest” in their shamelessly affluent lifestyles. But then self-aggrandizement and pilfering the social till is what the Reaganite far right is all about.
As Bartley likely understands, more money in the hands of less people encourages the concentration of political power, a good deal for the stinking rich. “Even if aggregate income and wealth are growing, as they become more unequally distributed, those few in whose hands economic means are being concentrated gain greater relative potential political influence,” explains Prof. Lloyd J. Dumas of the University of Texas.
In other words, supply-side economics eventually abrogates democracy and leads to a plutocratic form of government, i.e., the rich bastards lording over those of lesser means.
Madison understood this swindle and that’s why he argued for the establishment of checks and balances to offset the “aggregate interests of the community,” in other words those folks who Adam Smith realized would conspire against humanity at large for financial gain, in short predatory animals that engage in criminal behavior, i.e., sociopaths.
Moreover, as David Walsh explains, supply-side is a “right-wing political perspective and a rationale for deepening social inequality. The emergence and sudden respectability of supply-side economics in the 1980s betokened the rejection by a substantial part of the establishment of the social reformist consensus that had dominated American politics since World War II.”
So, not only does supply-side allow the rich to greedily stack money up like cordwood, it is also warfare directed squarely against social programs Bush’s former Reaganite controllers loathe and are determined to completely eliminate. They will do this by running up a trillion-dollar deficit each year for the next five years. They will tell you they are doing this to protect you from “terr’ism,” as our unelected president would have it, but this is yet another Straussian deception.
According to a Brookings Institution study, Dubya’s militarism will necessitate 40 percent cut in spending on discretionary programs over the next decade. Add to this $1.6 trillion in tax giveaways to the stinking rich through 2010 and, as Bush has promised, close to $2 trillion by 2013, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and you have a recipe for whittling down the middle class permanently.
Bartley and the “more extreme Republicans,” as London’s Financial Times calls them — over on this side of the political spectrum we call them what they are, fascists — want what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman calls a “fiscal train wreck,” in other words the crash and burn of hated federal social programs once and for all.
“It’s no secret that right-wing ideologues want to abolish programs Americans take for granted,” Krugman wrote in the New York Times, not exactly a haven for left-wing types. “But not long ago, to suggest that the Bush administration’s policies might actually be driven by those ideologues — that the administration was deliberately setting the country up for a fiscal crisis in which popular social programs could be sharply cut — was to be accused of spouting conspiracy theories… Yet by pushing through another huge tax cut in the face of record deficits, the administration clearly demonstrates either that it is completely feckless, or that it actually wants a fiscal crisis. (Or maybe both.)”
Beyond trumpeting the call to feudalize America, the War Street Journal and its supply-side neoliberal neocons are among Bush’s most faithful warmongers, chickenhawks, and bloodletting cheerleaders.
Bartley’s “opinion pieces” are fastidious in their call for war against the people of Iraq, repeating Bushite lies ad nauseam: Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was itching to use them, Saddam is the top banana of international terrorism, Saddam and Osama are in cahoots, Saddam was behind the anthrax attacks in America, Saddam would unleash a fatal poxvirus attack on America in response to an invasion of Iraq. All of this, of course, turned out to be pure and unadulterated bullshit. Regardless, Bartley has served his neocon masters well, abusing his influential position as “editor emeritus” of a prestigious newspaper in order to spread Bush’s lies.
Leaving these parroted lies behind, Bartley has recently moved on to disseminate new deceptions.
On September 8, in the wake of a Dubya speech crammed like a stinking sardine can full of pathological lies, Bartley addressed the “rough patch” the US is encountering “four months after military victory in Iraq.” Even though the immensity of Bush’s lies was more than obvious in September, Bartley continued to insist, “Iraq and September 11 are inseparable.”
Once again demonstrating that lies and deception are indigenous to the moral character of Straussian neocons, Bartley went on to state that no “serious observer can believe that we would have invaded Iraq if there had been no hijackings.” In other words, Bartley believes the readers of the War Street Journal editorial pages are morons.
As the Independent reported way back in September of 2002, the Bushites, consisting of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Dubya’s younger brother Jeb, and Scooter Libby drew up plans for an Iraq invasion in a document entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century” well before Bush was appointed to the presidency. “Fuck Saddam,” our Christian Zionist Caesar allegedly snarled in March 2002, a full year before his criminal invasion. “We’re taking him out.”
Considering Robert Bartley’s slavish willingness to revise history and herald the outrageous lies of the Bushite neocons, it should hardly come as a surprise that Bush would “honor” him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, aka the Dictator Medal of Mindfuck. Bartley has served his master well, so it only stands to reason.
Said Jim Naureckas of FAIR after Bartley’s enshrinement, “[I]f decades of producing partisan propaganda is a service to freedom, then I guess [Bartley] deserves a medal.”
Bartley’s screeds in the name of Empire, however, go well beyond simple partisan propaganda — they provide the intellectual underpinnings (along with the whacked out exhortations of fellow neocon “thinkers” William Kristol, William Safire, Charles Krauthammer Elliot Cohen, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, and others) required for the interminable war on Islam in the name of Greater Israel, the rabid Likudites in Tel Aviv and Washington, and the neoliberal agenda determined to privatize, i.e., steal, the natural resources and wealth of the Third World.
For Bartley’s undeviating service I’m sure Bush is immensely thankful — or, at least, his neocon puppeteers are immensely thankful.
KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/blogger.html . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, will soon be published by Dandelion Books.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org