FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s X-Files

From the X-files of political conspiracy theory, here’s a nasty thought: What if Bush and Karl Rove aren’t really expecting to win on Social Security?

What if this whole campaign and road show is a grand diversion designed to keep Democrats, and especially progressives and the labor movement, all worked up and focused on saving Social Security, while the White House and congressional Republicans (and their quizling Democratic supporters like Joe Lieberman) do major damage in myriad other areas.

Notice how little effective opposition there was in Congress, and especially out in the street and in communities, over the bankruptcy bill, over the latest round of $82 billion in funding for the War against Iraq, over the restrictions on class action lawsuits.

Look at how the voting integrity issue, the question of fraud in the 2004 election, and drilling in the Artic Refuge, have all died away.

Look at how little attention is being paid to the Congressional assault on liberal judges.

When you consider that this president is among the least popular chief executives to have won a second term in the history of the White House (if he indeed won at all), and that his party’s majority in both houses of Congress is thin, it’s nothing short of astonishing that he’s been having such an easy time of it, legislatively.

One might even argue that there’s method to the madness of putting rabid dogs like John Bolton up for a nothing job like UN ambassador–a post that has traditionally been the equivalent of being put out to pasture. Like the campaign against Social Security, it gets the more progressive Democrats all riled up, but ends up having them waste time and energy opposing something that, in the grand scheme of things, is really rather meaningless.

The Democrats, who at this point stand for nothing, are particularly vulnerable to such a strategy of diversion, because, with nothing to campaign or stand for, they are looking for sound-bite friendly issues to bluster on about, without having to really do anything of substance.

The administration has handed them several of these non-issue issues to play with already.

Viewed this way, there is really no downside for the White House. If the president loses on Social Security, he can just say he tried. If the Democrats ultimately beat back the idea of private accounts in place of the current system for younger workers, and a compromise is found that involves offering private accounts on top of Social Security, the president will claim that as a victory (and he’ll be correct).

As for Bolton, if his nomination is defeated with the help of one or two Republican votes, it will be a defeat for Bush but so what? The Democrats in Congress, being the wusses that they are, will not be emboldened by that victory to start blocking other more important appointments. More likely, they’ll figure that they’d better avoid looking like obstructionists, and will support the next batch of right-wing hacks and charlatans the White House puts up for federal posts.

Bolton could, in other words, be like the helmet on a stick that gets held up during a trench war, so that a platoon can make a charge while the enemy is concentrating its fire on the empty hat.

As long as the Democratic Party continues to play defense, and refuses to challenge the underlying pro-corporate, anti-worker, imperial agenda of the Bush administration, Bush and Rove will be able to keep Congressional Democrats, mainstream Democratic voters and even the left running around from issue to issue like ants disoriented after the rock covering their home has been lifted.

Meanwhile, while they scurry around ineffectively, the U.S. economy is being hollowed out, health insurance is being terminated by even large corporate employers, the environment is being destroyed, schools are being turned into test centers, the country is getting dragged ever deeper into an endless war, cities are falling back into decay, the Constitution is being trashed, and corporations and the rich are getting ever richer.

It’s all devilishly clever.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of This Can’t Be Happening. He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail