lies and the lying liars that tell them

The new issue of the Washington Monthly has a good piece by Joshua Micah Marshall (editor of Talking Points Memo) on the subject of the Bush administration, their valuing of ideology over experience and expertise, and the way they distort the truth in order to see their agenda pushed forward. Here’s a clip:

The president and his aides don’t speak untruths because they are necessarily people of bad character. They do so because their politics and policies demand it. As astute observers such as National Journal’s Jonathan Rauch have recently noted, George W. Bush campaigned as a moderate, but has governed with the most radical agenda of any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Indeed, the aim of most of Bush’s policies has been to overturn what FDR created three generations ago. On the domestic front, that has meant major tax cuts forcing sharp reductions in resources for future government activism, combined with privatization of as many government functions as possible. Abroad, Bush has pursued an expansive and militarized unilateralism aimed at cutting the U.S. free from entangling alliances and international treaty obligations so as to maximize freedom of maneuver for American power in a Hobbesian world.

One of the more interesting parts of the article was the section dealing with conservative theory in the post-Gingrich political universe as it relates to the middle class. If Im reading him correctly, he essentially suggests that the big-picture Republican plan is to cut taxes on the wealthy so that the middle class bears more the brunt of the services they are demanding (often on behalf of the lower class) of the government. Their hope is that once the middle class really starts getting squeezed that they will acquiesce and acknowledge that small government is best. Its an interesting theory, and one that had not occurred to me.

Thankfully, none of this really matters because a huge asteroid is, at this very moment, hurtling toward earth. Thank God.

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