What's The Commission
On $1.6 Trillion?
By Jerry Fees
E.J. Dionne Jr, in one of his recent columns, warns Democratic
foot soldiers that we'll need to lay off George W. when it
comes to making cracks about his intellect if we plan on doing
something about him anytime in the near future. Beating up
on him has the negative effect of lowering expectations and
plays into the hand of the Resident (I just can't make myself
call this guy the President). Dionne makes the point that
if we take for granted that Bush is an idiot, we underestimate
To underestimate him is to not take the threat he poses to
our view of the role of government in our society as seriously
as is warranted. By trivializing him in front of the nation
we allow him to take the role of populist as opposed to the
true role of the ultra-Conservative he has shown himself to
be. He goes on to worry that casting Bush as a dullard is
a self-defeating proposition and that in the long run it's
a serious mistake.
It's been a lot of fun beating up on Junior these last couple
of months and the prospect of having to lay off initially
didn't set to well with me. I gave the whole argument some
thought these last couple of days and have come to the conclusion,
when E.J. is right, he's right.
Now please don't get me wrong. You'll never read anything
from me that extolls the intelligence or "brain power" of
the Pretender in Chief. My friends over at NewsMax.com tell
me that I have no objectivity because I can never say anything
good about their hero Bush. With the admonitions of Mr. Dionne
Jr in one ear and the cries for objectivity in the other,
I've come up with this. If George W. hadn't been born with
that silver spoon in his mouth and actually had to work for
a living, he'd have made one hell of a salesman.
"Why?" you say. Let's start by looking at a few
of his campaign promises and how they are slowly falling by
the wayside while his supporters turn the other cheek and
refuse to acknowledge they've been deceived. He's sold his
supporters a bill of goods and they could care less.
The military, according to old 5/4, was in terrible shape
and the Clinton/Gore administration was guilty of nothing
less than treason for their absence of diligence in the area
of military preparedness. I specifically remember the number
$45 billion being discussed as the figure he intended to spend
to get the situation under control and while I'm not the least
bit surprised by his lack of veracity and his overriding desire
that there be enough money in the national purse to afford
him to pay back the $400 million he borrowed to get elected,
I am surprised that his supporters aren't more alarmed about
this obvious falsehood.
The apologists, of which there are many, argue that a month
does not an administration make and one budget does not make
him a liar. My point is that the military must not have been
in quite the mess he led us to believe and this is one fine
example of his salesmanship and willingness to deceive in
order to further his goals. Anyone want to buy the Brooklyn
Bridge? It's a one-owner property.
All of the promise he made regarding Social Security, Medicare
reform, school vouchers and so on and so forth seem to be
items up for negotiation now that he's been selected and yet
his supporters argue that this is just the price of doing
business in today's political world. It's OK if he doesn't
exactly do what he promised as the ends justify the means.
Sounds a lot like a President we had that was actually legitimately
elected to the office and hounded unmercifully by the guardians
of truth and justice. I guess it's fine for a President to
talk out of both sides of his face as long as he keeps an
elephant somewhere on the property. Anybody for a used
57 Buick? The interior is like new.
Now how about that bipartisan world we were all going to
venture into hand in hand. It appears that them boys what
loaned him the $400 million want their money back right pronto
and if he's got to ram a tax cut down the throats of the spineless
Democrats in Congress in order to get it, well so be it. The
hell with being bipartisan. Bush's idea of the whole concept
is obviously "my way or the highway".
The best part of the tax cut argument is to listen to the
apologists talk about their understanding of the way it's
going to work. In the last couple of weeks, there was an article
in our local newspaper, The Des Moines Register, that said
no matter how much you made, under $300,000 a year, your tax
cut was going to be $360 or less in the first year. (The article
made no mention of what those who make over $300,000 a year
will get and I found that interesting in and of itself.) I
don't think that's anything close to what the Bush supporters
understand they'll be getting in their upcoming tax refund
Now I will admit that there are so many sets of numbers floating
around that I am without a clue as to who is telling the truth.
I realistically suspect, that with my income level, I'm not
going to end up with squat. At least not the $40 per week
I heard one woman on C-Span say she was going to use to buy
her medicine with. She lives in a one income family that gets
government assistance because they are barely getting by.
Somewhere she got the idea that her low-income family, already
on government assistance, was going to qualify for an additional
tax refund of over $2000 in the first year. Who do you suppose
is going to break the news to her when it doesn't quite work
out that way? Where do you suppose she got the idea in the
first place? We've got this little thing we call a pyramid
game and all you have to do is give us $100 and you'll be
rich by the end of the month.
Another letter to the editor in our local paper, from an
average Joe, talked about how he was going to spend the $1600
the great salesman from All Hat and No Cowboy, Texas was promising.
The real problem here is that this guy thinks because The
Shrub put that oversized check, made out to The Average American
for $1600, in front of him that he's actually going to get
it. They forgot to explain that the $1600 amount was what
you get in year six or sixty and that by the time your $1600
return rolls around the Congress' to come will have altered
these proposals time and time again. How about some oceanfront
property Georgie has for sale out by Garland?
My favorite confidence game is the one he's playing with
the budget. (I've made this point before and I love it so
much I can't help myself.) He's proposing a 4% increase in
spending and he knows damn well the Congress will have to
increase that to send up a budget that even begins to meet
the needs of the people. By doing this he automatically gives
himself a debating position pitting himself against those
mean old congressman who want to just throw your money away
on frills and the like. I hate to admit it but I am in awe
of this one. It's a masterstroke. He's got two seats at
his next inauguration he can let you have for $100 a piece
if you're interested.
Finally, I want to make one last point about how he's planning
on using his faith-based racket - if he ever gets Jerry Falwell's
and Pat Robertson's permission to go forward - to woo the
African-American vote. He's going to use this program to inject
some money into their communities. You don't suppose he's
trying to help them forget that he and his party did everything
they could to disenfranchise as many of them as possible in
Florida last November do you? He's using a little "got to
give a little to get a little" theory here and I hope the
good folks in the African-American community take his money,
as much as he hands out, and then go to the polls against
him in record numbers in 2004. This is one I'd love to see
backfire on His Fraudulency. The justice would be karmic in
nature and I look forward to the prospect of it being dispensed
in heavy doses.
He may not be stupid as E.J. Dionne points out, but he's
as slick as old Willie ever was and it helps that his flock
is yearning to have the fleece pulled over it's collective
eyes. I for one am done talking about how stupid George W.
Bush is, even if it's true, but I find it rather ironic that
the right spent the last eight years decrying the lack of
honesty in the White House but now that we've got a new lead
salesman it's all part of the game. I say buyer beware.
Jerry Fees is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa.
Comments or Complaints?