Sunday, September 1, 2013

Still Blaming W. Bush? Why stop?

A Legacy of Mistrust and Chaos

MeanMesa has watched the events in domestic politics with a stomach wrenching pain through the now temporarily befuddled plan to "speak out" about gassing innocent civilians in their sleep.  Spinning attitudes like marbles in a mayonnaise jar have sent public opinion polls into a tizzy reminiscent of a championship ping pong game.

The MeanMesa blog began "spreading joy" late in 2007.  The inspiration to begin blogging was due largely to a few students.  They could see how upsetting the autocracy's mad war making, domestic propaganda and economic looting was to this geezer. 

In particular two incredibly destructive aspects of the autocracy's "war on democracy" had risen to a grave, threatening level.

First, the Republican Party had adopted a system of political strategies in which the division of the US electorate was the highest priority. 

This was not a "flash in the pan" sort of manipulation of public opinion to squeeze one or two pieces of legislation through the entirely Republican House and Senate, either.  The "product" of this well funded, well designed new image of the country was intended to be durable and long lasting, perhaps in the fantasies of the owners of the GOP and the billionaires -- permanent.

There had already been starkly divisive maneuvering in the years following the election of Reagan, but during the Bush W. government, the penchant for issuing every possible "us and them" scenario reached incendiary heights.  Given the statistically low information, low education quality of the GOP base coupled with the smooth complicity of the -- by then -- entirely corporate domestic media, a rampage of violent vilification followed.

Second, the owners of the Republican Party had directed all of their extensive persuasive assets to establish a total mistrust of the US government among not only their own base of voters, but in a larger effect, to a large majority of American voters.

At first the focal points of this abiding mistrust had centered on traditional "irritants" already well developed -- that is, common irritants such as the IRS, synthetic classification of various laws as socialism, regulation of essentially any type, gays, minorities and a newly invigorated Xenophobia about immigrants, foreigners, Muslims and the like.

However, with the election of Barack Obama these default sensitivities became much more aggravated, and the further exploitation of the gradually constructed mistrust offered the oligarchs an irresistible opportunity to consolidate what would have normally been a rather modest and temporary political advantage.

The short sightedness of the money class revealed itself again -- just as it had with its ambition of a permanent division of the electorate -- with clear fantasies of permanent mistrust of the government.  Facing their inability to win elections, their apparent "second choice" was to reduce the country to a state where it was ungovernable.

All this rather meat handed exploitation was made possible by a number of factors, but one which seems to stand quite above the rest is the fact that civics is no longer part of a standard high school curriculum.  In the past even low information demographic populations such as the one making up the modern GOP base would have had sufficient exposure to the fundamentals of the American democracy to make most of such propaganda ineffective if not conspicuously suspicious.

We won't need to argue too much about the price we are paying for the national division and the national mistrust.  It is probably also interesting to examine precisely when and where these crippling additions were added to the national mentality.

The Robotic US Media's
Most Recent Compelling Phrases

A week ago when the President's intention to punish Assad for the child slaughtering Sarin gas attacks seemed to be reaching a "material substance," the very obedient US media's relentlessly repeated lament was "What does he expect to accomplish?"

As if the comatose US media actually cared. 

The US media had been given marching orders by the oligarchs in command of the corporations which own it.  The marching order?  Make Obama look ineffective regardless of the cost in network credibility.  Unhappily, for the oligarchs, those networks are already tragically over drawn in their "credibility accounts."

If anyone were going to play chess, which, it turns out, was exactly what Obama was doing with the Syrians by issuing his open ended threats, the oligarchs had decided that it would have to be the GOP's Obama hating "war experts" like Grampy McCain and six drawling Texans.  Unhappily, this team doesn't know how to play chess.  All this bunch is much good for is terrifying hill billies and enraging the bigots in the GOP Party base.

Unexpectedly, at precisely this point the formidable politician Obama deftly passed the recently heated "hot potato" to the House tea bags. 

The media's "replacement lament" emerged immediately -- so quickly, in fact, that MeanMesa assumes it was already written in anticipation of the President's fast hand at the draw.  Network after network regurgitated the talking points almost word for word and almost simultaneously.

"Obama's faltering has cast the leadership of his Presidency and the predominance of the US in world opinion into grave doubt."

As if THAT were anything new.

To date, the terrified, cowardly House Speaker has refused to call his boisterous, unpredictable tea bags back into session until early September when they will stagger back into D.C after NOT holding town hall meetings in their home districts.  Who knows how many Syrians Assad will have gassed by then.

Once the clown car is safely seated in the House chamber, the Sharia law bills, the repeal ObamaCare bills and the wild eyed, racist liable will re-commence as vehemently as a teenage school girl vomiting in the back seat of a Packard.  The remote possibility of a "tea bag debate" on the Syria crisis will be abandoned, fluttering in the wind -- perhaps near the cave where Speaker Boehner is hiding with a room temperature Rob Roy looking for his testicles.

So, Why Blame W. Bush?

Here, MeanMesa asks visitors to remember just how wretched things had become by mid 2008.   This blog was posting about the unelected President back then.
One of his "more Presidential" moments.

The thread here is, however, specifically about the origin of the current state of
the nation in which Americans do not or cannot trust the intentions of the current President.  How in hell did we wind up in a place like this?

A glimpse at what it all looked like back then might help.  For this we can re-visit an old MeanMesa post from July, 2008.

Dancing with the "T" Word:  Treason?
MeanMesa, Monday, July 7, 2008

Enough of This Polite Confusion
None Dare Call It Treason?

Although this may be borrowing the title of an old book, we can translate its rather provocative question right into the present. As we measure our leaders we see them in essentially three dimensions.

The first is probably whether or not we agree with them. This matter spreads out to all sorts of things: economics, foreign policy, social ideals, justice and personal philosophy. No matter how contentious the issue might be, we can approach it with the confidence that we will survive, pretty much in the state we are accustomed to, even if we strongly disagree with the choice finally made. After these disagreeable matters are put into place through the action of our democratic system, we calm down, somehow comforted by the possibility that the next time will be our chance to prevail.

Issues of disagreement can be dramatized as “treason” while we rant and rave, but there is not really any actual treason at play.

The second dimension has to do with mistakes. Our national leadership can make military mistakes, foreign policy mistakes, domestic economic mistakes and all sorts of other mistakes. It would be comforting to categorize these mistakes as being “innocent” or “unavoidable” in one sense, or “suspicious” or “self-serving” in the other sense. In any event, although errors in judgement, the “conspiracy” side rarely materializes. We survive these in much the same manner as we survive the disagreeable variety. Quite comfortably.

Again, as citizens we are, of course, directly responsible for these mistakes, their consequences, usually to others, and their historical ramifications. Similar to the “disagreeable variety” we can correct them. We get out our voter ID’s and go to town at the next election.

However, the third dimension of measure brings us quickly to the grave realm quite beyond either “disagreeable” or “incompetent.” The third measure falls to the threatening prospect of treason. It stands out beyond our considerations of “disagreeable” or “incompetent” because it offers the possibility of our not surviving it.

The conclusion of treason” is not quite as murky as a conclusion of disagree-ability or incompetence.” Those lesser complaints rely rather heavily on opinion. Those easier ones are based, often, on the information we have made the effort to accumulate about a certain thing or other. In many cases, there will be contradictory information supporting an alternate opinion. Then we get to argue with each other. This, of course, is the American way. The end result of this is that we wind up hearing about the facts supporting the opinion of the other side, probably not changing our original position much, but at least, understanding the other side a little better.

However, returning to the matter of treason,” we immediately must also address trust.” After all, enough “trust” in the character and motivation of one of our leaders can serve to move what might have otherwise been treason to a more palatable place nearer what could be called, for instance, incompetence.” We find it rather difficult to construct the indictment of “treasoneven to situations presented with misdirection, deception, outright lies, confusing motives, intentional complexity and the like. With all those “buffers” in place, the fabric of inescapable pure, true treasoncan become elusive.

After all, he didn’t just hand Los Angeles over to the Chinese Army or something.

As tax payers, we have provided the President with some pretty potent tools to use for our protection and for the protection of the country as he steers us through risky situations and other challenges, not the least of these is the most expensive military the planet has ever seen. We elected him because we thought he would be much better at such tasks than we would be if we were President. We also made a statement in that election. We declared that we “trusted” him, his motivation, his ability and even his intuition. We also expected that he was going to “trust us” as far as possible as he did his job.

This President spoke, apparently convincingly, about Political Capital.” That term describes something either the same as trust or, at least, very involved with trust.” These comments about Political Capital” may have been some of the most forthright comments this President has ever made.

You know, “honest.” Oh, yeah, anyway. Well, you know.

We can gauge our trust a bit by looking at who our “leader” has trusted.” That would be “Brownie” of FEMA-Katrina fame, Putin, the man whose soul he saw, or something, the Iraqis, the ones he “trusted” would simply leap into democracy, the “Generals” who managed to create a five and half year long meat grinder, Mr. Wolfowitz, a neo-con genius, Mr. Bremmer, a neo-con genius, Mr. Rove. a neo-con and alleged "human" of unknown origin, Mr. Rumsfeld, a neo-con military genius, Mr. DeLay, a political neo-con genius exterminator (yeah, bugs), Mr. Abramhoff, who he quit trusting” when it became difficult, Mr. Cheney, you know, “shooter,” and others. He even trusted the famous Jeff Gannon of enough to give him Helen Thomas’s seat at press conferences.

We can take a look at the stuff that makes our country strong. He has pretty much wrecked the Army while losing a battle with a trailer park east of Cairo. He has tanked the economy which is the basis for the wealth we need to defend ourselves. He has managed to drive off most of our friends, those would be the ones who couldn’t be bribed or threatened. Sometimes friends are helpful in matters of national security.

He has always been too tormented by his fear about decisions he makes to trust anyone. He clearly believes that “enough authority” means one doesn’t have to “trust anyone. Where does incompetence” make the last journey to outright treason?”

Perhaps the suspicious transfer of billions of tax dollars to his friends via tax breaks can resist the new definition, thereby remaining no more than incompetence.” Perhaps a national debt, not counting the “emergency funding billions” for Iraq and Afghanistan, rising to an astounding nine trillion dollars with nothing to show for the purchase can still be simple incompetence.” Maybe his “line blocking” Republican cronies in the Congress obstructing a record seventy-eight House bills with their filibuster threats, extracting his war profiteering funds by the hundreds of billions every time he asked, protecting his impeachment investigation from proceeding are really just in the disagreeable category.

So, no “treason’” right?

Not exactly. Our nation is apparently able to survive all this damage. We recall that “treason” didn’t really cross the line until it threatened our national security. Has that happened, too?

Yes. It has.

The most valuable “trust” of all is our confidence that this man will step up to lead us through really dangerous matters should they arise. We have no choice but to count on him for such matters. Even if we “disagree.” Even if we think he is “incompetent.” He remains the only “horse” we’ve got, and that means he is the one we have to count on, his judgment may be faulty, his ability may suggest “incompetence,” but he remains the one with the keys to set our defense in motion should the need arise.

Our problem is that we can no longer trust him. Sure, he remains an incredibly powerful man thanks to the assets we have given him, but we can no longertrust him when he tells us that we are facing danger or that we must go to war. We have learned the painful lesson that his words will always be self-serving and deceptive. We, frankly, have no reliable means to determine for ourselves the gravity of situations which might face us. We are “flying blind.”

That frightening situation is beyond disagreeable,” beyond incompetent.” Through his own strategy he has emasculated the political leadership we have created to protect our democracy and our nation. His careful, premeditated, intentional creation of that state of affairs is treason.

THIS is why we needn't so much as break a sweat with the prospect of rehabilitating George W. Bush -- it can't be done.

We are paying a monumental price for the autocrat's "legacy" of mistrust and chaos.  So is Syria.

This is what happens in the ruins of democracy.

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