Monday, July 3, 2006

Bush's Sick Vision of 'Democracy' ~ and ~ Bush Is Not Incompetent

Bush's Sick Vision of 'Democracy'
The president believes our government should work like this: President breaks law, Court says President broke law, Congress vows to pass law to make President's actions legal, President attaches signing statement indicating he will not follow law.

Perhaps the nation would be better served if all members of government simply played ring around the rosy or a good hearty game of tag, because this pantomime of a fully functioning system of checks and balances is an insult to those of us who actually believe in democracy.
Read Bush's Sick Vision of 'Democracy' by Larisa Alexandrovna, AlterNet. Posted July 1, 2006.

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Bush Is Not Incompetent
Bush's bumbling folksiness causes progressives to disregard him -- but he has been overwhelmingly competent in advancing his harmful conservative agenda.
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The idea that Bush is incompetent is a curious one. Consider the following (incomplete) list of major initiatives the Bush administration, with a loyal conservative Congress, has accomplished:
  • Centralizing power within the executive branch to an unprecedented degree
  • Starting two major wars, one started with questionable intelligence and in a manner with which the military disagreed
  • Placing on the Supreme Court two far-right justices, and stacking the lower federal courts with many more
  • Cutting taxes during wartime, an unprecedented event
  • Passing a number of controversial bills such as the PATRIOT Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Medicare Drug bill, the Bankruptcy bill and a number of massive tax cuts
  • Rolling back and refusing to enforce a host of basic regulatory protections
  • Appointing industry officials to oversee regulatory agencies
  • Establishing a greater role for religion through faith-based initiatives
  • Passing Orwellian-titled legislation assaulting the environment -- "The Healthy Forests Act" and the "Clear Skies Initiative" -- to deforest public lands, and put more pollution in our skies
  • Winning re-election and solidifying his party's grip on Congress
These aren't signs of incompetence. As should be painfully clear, the Bush administration has been overwhelmingly competent in advancing its conservative vision. It has been all too effective in achieving its goals by determinedly pursuing a conservative philosophy.

It's not Bush the man who has been so harmful, it's the conservative agenda.
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The mantra of incompetence has been an unfortunate one. The incompetence frame assumes that there was a sound plan, and that the trouble has been in the execution. It turns public debate into a referendum on Bush's management capabilities, and deflects a critique of the impact of his guiding philosophy. It also leaves open the possibility that voters will opt for another radically conservative president in 2008, so long as he or she can manage better. Bush will not be running again, so thinking, talking and joking about him being incompetent offers no lessons to draw from his presidency.
Read Bush Is Not Incompetent by George Lakoff, AlterNet. Posted July 3, 2006

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