Saturday, March 12, 2005


Getting right things wrong

If missing the point were an Olympic event, the New York Times would sweep all the medals for their ridiculous editorial on Thursday.
Putting Last Things First

We had hoped, when Mr. Bush was re-elected, that he'd rethink his goals once the next campaign was no longer an issue. There are so many critical problems facing the nation. But the president seems determined to ignore the biggest challenges and to home in on politically charged side issues. Medicare faces a perilous future, given growing health costs and the aging of the baby boomer population, and anything approaching a resolution would require hard bipartisan work. But the White House instead decided to make privatizing Social Security its chief priority. Social Security's long-term problems are relatively minor compared with Medicare's, and the fixes are pretty obvious.

The list goes on and on. When we look at problems that cry out for White House involvement, one that leaps out is our dependency on foreign oil. That not only leaves us hostage to some of the shakiest and most unappetizing oil-producing nations around the globe, but also threatens the entire economy over the long term, given that rising oil prices make the trade deficit even bigger and the dollar even weaker. Another huge economic threat, at least for some agricultural regions, is the growing international pressure to end our irrational subsidy program for crops like cotton. Both of these are tricky political issues that require steady and firm presidential intervention.

We haven't heard Mr. Bush make a big deal about either, except for his fixation with drilling in the Arctic wildlife preserve. Meanwhile in Congress, all the political capital is being directed toward putting an anti-environmental former lobbyist for mining interests on the federal bench, and passing a new law that will make it difficult for middle-class credit card users who suffer a life catastrophe - like sudden illness or divorce - to get back on their feet after they have to declare bankruptcy.

The priorities of this administration never cease to amaze.
What really never ceases to amaze is the incredible naivete of the New York Times editorial board. You'd think by this point that they'd have figured it out - George W. Bush is evil. As Davros says to the Doctor in "Genesis of the Daleks," "Your evil, Doctor, is my good." George W. Bush has no interest whatsoever in getting things right or in doing good. He has a narrow-minded, hard-right agenda - basically, turning America into a wholly owned subsidiary of whatever Big Business interest he most recently took money from - and nothing else matters to him.

That, and the fact that he is totally incompetent. As I have written before, it is impossible to understand George W. Bush's second term without taking into account Beck’s Axiom: "Anyone George W. Bush appoints for his second term (or who is appointed by someone appointed by Bush for his second term) will be worse than the person being replaced." And the corollary: anything he does will be wrong.

The inability (or perhaps unwillingness) of the New York Times editorial board to figure this out is maddening. Everything he does that they can't understand is explicable if you simply stop imagining that he is trying to do a good job. He isn't. He's trying to do a horrible job. Keep that in mind when you consider anything that comes out of the White House and you'll begin to figure it out.

It's bad enough that Bush is trying to fool us. It's worse when the New York Times keeps managing to fool itself. It's time for them to grow up.
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