Tax Cuts on Stolen Money
George Bush and Dick Cheney have delivered on their major campaign promise, "Tax Cuts on Stolen Money." Of course, they did not put their promise in such simple and honest terms but that is, in effect, what they promised and what they have delivered. Gomer Pyle had a term for the financial largesse Bush and Cheney have reaped for themselves and their benefactors: "ill-gotten gain." Jim Nabors played a simple character, but Gomer understood right from wrong and so can the American public. There is no need for the Democrats or the media to complicate the issue. Tell the simple truth and the American public will understand.
One of the great webloggers, Bartcop, summed up Bush's Harken Energy actions in one simple sentence: "I accidentally cashed out right before my stock crashed." Bartcop put Bush's face above this summation. No one has said it better. The Democrats should make it a 2002 congressional campaign poster. Those of us who are interested in a long, involved examination and discussion of the complex financial engineering and political machinations that Bush used with Harken and Cheney used with Halliburton are free to partake in the festivities. Most Americans do not have the time, energy or desire to join us in the intrigue. But every American has the time and energy to smell rats hypocrites.
With a few exceptions, Congressional Democrats responded to the Starr investigation of President Clinton, not by attacking the inquisition but by working the procedures of government. In the end, Senate Democrats boxed out the House Managers and kept Clinton in office. Senators took credit for the victory but the real credit laid elsewhere. What really saved Clinton was his performance as President and the House Managers' failed gambit of releasing Clinton's videotaped testimony to the public. To the surprise of the House Managers, the released testimony created ympathy for Clinton. The public sided with him in large part because his attackers were hypocrites. Clinton and the American public have porn king Larry Flynt to thank for getting that message out to the American people.
There is a lesson to be learned from this recent history. To some extent, Congressional Democrats can and will work the procedures of government to box out attempts by Bush and Congressional Republicans to implement their policies. Alas, Congressional Democrats have lacked either the courage or conviction to forcefully stand up to a President who was handed the office by Republican appointees to the Supreme Court, who governed as if he was elected with a mandate, who raided the US Treasury and who then wrapped himself in the flag. Democrats will not be at the vanguard of painting a picture of George Bush and much of the Republican Party leadership as liars, cheats, and thieves who do not represent the interests of America or its citizens. Oddly, a Republican, John McCain, has done more to advance this truth than any Democrat. I would be pleased to see McCain take on the mantle of Teddy Roosevelt and challenge the leadership of his party and the New Robber Barons. I won't hold my breath waiting for this to happen. This is a job for the people, for you and me. The people I come in contact with on a day-to-day basis are now turning a critical eye towards Bush, Cheney and corporate America. Bush's popularity appears to have been a mile wide and an inch deep.
Honest and hard-working Americans, whether they work on Main Street of Wall Street, understand that President Bush did not accidentally cash out right before his stock crashed. They also know Bill Clinton lied about sex. Americans supported the president who lied about sex and worked hard for them. Americans will not support a president who works only for himself and his cronies. The Bush presidency is a failure for the vast majority of Americans. He will not be re-elected and, after the November Congressional elections, will be a first-term lame duck. That bodes well for America until one considers the increased prospect for war.
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