Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Dean Broder bites dog


[Grover Norquist said that Bush]-- unlike Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush -- can operate with confidence that Republican control of Washington will provide him eight years to pursue his economic agenda.

"This," Norquist explained, "is because the 2002 redistricting gave Republicans a lock on the House of Representatives until 2012 and the Founding Fathers gerrymandered the Senate for Republican control. In the 50-50 election that was 2000, Bush carried 30 states and Al Gore 20. Over time, a reasonably competent Republican Party will tend to [elect] 60 Republicans in the Senate. This guarantee of united Republican government has allowed the Bush administration to work and think long-term."

The goal is a system of government wiped clean, on both the revenue and spending side, of almost a century's accumulation of social programs designed to provide a safety net beneath the private economy.

And the White House reaction? "They didn't ask me to do it, but they certainly didn't complain about what I did. I have exchanged several e-mails with Karl Rove since then, and it's never come up," he said.

Student loans? "Wiped clean." Unemployment insurance? "Wiped clean"? School lunch for your kids? "Wiped clean." National parks? "Wiped clean." Your Mom's Medicare? "Wiped clean." Your Dad's Medicaid? "Wiped clean." And so on. Well, it is certainly "bold" and "audacious."

Forget the Prescription Drug farce now underway. (And why are we not talking about universal health insurance?) Since the tax cuts have gutted the ability to pay for the program long term, it's just a cynical ploy for 2004. It too will be "wiped clean" when the time comes -- especially if it does anything like lowering prices instead of being in essence a transfer payment to Big Pharma.

Meanwhile, Osama's at large, Saddam's at large, Afghanistan is going down the tubes, Iraq is looking like a long hot summer (and fall, and ...) ... Have these guys really done anything besides pack the courts and wreck and loot the rest of the government as fast as they can?

Oops, I'm getting shrill.... Au revoir....