By Manifesto Joe
Hi there, buckeroos. Been away for a while, tendin' to family business.
I have nonetheless been perusing recent doings in the mass media -- my job inevitably brings me into contact with that grotesque modern animal -- and I offer a few comments.
The one they call Michelle Bernard would be a fool.
Michelle is a glamorous-looking Jamaican-American lawyer who somewhat improbably became a right-winger, and then, somewhat more probably, a "conservative" TV political analyst for MSNBC. She flashes a dazzling mechanical smile at the camera the moment she's through with some inane comment. Her looks are enough for her to get by on, most of the time.
Last week, during the postmortem on President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress, one couldn't help but see this person's sheltered, naive foolishness.
During an MSNBC discussion about the role of government in economic matters, Bernard talked about Hurricane Katrina, and its aftermath, as an example of why Americans shouldn't trust government or its proposed solutions. The implication, of course, was that Obama's new proactive role for government is wrongheaded.
That she would even bring up such an example is breathtaking in its stupidity. Let's consider all this:
-- How would the residents of New Orleans have effectively employed an ideology of "self-reliance," other than to just leave the city as the storm approached?
-- Then, unless they were financially independent, they would have to rely on relief services somewhere, from some source, in order to dress, eat and sleep. Where are these things coming from? FEMA? They couldn't rely very much on the agency under Bush, underfunded and led by Republican political hacks. Private sources? A lot of wonderful people pitched in, but the aid wasn't nearly enough for all the victims. There are still a lot of displaced people living in substandard trailers, wondering if they can ever go home.
-- As for those who stayed: What kind of self-reliance would have helped those people, other than to climb up onto the roofs of houses? And after that, who was going to rescue them? Private Blackwater contractors?
-- When the New Orleans levies failed, this was a preventable failure of government. Ask the Army Corps of Engineers about that one. It's no secret that government often fails us. It's in the hands of humans. But I've noticed that when it's in the hands of anti-government Republicans, it tends to fail more often. Could it be that this is because they underfund it, staff it with political hacks, and then predict its failure as a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy?
I've been through four hurricanes, and I can remember when FEMA was an agency that would be on site quickly and with effective help. That was when it was adequately funded, and staffed with professionals, not GOP fundraisers and functionaries.
I think your Michelle Bernard would be a fool, and just one more example of how any right-wing bozo (or bozette) who looks "right," and says the "right" things, can be elevated to the status of national political pundit.
The one they call Rush Limbaugh, once again, would be a fool.
This obese life-support system for a mouth has positioned himself as one of Obama's leading critics, and as a staunch defender of predatory capitalism as American patriotism.
How in the world does this man think the current crisis came about? It was the logical result of policies he's been bombastically pushing for decades -- low (or no) taxes on the wealthy and big corporations, little or no regulatory oversight of financial institutions, prosecution of elective wars without regard for where the financing would come from, sitting around and belching platitudes about the free market while millions of jobs were being exported. ... He was never worried about the deficit for 28 years. And now he is?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates tells Sunday morning talking heads that Obama is more "analytical" than Bush.
Is this a polite way of saying that Bush is stoooooopid?
It's all very unscientific.
(For those unfamiliar, there are allusions here to The King and I.)
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.