Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bush’s Balancing Act

As the price of labor goes down
Half the Right wears a frown
Mumbling bring on the beagles
And chase the illegals
Across the South border
And build a high wall
To keep law and order
Before we all fall
While the other half praises
The lowest of wages
At home and abroad
And legislates fraud

In a strange way, it is fun to watch the Republicans in a schizoid stance trying to balance the hatred of the far right with the greed of the far right. We have racist ideologues facing off with free market ideologues. Of course, the free market ideologues have an edge with Bush pushing for a guest worker (no citizenship) program. This keeps wages low here and keeps the status quo in Mexico so that the oligarchs there, including Fox, don't have to invest in a middle class and we can reduce our middle class at home. Meanwhile, we are in a war that takes all the fun out of the Republican dilemma because in that ultimate reality program real people are really being killed and the money is our tax money being paid out through no-bid contracts.

If you happen to stop in a bookstore, pick up Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor. It will confirm all your suspicions about how soon in his first term Bush and his accomplices decided to go to war and how weak the planning became as Donald Rumsfeld bullied General Officers to whittle down the size of the invasion force while speeding up the process. As Condi Rice put it so well, "thousands of mistakes were made." Of course, the most frightening scenario is that the administration has not learned from its mistakes.

Planning for Katrina was no better than Iraq and the same no-bid contracts were let to the same contractors with the same underachievement. Cronyism ruled contracting both home and away. Indeed, the administration used the Katrina aftermath as an opportunity to combine the incompetence of senior appointees with the economic disadvantages of low wages so Halliburton and others are hiring manual laborers from Mexico to clean up New Orleans.

For the Bush administration and its cronies, Katrina may, in fact be the perfect storm. It has permitted, through an act of God, the enrichment of the few while so changing the demographics as to make a Democratic district a wasteland and simultaneously deny the former residents an opportunity to vote. We boasted how we encouraged ex-patriot Iraqis to vote from remote locations here in the United States, but refused to allow displaced New Orleans residents the same. It is difficult to distinguish the effects of nefarious intentions from sheer incompetence and I am not sure which label best fits the Bush Leaguers. The result will be conversion of a Democratic district in Louisiana into a Republican district. Above all, (including outing a CIA undercover agent) it is politics above the good of the nation. DeLay in Texas redistricting and Bush in Ohio and Louisiana disenfranchisement. Now that is teamwork.

For those of you who wonder how the Congress will resolve the "immigration" issue, look no further than the immediate past for your best prediction. There will be a compromise for the racist right with the "free market" right. The racist right will get its Berlin Wall West and the corporate right will get its no-bid contracts and a franchise for low priced labor. Look for the invocation of "national security" to build a wall and then look for some compassionate consideration by permitting Mexicans and Central Americans as guest laborers. This is essentially the gastarbeiter system of Germany that has failed so miserably. The connected will get the no-bid contracts to build the wall and with a minimum wage here that is three times the average wage in Mexico, the infiltration will continue to the delight of the Right.

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