Not The Media's Finest Hour
Like vultures circling a dying animal, the media has under gone an interesting transformation since John F. Kerry's clear victory in the first debate. Even conservative voices were making noises that vaguely sounded like "If I admit you won and say nice things about you, will you forget about all those nasty things I said about you before you won?"
While not especially out front with his criticisms, Walter Williams has at times made critical comments about Bu$hCo before it became popular, or even wise. But in today's columns, he makes the kind of charges against George Worthless Bu$h that should have been made back in 1999 when examining Dumbya's gubernatorial record - and wasn't.
Based on my assessment of George W. Bush's presidency in columns over the past five days, I have concluded that his first term should rate near the bottom among all the presidents since 1789.
Thanks for noticing, Mr. Williams. But where the hell were you five years ago when you could have helped prevent this (mis)Administration from taking power?
All it takes was for John F. Kerry to demonstrate that George Weasel Bu$h could be defeated and they crawl out from under their beds, no longer afraid that the Boogie Cheney will eat them alive. It makes one long for the days of Walter Lippmann and Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Woodward and Bernstein before they were assimilated by the Vast Right Wing Borg. Even Hearst and Pulitzer would have been preferable to the wimp weenies we have now (apologies to those few who don't qualify for that appelation). It used to be that reporters went after the story instead of making the story fit the desired facts, and this country has been ill served since that began.
If reporters did their jobs properly - and we aren't going to excuse them merely because those paychecks they do need are signed by wealthy Borg commanders - then Mr. Williams would not have had these things to say about the ravaging of America by Bu$hCo:
President Bush's economic record -- the worst in the postwar years -- has put the broad middle class in serious economic jeopardy. His administration's gross incompetence in Iraq has left the United States bogged down in a Vietnam-like quagmire while increasing world terrorism. By favoring big-money interests, Bush has entrenched plutocratic governance and diminished democracy.
He's only getting warmed up. Remember - he's hardly used these journalistic muscles in the last five years. Even so, he points out some reasonable assumptions about the next four years should Bu$hCo successfully steal this election:
Winning a second term can be read as a mandate to press on even more vigorously toward the Bush objectives. The Bush propagandists will continue to paint Iraq as a success, as it moves toward a quagmire worse than Vietnam.
In the United States, plutocracy likely will become more entrenched and democracy becomes more myth than reality. I confess to pessimism. Bush's tax policies have put ordinary citizens at great economic risk. I fear that the American government will not maintain democracy and will fail the great bulk of its citizens in their quest for a secure middle-class status at work and in retirement.
Bush's tax policies threaten the economic security of more and more of the broad middle class. A Sept.14 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report indicates that the average tax reductions in 2004 from the earlier Bush tax legislation were $123,592 for millionaires; $34,992, for the top 1 percent of the population; and $647 for the middle 20 percent of the population. It also pointed out that, measured as a share of the total economy, federal tax revenues this year drop to their 1959 level and individual income tax revenues, to their 1943 level. The CBPP report concluded that "we cannot run today's government on these revenue levels" because most of the current social and environment programs did not exist in 1959.
Williams, as if in a Last Great Act of Defiance, winds up and delivers a solid strike right at the letters:
My closing admonition is: Demand the facts and vote in your family's real interests. The overriding need is a full dose of hard facts about the real problems of a nation with severe limits now and in the future. Then, the electorate must accept this uncomfortable reality, and the politicians act on it. If you ignore the clear dangers by opting for a glowing unreality, welcome aboard for a calamitous second term.
Finally, just be clear that Cassandras are not always wrong, and Bush's Trojan horse is at the gate.
And the Trojan has a hole in it.
OK, Mr. Williams, we'll accept what might be your career's death bed conversion. I just hope that it isn't too little - or too late.
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