Republican candidate handlers and spinmeisters in 2008 are despairing of the notion that by mantrifying “Obama-liberal-ba-a-a-d” they will steal another set of chairs from the house of sleepy US voters. Now they freely acknowledge that this time around they’ll have to dip into their booze-and-hooker funds to pay for an ad campaign that sells Republicans as “agents of change”
Fair enough. I have no argument with the Republicans on that point. A whole bunch of change has gone down since Reagan dismounted that 20-mule team and hypnotized first California then the nation with his “just folks” appeal. It was an amazing feat considering that only one presidency separated Reagan’s from Nixon’s, and Iran was a factor then, as it could very likely be if the Republicans pull off another sleight of hand in this year’s election. Americans love to be seduced by simpletons they can identify with, and simply-phrased promises they can interpret as “more beer money and a new color TV and all-white, native-English programs except for sports.” There is no joy of ownership in acknowledging this truth, to the extent one may be part of it oneself.
Republican-red change done come, and that’s a fact. No longer will a Democrat president be able to take certain deliveries from interns in the Oval Office (Oh really?), for Republicans have shown themselves willing to boot the wheels of government while they attempt to impeach the horny miscreant in the Big Chair. Their preferred alternative is a Republican in the White House who can keep that born-again Johnson in his pants, thereby creating conditions where many can be so serviced, while Dick Cheney fixes it so that nobody has to answer any questions afterward. That’s the “raises-all-boats” kind of change a good supply-side Republican can buy into. The lobbyist army (Think Salvation Army for corporations, but without the droll uniforms) will be standing by to organize and fund the action, Party on, dudes!
Another big change Republican agents have brought is to wake us from the dream that, if the country is attacked by terrorists or hurricanes, our government will know what needs to be done, will know how to get it done, and will know what to do at every predictable step along the way, and how to clean up afterward. Nobody really believes there is any recent evidence to support that notion anymore, but there will be a few Republicans still trying to convince us that, “We’ve learned from our mistakes, and anyway the Democrats did nothing to stop us.” One small collateral change is that every American now can feel smug in the knowledge that each of us is as successful getting Osama bin Laden as is George W. Bush.
Republican-led change is also a fact when three or so billion of the world’s people who, on September 12, 2001, were genuinely outraged and sympathetic toward us, today views America as less of a solution and more of a problem in world affairs. Our country is viewed by a majority of staggering proportions, as a nation of selfish bullies and self-righteous idealogues bent on establishing political and economic hegemony over the the planet, by military force if necessary, and that driven by no more compelling set of justifications than can be limned under the rubric of “preemptive self-defense”. That a majority of Americans hate this notion is not very apparent, when the press does such a dismal job of making it clear, because corporate CEOs and CFOs have veto power over the stories that might reveal it.
These Republican agents of change have also transformed the economic future of the US from one illuminated by the greatest surplus in history at the beginning of the W years, to a picture of deficits so staggering that there is utterly no chance that the debts will ever be paid off. This while thousands of CEOs are drawing 7-8 figure salaries and 9 figure bonuses for driving the likes of the S&Ls, the Enrons, the Bear Stearnses and the mortgage lenders and insurers to bankruptcy, while bailing out the individuals who cause these disasters with more six-figure paydays as government consultants and political appointees. That’s truly a heckuva blowjob, Brownie. That’s the kind of change these Republicans hope Americans will let them take, once again, to the bank come election day. As for us believing that the Democrats will turn it all around if they get the chance, it’s way to soon to go there, and nobody should run to catch that bus.