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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Malaise

Katrina. Rita. Nearly 2,000 U.S. soldiers dead in Iraq. $4 a gallon gasoline. Natural gas and electric utility rates soaring into the "heat or eat" category for seniors.

"Compassionate conservatives" saying we such cut Medicaid and the (flawed but something) Medicare drug benefit to pay for the Katrina reconstruction. W making sure the contractors (shouldn't we call them looters?) benefit from the reconstruction, in part by making sure they don't have to pay prevailing wage to those who will do the actual work.

Consumer confidence is at its lowest levels since 9-11, so our president is wasting expensive jet fuel flying back and forth to the Gulf Coast (not to be confused by the Arabian Gulf) to assure Katrina's victims that he really does care despite the reality on the ground.

Things haven't been this low since the 1979 oil crisis, an event that led Jimmy Carter to deliver his highly ridiculed "malaise" speech. Clearly, the more things change, the more they stay the same:

"As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning."

For that, he was pilloried. But one big difference is the folks who led the ridicule then, the conservative true believers who led the charge that ousted Carter a year later, are the ones running the show into the ground.

And while Jimmy's "I'll never lie to you" statement seems quaint these days, let's contrast that to the man who claimed he was a "uniter, not a divider." Let's look at just some of the lies of the Bush Administration:
  • Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with Osama bin Laden;
  • Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction;
  • Iraqis will welcome us with flower petals;
  • We don't engage in torture;
  • All Americans will benefit from our tax cuts;
  • No one could have foreseen terrorists flying airplanes into buildings;
  • No one could have foreseen the levees breaking in New Orleans.
That's the short list. You can add any of your personal favorites.

Those highly moral compassionate conservatives thought it was appropriate to impeach a president for one lie under oath (after spending $72 million in taxpayer dollars and failing to come up with anything of substance to back up their other allegations).

In hindsight, who is the moral president? The man who could not admit under oath that he committed adultery or the one who has sacrificed the lives of countless thousands of Americans, Iraqis and others in pursuit of ill-advised, mean-spirited and hateful campaign to appeal to the minority of Americans' driven by fear, greed or intolerance.

Just as Ronald Reagan's foolishly illegal Iran-Contra escapades avoided impeachment because the nation was scarred by Watergate, so too is George Bush protected despite a web of lies.

The sad thing is that the GOP is guilty of doing to the Constitution what Bill Clinton is guilty of doing to women. Yet only one is considered a crime.

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