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Gosh, Gee Whiz, What Folksy Charm
Bush's apparent incompetence has proven a useful tool, write George Lakoff, Marc Ettlinger and Sam Ferguson. They blame it on conservatism. But, as a fiscal conservative/social libertarian, I think they're naming it wrong. Isn't it largely fundanutterism? Isn't that the basis of much of what they're going for? Like the church, it's, bottom-line, all about power and control...and the money, with "the principle" acting as great ground-cover. Here's an excerpt from the piece by Lakoff, Ettlinger, and Ferguson:

To Bush’s base, his bumbling folksiness is part of his charm — it fosters conservative populism. Bush plays up this image by proudly stating his lack of interest in reading and current events, his fondness for naps and vacations and his self-deprecating jokes. This image causes the opposition to underestimate his capacities — disregarding him as a complete idiot — and deflects criticism of his conservative allies. If incompetence is the problem, it’s all about Bush. But, if conservatism is the problem, it is about a set of ideas, a movement and its many adherents.

The idea that Bush is incompetent is a curious one. Consider the following (incomplete) list of major initiatives the Bush administration, with a loyal conservative Congress, has accomplished:

* Centralizing power within the executive branch to an unprecedented degree
* Starting two major wars, one started with questionable intelligence and in a manner with which the military disagreed
* Placing on the Supreme Court two far-right justices, and stacking the lower federal courts with many more
* Cutting taxes during wartime, an unprecedented event
* Passing a number of controversial bills such as the PATRIOT Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Medicare Drug bill, the Bankruptcy bill and a number of massive tax cuts
* Rolling back and refusing to enforce a host of basic regulatory protections
* Appointing industry officials to oversee regulatory agencies
* Establishing a greater role for religion through faith-based initiatives
* Passing Orwellian-titled legislation assaulting the environment — “The Healthy Forests Act” and the “Clear Skies Initiative” — to deforest public lands, and put more pollution in our skies
* Winning re-election and solidifying his party’s grip on Congress

These aren’t signs of incompetence. As should be painfully clear, the Bush administration has been overwhelmingly competent in advancing its conservative vision. It has been all too effective in achieving its goals by determinedly pursuing a conservative philosophy.

There are so many signs that we need a third party. The Democrats are, by and large, a bunch of ineffective nincompoops. The Republicans are selling the country off to the religious right and K Street lobbyists, as fast as they messenger the pieces out of the House and Senate. Who represents the common-sense moderates like me? Hellloooo? Anybody out there?

Speaking of religion, we saw The DaVinci Code this weekend, which was a truly dumb and unbelievable movie, yet highlighted the ridiculousness of religion, and how the Catholic church is really just the world's most successful multi-national corporation. Tom Hanks starred in his usual role as a large, emoting human shishkebob. Audrey Tautou managed to seem ordinary and boring, only eclipsed in this endeavor by Jean Reno -- another Frenchie favorite of mine. The bit with the pyramid holding the secrets of the ages was especially moronic, considering it was built by I.M. Pei in 1989. What's down there, a couple of shoulder pads and a coke spoon from Studio 54? The best thing about the movie was the crazed, self-flagellating albino; best described as a cross between The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and a kid who a bit too dim to get accepted to the Hitler Youth. If I ever can afford a servant, I think I'd like it to be him.

via metafilter

Posted by aalkon at June 27, 2006 11:24 AM

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"There are so many signs that we need a third party."

I'd settle for a second party at this point.

Posted by: Lena at June 27, 2006 9:52 PM

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