Does the liberal-left have a clue? I sometimes think not.
In his book, What�s
the Matter With Kansas?, Thomas Frank made the excellent point
that the Karl Rove Republicans take advantage of ordinary�s people�s
frustrations and resentments to lead them into voting against their best
Frank�s new book, The
Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, lacks the insight that
distinguished his previous book. Why does Frank think that conservatives or
Neither rule. America is ruled by organized interest groups
with money to elect candidates who serve their interests. Frank�s book does not
even mention the Israel Lobby, which bleeds Americans for the sake of Israeli
territorial expansion. Check the index. Israel is not there.
Does Frank think that Rapture evangelicals are conservative,
that Christian Zionists are conservative? If so, where did he learn his
Frank can�t tell the difference between Ronald Reagan and Cheney/Bush.
He conflates the collection of opportunists and fanatics that comprise the Bush
Party with the Reagan conservatives who ended stagflation and
the Cold War. The adventurer, Jack
Abramoff, is Frank�s epitome of a conservative. Abramoff is the most
mentioned person in Frank�s story. In Frank�s view, conservatives are out to
ruin everyone except the rich.
But it was the Clinton administration that rigged
the Consumer Price Index in order to cheat retired people out of their
Social Security cost of living increases.
It was the Clinton administration that vanished discouraged
workers from the unemployment rolls.
It was the Clinton administration that wrecked �effective government� by encouraging
early civil service retirements in order to make
way for quota hires.
Why doesn�t Frank know that the �Reagan deficit� was due to the collapse of inflation below the
forecast, thus reducing the flow of inflated revenues into the government�s
budget, whereas the Bush deficit is a result of what Nobel Democrat economist
Joe Stiglitz has calculated to be a $3 trillion dollar war in the Middle East?
Frank doesn�t want to know. Like so many fighting
ideological battles, he just wants to damn �the enemy.�
But who is Frank�s enemy? He calls them �conservatives.� But the Bush regime
is a neoconservative regime. Neoconservatives,
despite the name, are not conservatives. They have taken over formerly
conservative publications, think tanks, and foundations and driven out the
Neoconservatives are in the tradition of the French Jacobins of the
18th century. Having had the French
Revolution, the revolutionaries thought that they should take it to all of
Europe. Napoleon exercised French hegemony over Europe. The American neocons
desire American hegemony over the world.
The true American conservative does not believe in foreign
wars. In US history, conservatives were derided by liberals as �isolationists.�
There is nothing conservative about launching wars of
aggression on the basis of lies and deception in order to control the direction
of oil pipelines and to enhance Israeli territorial expansion.
Frank misses all of this.
And what a pity that is. A false conservative-liberal fight
distracts attention from the growing police state that is destroying civil
liberties for all Americans. It obscures the real motives of policies in behalf
of special interests that are leading to nuclear confrontation with Russia and
What is wrecking America is not conservatives, but a
neoconservative ideology of US hegemony.
What is wrecking America is the �impeachment-is-off-the-table�
twins, Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers.
What is wrecking America is the Democratic Party, which was
put in control of the House and Senate in the 2006 congressional elections to
stop the gratuitous wars and Gestapo police, but, instead, has continued to
cooperate with the Cheney/Bush regime in behalf of war and police repression,
such as we witnessed at the Republican National Convention.
Frank�s book, The
Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, falls into the scapegoat category of
blaming the innocent and irrelevant. The Democrat Party could impeach
Cheney/Bush and cut off funding for the wars and corrupt military contracts.
But they do nothing and get a free pass from Frank.
The Wrecking Crew does have one virtue. Frank shows
that the Republicans have spawned a new generation of brownshirts that lust to
imprison, torture, and kill people. These ignorant bloodthirsty thugs see
enemies everywhere and fervently desire to nuke them all. The Republican
brownshirts are equally willing to kill American critics of the Bush regime as
to kill Taliban and al Qaeda.
The latest �enemy�
is Russia. The Bush regime, complicit in its Georgian puppet�s war crimes
against South Ossetia, is attempting to hide its responsibility for ethnic
cleansing by demonizing Russia. With every threat the Bush regime issues
against Russia, the war drums beat louder. Yet, the print and TV media and
Democratic Party have jumped on the war wagon.
The Rapture evangelicals
and the neocons are euphoric at the prospect of nuclear war. Frank�s misguided
barrage at conservatives, who are a brake on war and the police state, hastens
Craig Roberts [email
him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President
Reagan�s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has
held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair,
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University,
and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was
awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the
author of Supply-Side
Revolution : An Insider�s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation
and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown:
Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M.
Stratton of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the
Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for
Peter Brimelow�s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent
epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.