The mother of all messes
By Paul Craig Roberts
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jul 25, 2008, 00:13
Republicans are sending around the Internet a photo of a
cute little boy whose T-shirt reads: �The
mess in my pants is nothing compared to the mess Democrats will make of this
country if they win Nov. 2nd.�
One can only wonder at the insouciance of this message. Are
Republicans unaware of the amazing mess the Bush regime
It is impossible to imagine a bigger mess. Republicans have
us at war in two countries as a result of Republican lies and deceptions, and
we might be in two more wars -- Iran and
Pakistan -- by November. We have alienated the entire Muslim world and most of
The dollar has
lost 60 percent of its value against the euro, and the once mighty dollar
is losing its reserve
The Republicans� policies have driven up the price of both
oil and gold by 400 percent.
Inflation is in double digits. Employment is falling.
The Republican economy in the 21st century has been unable
to create net new jobs for Americans, except for low wage
domestic services such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks and hospital
Republican deregulation brought about fraud in mortgage
lending and dangerous financial instruments which have collapsed the housing
market, leaving a million or more homeowners facing foreclosure. The financial
system is in disarray and might collapse from insolvency.
The trade and budget deficits have exploded. The US trade deficit is
larger than the combined trade deficits of every deficit country in the world.
The US can no longer finance its wars or its own government
and relies on foreign loans to function day to day. To pay for its consumption,
the US sells its existing assets -- companies, real estate, toll roads,
whatever it can offer -- to foreigners.
Republicans have run roughshod over the US Constitution,
Congress, the courts and civil liberties. Republicans have made it perfectly
clear that they believe that our civil liberties make us unsafe -- precisely
the opposite view of our Founding Fathers. Yet, Republicans regard themselves
as the Patriotic Party.
The Republicans have violated the Nuremberg prohibitions
against war crimes, and they have violated the Geneva Conventions against
torture and abuse of prisoners. Republican disregard for human rights ranks
with that of history�s great tyrants.
The Republicans have put in place the foundation for a
I am confident that the Democrats, too, will make a mess.
But can they beat this record?
We must get the Republicans totally out of power, or we will
have no country left for the Democrats to mess up.
I say this as a person who has done as much for the
Republican Party as anyone. I helped to devise and to get implemented an
economic policy that cured stagflation and that brought Republicans back into
political competition after Watergate. If I could have looked into a crystal
ball and seen that under a free trade banner, Republicans would enable
corporate executives to pay themselves millions of dollars in �performance pay� for deserting their
American work forces and hiring foreigners in their place, thus destroying the
aspirations and careers of millions of Americans, I never would have helped the
Republicans. If a crystal ball had revealed that a neoconned Republican Party
would launch wars of naked aggression against countries that posed no threat to
the United States, I would have shouted my warnings even earlier.
The neoconned Republican Party is the greatest threat
America has ever faced. Let me tell you why.
How many Republicans can you name who respect and honor the
Constitution? There are Ron
Paul, Bob Barr, and who? The ranks of Republican constitutional supporters
quickly grow thin.
The reason is that Republicans view the Constitution as a
coddling device for criminals and terrorists. Republicans think the Constitution
can be set aside for evildoers and kept in place for everyone else. But without
the Constitution, we only have the government�s word as to who is an evildoer.
This would be the word of the same infallible government
that told us that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that
were on the verge of being used against America; the same infallible government
that told us that Guantanamo prison held �770 of the most dangerous persons alive� and then, after stealing
five years of their lives, quietly released 500 of them as mistaken identities.
Republicans think the United States is the salt of the earth
and that American hegemony over the rest of the world is not only justified by
our great virtue but necessary to our safety. People this full of hubris are
incapable of judgment. People incapable of judgment should never be given
Republicans have no sympathy for anyone but their own kind.
How many Republicans do you know who care a hoot about the plight of the poor,
the jobless, the medically uninsured? The government programs that Republicans
are always adamant to cut are the ones that help people who need help.
I have yet to hear any of my Republican friends express any
concern whatsoever for the 1.2 million Iraqis who have died, and the 4 million
who have been displaced, as a result of Bush�s gratuitous invasion. Many tell
me that the five- and six-year long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are due to
wimpy Americans �who don�t have the
balls it takes� to win. Killing and displacing a quarter of the Iraqi
population is just a wimpy result of a population that lacks testosterone. Real
Americans would have killed them all by now.
Macho patriotic Republicans are perfectly content for US
foreign policy to be controlled by Israel. Republican evangelical �Christian� churches teach their
congregations that America�s purpose in the world is to serve Israel. And these
are the flag-wavers.
Those of us who think America is the Constitution, and that
loyalty means loyalty to the Constitution, not to office holders or to a
political party or to a foreign country, are regarded by Republicans as �anti-American.�
Neoconservatives, such as Billy Kristol, insist that loyalty
to the country means loyalty to the government. Thus, criticizing the
government for launching wars of aggression and for violating constitutionally
protected civil liberties is, according to neoconservatives, a disloyal act.
In the neoconservative view, there is no place for the
voices of citizens: the government makes the decisions, and loyal citizens
support the government�s decisions.
In the neocon political system, there is no liberty, no
democracy, no debate. Dissenters are traitors.
The neoconservative magazine, Commentary, wants the New York Times
indicted for telling Americans that the Bush regime was caught violating US
law, specifically the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, by spying on
Americans without obtaining warrants as required by law. Note that
neoconservatives think it is a criminal act for a newspaper to tell its readers
that their government is spying on them illegally.
Judging by their behavior, a number of Democrats go along
with the neocon view. Thus, the Democrats don�t offer a greatly different
profile. They went along with the views that corporate profits and the war on
terror take precedence over everything else. They have not used the
congressional power that the electorate gave them in the 2006 elections.
However, Democrats, or at least some of them, do care about
the Constitution. If it were not for Democratic appointees to the federal
courts and the ACLU (essentially a Democratic organization), the Bush regime
would have completely destroyed our civil liberties.
Some Democrats are �bleeding
hearts,� who actually care about suffering people they don�t know, and
who think that we have obligations to others. Have you ever heard of a bleeding
Traditionally, Democrats objected whenever policies resulted
in a handful of rich people capturing all of the income gains from the economy.
There might still be a few such Democrats left.
Looking at the Republican mess, I doubt that Democrats, try
as they may, can equal it.
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.
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