January 18, 2008

What Is It Bush Isn't Telling Us?

Something's happening here,
What it is ain't exactly clear...
-- Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth."

My analysis of anything George W. Bush says or does is guided by certain interpretive principles, or canons of construction. The first of these is that his announced purpose is never the actual purpose. For example, his program to "spread democracy in the Middle East" is a sham. Some of our closest allies are the most repressive police states in the world, and Bush will brook no criticism of these regimes, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan. Bush never urges American intervention unless oil lies under the soil of an uncooperative government, for example Iraq and Iran. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Second, Bush never espouses any national policy where the chief purpose is to benefit what you might call the "American common man." Our President has no interest in American citizens per se. His loyalty is vouchsafed first, foremost and only to the high-net-worth investor class, from which he comes and among whom he has lived his life. Why the American booboisie, in its cracker barrel wisdom, would think that such a person would naturally incline toward their interests is one of the wonders of the modern world.

So now Bush is proposing a massive giveaway of about 800 bucks for every American whose name shows up on a tax return as a "short term" stimulus program. Tellingly, Henry Paulson, the fidgety and harried Secretary of Treasury, talked today in terms of refunds to "consumers." The taxpayer moniker is just an ID badge for sending the checks. The idea is to get money out there to the weary American buyers with the hope, the prayer, that they'll run right out to Wal-Mart and buy a Chinese hair dryer and save the U.S. economy. The cavalry has mounted up their Broncos and Mustangs (by Ford) and are attacking the mini-mall! Sound the bugle! We ain't finished yet, Jedediah!

Suspiciously, Bush is in a real hurry to get this done. And get this: he's not even insisting that his cherished tax cuts be made permanent (his absolutely cherished wet dream) in exchange for this populist relief.

Applying the Waldenswimmer Canons, we can deduce the following: first, as suggested by Greg Palast recently, the actual purpose of Bush's trip to the "Middle East" was to see his old pal (and America's arch-enemy) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. They required a cheek-to-cheek to discuss Bush's great need for lots of petro-cash, like right now, in order to fund this bonanza. I mean, let's face it. Bush can't keep sending money through a fire hose to Baghdad and fund this bribe unless he's sure the King will write the checks. Screw us on the price of oil with your systematic anti-trust violations, King, that just affects my stupid subjects. But I've got to have this cash as bridge financing until January, 2009, because I just can't face another financial meltdown while I'm in charge. You know what I mean: Harken Energy, Spectrum 7, and now the United States of America.

In his press briefing today, Bush looked uncharacteristically worried. Nervous, darting eyes, his head down, with Cheney in the frame just over his right shoulder, a sure sign that things are serious. Cheney was smirking, of course, because none of this is his fault (he's not in the Executive Branch, as he told us) and anyway, his corporate headquarters are already in Dubai, where the money is.

I conclude that Bush knows something he's not telling us, weird as that may seem (knowing something, I mean). Why would he do something as extreme as helping out ordinary Americans? He vetoed medical insurance for sick children, after all. I guess I have to leave it there. I suspect that certain of his friends in the "investment banking" world have gotten to him. They've told him just how close to the line they are. These billions floating in from the "Gulf States" to Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and the rest of them are symptomatic of some profound disturbance, so obvious (once it is drawn in crayon for Bush) that even the Decider gets it. No more horsin' around, George, they tell him. Drop the ideological bullshit and send some good Socialist pay-offs to the people. They can't borrow it anymore, so you're just gonna have to give it to 'em. Because if we start to fail, you're going to wish you'd been impeached three years ago.

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