The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Fiscal vs. social conservatives

OBL Watch

So we had an early Halloween on Friday, with OBL popping up out of his hole to deliver a message to the US. He looked healthy and rested. The TV pundits quickly ran to declare this some kind of boon for Bush, and then proceeded to try to read Osama's mind about his motivations, what he wants, etc. My only question, and the only question I which I think is relevant to this event, is: "Why is this a-hole still free to appear on my TV screen and threaten America?" It seems Mr. Bin Laden was able both run and hide, and that we didn't, in fact, get him dead or alive. Maybe we should have tried to smoke him out.

Or you could look at this from the logic of Bush supporters: George W. Bush is the only person who can protect from Bin Laden, even though he failed to protect us in 2001, failed to capture him in 2002, invaded an entirely unrelated county in 2003, and forgot that he had said OBL wasn't very important in 2004. Whatever.

GOP Civil War Watch

As we see more and more GOP members jump from the sinking HMS Bushtanic, we are beginning to see the rift in the GOP between the "movement conservatives" and real conservatives. Here is the fundamental difference: movement conservatives are interested in obtaining and retaining power, period. Others in the GOP actually have some kind of principles-based stake in governance.

Take fiscal conservatives as an example. They recognize that government is a necessary evil, and that it must be funded, and that we should try to get as much government from our money as we can. Bush and the current GOP, by turning surpluses into vast deficits, have accomplished a number of things antithetical to fiscal conservatism. First, they have tremendously weakened our government. As a debtor nation, we are at the mercy of those powers and economies which hold our bonds. Many of these are currently Asian economies. If China or Japan or the EU decide that the US is not a good investment anymore, and they pull their money out of the US, our country will simply collapse. We will fold like Argentina. (Note that Bush has weakened our economic position while simultaneously antagonizing our allies upon whose economic good faith we rely. Quite a maneuver.) This also deprives the government of the funds it needs to continue, weakening it with respect to corporate power. Finally, creating a deficit funnels even more public money (in the form of taxes) into private, wealthy hands (in the form of interest paid to those who hold T bills). The reverse Robin Hood effect is devastating on the amount of government we can get from the taxes we pay.

But, Bush thinks that rewarded multimillionaires is a better way to hold onto power, so conservative ideology be damned.

Fundamental Christians want a ban on abortion. Though the GOP is in de facto control of all three branches of the federal government, there has been no move to do away with the right to choose. Analysis? They know that a vast majority of the country favors preserving choice, therefore they stonewall their constiuency on this issue. Better to keep it alive to rally the troops with.

Libertarians with principles get very heated up about our constitutional rights. While paying lip service to the importance of "strict constructionist" judges, this administration has hastened the dismantling of our civil rights.

Participatory democracy is a wonderful thing, we are told. So wonderful, we are obliged to export it to the world (or vulnerable, oil-rich parts of the world) at gunpoint, if necessary. But as far as bringing democracy to our own country, the GOP wants to suppress voter turnout, and are actively colluding to do just that.

This group of people which have hijacked the GOP have a very small set of principles: 1) tax cuts for the very wealthy (themselves included) are a great thing 2) they should be in power 3) they will go to any lengths to villify their opponents, or any threat to their power.

If you don't share those principles, the modern GOP is not for you. Many prinicipled people who belong to the GOP are going to start waking up, and soon, and start to wonder just exactly what is going on with their party. It is going to be a strange and possibly scary thing to watch.

Taxachussets Watch

Here is an article about a weird kind of reverse discrimination in the media. While it is of course not politic to disparage Red State voters, even though they consistently vote against their own interests, it seems to be perfectly OK, in fact expected, for GOP candidates to routinely disparage the northeast. Massachussets, New York. Why is that OK to do publicly?

Conservative Idiots Watch

This being Monday, please check out Democratic Undergrounds Top Ten conservative idiots. This week, the idiocy does not fit into ten neat episodes, and so we find an invaluable resource detailing Bush running on scare tactics, the complete story (so far) on the explosives story (included all of the White House's failed attempts to shift the blame), outrageous GOP talking points, and even more outrageous GOP vote suppressing tactics. Other bonuses include a link to Dubya flipping the bird to a TV camera, Jerry Falwell deciding on the insurgents that we should "blow them all away in the name of the Lord", and a link to a charming story about a "loyalty oath" that people now have to say to get into Bush political rallies. It is brimming with goodness.

Media Dogs, Old Tricks Watch

Today's Howler shows that the presstitutes are licking their chops with the thought of another Democratic administration to libel. The deliberately shallow, misleading portraits of Democratic leaders continues apace. Here is Frank Rich: "John Kerry is a flip-flopper. He's “French.” Whether he's asserting his non-girlie-boy bona fides by riding a Harley onto Jay Leno's set, “reporting for duty” at the Democratic convention or hunting geese in Ohio, he comes off like a second-rung James Brolin auditioning for a Levitra ad." (Frank Rich, like fellow snarky bitch Maureen Dowd, is not one to be trusted. Though both of them have recently been writing snarky columns about the Chimpleton, they both also participated in every GOP-lie-fax scandal coming down the pike in 1999/2000. They lied about Gore's farm chores, about "invented the internet", about Love Story, about Love Canal, about Gore's doggy pills, about Hillary's fictional "gift registry", about the Clintons stealing from Air Force One, about the White House being trashed. There was no lie coming from the GOP which was too stupid, banal, or false for them to not write a snarling, cynical column about what bad people Gore/Hillary/Bill were. And they have, to my knowledge, never apologized, never pointed out that those columns were based on tall tales fomented by the GOP itself. Their quest for snarkiness has real consequences, as the relatives of our dead soldiers, and those dead because Bush dropped the ball on 9/11 can attest. )

Here is Tom Shales on Kerry: "Something is wrong when, the minute a candidate is chosen as his party's nominee, he is shunted off to some mysterious laboratory in a valiant if vain effort to make him less stiff (the one word that always comes up when people describe Kerry) and spooky, to make him somehow camera-worthy in time for the convention."

"Stiff", of course, is the word that all the telepundits used about Gore, and apparently the rich multimillionaires who control our public discourse use it about Kerry, too. But I've never heard any else describe him as stiff. But Shales has the corporate agenda to follow. It seems our media has not improved from four years ago. Let's hope we see some significant reform for media ownership and the restoration of the fairness doctrine with a new administration.

Chickenhawk Watch

Finally, as this election has centered so much on military action and the fighting of a media stunt (oops, I mean "war", of course), I would just like to point out once again which party can boast of a high percentage of people who gave of themselves for the greater good of their country (and remember, the GOP are adamant that Bush's War is a great thing for all involved):

Democrats:

Tom Daschle, Air Force, 1969-72
Al Gore, Army journalist
Bob Kerrey, Navy, 1966-69
John Kerry, Navy, 1966-70
Charlie Rangel, Army, 1948-52
Max Cleland, Army 1965-68
Ted Kennedy, Army, 1951-53 (What? That LIBERAL??)
Wes Clark, Army 1962-2000
Bill Clinton, did not serve
John Edwards, did not serve
Walter Mondale, Army, 1951-53
Jimmy Carter, Navy, 7 years
Gray Davis, Army captain in Vietnam


Republicans:


*George W. Bush, "served" in TANG, sort of
Dennis Hastert, did not serve
Dick Armey, did not serve
Colin Powll, Army, long career
Tom Delay, did not serve
*Andy Card, did not serve
John McCain, Navy, long career
Dan Quayle, Indiana National Guard
Roy Blunt, did not serve
*Lewis "Scooter" Libby, did not serve
*Dick Cheney, did not serve
Rick Santorum, did not serve
Trent Lott, did not serve
Don Rumsfeld, Navy, 1954-57
John Ashcroft, did not serve
*Karl Rove, did not serve
Newt Gingrich, did not serve
Phil Gramm, did not serve
Jack Kemp, did not serve
*Paul Wolfowitz, did not serve
*Douglas Feith, did not serve
Rudy Guiliani, did not serve
George Pataki, did not serve
Jerry Fallwell, did not serve
*Richard Perle, did not serve
George Will, did not serve
Bill O'Reilly, did not serve
Bill Bennett, did not serve
*Rush Limbaugh, did not serve
*Sean Hannity, did not serve
Antonin Scalia, did not serve
Clarence Thomas, did not serve
Saxby Chambliss, did not serve
Oliver North, Marines, 22 years
Jeb Bush, did not serve
*Ann Coulter, did not serve
*Ken Adelman, did not serve
*Roger Ailes, did not serve
*Brit Hume, did not serve
Clarence Thomas, did not serve

*Deserve special contempt for being chief architects and/or cheerleaders to our invasion of Iraq, letting other Americans' children die for their pipe dreams, when they never saw combat themselves.

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