Chaos is the Republican plan
I always like to read the Times' Letters to the Editor first, because they're generally much better than the editorials, let alone the Op-Ed pages. (Of course, those columns are taken up by insiders sending each other dog-whistle messages, so it stands to reason the Letters would be pithier--and show much more of the aggressiveness we so badly need). Here's a good one:
Thomas Frank (â€œG.O.P. Corruption? Bring In the Conservatives,â€ column, Aug. 22) echoes my growing concern that the Bush administrationâ€™s bungling isnâ€™t simply a matter of incompetence, but a deliberate playing out of conservative ideology.
Good call. Underneath everything, that's the Republican's hidden agenda.
(Note in addition, however, that what they don't bungle are all the tools for authoritarianism--for if Republicans do not wish to govern, they do wish to rule.]
Our national government is in the hands of men and women who do not believe in good government, and who do not believe that government can be (or should be) a beneficial presence in the lives of ordinary citizens.
Crisis by crisis, Americans are being â€œre-educatedâ€ to expect less from their government: witness the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was a useful, well-led agency under President Bill Clintonâ€™s appointee, James Lee Witt â€” and a fumbling shambles [good one!] after inexperienced Bush political appointees took over.
Keep up the drumbeat of low expectations, conservatives seem to believe, and it will become received wisdom: donâ€™t expect Social Security, donâ€™t expect health care, donâ€™t depend on the pension you were promised. And for heavenâ€™s sake, donâ€™t expect rescue from the storm.
Fort Worth, Aug. 22, 2006