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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 (“G.O.P. Corruption? Bring In the Conservatives,” column, Aug. 22) echoes my growing concern that the Bush administration’s bungling isn’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 “re-educated” to expect less from their government: witness the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was a useful, well-led agency under President Bill Clinton’s appointee, James Lee Witt — 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: don’t expect Social Security, don’t expect health care, don’t depend on the pension you were promised. And for heaven’s sake, don’t expect rescue from the storm.

Jan Farrington
Fort Worth, Aug. 22, 2006

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