How I Abandoned My Principles and Took Over Congress
week, the news gets weirder. The division between sense
and nonsense blurs or grows more irrelevant to editors and news
directors. And the ethical distinctions I once imagined to exist
between the Republican and Democrat hordes grow fainter.
have always been annoyed by Republican assertions that Democrats
“don’t stand for anything” or “have no new ideas.” Why, after
all, must ideas be new? The Democrats have had the best kind of
ideas—old ideas, ones that worked. Progressive taxation, labor
regulations, livable wages, trade tariffs—these ideas may be old,
but they’re the ideas that transformed the average American from
a miserable serf to a privileged suburbanite in just a few decades.
Why abandon them for newer, dumber ideas? Just for novelty’s sake?
the “don’t stand for anything” charge is cutting this week. As
Democrats improve at manipulating issues in a media climate tilted
against them, their grip on moral superiority, tenuous at best,
it or not, racism plays a big factor in party affiliation, especially
among those who couldn’t find North America on a globe. It was
the Democrats’ endorsement of the civil rights agenda that lost
them the previously solid South, eventually leading to the current
Republican hegemony. In all ways, Republicans have plied their
ranks by pitting them against an evil Other—black and Mexican
freeloaders, godless communists, Northeastern intellectual elites,
amoral Hollywood liberals, feminazis, and now Islamofascists.
top it all off, a still-unpublished study reported in the Washington
Post last month, “found that supporters of President Bush and
other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases
against blacks than liberals did.” Maybe next time they’ll discover
that men tend to watch football more than women.
not every Republican hates black people or foreigners—some simply
hate taxes, or just liberals. But a key facet in the current security-vs-liberty
debate is whether it’s okay again to implement racism as a policy
how I know White House is not only blindly hypocritical to charge
Democrats with xenophobia on the Dubai Ports World issue, but
also wrong. It’s the dissenting Republicans in congress who are
using the issue to appeal to their Islamophobic voters in an election
got to hand it to the Republicans. Even when they’re finally turning
on the Bush administration, they still find a way to do it without
making any sense. It’s not the warrantless wiretapping, or torture
pics, or any others out of the endless litany of illegal scandals
Bush has created which is bothering Michelle Malkin, Cal Thomas,
or congressional GOP members. It’s outsourcing.
the Democrats’ sin is less forgivable. I suspect that most of
them know this whole thing is a joke. This is a DLC wedge issue,
a mirror-image Rove tactic, a cartoon with no caption, and it’s
actually working. You can almost see the joyful looks on the faces
of the invertebrate Harvard dinks who came up with it, like the
Wright brothers the first time the product of their labor didn’t
just fall over and catch fire.
controversy is a custom fit for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic
presidential contenders, desperately stretching to straddle centrist,
security-conscious suburbanites and angry bring-them-home-now
lefties. The proxy element of a state-owned corporation gives
racially self-conscious Democrats a comfortable distance from
which to discriminate. A more direct racism-for-security trade-off,
like profiling, would be too personal, too unseemly. This issue
is the perfect foil with which Democrats can illustrate to voters
that they get it, too, that Muslims scare the shit out of them.
of the details of the deal in question seem to matter much, but
just for fun: Dubai Ports World is owned and controlled by the
United Arab Emirates, a small oil-rich nation with a high standard
of living and the typical oppressed migrant worker class on the
Persian Gulf Coast between Saudi Arabia and Oman. Dubai Ports
already has operations in many other nations, including such terror
strongholds as Germany, Australia, and Hong Kong.
they’re acquiring a British firm called P&O, which operates
6 ports in America, for close to $7 billion. Essentially, the
names at the top of the letterhead will change, and the profits
will roll in a different direction.
controversy? They’re Arabs. Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from
the UAE, but most were from Saudi Arabia, and Bush literally holds
hands with those guys. The idea that these obscenely wealthy royals
in this business-friendly, moderate state are secretly working
with suicidal terrorists to infiltrate the US is patently ridiculous,
a screenwriter’s paranoid, oversimplified fantasy. These guys
are into making money. If their operation was found responsible
for an influx of smuggled terrorist paraphernalia, it would be
very, very bad for business.
are real reasons to take issue with this move—typical corruption,
for instance: Treasury Secretary John Snow, who replaced Paul
O’Neill after O’Neill resigned and put out a book slamming the
Bush administration’s economic promiscuity, heads the department
which signed off on the deal. As the New York Daily News
this is just the sort of slimy corruption Bush has been getting
away with from the beginning. There’s no reason for something
as routine as bribery or favor-trading to elicit this kind of
hysteria. Certainly, it can’t possibly bother Bill Frist or any
of the other Republicans protesting the deal.
for Frist and his ilk, this is about visceral, fear-based racism,
the GOP’s biggest draw. The basic problem here is that Bush is
not acting racist enough for rank-and-file Republicans. The facts
are superfluous—the company has “Dubai” in its name, and the nation
that owns it has “Arab” right there in its title.
Democrats may realize that this is a non-issue in reality, but
who can blame them? In the new bizarro political landscape, up
is down, black is white, and impeachable offenses are tiresome.
If xenophobic ignorance works, then what the hey.
the White House, this is, as everything, about their true god:
money, and the unfettered global trade agenda.
result is a total editorial clusterfuck, splitting the New York
Times from the Washington Post and Sean Hannity from Rush Limbaugh.
Nobody knows what the hell is going on. The coverage is pathetically
obtuse and redundant, the same two-sentence arguments repeated
forever with nary a new fact to be discovered.
get me wrong; if it takes these bastards down, hey, whatever works.
And it is a sweet irony that the same propaganda fright-fest that
elevated Bush to imperial status is now backfiring on him—also
with regard to illegal immigration—and may even cause him to finally
veto a bill.
troubles me is not so much that Clinton and Schumer would seize
this opportunity to finally turn the bullshit-hose onto the guys
who opened the spigot—I wouldn’t expect more from elected officials
of either party—but how easy it has been to bring common Democrats
on board with them. The blue-team mentality, a predictable but
unfortunate response to the Republicans’ naturally loyalist tendencies,
is out of control. A quick glance at some discussions on this
topic over at Democraticunderground.com is enough to give me the
chills. These people are beginning to eerily resemble their right
it: thousands, maybe millions of these people, all willing tools
of the party, honorary DNC operatives in sync with the message
of the day, little Roves in reverse. None of them would have ever
given a damn about this ports thing if they hadn’t been instructed
to. But now that they see the issue gaining traction and hurting
Bush, nothing else matters. One is crowing about his new method
of “framing” the debate, while another has prepared rebuttals
to “the xenophobia charge.” They’re dead serious, and they don’t
tolerate dissenters. The truth of any particular issue is subservient
to the great cause of victory. In order to defeat the enemy, they
have become him.
you’re a Republican, and you’re dumbstruck at the lack of sensible
commentary on the ports controversy, can’t understand why it’s
even an issue, and are astonished at the craven manipulation of
Democratic leaders who simply know better than to think it represents
a credible security risk—ha ha. Welcome to my world. This is what
the rest of us have been feeling for too many years now. Your
exasperation is like candy to me.
if you’re a Democrat, you have to feel a certain sense of loss
if the only way you can win is through abandoning reality and
cynically manipulating perceptions just a little better than the
have finally cracked the code. They’re shaking their keys, and
the little babies are dancing. This is what it takes to convince
Americans that you’re “strong” on homeland security: running around
grabbing your jock in a flight suit and shouting “fuck Arabs”
to a chorus of hooting baboons.