Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Incompetence is simply a byproduct of something far more sinister

I don't think the Bush administration is incompetent, in the pure sense of the word, as so many pundits have claimed.  Everytime I read that charge, it doesn't sit right in my mind.


No, that's not the whole of it, I think.  Their particular brand of incompetence is an outgrowth of something else -- something far more sinister.  If those who populate this administration, along with their co-conspirators in Congress, were simply happy-go-lucky fools, the incompetence tag would hang on them like a too-big suit.  They'd wear incompetence like a pair of oversized clown shoes.


Osama's escape, the Iraq Debacle, Katrina, Medicare D... The list of incompetent actions and policies stretches on for miles, as far as the eye can see on a flat, blazing hot desert road.


But "incompetence" lets them off too easily.


Incompetence is an outgrowth -- or an end product -- of indifference.  Cold, callous, cold-hearted, criminal indifference:



* Indifference towards the troops they put in harm's way.  


* Indifference toward the elderly who must cope with the trainwreck that is Medicare D.


* Indifference toward the hundreds of thousands of Gulf states residents who lost everything in Katrina.


* Indifference toward future generations by giving away national forests and refusing to abide by environmental agreements.  



Indifference after indifference after indifference.



Incompetence?  Sure.  But only because, fundamentally, they do not give a flying fuck about America or its citizens.  (Nevermind how little they think of the citizens of the rest of the world.) They care only of themselves -- and money. Simple, really.


It is no accident that indifference is a synonym for selfishness.  And that selfishness can be synonymous with greed.



When Grover Norquist uttered his famous proclamation that his dream was to "drown the federal government in the bathtub," he was only giving the half of it.  


The likes of Rove and Cheney and Rumsfeld quickly figured out that the best way to accomplish Norquist's dream -- a dream they avidly shared -- was to not only govern indifferently (thus, underlining their assertion that government is an inefficent and ineffectual way of operating everything from wars to disaster relief), but that they also could enrich themselves and their corporate sponsors in the process, effectively looting the government as they "drown it in the tub."


"Two birds with one stone" and all that.


The deficit is no accident.  It is the ultimate manifestation of Norquist's dream.  Cheney and company (through their idiotic puppet and perfect foil, George Bush) paint the government as incompetent while bankrupting the federal treasury and lining the pockets of everyone from Halliburton to the religious right.


The Bush years have been nothing more than a criminal enterprise.  Organized crime.  Thievery on a scale never before witnessed in the history of humankind.  Billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars looted from the national treasury and delivered to the pockets of the well-connected.  (Tax relief?  For whom?)



The NSA spying program was never about ferreting out terrorist plots. We knew that. It was simply another tool to be used to stop any person or entity which sought to uncover their criminal cabal. And the Patriot Act is more of the same. This crew will stop at nothing to protect their criminal enterprise.



So I wish the Paul Krugmans of the world would stop letting Cheney et. al. off so easy with the "incompetent" tag.


Like Liberace, they are laughing all the way to the bank.

14 Comments:

At 5/16/2006 11:53 AM, Blogger maarmie said...

Anyone who thinks the current regime is incompetent is...incompetent. They know just what they're doing and they continue to do what they're doing despite the lowest approval ratings in history. In history. That means lower than Nixon. That...low. Crafty. Smart. Entitled. But not incompetent.

 
At 5/16/2006 12:37 PM, Blogger Bob Johnson said...

I hear the word "incompetence" tossed about all the time about Bush. Sure, he's an idiot. Of that there can be no doubt. But he is not running the show and we've known that for a long time. (In fact, I got a prominent Republican to admit as much recently. Most Republicans had steadfastly clung to their claim that Bush was actually a genius.)

So Bush, himself, is incompetent. He's fundamentally lazy. Always has been and always will be. That makes him the perfect foil for those doing the looting. He doesn't want to bothered with the details. Perfect.

They couldn't have found a better front man for their nefarious deeds...

 
At 5/16/2006 5:34 PM, Blogger maarmie said...

Exactly. I'm not talking about Bush at all. He's just the puppet that prefers to be in the dark - or on vacation. I'm talking about the actual regime - those who are really running the show. They're the ones to be afraid of. And we should be very, very afraid.

 
At 5/16/2006 7:14 PM, Anonymous keefer55 said...

Congrats on the cross post at Truthout.org, Bob.
I've been saying in response to anyone's claims of "incompetence" that Bush said what he was going to do back in 1999, and he has stayed the course ever since.
I had a friend who's wife drowned their child in a bathtub, but she had the excuse that she was smoking crack and screwing her pusher at the time...
Well, I guess that raping the constitution and robbing the treasury blind takes skills.

 
At 5/28/2006 3:29 PM, Blogger Invisible Paradigm said...

I agree entirely. In fact, I think the Democrats' use of the term "incompetent" during the 2006 campaign will bite them in the ass. The last thing I want Democrats doing is the Bush policy competently.

 
At 5/29/2006 11:58 AM, Blogger TheOctillion said...

a failure to understand one's political opponents is a big part of the reason that demcorats routiely lose to them, even when they are extreme, and relatively underqualified

this tendency persists with respect to this post, as with many others. incompetent is an enormous word to attach to a presidential administration.

maarmi, for example,writes "anyone who thinks the current regime is incompetent is themslves incompentent."

and maarmie represents what, the party has been thrashed by FAR RIGHT WING and extremist republicans in the past three elections (2000, and more notably, 2002, 2004).

the current regime is not incompetent when it comes to running a regime. They are good at it, and empowered by anti democratic tactics that the media and democrats both have done a horrendous job illuminating. And they are closer to briliant, then incompetent, when it comes to running campaigns.

that said, the last (fifth) commenter is ultimately correct. Calling the bush campaign incompetent is not helpful. but mainly because it is the tpyical example of demcorats stating a conclusing, rather than MAKING THE CASE.

 
At 6/03/2006 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, why don't you try to contribute to the dialogue instead of providing comic relief at DKOS?

Seems you built your name on humor over there, but do you ever have anything of substance to say?

Between a little snark and a low UID number you pretty much can put a kick in to anyone and it gets you a laugh or two and a boat load of recommends. You are nothing but a bottomfeeder. Nothing like driving Democrats away.

Everyone knows that ridicule and contempt is the best way to gain new voters (snark).

 
At 6/05/2006 2:45 PM, Blogger Bob Johnson said...

Hey, I guess you don't like my brand of posting.

I'm hurt. Deeply hurt.

I'd debate it with you, of course, but you choose to post anonymously.

That's humorous, too.

 
At 6/06/2006 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your reply appears to be another attempt at using your considerable wit and sarcastic abilities to show your contempt.

There is no doubt in my mind that, in addition to your wit, you also have the capacity to be thoughtful and substantive. Why you don't choose to use those abilities more often is puzzling to me, but for all I know your first choice in life was to be a comedian and it somehow fell through. If that is the case it certainly wasn't for lack of talent. Actually you've got a great sense of humor and I love it when your laser wit is directed at the enemy, it's just a shame you sometimes use it to ridicule fellow Democratic posters on DKOS.

It doesn't take much to figure out the difference between a troll or a Democratic poster who is having a bad day on DKOS, it's actually written into the FAQ's at DKOS that you should try to figure out the difference before you pile on.

I also find it sad that when someone posts a GBCW diary at DKOS you and your fellow progressives choose to pile on. Wouldn't it be more progressive to say "okay, good luck and don't forget to vote for the Democratic party." Otherwise, why not just leave the entire diary without a comment?

I don't think you appreciate the fact that with 89,000+ registered users at DKOS there are a lot of users there who couldn't go toe to toe intellectually with many of the highly educated posters over there. My point is even when they are right they couldn't hope to win. Unfortunately, in my particular case, I wasn't even right to begin with, but the point remains the same. You are going to need more than just the liberal elite to take down the GOP.

The barbarians are not at the gate Bob, we are right there inside with you, but we are Democratic voters that need to be encouraged and educated, not scorned and banned.

FYI it would be wrong for you to assume that I had posted a GBCW diary based on my comments, I have always said they would have to ban me to get rid of me there and apparently that is what they did, otherwise we would be debating this right now under my DKOS user name instead of anonymously. Additionally, I would have emailed you and I wouldn't have been anonymous, but there is no Email address posted for you on DKOS.

Sour grapes on my part? No doubt. Any truth in what I say about the way Democrats that step out of line on DKOS are piled on? No doubt about that either.

ps whatever you do don't mix alcohol with valiums and try blogging, that is what got me going off the deep end and banned, but I am still a Democrat until the day I die, just no longer a Kossack.

pss I am actually calming down as the days go by, but I totally lost it, I mean really lost it. I don't hate anyone, especially the people at DKOS that are changing the face of american politics. It was thrilling to be part of it if even only for a couple years. "You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by it." - I think I have finally learned that lesson.

Peace

 
At 6/07/2006 7:23 AM, Blogger Bob Johnson said...

I have no idea who you are. I am sorry for you pain.

I prefer to post satire and barbed criticism. And yet, ironically, the post in which you are now commenting is a straightforward critique of the Bush administration.

Go figure.

Sorry you were canned at dkos.

I am not the person who canned you. And I don't bother with troll rating folks.

As for GBCW diaries, there is a long tradition at dkos with those diaries stretching back years. They become a playground.

You will have to change far more than me if you want to end the practice of mocking GBCW posters.

The reason those diaries are mocked is because they are generally incredibly self-centered. Maybe it's just part of growing up and realizing the world doesn't revolve around you.

 
At 6/08/2006 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, you are very good at what you do. Thank you for you're sincere reply.

You're point is well taken. I know that I can't control dkos, or anyone but myself for that matter, but that is easy to say when I am clean and sober. Which, as a result of being canned at dkos, I finally am. Five days and counting, I really think I am going to make it this time. Dkos has done what so many have failed to do.

It's ironic, and a reminder to me that it is always possible for something good to come out of something bad.

It's hard for me to even understand why I attack the very people that would help ensure that people such as myself would get the help we need.

I'm sure that there are many Kossacks who are doing quite well financially and could just as easily vote Republican, but they don't because they actually have compassion and care about more than themselves and how much they pay in taxes. God bless you all. You are changing the face of american politics and, by virtue of that, you are changing the world.

"help me up my friend
dust me off.
feed me warmth.
you are comfort.
let me lean on you until I can stand alone.
I will then stand a little taller.
and you will be proud to have a friend
such as I."

ps Sorry for hijacking your thread, it won't happen anymore. Peace.

 
At 6/12/2006 1:00 AM, Blogger MiracleMan said...

After reading the LVRJ article on the DailyKos convention I decided to check out the various blogs and see what all the fuss was about. I have spent the last couple of hours checking out three or four of the Democrat, and supposedly liberal, blogs. I have found a lot of really good writing, and some excellent insight. Problem is, all of it is simply pointing out the obvious, or using other peoples mistakes to make the writer look good to themselves and to align with the rest of the GOP bashers. Advertising other people's mistakes to make oneself look good does absolutely nothing to solve the problems the writer is complaining about. Then what we do is to group with many others who have decided the way things are done is not the way we want them done, and now we have a complaint group of which each member enforces the other's beliefs, shares criticism, and then decides which way the group should go. But in order to do this and to be successful, we must become an enemy of the group we do not agree with.
What is it we will accomplish in the long run? If we are successful in replacing the current political philosophy and policy, are we not merely replacing it with another political philosophy and policy? "Oh, but our philosphy, our belief in the way the US should be goverend is the right way." So we win, and for a few years we rule through the democratic process only to be replaced with another "group" with another way to govern later on down the line. This is more like a low grade war that perpetuates more war than a substantive change that will bring a full and lasting peace.
Our current problem is something our forefathers knew very much about, and that is why they developed a system of checks and balances in our constitution. But people being people have decided that the constitution and the balance of powers does not allow them us to 1) defend ourselves against the fears we concoct in our minds, and 2) does not allow us to maintain control of the power to fight our imagined fears.
But, where is one group any different for the other? Fear is the driving force that makes us want change, for if we possesed no fear we would have no desire for change. We group together for security, and we attack outsiders to generate a false sense of superiority so we can justify our beliefs and then force them on others through whatever means we have at our disposal, be it a democratic process, a cabal, or a dictatorship. And throughout the history of mankind we continue a back and forth perpetual struggle that has no apparent end. Until we find a peaceful ending to our struggle, we must keep the balance of power intact. The hell with all the nitpicking about the rights of gays, illegal immigrants, seniors, pro-choice, pro-life, hawks, doves, liberals, conservatives, flag burners, and flag wavers. We need to beat the drum to maintain a balance of power. And the balance of power should reach far down into the State governments and they too should stand watch over this constitutional edict.
We are prone to corruption, not from greed or evil, but from that emotion that all things emmanate from on this earthly plane - FEAR. Attacking our brothers does nothing to alleviate their fears, and does nothing to alleviate ours. And remember, the best defense is no defense. For if you need to defend anything you believe in, then you have no faith in what you believe in.

 
At 7/13/2006 2:36 AM, Anonymous yeah, said...

Bob, why don't you try to contribute to the dialogue instead of providing comic relief at DKOS?

Seems you built your name on humor over there, but do you ever have anything of substance to say?

Between a little snark and a low UID number you pretty much can put a kick in to anyone and it gets you a laugh or two and a boat load of recommends. You are nothing but a bottomfeeder. Nothing like driving Democrats away.

Everyone knows that ridicule and contempt is the best way to gain new voters (snark).


this was worth repeating, as it reminds me of my litttle wars with you, where I wondered why i was forced to fight more vigorously against someone on my side, and someone who is obviously smart and pretty witty, than against some of the far right wing fanatics.

you're a talented dude. maybe a bit liberal, but people are entitled to their views. but lose the self righteousness. in politics, anyway, it's just hurting our party.

the right knows how to use this (but then they know how to spin a lot of bullshit, don't they) so don't do it. and please don't respond self righteously. f'k it. do what you want. but if you have the concerns you express, learn to think otuside of the demoratic "f'k ourselves in the ass while thinking we are clever" box.

 
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