“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ah, the smell of the new order in the morning

In 1948 my Daddy came to the city
Told the people that they'd won the war
Maybe they'd heard it, maybe not
Probably they'd heard it and just forgot'
Cause they built him a platform there in Jackson Square
And the people came to hear him from everywhere
They started to party and they partied some more
'Cause New Orleans had won the war
(We knew we'd do it, we done whipped the Yankees)
--Randy Newman

LI has spent a lot of time in apparently silly mooning over American and Iraqi casualties. We are assured, today, by the Secretary of War that the pie is getting bigger in Iraq. Happily, Rumsfeld’s remarks simply amplify those of this year’s winner of the Lincoln Steffens Award. Steffens was the man who went to Stalin’s Russia, I believe in the year of the first terror famine, and came back to the U.S. to proclaim, “I have seen the future and it works.” Karl Zinsmeister, a much less distinguished journalist – indeed, his obscurity is entirely proportionate to his merit, and his little bit of fame only comes from being pointed to by the more rancid warbloggers – has come back from Iraq to tell us, The War is over and we won.”

So, getting down to brass tacks – money, a much more valuable thing than a mere Marine’s life – what does the new age of Bush conservatism (big government is good, state’s rights are bad, the moral monopoly of the state should be extended by a magnitude that would astonish the old Fabians – that kind of new, stand on your head conservatism) tell us about how to spend our tax dollars? Apparently, the sky is the limit for democracy. 400 billion and counting in Iraq. Let’s see. Surely, a mere 200 billion for democracy in Nigeria would be just the ticket. And, because Bush is the environment president, he might want to kick in 200 to 300 billion dollars to save the Amazon. How about a nice 400 billion for democracy in Central Asian “republics” – that would be sweet. Pakistan – so far a paltry 3 billion. Time to put taxpayer’s money in the collection plate – that’s at least worth 200 billion.

Of course, this being the new, improved conservative age, we can put this on the credit card. Along with the two trillion borrowed for those private accounts, why don’t we just add a trillion and a half for the Freedom lovin,’ fun lovin’ eggheads in D.C. Whereever they cast their mighty glances at the map, we should certainly spring out with the billions.

Now, before you protest -- this is nothing like the nasty sixties liberals, who spent taxpayer money in this country like water. Imagine the selfishness! Spending money on poor americans -- what a joke! Everybody knows the government can't eliminate poverty. It can only implement American-style democracy in Mesopotamia, change 500 years of culture in unknown places, and make other minor top down changes. Plus, remember -- those billions aren’t really going to the unworthy inhabitants of any of those countries, but can be nicely shuffled into the pockets of the War industry honchos. There is, in the new conservatism, nothing more inspiring entrepreneurial site than a government parasite having a two martini lunch with a congressman. It inspires the kind of awe that also comes from reading The Wealth of Nations on speed.

It is the decent thing to do for retired and totally incompetent generals, and the riffraff that follows Tom Delay around and hoses him down when he gets too sweaty.

Another change in the DNA structure of conservatism which is startling, but fresh, is the new attitude towards communism. The old attitude would view with suspicion all that Chinese buying of T notes. It would take with a grain of salt the idea that China just wants to keep floating the American consumer market. That market would be there whether China supported the Iraq war or not. However, if you are a second rate military power and you want a window of advancement AND your rival is willing to break its army in a pointless ten year war, you might want to advance the money to promote that endeavor. Or at least, such would be the nasty thinking of the old commie conspiracy people. The new Bush conservatism is all about rolling up our sleeves and paying no attention to such ravings. Would such a thing escape the eagle eye of the great Wolfowitz? The man has training. He can tell a Chablis from Bud lite. And his ideals are sterling pure. Oh, and the war is won. We won the war! We knew we'd do it! Now, where is that extra hundred billion…


winn said...

You do vitriol so well.

'It inspires the kind of awe that also comes from reading The Wealth of Nations on speed' is one of the funniest lines I've read in weeks.

roger said...

Winn, thanks! Although in the rhetoric department, I will never top Randy Newman's lines. The master.