George Bush is very lucky to have the Democrats as the”opposition party.” In both content and delivery, his final State of the Union Address showed Bush to be a spent force, the dirty fighter whose entire career was built on amorality, sheer meanness and bribed referees. No blow was ever too low for Bush, but at this late stage of the seven-year-long bout even razor-lined gloves can’t help him. All that now props Bush up are the nervous weaklings at the other corner of the ring: the Democrats.
Although Barack Obama seems to think the Republicans once had interesting “ideas,” they really have only three simple solutions for all situations: bigger and more aggressive militaries, low taxes and huge subsidiesfor the rich, and relentless privatization of the people’s property and social space. Just add a little more coercive muscle to the National Security State and you have all the ingredients for a true American fascism. But Bush and his corporate masters are having a difficult time, because the world is not cooperating.
Bush dedicated only a few minutes to the crisis in domestic and international financial structures, lamely describing the unfolding economic disaster as “a period of uncertainty.” What an understatement! American predatory, super-speculative lending practices have not only guaranteed the dispossession of millions of families and deepening chaos throughout the US economy, the domestic collapse has also revealed that, at the heart of the global financial edifice lies anunimaginably huge “balloon” of derivatives and other varieties of possibly worthless paper.
There is no acceptable solution to this terminal, structural crisis. So Bush offers the usual fix: tax giveaways and attempted bailouts for the people who created the problem, and a few crumbs for a fraction of the rest of us. The Democrats, of course, go along with the program, with some minor reservations.
Bush told the joint session of Congress that the Iraq war,which was lost not long after it began, is now surging to “success.” The truth is, US casualties are lower because Sunni Muslims are busy defeating al Qaida. But neither Sunni nor Shia militias have abandoned the goal of genuine Iraqi independence. The Americans will be dealt with, in due time.
For the wounded people of New Orleans, all Bush offers is to hold a rich man’s international trade conference in the city, in April — while his administration bulldozes thousands of perfectly sound public housing units for the poor.
Just hours before Bush gave his address, Internet journalist Robert Kall of Op-Ed News questioned House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers on why he won’t begin impeachment proceedings against Bush and/or Vice President Cheney. Conyers replied that Republicans would charge Bush was being “demonized” by the Democrats, and “they would take that and that would bleed right into the election of 2008.”
In other words, George Bush, the hugely unpopular and now punch-drunk bruiser, still has the Democrats scared. That’s why he’s still standing.