The Republican Party was a natural fit for the CIA. They share the same raison d’être: wealth preservation and expansion.
They also share the same aversion: the state should never play a role in the lives of individual citizens. Everyone must fend for themselves.
Unless, of course, you’re a citizen who has money. In that case the state will bend over backwards to help you make more money.
With that preamble, here is a brief survey of the American Presidency during the Circus Maximus era.
Graduated from the Naval Academy, served in Second World War, studied Nuclear Physics.
There was open hostility and distrust between Democrats in the Congress and the White House. Pursuing a coordinated agenda was impossible during the Carter Administration. This lack of cooperation between the opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue has been a problem for Democrats ever since.
Reagan graduated from Eureka College in Illinois. Not exactly Ivy League. Eureka belonged to the Myrtle Melange, a collection of sleepy, barely accredited former teachers or Christian colleges.
The 1980s saw the launch of the corporations uber alles era that we still live in today. And the bigger, more international the corporation the more likely they are to have dealings with the intelligence community.
His administration chipped away at antitrust and securities regulations as well as those pesky rules that “prevented companies from doing business.” Like consumer fraud protections. It’s so much easier to make money when you can just cheat the public.
The corporately owned news media was instrumental in helping change the national dialogue. Free market and trickle down were concepts that went basically unchallenged and became the new gospel. The media also worked overtime to make the word “liberal” sound as offensive as “child molestor.” The left has still not fully recovered.
Reagan often gave the appearance of not knowing which end was up. Which is all that was expected of him.
His biggest accomplishment was converting traditional Democrats to his party. With his “propaganda film stars are war heroes too” military service and his aw shucks regular Joe (but please pass the Chateau Margaux) demeanor, Reagan wrestled blue collar workers over to the Republican side. It would be left to his successor to consolidate the Mammy Yokum crowd.
Bush was a graduate of Yale as were his father and son. About as blue blood as you can get. His father was also a Senator from Connecticutt where the school is located.
With legacy credentials like that George was placed on Yale’s experimental Predicates Only Track. It left him with an inability to speak in complete sentences. Didn’t elaborate. No logical backup. Wouldn’t be prudent. Silver foot in his mouth.
His career was built on family connections and, in one four year period in the 1970’s, he moved from Ambassador to the UN to Chairman of the Republican Party to Special Emissary to China to Director of the CIA. A brilliant resume padder, he was never drug tested for meth.
To firm up and form a southern base into the new GOP voting bock, this east coast patrician turned on the charm for the in-bred good ol’ boys. He would talk barbecue and SEC football In his topsiders and seersucker suits. He also made a special effort to court the emerging Country Music scene.
One of the more perverse aspects of his musical courtship was Loretta Lynn. She bragged more than once she had direct dial access to George and his handsome wife Barbara. Loretta said she called them whenever she felt like it.
One can just see the look of horror on Bab’s face receiving an “important” call from Miss Lynn at 10:00 PM. Somehow it’s hard to reconcile Trouble on the Line with summers in Kennebunkport.
Graduated from Georgetown University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University for a year, then graduated from Yale Law. He was elected Governor of Arkansas and served for eleven years.
He had a little success working with Democrats in Congress. But it was nothing like the laser focus on party agenda that Republican White Houses and Congresses have achieved in the modern era.
The press never really acknowledged Clinton’s intelligence or his brilliant oratory. They were too consumed with Miss Monica saluting the Commander in Chief’s flagpole.
Yale graduate, barely. Achieved fame by being Dick Cheney’s lap dog for eight years. “I’ll be out on my bike if you need me for a photo op Uncle Dick!”
W’s Daddy oversaw the Iron Curtain’s demise. Communism had been the excuse for our military build-up but having nations as our enemies was a drawback. What was needed was a less tangible adversary.
Enter Terrorism. It exists through a confusing network of shadowy state sponsorships and private wealth. With the exception of Borat, no one really understands the Middle East.
Terrorism is amorphous. How will we ever know we’ve stopped it if we can’t identify who it is? It’s the perfect bogey man to scare people. Which, in turn, becomes the foundation for selling more weapons.
At the end of their second term, Cheney-Bush invented a new way to transfer wealth: the panic payout. The financial crisis of 2008 was caused by the recklessness of the financial services and real estate industries. The immense losses threatened to drag every sector of the economy into a Depression. Congress approved a $500 billion bailout to prevent that. Those funds were supposedly all paid back.
2008 was the prototype for this year’s much larger pandemic payday. Estimates of costs this time are between 3 and 6 trillion. As a bonus to the one percent, the payback requirement on this round is vague and may be nonexistent. Especially since records are lax on who received the payments and the amount they were given.
When you think about welfare cheats costing us $90 billion a year, thank god there was 6 trillion left over to save Wall Street.
Graduated from Columbia University and University of Chicago Law School.
On the day of his inauguration, Senator Feinstein chaired the hosting committee. She and her husband Richard Blum were like teenage kids at the mall. Manned with cell phones throughout the ceremony, they were in everyone’s face on the podium. Their photo hound behavior lacked a certain decorum..
Feinstein was just as tacky months later when the health care debate began. A reporter broadly outlined Obama’s plan in an interview. She responded with something like “I don’t know what he thinks he’s doing, he’s got to come through us first.” So blunt, so rude, so confrontational. Working with “friends” like her makes his accomplishment that much greater.
Another Democratic friend was Senator Evan Bayh. As the vote approached he remained undecided.
Chris Matthews spent a week on MSNBC analyzing his position. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were about his struggling conscience, the desire to appease moderates. Then on Thursday Matthews let slip that Bayh’s wife worked for the health care industry and was compensated with a couple of million dollars the previous few years.
Funny how a little tidbit like that can deflate the Hamlet thing.
Blah blah blah. Blather blather blather. What more could possibly be said here. I’ve been drained of all contempt.