Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What IS the Color of the Sky in Your World, Bill Kristol?

A little more Kool-Aid to go with your pie?

Can there be a better example of the 26% deadenders than William Kristol? In Sunday's issue of the Washington Post, he displays such self-deluded self-interest that my jaw still hurts after having struck the floor so hard.

I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one.

Let's step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let's look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil -- not something we could have taken for granted. Second, a strong economy -- also something that wasn't inevitable.

Are these the criteria that Kristol really wants to use? Because if so, then the administration of Bill Clinton must have been a stupendous success. After all, no terrorist attacks on American soil after 1993, right? As for the economy, more peacetime growth than any American economy ever, and an era of deficits turned into an era of surpluses.
So we've not had another terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. Can we credit Bush with that? Hardly, for blind luck seems to be our benefactor here.
As for the great economy, no doubt if you're a member of the robber-baron elite, things are going quite swimmingly. But as for the average American, well not so much. If Americans were confident in this administration's handling of the economy, why then do Democratic candidates for president gain such traction by pointing out how badly the vast majority of citizens are simply being left behind?
Clearly influenced by some of their most successful candidates in last year’s Congressional elections, Democrats are talking more and more about the anemic growth in American wages and the negative effects of trade and a globalized economy on American jobs and communities.
They deplore what they call a growing gap between the middle class, which is struggling to adjust to a changing job market, and the affluent elites who have prospered in the new economy.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, calls it “trickle-down economics without the trickle.”
I think these are the people Kristol refers to, when he touts this great economy.
The tributes to Sanford I. Weill line the walls of the carpeted hallway that leads to his skyscraper office, with its panoramic view of Central Park. A dozen framed magazine covers, their colors as vivid as an Andy Warhol painting, are the most arresting. Each heralds Mr. Weill’s genius in assembling Citigroup into the most powerful financial institution since the House of Morgan a century ago.
These days, Mr. Weill and many of the nation’s very wealthy chief executives, entrepreneurs and financiers echo an earlier era — the Gilded Age before World War I — when powerful enterprises, dominated by men who grew immensely rich, ushered in the industrialization of the United States. The new titans often see themselves as pillars of a similarly prosperous and expansive age, one in which their successes and their philanthropy have made government less important than it once was.
Those earlier barons disappeared by the 1920s and, constrained by the Depression and by the greater government oversight and high income tax rates that followed, no one really took their place. Then, starting in the late 1970s, as the constraints receded, new tycoons gradually emerged, and now their concentrated wealth has made the early years of the 21st century truly another
Gilded Age.
Ah, the Gilded Age...if it can return, one can only hope the tenements & workhouses of old can as well.