Wednesday, February 08, 2006

... And The Dead Shall Rise...

Maybe I've been watching too many vampire movies, or maybe it's just the prolonged exposure to the Bush administration, but for whatever reason, from where I'm standing today it appears that people and ideas long dead and not-so-long dead are rising all around us.

I am not the only one pointing out how alive and well Richard Nixon, Curtis LeMay, J. Edgar Hoover, and good ole Joe McCarthy seem to be today, at least in spirit. As I've said before, Ghandi stays dead, John Lennon stays dead, Abe Lincoln is certainly staying dead - but these avatars of right-wing paranoia and greed seem to be giving up a-moldering in their graves and are springing to the forefront of U.S. policy with alacrity.

Today we read about another resurrection: this time, it's the corpse of President Bush's Social Security privatization scheme, dead for a year or more, that is rising, Phoenix-like, from its ashes.

In what has become a pattern for this administration, everything is done secretly, and in such a way as to minimize the public's awareness of his true intentions. Presumably this is because it has become clear that the nation does not want Mr. Bush's vision of "compassionate conservatism" - bulging pockets at the boardrooms and country clubs of the Fortune 500, nothing left for the rest of us - to become the future of America. Actual care and concern for those in need still seems alive in America, if only barely.

One must delve through three-hundred-plus pages of the president's proposed budget to find the smoking gun, but it's there: private social security accounts, which will divert billions of dollars from the current social security system into privately-managed, for-profit investment plans served up pipin' hot from your friends on Wall Street.

Remember how well big business conservatives did last year at helping poor people in need? One must only flash on your favorite image from New Orleans, awash in the corpses of the poor, to answer this question. Also remember Neocon matriarch Barbara Bush telling us how good these lucky people stranded in New Orleans had it, how they all stood to make out pretty good from this disaster due to her son's compassionate largesse, whereas prior to Katrina they had merely been poor and lazy? This, my friends, was the let-them-eat-cake moment of our times, the accidentally honest comment that tells us what compassion means to real radical right wing "conservatives."

Now forget about the poor, and think about the ever-receding middle class. Switch the faces of Katrina's victims with those of your parents (or your own, if you happen to be a baby boomer). The face in this unhappy tableau is yours, if you happen to wind up unlucky enough later on down the road to need Social Security as an actual means to social security (note the lower-case usage).

When Bush-brand programming for the needs of real Americans is allowed to reach its awful and terrible fruition, it won't just be disenfranchised blacks bobbing belly-up in the noonday sun. It'll be you and me. And I assure you, my big, fat, bearded, bloated, pale corpse will NOT be much to look at on that fateful day.

Don't let it happen. Use your telephone, your computer, or even your feet to let your opinion be heard. And your vocal chords, without which, at sufficient volume, no one will ever even wake up at all - besides the corpses of tyrants and bad ideas.

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