St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans’ famed Jackson Square, illuminated by financial smart-bombs, shuddering under the weight of administration wage-agreements that further depress the region and line the pockets of contractors and blitzed by the president’s carefully scripted words, is the opening scene of the federal flim-flam.
Tonight at 9, with no audience, no reporters, not a soul in sight as if the shame were so great that no witnesses were allowed.
The screenplay is vintage Karl Rove.
The goal is not recovery of the Gulf, but recovery of the presidential approval ratings.
The cost is $200 billion, unless it’s more.
One wonders if we cannot just buy off this tragically mismanaged administration before they harm us further. This president cares so much for the displaced, depressed and disadvantaged that he has set aside the law requiring that they be paid prevailing wages. He wants the rehabilitation of his plummeting reputation to be bought on the cheap, subsidized by a work-force so severely injured as to be willing to take any job at any wage.
George Bush will make this false-hearted pitch with a tear in his eye and the media confined to their press vans. I saw Dan Rather report similarly from Prague, standing on the Charles Bridge with the Castle in the background, so I can suggest to you the setup. Camera anchored in a tented enclosure, pointing at a carefully lighted St Louis Cathedral, the president standing in front of the tent, looking directly into the camera, tele-prompters to right and left. The hauntingly beautiful cathedral, in darkness and silence, contributes its majesty to this somber moment in the history of a great and symbolic American city as our president sets up the sting.
The president and Republican congressional leaders figure the economy can absorb the sharp spike of $200 billion in spending and budget deficits. Democrats, hang-dog followers they have shown themselves to be, dare not raise a protest. It’s their best game . . . not raising a protest and it has thus far bought us two tragic wars, an unprecedented robbing of the national coffers and scorn throughout the world. Why not? It’s only their country.
Karl Rove, and therefore his protégé-president, feel the only way the stumbles and mumbles of the past two weeks can be mended is to spend whatever it takes. What they may not have counted on is the backlash of what promises to be a Halliburton-style gutting of cost controls, promising the highest possible profits that can be bought on the backs of low-wage workers.
If that cat gets out of the bag, a virtual racial war is likely to break out on the already devastated Gulf coast and it’s anybody’s guess where this president, his eye on the prize of next year’s mid-term elections, will find himself.
On the other hand, the Democrats have so egregiously bought-in to this travesty that they are certainly no better fit to lead this ravaged nation.