Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dueling e-mails

Once again the sharp Veronica Mars proves to be one of the best-written pot-boilers on television, as a murder mystery turns on what appeared to be a throw-away line about good scotch that was tossed out long before there was any inkling a murder was going to happen this season.

Meanwhile on the other channels, a political hack was calling on Congress to "achieve big things for the American people" - continuing to try to generate the illusion that our rulers consider themselves public servants, loading up the plate with new government programs to solve the problems caused by old government programs, all of them not what the U.S. of A. was supposed to be about.

I got a dueling pair of junk e-mails overnight. One signed by the top two officials of the national Republican Party gave me my own personal copy of the hack's speech, as if I had any interest in reading his latest pile of hooey. They wrote:

From his strong focus on making health care more affordable, to developing viable alternative energy sources, to explaining how our actions in the world will make our nation safer and more secure, President Bush is confronting the challenges of our time with an agenda that will improve American's daily lives.

I was underwhelmed. And I still didn't read the speech. I figured I knew what was in it. Then I got the other junk e-mail, this one billed as a statement by Richard Viguerie, and it confirmed what I suspected:

“I was struck more by what I didn’t hear than by what I heard.

“What he did say was mostly big-government economic, energy, and education schemes that could have just as easily come from President Clinton or President Carter. What he did not deliver were any Reaganesque calls for reducing the size of government, or getting the government off our backs - a core conservative goal since the 1950s.

“The underlying message in this State of the Union Address was directed toward the Democrats: In effect, we can work together - let’s make a deal. The underlying message directed toward the conservatives was: You have no place else to go.

“Among the other omissions in the President’s speech:

- He did not acknowledge any mistake in pursuing the liberal, big government policies that have driven the Republican Party from power on Capitol Hill.

- He did not announce any changes in personnel in a conservative direction.

- He did not announce that he will veto any increase in discretionary spending.

- He did not call for the downsizing or elimination of any government programs.

- He did not call for eliminating the corporate welfare shelled out to big business.

- He did not announce that he will veto any legislation that contains ‘earmarks.’

- He did not launch a serious war on the institutionalized government corruption between big business, their lobbies, Congress, and the Administration.

- He did not announce any significant initiatives to protect traditional moral values ...”

Except for the "traditional moral values" thing - the conservative code word for "what big government should be doing to micromanage people's lives" - Viguerie spoke to where I am. He went on to say "conservatives" should become a third force in American politics, yada yada yada, and I'm sure he (like the Republicans) wouldn't mind if I tossed a few bucks in his organization's direction.

In a story headlined "Hatch on Bush speech: 'How can you disagree?'" the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Bush "got applause 57 times - a dozen times from the Republican side only." Turn that around: The "divided" government is in such complete agreement that the whole room applauded the guy 45 times in a 49-minute speech.

Yep, turns out that watching Kristen Bell work on a make-believe mystery was a lot more fun (and easier on the eyes) than watching the real-life mystery play out - the mystery of why hundreds of millions of supposedly free people continue to support the charade being played that our rulers exist to serve us and protect our liberty.


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