Josh Mitteldorf to Steve Benen


Dear Steve,

I think you’re on to something. To judge from the GOP behavior, they certainly are trying to wreck the economy. But I think your take on their motives is actually too generous.

Your hypothesis is that they want to wreck the economy and then blame Obama for the nation’s suffering, all to enhance the probability of electing a Republican president in 2012. But look at what they did while Bush was president: They cut jobs for the middle class. They lied about future financial consequences to push through a tax cut for the rich. They lied about future financial consequences to push through the Medicare giveaway to drug companies. They undermined public education with “No child left behind”, blaming schools for having to serve needy, desperate populations, and diverting their meager resources to for-profit experiments.

They invested only in military and “security”, while neglecting infrastructure, energy, transportation, and education – all sectors that (1) are vital to the nation’s future and (2) produce far more employment per Federal dollar than military spending. Eliot Spitzer told us that they did not just look the other way while banks appropriated the American real estate market and repackaged each mortgage into two, three or more
different bonds backed by the same income stream – they actively thwarted regulatory efforts to stop the scandal in its early stages.

Is it paranoid to think that these people are more than kleptocrats – that they want to wreck America not just to enrich themselves but for the sake of wrecking America? Consider that Bush Père launched the neo-Con Revolution while still a VP candidate in 1980, by traveling to Iran and negotiating behind Jimmy Carter’s back to assure that American hostages would not be released. Consider the undermining of
democracy by privatizing the vote count and monopolizing the print and broadcast media. And consider the creation of a “war on terror” as an excuse for rolling back Constitutional rights, concentrating power in the Executive, and expanding our military presence, seeking to “liberate” peoples who want nothing more than
to get the US the hell out of their country.

If you took the helm in 2001, and were hellbent on taking a wrecking ball to a thriving American economy and replacing democracy with secret, authoritarian rule, could you have done so any more efficiently than BushCo did in their 8-year rule?

Naomi Wolf is right.

There is a deliberate campaign to close down a free society, to destroy democracy in America and the
American middle class.

Josh Mitteldorf

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