Skip

Retrospect: 10 Long Years
December 22, 2009 12:58 PM   Subscribe

From Juan Cole: Informed Comment "Top Ten Worst Things about the Bush Decade; Or, the Rise of the New Oligarchs".
posted by adamvasco (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
To blame Bush for deregulation is just plain wrong. He was late in the game, a game advanced by Carter and other Democrats as well as many in the GOP.
posted by Postroad at 1:09 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah? Well hindsight is 20/20 you know . . and . .

God dammit, now I'm all pissed off again
posted by Think_Long at 1:13 PM on December 22, 2009


Just 10?
posted by dortmunder at 1:14 PM on December 22, 2009


I was kind of annoyed by this at first until I realized that it simply wasn't a, "This was all Bush's fault" list but rather a list of things that sucked about that period of time with Bush as the mascot. Just like Clinton wasn't responsible for everything in the "Clinton era" but he was seen to symbolize much of it.
posted by cimbrog at 1:17 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]




To blame Bush for deregulation is just plain wrong.
Blame Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Timothy Geithner. Blame Bill Clinton too. Sure, blame a few GOPers: Phil Gramm most of all. But what Bush continued, Reagan started, and Clinton supported.

Doubt we will get true regulatory reform with Clinton's Summers and Geithner playing central roles in this administration.
posted by IndpMed at 1:20 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


To blame Bush for deregulation is just plain wrong.

I didn't get the sense he blamed Bush for anything more than being the monkey to the corporate oligarchs' organ grinder.
posted by Pragmatica at 1:24 PM on December 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


I agree with his conclusion that we dropped the ball in Afghanistan, but it's worth noting that the Taliban were not "universally despised" there. Is Professor Cole engaging in hyperbole to make a point? He should know this isn't the case.

The Taliban weren't beloved by the Afghan people. But they were viewed by Afghan citizens as a stabilizing force. They had eliminated rampant, pervasive gov't corruption, and put an end to the infighting between warlords that had decimated the country. In addition, areas of Afghanistan which remained in Taliban control these past seven years have had their basic needs and services supplied by Taliban forces rather than the Afghan government, which had proven incapable of doing so. This isn't unusual. Hezbollah did the same in Lebanon, as Hamas did (until their rise to power) in the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, the US-installed/supported government in Afghanistan has had corruption problems, and is woefully unorganized, which undermines their citizens' trust.
posted by zarq at 1:32 PM on December 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


zarq: "Meanwhile, the US-installed/supported government in Afghanistan Washington D.C. has had corruption problems, and is woefully unorganized, which undermines their citizens' trust."
posted by Joe Beese at 1:42 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Bush is tied to deregulation to the extent that he pushed high-risk mortgages which later became a major part of the financial meltdown. See the Ownership Society. But these were by no means the only problem - the deregulated market which allowed derivatives and credit-default swaps to exist were just as much the Democrats' fault which is why they are just as happy to throw money at the problem.

Cole rightfully acknowledges that Obama is participating in extending and worsening several of these. Once you have lost power, it doesn't return easily.
posted by mek at 1:47 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The blame for the disasters of the 2000s lies as much on the shoulders of the massively complacent populace as it does upon the leaders. Bush stole the election? American's didn't seem to mind since there were no riots or fights about it. You could say the same thing about every item on that list. Sure there are outraged groups of people, many of which I agree with, but not enough people complained or made enough noise to do anything about it.
posted by msbutah at 1:51 PM on December 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Bush stole the election? American's didn't seem to mind since there were no riots or fights about it

umm?
posted by Think_Long at 1:54 PM on December 22, 2009


Well, quit whining about and start work on fixing the problem, people.
posted by delmoi at 1:55 PM on December 22, 2009


Part of the problem, as I see it is the famous "village mindset". This is especially true in the MSM. In order to get in you have to "pay your dues" by making friends with the right people and climbing the social ladder. And of course those at the top have a vested interest in maintaining that social order because they're at the top and those below them are kissing their asses to get in. It creates a vicious circle of sychopathy.

So there was an interesting exchange between some economist and Larry Summers a while ago where Summers basically argued there was no bubble or whatever because to admit that would mean criticizing Greenspan.

Oh and of course there's this Bernanke quote making the rounds where he's oblivious of the fact that there was actually a housing bubble in California in the 1980s.
In January 2005, National City’s chief economist had delivered a prescient warning to the Fed’s board of governors: An increasingly overvalued housing market posed a threat to the broader economy, not to mention his own bank and others deeply involved in writing mortgages.

The message wasn’t well received. One board member expressed particular skepticism — Ben Bernanke.

“Where do you think it will be the worst?” Bernanke asked, according to people who attended the meeting, one in a series of sessions the Fed holds with economists.

“I would have to say California,” said the economist, Richard Dekaser.

“They have been saying that about California since I bought my first house in 1979,” Bernanke replied.

This time the warnings were correct …
The people invested in the status quo are the ones who have the most power through it. So of course they want to deny the problems and continue on as if nothing was wrong. To admit failure would mean the loss of their status.

Just look at the way they circled the wagons after the Iraq war, for example. They were all wrong, but they held on to the top slots in society by sticking together and of course due to the fact that they were friends and had personal relationships with all the other people in power.

And now of course those people have all be cognitively captured by various interests, particularly the military industrial complex and wall street. After all, those powerful interests can just pay people to say what they want. If they make their ideologue rich, then of course those ideologues will seem to be at the top of society, and attract high achieving A-type sycophants (I'm not saying that all A-Types are sycophantic, but some certainly are!)

So what are some solutions? Well, I think blogs went a long way towards breaking up the insider control of media. They still have a lot of control of "incumbent" media, but there are now external voices.

But what about the rest of society. It's obviously a difficult problem, it means going up against the most powerful, rich, and motivated people in society and taking them down a few pegs. How can that be done?

It's an open problem, but people should be thinking about how to solve it, rather then moping around.
posted by delmoi at 2:06 PM on December 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's an open problem, but people should be thinking about how to solve it, rather then moping around.

Off with their heads! (Nothing else seems to work.)
posted by mrhappy at 2:20 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Off with their heads! (Nothing else seems to work.)

Nah, that's been tried too. Not nearly as effective as some would have you believe.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:47 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm always surprised that the overthrow of Haiti's Aristide always seems to be under the radar in recounting Bush II's legacy. Maybe it's not "Top Ten" material when there are so many disgraces to choose from...

Also, this, from the comments following the article:

All these are great points, but most are an indictment of our system in general.
posted by Rykey at 3:33 PM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]




Not to excuse Bush *in any way* ... but it was just the anniversary yesterday of Clinton, on his way out, signing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 making credit default swaps OK.

America's Ruling Class knows no party.
posted by Twang at 3:52 PM on December 22, 2009


Joe Beese: "Meanwhile, the US-installed/supported government in Afghanistan Washington D.C. has had corruption problems, and is woefully unorganized, which undermines their citizens' trust."

As well as our own set of intolerant religious fundamentalists, jockeying for power.
posted by zarq at 5:23 PM on December 22, 2009


Yeah, time to blame the piano player as to why this brothel sucks.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:46 PM on December 22, 2009


To blame Bush for deregulation is just plain wrong. He was late in the game, a game advanced by Carter and other Democrats as well as many in the GOP.

mmmm.

Many of the bad actors of the S&L crisis reemerged with the lending debacle of this decade.

This WaPo article describes the process in sufficient detail.

Clinton's hands are not clean and the general direction his admin took the country in the late 90s -- expanding trade deficit with China, continued monetary expansion, deregulation, the Bush admin was more than happy in continuing, especially when the dotcom and 9/11 shocks threatened to turn their admin into a single-term loser like his father's.

Make no mistake, I think Hanlon's Razor is applicable, but only barely. The amount of stupidity if not mendaciousness allowed by the Bush administration is simply stunning. Either it was ideology making them stupid or they just didn't care what the shake-out would be as long as they were long gone by the time it happened. That it all fell apart prior to the election of last year is quite surprising to me and no doubt them, too.
posted by tad at 11:58 PM on December 22, 2009


Thus, we have a gutted fairness doctrine and the end of anti-trust concerns in ownership of mass media, allowing a multi-billionaire like Rupert Murdoch to buy up major media properties and to establish a cable television channel which is nothing but oligarch propaganda.

I feel like this and the rise of Fox news should have gotten more focus. The power of right wing talking points as disseminated from a "fair and balanced news source" that is Fox has led to a nearly insurmountable rift between the right and left. Due to which, there can be no compromise because from the very outset the opposition has been painted as absolutely wrong in every respect.

And by having a major media arm act as a propaganda engine, they can frame and control the tone and content of any debate.
posted by quin at 9:08 AM on December 23, 2009


American's didn't seem to mind since there were no riots or fights about it.

A lack of widespread violence signals apathy? Um . . . what the fuck?
posted by IvoShandor at 11:15 PM on December 23, 2009


« Older Ann Nixon Cooper Dies   |   Bye Bye, T.C. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post